Chapter Officer Leadership Training (COLT) Online - Content Index

Welcome to ERA COLT Online …

… Thank you for the decision to participate in this program and take advantage of the opportunity provided to help you grow as an ERA officer.

Click on the + to access links and file downloads in each Section.

Section 1

Attendees are listed alphabetically by last name:
Mark Bowers, RW Kunz & Associates
Spirit of St. Louis Chapter

Mark Bowers is a Sales Representative with RW Kunz & Associates and a member of ERA for 27 years. Mark is attending COLT on behalf of the Spirit of St. Louis Chapter. Mark believes the current challenges within his chapter and industry is getting “new blood” involved and filling the necessary chapter positions. Another challenge is maintaining attendance at chapter events.

Chapter programs in the works for the St. Louis chapter are a golf tournament, local table-top show and a guest speaker event.

Mark is attending COLT with hopes to possibly fill a chapter position and better understand the make-up of ERA.

Peter Conlan, Parralax South
Mid-Lantic Chapter

Peter Conlan is President of Parralax South. He has been in the rep business for 33 years. Peter is attending COLT on behalf of the Mid-Lantic chapter. The main challenge with this chapter is restarting and gaining chapter activity.

Chapter programs for Mid-Lantic include programs to restart the chapter, a membership drive and a social event.

Peter is attending COLT to learn more about becoming a chapter leader and drive success for the chapter.

Pat Ferry, Giesting and Associates
Indiana-Kentucky Chapter

Pat Ferry is the Field Sales Manager at Giesting & Associates and has been there for 13 years. He has been involved with ERA for 29 years. He is currently president for the Indiana-Kentucky Chapter. A challenge facing the chapter is dwindling membership caused by Industry contraction, CM outsourcing, line mergers and acquisitions.

Recent chapter programs include an ERA/Distributor golf tournament, a cybersecurity event, a “state of ERA” event with Walter Tobin, and an Affordable Care Act Program.

Pat is attending COLT with hopes to share ideas and promote the rep function and affiliation.

Todd Ford, South Atlantic Component Sales
Dixie/Huntsville Chapter

Todd Ford is Partner/TSM at South Atlantic Component Sales (SACS). He has been with SACS for 19 years but has been in the industry for 29 years.

Todd has been involved with ERA for more than 15 years and is representing the DIXIE chapter at COLT. The chapter has been dormant for the past few years and because of this, Todd is hoping that COLT can help to kick start the member attendance and interest. Todd is also hoping to learn leadership techniques and the tools to rekindle chapter growth.

Robert Foertsch, Win-Cor Electronic Sales
Metro New York Chapter

Robert is VP of Win-Cor Electronic Sales and has been there for 32 years. He has been involved with the Metro New York Chapter of ERA for 1 year. A current challenge for the chapter is declining membership and limited program attendance by manufacturers/OEM’s.

One of the chapter’s most recent successful events is the annual charity golf outing.

Robert is attending COLT to gain a better understanding of managing his own chapter. He hopes to learn new ways to serve his chapter professionally and personally.

Mario Rossetti, English Technical Sales
Arizona Chapter

Mario Rosetti has been the General Sales Manager at English Technical Sales for one year but has been in the industry for 14 years. Mario is attending COLT on behalf of the Arizona Chapter. The chapter is going strong with recently reactivating. A challenge for the chapter is confirming attendance and payments as well as getting everyone to actively participate in ERA.

Mario is attending COLT to with hopes to learn the challenges and solutions from other reps in similar situations in other markets.

Bryan Teen, Tech Marketing
Carolinas Chapter

Bryan Teen has been with Tech Marketing and involved in ERA for 12 years. He is the VP of sales for Tech Marketing. Bryan has recently joined the board for the Carolinas Chapter. Bryan believes the chapter is strong, but they are working hard to help the Dixie chapter get up and running. The chapter finds getting locations and times that work for everyone to be a challenge.
The chapter recently held programs with the following topics: “The unsale – are you having the right conversations,” a “technology swap shop” program, a DTAM presentation and ongoing networking breakfasts.

