With over 20 years of experience in branding, marketing and communications, Derek will be your primary strategic marketing contact. He has led research studies and strategic development initiatives, as well as tactical plan implementation, for dozens of senior living organizations and other major brands targeting the mature market.
Derek is passionate about lifelong learning. He is an adjunct professor at Penn State and has presented educational sessions at LeadingAge state meetings in Colorado, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington and on the IGNITE stage at the LeadingAge Annual Meeting & EXPO.
Derek earned his bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of North Dakota, and his MBA, with a marketing concentration, from the University of Minnesota.
Industry Expertise (5)
Health and Wellness
Health Care - Facilities
Areas of Expertise (5)
Social Media Marketing
University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management: MBA, Marketing 1992
The University of North Dakota: BBA, Advertising 1989
- Member, Board of Directors - Hershey Area Playhouse
- Teach Economics of Success to 6th Graders - Junior Achievement of South Central PA
- Member, Congregation Council - Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Hershey
- First Connections Counselor - The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Kaitlyn Mulligan, Communications/Marketing Graduate | Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Derek is an engaging supervisor who helped me while I was an intern at Varsity. He has a strong work ethic and helped me stay involved with multiple projects. He is caring, dedicated and focused when working with clients and coworkers alike. Thinking creatively, he often times came up with solutions and questions that show intelligence and ingenuity.
Alexandra L. Cahill, Editorial Assistant | DEStech Publications
Professor Dunham is incredibly knowledgable about advertising and marketing, and his passion for the field seeps through into each and every lecture. His real world experience provides an additional dimension to learn from that enhances the classroom experience for all of his students. Most importantly he always makes time to ensure that his students understand and comprehend the material being taught.
Mary Lorson Vergenes, CEO | Cup o Content
Derek is a thoughtful guy who's able to bring insights and add value to every account he works on. He's got a laid back, friendly demeanor that keeps his team calm and focused. He's also super smart and a pleasure to work with.
Media Appearances (3)
Generational Language Differences Influence Boomer Marketing
The Marketing Insider online
Review any new internet trend report, and one of the major findings will be how Boomers and seniors are increasing their use of the internet, specifically on mobile devices and tablets. Older demographics are becoming more comfortable with making online purchases from platforms other than a laptop or desktop.
Understanding Boomer Shopping Habits
The Marketing Insider online
As advertising revs up for holiday shopping, retailers are quick to produce ads that appeal to their most desirable demographics — usually Millennials and Generation Z. Sure, young people are always going to be a prime market for retail goods, but this overlooks the fact that, in the United States, Boomers and seniors control more disposable income than the rest of the generations combined. This holiday season, savvy retailers won’t just try to get younger shoppers through their doors; they’ll also be engaging parents and grandparents with their marketing efforts.
Boomers Embrace The Amazon Echo And The 'Internet Of Things'
Engage: Boomers online
Amazon Echo, commonly referred to as “Alexa,” has become one of the most popular gadgets to debut in recent years. People the world over are embracing all of the ways that the device, first available in June 2015, can aid in managing the home and day-to-day life. While this kind of technology is often thought to appeal to only younger demographics, Boomers are finding new and innovative ways to use Echo to meet their specific needs.
Behind the Rebrand: Improving Senior Living Occupancy and ImageSenior Housing News
Mary Kate Nelson
Religious denomination “invariably creates some level of confusion” amongst prospective residents, Derek Dunham, vice president of client services at Varsity, told SHN. Varsity is a full-service strategic marketing firm based in Wormleysburg, Pennsylvania, that partners with organizations in spaces such as senior living.