Hank Boyd: Clinical Professor (Marketing), the Robert H. Smith School of Business & Principal at Ombudsman LLC

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Hank Boyd is a Clinical Professor in the Marketing Department at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. He is also the Managing Director and Principal at Ombudsman LLC, a diversified consultancy. He is licensed to practice law in Maryland, Wisconsin, and the U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin. From 2010 to 2014, Hank served as the Associate Chair of the Department of Marketing.

Hank received his Ph.D. in Marketing from Duke University (with an emphasis in Consumer Behavior) and his J.D. in Intellectual Property from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At the age of 24, he received his MBA in Marketing from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to graduate study, he obtained his A.B. in Chemistry (with an emphasis in Biophysics) from Princeton University.

Hank’s areas of expertise include biotechnology, consumer behavior, business consulting, pharmaceutical sales, advertising, and market research. His research has been published in Marketing Letters, Psychology & Marketing, and Journal of Advertising Research. He has served as an ad hoc reviewer for the Journal of Marketing Research. He has critiqued pedagogical approaches found in marketing textbooks for such leading publishing houses as CENGAGE, Prentice Hall, and Thomson South-Western.

Hank’s opinions have appeared in The Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Washington Times, Wisconsin State Journal, Capital Times, and Wausau Daily Herald. He has participated in live interviews on CBS News (local affiliate WISC-TV Channel 3 News), NBC News (local affiliate WMTV Channel 15 News), Maryland Public TV, and NEWS/TALK 1310 WIBA RADIO.

During the course of his academic career, Hank has taught over 15,000 students the intricacies of marketing theory and practice. Outside of academe, he has worked as a summer associate at Heller Ehrman, a pharmaceutical rep at Merck, and an economic forecaster at IBM. He has consulted with several firms including the NFL, ExxonMobil, Verizon, SAIC, and Ocean Tomo. At times, he has been called upon as an expert witness in legal proceedings. He has served on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Hank resides in Fulton, MD with his wife, Isabel, and his daughter, Giselle.

What do you do best?

I trigger the spark of learning in my students and clients. I have been blessed with the gift of gab combined with a flair for the dramatic. Over the years, I have honed my teaching skills to reach various audiences irrespective of subject matter. Case in point, during the summer I conduct a math camp at my local church on a pro bono basis. The camp is dedicated to Algebra for high school students. Since its inception, participants have overcome math anxiety and performed better in school. In the fall, I ease back into stride and share the wonders of marketing theory with undergraduates at Smith. Typically, in the spring I work with executive clients like the NFL.

What makes you the best?

I never give up on my dreams. Life has a nasty habit of throwing one a barrage of knuckle balls. The trick to success is to stay focused and not lose heart when things don’t work out as planned. With initiative and hustle, you can always find the silver lining in almost any situation.

How will you stay the best?

In keeping with the American psyche, I am extremely competitive. In my travels, I have come to appreciate that excellence in any pursuit tends to be borne out of honest competition. I have deep admiration for those luminaries who never rest on their laurels and continue to evolve within their chosen profession.

What are your aspirations: business & personal?

Personal: For the rest of my days, I want to continue learning and solving problems which benefit mankind. As a concerned citizen, I seek to do all I can to bring about “a more perfect union.” Being a father, I worry about the world my daughter will inherit.

Business: In academic circles, I aspire to be a university president someday. I am drawn to such an esteemed position because of the varied skill set that is required, namely administrator, politician, and marketer.

What fascinates you?

In my research and consulting, I am keen to learn more about what makes people tick. The context of persuasion is fertile ground to understand how things get done in our society. Hence, I have gravitated toward studying political theory and social psychology.

Favorite Motto?

“One ounce of application is worth a ton of abstraction” (Booker T. Washington).

Favorite People?

Outside my family, I look to those individuals that defy the odds, surmount challenges, and achieve greatness. Their collective fiber naturally fixates on the positive in life and ignores the negative. A brief listing of my heroes would include: Booker T. Washington, Miles Davis, Benjamin Franklin, Nelson Mandela, Richard Feynman, and Theodore Roosevelt.

Favorite Places?

In terms of globetrotting, I have had a wonderful time in the following locales: Okinawa, Japan; Nice, France; Cape Town, South Africa; Maputo, Mozambique; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Huntington, New York (Oheka Castle); Taos, New Mexico; and the Bay Area in Northern California.

Favorite Products?

Things I couldn’t live without are: iPhone6, Gap Boot Cut Jeans, Google, Uni-Ball Red Micro Pens, Netflix, and Five Guys Hamburgers.

Current Passions?

I am a huge Miles Davis fan. Jazz improvisation is simply mind-bending music. I marvel at the ease in which jazz masters can craft art in real time without a safety net. In my view, Miles was the Picasso of this unique art form.