Bryan is attending COLT to continue his education and training as a rep and continue his involvement with the ERA and CERA (Carolinas ERA).

Wednesday Nov. 8

6:00 p.m. – Meet in the lobby of hotel
6:30 p.m. – Dinner at Park Tavern

Thursday Nov. 9

8:00 a.m. – Welcome and Chapter Profile Review
8:45 a.m. – Chapter Structure Section 8
9:45 a.m. – Chapter Planning Session
10:30 a.m. – Break
10:45 a.m. – Legal Session with Gerry Newman
12:00 p.m. – Break
12:15 p.m. – Lunch and Website Review
12:45 p.m. – Break
1:00 p.m. – Chapter Planning Brainstorm
2:00 p.m. – Create “Mock” Chapter Board
2:30 p.m. – Break
2:45 p.m. – Program Planning
4:45 p.m. – Why We Volunteer, Awards and Newsletter
6:00 p.m. – Colt Session complete. Congratulations!

Section 2 – This is ERA

About ERA

It is the mission of ERA to support its members in optimizing the professional outsourced field sales function in the global electronics industry by providing programs and activities that educate, inform and advocate for manufacturers’ representatives and the manufacturers they represent.

The Organization
From ERA’s Chicago headquarters flow the programs, publications and member benefits that respond to your multifaceted needs. A dedicated volunteer cadre of your peers and colleagues guides and oversees the operation of an outstanding professional staff, to respond to your multiple roles as entrepreneur, salesperson and employer while enhancing your well-being and that of the representative function.

ERA’s assertive leadership role in promoting and protecting the function has led to the identification of manufacturers’ representatives as equal partners in the marketing process. ERA gives you a voice. It listens and responds to members and to the forces surrounding you that impact the success of your company.

The Local Chapter
ERA begins where selling begins – in your territory. It is your point of entry for fellowship, networking and idea exchange with other electronics representatives, as well as impacting the industry as a whole. Chapter meetings and activities provide programs of timely interest, plus an ideal environment for profitable interface with customers, principals and peers. Delegates from each chapter constitute the national governing structure of ERA, carrying your message to headquarters, government and industry.

The Marketing Group
Recognizing the varying market dynamics of different sectors of the electronics industry, ERA is organized into nine marketing groups: Communications; Components; Computer; Consumer Electronics; Electronic Systems Integration; Instrumentation; Materials, Assembly & Production; RF/Microwave; and Semiconductors.

You choose the ERA marketing group (or groups) with which you want your company identified. (Your principals are eligible to join ERA marketing groups as Manufacturer Members.)

The marketing group structure helps assure the direct relevance of your ERA participation. You gain valuable contacts, exchange ideas with peers and with manufacturers, share experiences and contribute toward your own professionalism and that of your colleagues.

Manufacturer Member participation gives you the opportunity to network with principals and prospective principals in joint programs centered on mutual interests in your market niche.

ERA Milestone History

In October of 1935, a small group of radio parts representatives gathered in New York City to share experiences and exchange ideas and knowledge about the still-developing industry. This momentous meeting led to what has become today’s Electronics Representatives Association. The representatives, who held that first meeting in the office of D.R. “Danny” Bittan, decided to call their organization “The Peddlers.” By the following month, more than 32 representatives gathered at the Hotel Edison in New York to elect the association’s first officers: President Jack Price, Vice President Earl Dietrich and Secretary/Treasurer Dave Sonkin. At this time, the name “The Peddler’s was deemed rather unsophisticated for a group of professional salesmen, and a new name, “The Representatives of Radio Parts Manufacturers’ ” was adopted.

By 1936, membership had grown to 78, and plans were initiated to establish “chapters” or”sections” in leading cities throughout the country. During these early days, the association established its bylaws and initial objective — “To create a spirit of mutual respect, esteem and cooperation among its members and the radio and allied industries” — paving the way for the future.

Unlike many similar organizations, ERA endured throughout the years of World War II, thanks to the guidance and perseverance of its leaders, namely then-president Sam MacDonald. During the latter half of the 1940s, the office operation of the association was moved from New York to Chicago. At this time, the first staff members were hired to help the Industry Relations Committee publish directories and send mailings to industry members. And in 1948, the first Representor newsletter was published as a service to both the membership and the radio-parts industry.

