Alan E. Hall Center for Sales Excellence Biographies

Alan Hall

Alan E. Hall


Alan Hall is a founder and Managing Director of Mercato Partners, a top performing growth equity venture capital fund. Its focus is to invest in high-growth technology companies that need additional funding and expertise in marketing and sales. He is also a prolific angel investor and has over 50 personal investments in early stage companies. He is also the founder, chairman and former CEO of MarketStar Corporation, a global outsourced marketing and sales company with a focus on assisting high-technology companies increase sales. The company employs several thousand employees and generates billions of dollars annually for its clientele. He is an Ernst and Young and Mountain West Capital Network Entrepreneur of Year recipient. He is a frequent speaker, author of three e-books on entrepreneurship and a regular columnist for Forbes and Harvard Business Review.

David L. Ferro

David L. Ferro

Dean, College of Engineering, Applied Science & Technology

David L. Ferro has a unique mix of academic and corporate experience. He became dean of the college in 2011 after a 10-year stint as a professor in Computer Science. Prior to that he worked at Iomega as the Senior Manager of Ebusiness, a programmer/analyst in voice recognition at Unisys and a software engineer at companies such as Lotus Development, DRI/McGraw-Hill and Hayden Software. He holds a PhD from Virginia Tech and a bachelor's degree from UMass/Lowell, MA. He has academic and professional interests in UI/UX and the intersection of technology, business and society. He has published three books and lectured widely. Along with spending time with his family, he likes learning new things; his latest hobby is curling.

mikelle barberi weil head shot

Mikelle Barberi Weil


After 10 years of sales management experience, raising her children and serving in many executive board positions, Mikelle Barberi Weil joined the Department of Professional Sales in May of 2014 as the Assistant Director of the Alan E. Hall Center for Sales Excellence. Mikelle was named Sales Center director in July 2015. Currently, she is serving her second year as President of the Board of Directors for the GOAL Foundation, a non-profit that was founded after the 2002 Winter Olympics. Mikelle, her husband Brent and their three children enjoy all things outdoors, including trails, rivers, bikes and skis. She has a BS in Professional Sales from Weber State University and a Masters in Leadership from the University of Southern California.

blake nielson head shot

Blake Nielson

Professional Sales Department Chair and Assistant Professor 

Blake Nielson is an Assistant Professor of Professional Sales at Weber State University. He previously taught at universities in Mississippi and Missouri. He holds a BS in Business Administration, an MBA and a PhD in Business Management. His research interests are in the areas of pay equity and how sales effect business operations. His research has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Management Research. In his professional career he has excelled as both a sales professional and in leadership opportunities. He has studied and implemented sales strategies in organizations that have immediately increased production.