Fern Walker Jones is the life and business partner, and first lady of Dean Eli Jones. Referred to by their academic and business colleagues as “Eli’s secret weapon,” Fern has strategically worked in conjunction with Dr. Jones to build upon a legacy of entrepreneurship and learning. She is creative director and resident editor of the first edition of Selling ASAP: Art, Science, Agility, Performance, and coauthor of the professional edition.
Fern’s background in service prepared her for a life with the consummate salesman and for raising a household of salespeople. Her diverse background began in 1978 as a prosthetic hair designer, consultant, and trainer for one of the top hair replacement distributors in Houston, Texas. Later, to accommodate the social and educational needs of her preschool-aged children Fern changed careers to work for Kindercare, Inc., where she taught preschool and kindergarten. Within a short period, she was promoted to Director, acquiring a school in Jacksonville, Florida. Fern received awards and accolades from corporate, and more importantly from parents, for the exceptional care and education the children received under her management.
During Eli’s “tour of duty” as a sales manager with Quaker Oats and Nabisco, Team Jones used their musical talents to incentivize and motivate sales forces across the southeast region, while simultaneously launching a music ministry, sharing inspiration to the masses across the Bible Belt.
Fern moved on to post-secondary education in 1993, and within her first year of employment in the Department of Marketing of the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, she received the Staff Excellence Award for exceptional service to the college. She also became a self-taught freelance graphics designer, creating presentations for academic and professional speakers, designing marketing collateral for organizations (e.g., the Program for Excellence in Selling and the Sales Excellence Institute at University of Houston, and The Sales Educators, LLC), and designing class slides for the college textbook divisions of Thomson-Southwestern Learning and McGraw-Hill. Fern later accepted a position with Caldive International (CDI), a leading provider of subsea services to the oil and gas industry, as Senior Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Major Projects; she subsequently became the graphics coordinator for Business Development, designing and packaging proposals for bid to oil and gas companies, as well as designing executive presentations for top-to-top sales meetings.
In 2000 Fern left corporate to manage two family-owned businesses that she and Eli launched and developed, Eli Jones & Associates, Inc. (EJA), a sales and marketing, executive education, and research firm, and Novewave, LLC (in partnership with Infowave, based in Chennai, India) an innovative multimedia business solutions provider. Together, Eli and Fern have combined their talents to build a platform for Dr. Jones to share his passion for and expertise in sales/strategic sales management to educate and motivate organizations around the world.
Today, Fern manages “command central” from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as she assists her children in developing the best sales force in the world, her now 7 grandchildren.