The 1950s was a critical period in ERA’s development. In 1953, membership in ERA changed from an individual basis to a company basis, and in 1954, the association adopted its first official Code of Ethics. During this time, ERA officially became a professional trade association, rather than a semi-social group. Also during this decade, the first, full-time executive director was hired to manage the affairs of the national operation. In 1958, the association changed its name to the Electronics Representatives Association.

As ERA has continued to grow with progressive programs, so has its role as a functional group in the electronics industry. Many of ERA’s most successful programs serve to bring the rep to a closer working relationship with manufacturers and distributors. These programs include the expansion of the Lines Available service, the restructuring of the ERA Insurance Trust, the development of educational and industry seminar programs, the restructuring of the national offices to include product group vice presidents, and increased involvement in the participation of ERA on trade show boards.

Today, more than 80 years after that first meeting in New York City, the association has seen revolutionary developments in the electronics industry, many of which ERA itself was instrumental in bringing about. The Electronics Representatives Association has undergone countless changes in its history, but it has retained the original spirit and objectives of its founding.

ERA Code of Ethics

The Electronics Representatives Association was established to serve electronics representatives, manufacturers, customers and their industry and to foster interaction in a professional and productive manner. To that end, this Code of Ethics has been adopted by all ERA representative members.


Representatives will conduct themselves and their businesses in a professional and honorable manner that reflects credit upon themselves, the manufacturer, customer, association, other manufacturers’ representatives and the entire industry.


Representatives will respect and honor the negotiated contracts of principals represented. They will refrain from deception or misrepresentation of any price or product, or concealing pertinent facts. They will give the same service to customers and principals that they expect from their own organization.


Representatives will support the efforts of our colleagues, chapters and international association to set standards for our profession through example, education and training to promote and protect the free enterprise system.


Whereas it is acceptable and routine for manufacturers’ representatives to advertise and promote their capabilities, a representative should refrain from soliciting manufacturers with the objective of encouraging a principal to break a contractual relationship with another representative.


A representative shall not directly or indirectly solicit the services or affiliation of an employee of another representative without proper notice to the other organization.


Representatives will respect the confidentiality entrusted to them by principals, distributors, customers and fellow representatives.

Association Organization



Executive Committee

Chairman of the Board
Dan Parks, CPMR
West Electronic Solutions
Costa Mesa, CA

David Norris
Norris & Associates, Inc.
Hingham, MA

Senior Vice President/Fiscal & Legal
Chuck Tanzola, CPMR
Fusion Sourcing Group, Inc.
Ithaca, NY

Senior Vice President/Industry
Bob Evans, CPMR
EK Micro
Rolling Meadows, IL

Senior Vice President/Membership
Kathie Cahill, CPMR
Net Sales Company
Victor, NY

Senior Vice President/Education
John O’Brien, CPMR
Coakley Boyd and Abbett Inc.
Framingham, MA

Manufacturer Delegate
Ken Bellero
Schaffner EMC
Edison, NJ

Distributor Delegate
Chris Beeson
Digi-Key Electronics
Thief River Falls, MN

Walter Tobin
Chicago, IL

Chapter Delegates

ARIZONA – Cameron English, English Technical Sales Southwest
CAROLINAS – Bruce Scoggin, CPMR, Electro -Rep Assoc., Inc.
CHESAPEAKE – Steve Cooper, Cover 2 sales, Inc.
CHICAGOLAND – WISCONSIN – Jeff Huntsinger, Huntsinger Group, LLC
DIXIE – Todd Ford, South Atlantic Component Sales
FLORIDA -SUNSHINE – Pat Walsh, CBX Electronics
MICHIGAN – Matt Cohen, CPMR, CC Electro Sales
MID-LANTIC – Allan Stitzer, Stitzer Co., Inc.
MINNESOTA – Brad Butler, EI Sales Company
NEW ENGLAND – John Hutson, CPMR, MacInnis Group
NEW YORK – John Beaver, GSA Optimum
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – Hugh Shyba, Westech Associates
OHIO – David Gassman, CPMR, CC Electro Sales
PACIFIC NORTHWEST – George Alecci, Halco, Inc.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN – Jim Beam, Component Technology, Inc.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA – Doug Johnson, O’Donnell South, Inc.
SOUTHWESTERN – Jim Moore, Fralia Company & Associates,Inc.
SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS – Mike Long, Seltec Sales

