Sam Harrelson is a Market Research and Strategy Consultant who partners with nonprofits, churches, public officials, and solopreneurs with big ideas, and businesses to grow their brands in a human-to-human method at Harrelson. After spending nearly two decades working in the market research and advertising industry for multimillion dollar companies and startups, Sam knows what truly drives engagement, sustainable growth, and media attention (it’s not mastering the latest jargon, it’s how well you connect with audiences on an authentic level).

Sam has led dozens of businesses, startups, churches, and nonprofits through strategic planning processes and marketing campaigns as the Head of Harrelson since 2012. Along with numerous national conference and local level speaking engagements over the last twenty years, Sam has been featured in leading marketing publications as well as major media such as The New York Times.

Additionally, Sam has received various national awards in relation to his writings on marketing and communications and recognized as a leading authority on the future of marketing for nonprofits by various outlets.

Sam is the author of a book on Assyrian archaeology from Yale University Press and has taught Religious Studies courses at the university level as an Adjunct along with teaching Middle School Science and Math for 8 years previously. He is an ordained minister in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and holds a BA in Religion from Wofford College and a MAR in Religion and Literature from Yale University.


  • Wofford College
  • Gardner-Webb University
  • Yale University

Work Experience:

  • Harrelson
  • Marketing Strategy Manager, AgFirst Farm Credit Bank
  • General Manager, North America – Clicks2Customers
  • CEO – planetBeta
  • Senior Vice President / COO – PrimeQ
  • Director of Publisher Relations – Motive Interactive
  • Affiliate Manager – Rextopia Network
  • Affiliate Manager – Think Partnership / Kowabunga
  • Affiliate Manager – Aluria Software
  • Director of Advertising Relations – SubscriberBASE / AdDrive Network
  • Publisher – CostPerNews
  • Publisher – ReveNews

Teaching Experience:

  • Adjunct Professor – Gardner-Webb University
  • Adjunct Professor – University of South Carolina
  • High School Literature – Newberry High School (Newberry, SC)
  • Middle School Science Teacher – Hammond School (Columbia, SC)
  • Middle School Science and Robotics Teacher – Spartanburg Day School (SC)
  • Middle School Math, Robotics, and Science Teacher – Carolina Day School (Asheville, NC)
  • Boys and Girls Club (Spartanburg, SC)

Advisory Boards:

  • Palmetto Project Board of Advisors
  • Commission Junction Board of Publishers
  • Affiliate Summit Advisory Board
  • Affiliate Classroom Board of Directors
  • Spartanburg Day School Strategic Planning Board
  • Social Media Board for Carolina Day School


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