Trading the Colorado mountains for the Illinois prairies, Professor Chris Perez has officially started his second semester at Olivet Nazarene University (ONU) teaching for the School of Business. He is currently teaching Policy and Strategy, Marketing Research, Advertising and Promotions, Marketing Management, Global Marketing, and Personal Finance classes.
Prof. Perez explains how his journey to becoming a professor at ONU has been “a full circle.”
Perez studied in Downtown Chicago at Colombia College, where he majored in Marketing and Communications. It was in college where Perez found a new life in Jesus. Although Perez had found a new joy in his new life, he also found himself in a time of questioning. During this time, he found he was conflicted in not knowing how he could use his career as a ministry for Christ. He describes his time as “Not a crisis of faith, but a crisis of career.”
Like every junior or senior college student, the next steps for Perez were being questioned.
“I could not figure out how I was going to put my Marketing career in context with my new-found faith,” Perez said.
One day, he was sitting in his student lounge reading a newspaper, titled ‘Advertising Age.’ This newspaper held the ad that would eventually change Perez’s life even more. It was a small ad in this specific newspaper that he stumbled on, telling of a Christian Advertising Company in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Perez went on to apply for this agency and found for himself the answers he longed for in his questions.
“At that point, I didn’t know anything about Christianity other than my new-found faith, and I didn’t realize about non-profit work and certain organizations that were philanthropic. It was in that moment that God pulled back a curtain and He told me He had my back.”
Perez would go on to spend fifteen years at this agency, where he was able to use his career for the ministry. His time at this agency was where he discovered that anyone could use their career or gifts in ministry. He found much success and growth in his years of working for the Christian agency.
“God has these spheres of influence. One big sphere is the business sphere, and you can be doing something professionally and have impact for the kingdom. For me, I thought you had to be a pastor.”
Right above Professor Perez’s desk you’ll find a huge sign with the quote “Marketer – a messenger who strategically serves & influences people.” This is a quote that Perez has lived by and wants to share with all his students.
This same truth that Perez had to learn is one he wants to emphasize to his students here at Olivet. He is passionate about sharing his views on what a marketing professional can be for the kingdom through his teachings and mentorship.
Perez is always willing to meet with students to be a mentor, support system, and cheerleader for them to shine during their time here at Olivet and after.
After working fifteen for different organizations through this agency, including Focus on the Family, Perez went on to start his own business. After owning his own business, opening his own restaurant, and working with various nonprofits and clients for four years, he found the opportunity to spread His mission and goal to students here at Olivet, finding himself in the “full circle” career turnaround that led him to Olivet.
“Every class is a blast! If I have to highlight one… I am most excited about the Marketing Research class… students will take the primary and secondary research that they have developed and turn the data into actionable insights that can be used to create a fully integrated marketing campaign and media plan. Students may also present their research-driven-campaign in regional and national competitions during the spring semester,” Perez said.
When Perez is not teaching, you can find him with his family. He has two daughters and a son: Brianna, Cienna, and Edan. Perez describes himself as a “baseball dad.” His son plays for a traveling team, so most weekends he spends traveling and enjoying cheering his son on during his games. As a family, they also love to find the latest place to eat and watch the latest movies.
Perez explains that his favorite food stop in the Olivet area is currently “La Delicia,” where he is reminded of the authentic popsicles he would get as a child.
Perez is always up for a game of ping-pong at the Perry Center with students. In 2007, he was the ping- pong championship victor during the Colorado State Games of America.
If you’re interested in meeting Professor Perez, learning more about his story, or just looking to get some marketing advice, you can contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.