Marketing Group Chairs

Communications (COM) – (open)

Components (CM) – Bob Evans, EK Micro

Instrumentation, Automation & Controls (IN) – Tom Diercksmeier, CPMR – Vic Myers Assocs., Inc.

Computer (CP) – (open)

Materials, Assembly & Production (MAP) – Troy Gunnin, Sun Rep

Consumer Electronics (CE) – Mike Pecar, CPMR – Mike Pecar Sales, L.L.C.

RF/Microwave & Wireless (RF) – Michael Harris, E.G. Holmes & Assoc.

Electronic Systems Integration Group (ESIG) – Gary Ponto, CPMR, GP Marketing, Inc.

Semiconductors (SEMI) – Craig Anderson, CPMR, Sumer, Inc.

ERA Staff

Walter Tobin

Tess Hill
Conferences and Special Projects Coordinator

Karin Derkacz
Admin Assistant
Operations Manager

William R. Warfield
Director of Finance

Neda Simeonova
Communications Director

Stephanie Tierney
Chapter Management
Social Media Coordinator

Katherine Green
Web Administrator
Database Director
Digital/Print Publishing

Industry Experts

ERA provides all members access to industry experts through the Expert Access program. One-hour, free phone consultations are available to ERA members for legal, tax, professional field sales, insurance, management and personnel recruitment advice from ERA’s team of rep-savvy consultants.

To view the current list of Industry Experts, click here.

Section 3 – Government Affairs / Association Partners

Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC)

The Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC) is an independent, permanent coalition of trade and professional associations who share a common concern for the future of small business. See the SBLC and Legislative Updates Index.

ERA Association Partners

The Manufacturers’ Representatives Educational Research Foundation (aka MRERF) is the creative energy behind educational programs offered by the Institute for Professional Advancement (IPA). ERA Commitment to Performance Academic Research Projects, professional certification programs and other resource development are provided by the Manufacturers’ Representatives Educational Research Foundation – MRERF. Click here for detailed information on programs offered through IPA-MRERF.

EDS Summit
The Electronic Distribution Show (EDS) is a leadership summit and an important gathering of the movers, shakers and brightest minds that electronic component manufacturers, distributors and representatives have to offer. Click here for detailed information on EDS.



The Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA) provides resources and opportunities for members to improve their business performance while enhancing the industry’s overall capacity for growth and profitability. From driving critical conversations and process optimization to product authentication and industry advocacy, ECIA is your trusted source for support, insight and action. Click here for detailed information on ECIA.


The Manufacturers Agents National Association (MANA) has functioned as a horizontal organization for reps and their principals, offering membership to any firm that is willing to ascribe to our Code of Ethics. We feel that we’ve had a positive impact on the unique relationship that is the rep/principal method of going to market. While our sister associations also promote this business partnership approach to marketing, they have tended to do so on a targeted basis, expending their resources in a given industry or geographic market. MANA has, and will continue to focus on the broader picture of education, making its presence known at the state, national, and international levels. At the same time, MANA lends its support to these sister organizations and helps fund the Manufacturers’ Representative Educational Research Foundation (MRERF) in education regarding the profession. Click here for detailed information on MANA.

Section 4 – Membership

Answering the “WHY?” Question

Ask any member of the Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) why his or her company belongs, and the responses will vary as much as the individual companies do. Just as ERA’s roster of professional field sales (rep) firms, manufacturing enterprises and distributors deals with many types of products and customers across all sectors of the electronics industry, the reasons for investing in ERA membership are many and far-ranging. Thank you for taking the time to read just some of the reasons that can yield an outstanding ROI for YOUR business.

