Richard S. Lytle, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Richard S. Lytle currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of CEO Forum, Inc. Additionally, he serves on the business faculty at Abilene Christian University as Director of the Lytle Center for Leadership and Faith Development in the College of Business Administration after having served as dean of the College from 1999-2016. He served as one of only 7 deans in the school’s 75-year history and has been a member of the Abilene Christian University faculty since 1991.
Education and Teaching
Lytle holds a B.B.A. from Harding University, an M.B.A. from Oklahoma State University, and a Ph.D. in Marketing from Arizona State University. He has been a participant in Harvard University’s Institute for Management and Leadership in Education, the Babson College Fellows Program for Entrepreneurship Educators, and the University of Michigan’s Cycle of Leadership Executive Education Institute. For more than a decade, Lytle has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in marketing, strategy, and leadership. Additionally, he has studied abroad numerous times in Asia, Europe, and Central America.
Lytle has received the College of Business Administration Outstanding Teacher of the Year award multiple times and has been the recipient of the ACU Board of Trustees Outstanding University Professor award. He has developed and/or led innovative and intensive faith-based programs including Senior Blessing, Leadership Summit, the Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series, the Emerging Leaders Conference series, and ENTRUST. Lytle received a national Templeton Foundation award for his work in these programs.
Lytle has authored a number of articles and book chapters in his field, including works published in the Journal of Retailing, Journal of Services Marketing, Journal of HealthCare Marketing, International Journal of Hospitality Management, Journal of European Marketing, and the Eastern European Management Journal. His dissertation research is among the most cited in its field. Additionally, his work is published and served as the basis for service training and development in the Audi of America Academy. His book entitled, “Abandon the Ordinary: Building a Distinctive Leadership Brand in Business, Family, and Church” was released by ACU/Leafwood Press October 2010 and is in its second printing. Currently, he is working on research related to next generation leadership issues. He also continues to conduct research on service quality and leadership in retail organizations.
Professional Consulting Pursuits & Board Service
Before joining ACU, Rick worked professionally for Volkswagen of America, Inc., in Troy, Michigan and Tenneco and Amoco Oil Production Companies in Denver, Colorado. Additionally, he served as Finance Supervisor, Buick-Oldsmobile-Cadillac, EDS in Sterling Heights, Michigan. He has consulted widely, conducting research around his work in organizational strategy, service culture, and customer satisfaction. Major clients include Audi of America, Bank of America, Caterpillar, Encompass Home Health, First Financial Bancshares, H.E.B., Lauren Engineers & Constructors, St. Vincent’s Hospital System (Indiana), Sparrow Hospital (Michigan), and Unity Health Center (Oklahoma), and Volkswagen. Rick serves on the board of Focus on the Family and is Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. He also serves on the boards of CEO Forum, Inc. and Hallal Ministries.
Of most importance in Lytle’s life are faith and family. He and his wife, Jeanne, are active members of the Southern Hills Church of Christ and often teach together. They have three beautiful daughters, Kelly, Hannah, and Michelle. Together, they enjoy teaching about family matters and leadership. They enjoy a variety of activities including Great Lakes boating, water/snow skiing, hiking, running, and global travel.