2004 Apex Winner
Born on a farm near Kentland, Indiana, Tom Funk was associated with his family's seed business in the late ‘60s, as he earned his B.S.(1965), M.S. (1968), and Ph.D.(1970) degrees in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University.
Tom briefly held a position as an Assistant Professor at Purdue, before accepting a position at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, where he has been a member of the faculty and Professor of Marketing in the Agricultural Economics department since 1971.
Tom Funk is a master teacher both on campus and in continuing education. His research on farmers' buying behavior has been the basis for literally dozens of North American companies' marketing strategies for over twenty years, and it has made him the leading authority on marketing to farmers in North America. He has leveraged that same research into dozens of agribusiness case studies that have been used by thousands of students in the U.S. and Canada, both in Ag schools and general business colleges. Tom Funk's excellent teaching skills and vast practical experience with agribusiness firms have made him a top-rated instructor with students and agribusiness professionals attending programs both at Guelph and also Purdue.
Tom Funk is also the creator and founding director of the University of Guelph's MBA in Agribusiness program. This innovative, online program is now the largest graduate program at the University of Guelph with over 100 students enrolled from three continents. Recently, he announced a partnership with the University of Minnesota in offering a special MBA with a focus on Animal Agribusiness.
Tom Funk is currently the Chairman of the Board of the AdCulture group, a full service marketing communications group, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Innovation Centre in Waterloo, Ontario. Tom Funk has been a strong supporter of Purdue and has been closely involved in the agribusiness programs offered through the Center for Food and Agricultural Business.
Tom's wife, Professor Jane Funk, is also a Purdue grad of 1968. Jane teaches sales and marketing at the University of Guelph. They have one son, Justin, who is married, lives in Guelph, and works for the Canadian Centre for Sales and Marketing.