Dr. Barbara Weaver Smith

Founder & CEO

Dr. Barbara Weaver Smith is founder and CEO of The Whale Hunters®,  co-author of Whale Hunting: How to Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company, based on the collaborative culture of the Inuit people who engaged their entire village to hunt whales, and author of Whale Hunting with Global Accounts. Barbara teaches small and midsize companies to make more money through a complete business development strategy for bigger deals with bigger customers. 

She supports her clients’ success with a steady stream of new content for face-to-face and online engagements.

Barbara is in her third career. She was a professor and college dean, then president of a statewide nonprofit agency, before taking the entrepreneurial plunge in 1994. Her eclectic background has given  her 17 years’ experience in leading diverse groups of stakeholders to create fantastic, purposeful projects for business, education and communities. And she has raised much more than $100 million in gifts, grants, and earned income to get them properly off the ground.

Barbara loves working with small/midsize companies to build the seamless processes that guarantee their continued growth, revenue, and profits. She also works with large corporations that need to become trusted advisors to their key clients or even to a whole new market of customers.

Barbara is a graduate of Anderson University and earned the MA and PhD at Ball State University. She was named Sagamore of the Wabash, Indiana’s highest civilian honor, for exceptional community programs throughout the state.


Dr. Lawrence L. Smith


Dr. Lawrence L. Smith is President, The Whale Hunters® and Professor Emeritus at Ball State University.  His expertise is learning, assessment, and research.  For twenty years, Larry has been researching how technology can be used effectively for learning and assessment in schools. He went Whale Hunting for many large grants and contracts, landing many big deals with big customers to support his research!

He conducted the first study that compared children’s progress in understanding literature when they read from books and when they read from interactive CDs. That study received national attention and was reported on the front page of USA Today. Consequently, Larry was one of three educators whose perspectives are reported in Larry King’s book, Future Talk.

Because of his experience in education and technology, Larry leads our practice for education institutions and the businesses that serve that industry. He trains our clients on the “scouting” research process to identify ideal clients and conducts research and writing projects for education industry businesses.

As Chair of a department of 2000 students for 15 years, Larry has honed his leadership and collaboration skills. During his tenure he led the biggest change management project in the college’s history, “sunsetting” the curriculum and starting from scratch with input from all departments that help to educate teachers. It was a highly successful project under tense political circumstances.

He was a board member of the Professor Garfield Foundation founded by Jim Davis of PAWS, Inc. and is former President and CEO of that Foundation.

He provided training for the Peace Corps in Jamaica, led a delegation of students and alumni for a one month trip to China, and arranged student teaching experiences in many European countries.

Larry received his Ph.D. in Education from the University of  Illinois and has published more than 75 articles and book chapters on reading, education, assessment, and technology.