EMBA Faculty Feature - Experience Matters: A Conversation with Myron Martin

Picture of Myron Martin
Sep. 11, 2021

Myron Martin got his first taste of academia more than 20 years ago, serving as an adjunct professor at Lee Business School while simultaneously running the university’s performing arts center. Despite those years in the classroom, and his new role teaching marketing in the Executive MBA program, he doesn’t consider himself an academic. 

Rather, he feels that his experience outside of campus provides an even greater value to those seeking to boost their business credentials.

“Marketing is in my DNA, it’s who I am,” Martin says during an interview about his class, EMBA 713 Principles of Marketing Strategy. “What I bring is a real-world perspective that says to students, ‘Here is what the book says, here’s what that means, and here’s how we practice it in the real world.”

If Martin’s name feels familiar, it should. Following his first stint at UNLV, he joined the group that would create Downtown Las Vegas’ Smith Center for the Performing Arts and currently serves as its President and Chief Executive Officer. Recognized as one of the city’s leading advocates for the arts, Martin was named Las Vegas’ “Man of the Year” by Vegas Seven magazine in 2012, the same year the Smith Center opened. 

His stewardship throughout the years has transformed the performing arts center into a cultural institution, and Martin credits much of that success to his business education, saying that it helped inspire confidence among those that elevated him to the CEO position.

“I can’t imagine launching a project this big, and frankly, this successful, without having my MBA,” he says. “So I think I bring to the table an understanding of what it’s like to live your life and do your work – being as busy as you can be – while taking on an MBA at the same time.”

“I remember being on airplanes with textbooks and reading about accounting or statistics while everyone else was enjoying the peanuts. I get what this cohort is going through.” 

Principles of Marketing Strategy, he adds, goes far beyond the basics (the four P’s) and serves as a “deep dive into what those things mean and how marketing-focused companies succeed because they set out to satisfy the needs of their customers.” Throughout the course, he’s been able to draw on more than a decade of Smith Center experience and an understanding of how arts-oriented nonprofits must be run like a business to achieve sustainable success.

“Often, nonprofits focus so much on the art that they forget about commerce,” Martin explains. “Whether it’s entertainment industry-related like Smith Center, or a conversation about the Super Bowl, or the Olympics, all of those are jumping-off points to discuss the role of marketing in business.

“We get into the little details; how things like paid parking and resort fees have an impact on consumer decision making, and we’re doing case studies that revolve around gaming companies, nightclubs, even Lady Gaga’s show on the Las Vegas Strip.