View prospective member benefits page …

Section 5 – Education and Communications

Teleforums and Teleforum Library

Free bi-monthly, one-hour, interactive Teleforums

ERA provides free access for members to teleforums that cover a variety of rep business and sales-related topics designed specifically for rep firm, manufacturer and distributor participants. All teleforums are presented by Nicki Weiss of Sa1eswise, sales columnist in The Representor, and are co-facilitated by a veteran ERA member rep.

ERA Teleforum Library

Since January 2009, ERA has offered 30+ teleforums covering a broad range of topics for rep, manufacturer and distributor personnel, and as an ERA Member you can now access the audio files of these programs.

ERA Conference

ERA Management and Marketing Conference

The ERA Conference Committee is delighted to announce a return to Austin, Texas, for the 49th Management and Marketing Conference, February 25-27, 2018.

About the Theme and Program:

The 2018 program is being designed around a highly practical and tactical theme, “Tools of Our Trade — Constructing a Successful Future.”

As we develop the keynote presentation, general sessions and breakout seminars, our goal is to produce an event with more deliverables, more expert advice and more use-it-now information than ever before. We realize that’s a skyscraper-tall order, but we have our hardhats on and are hammering away at the program.

We urge you to bring your younger-generation personnel to help cover all the breakouts you’ll want to attend and to introduce them to the unique experiences of an ERA conference.

Event Highlights:

  • The conference opens Sunday with a Welcome Reception, followed by two full days of programming (with breakfast and lunch included both days).
  • The customized Keynote program on Monday morning will be another don’t-miss highlight!
  • Many new speakers are being booked to bring you a dynamic array of expertise and experience.
  • All breakouts will be scheduled twice to allow you maximum flexibility in customizing your own schedule.
  • Again this year, all registration is being conveniently handled online.

EXHIBITS will be a major part of the 2018 ERA Conference. Exhibitors who provide products and services specifically for reps, manufacturers and distributors will be available to demonstrate how they can help your company improve its efficiency, productivity and bottom line.

Please return to this page often to read about the conference details and to access program updates. Most importantly, remember that the 2018 ERA Conference is the ONLY opportunity for electronics industry reps, manufacturers and distributors to learn from many experts and each other in an environment dedicated to sharing practical, proven best practices in field sales and marketing.

Here are just a few comments from 2017 attendees:

  • “Thank you to the committee and all who were involved in the conference. Great job!”
  • “I will attend again next year and bring others from our sales team.”
  • “Motivating, energizing and very relevant.”
  • “Great variety of topics and [it was] also awesome that it was so different from the year before.”
  • “It was a very professionally run conference … There were multiple breakout sessions which provided freedom to focus on subjects of interest.”

About the breakouts:

  • “The breakout session options were outstanding!”
  • “I wish I could have attended all of them!”
  • “[After] a very informative session on rep councils … we now have a plan to establish [one].”

We look forward to seeing you in Austin!

ERA University

ERA University… Offers ALL ERA member firm personnel (and families) HUNDREDS of ON-LINE courses.

Boost your knowledge, skills and professionalism and is in partnership with ed2go, an affiliation of 1,500 U.S. educational institutions. ERA UNIVERSITY delivers …

  • Instructor-facilitated classes with live interaction to connect with both faculty and fellow students.
  • Access to lessons when you choose, where you choose, any time, 24-7.
  • A vast array of courses, covering sales and marketing, business skills, software training and technology, personal development and much, much more.
  • Easy on-line registration … with NO textbooks required … and NO minimum or maximum class sizes.
  • Certificate of completion for each course.

Most classes run for six weeks and include 12 two-hour lessons (that’s 24 hours of instruction!) for just $79 per course.

To view the entire catalog, read all the details about each class and instructor and register, visit ed2go …

The Representor Magazine and Archive

The Representor Magazine
Browse online or order your subscription now! (Members receive The Representor at no cost, but additional subscriptions for member firms and subscriptions for non-members are available.)

The Representor Archive
ERA members are free to browse online or download articles from of all Representor issues published in the past four years.

Quick Connections Newsletter

ERA Quick Connections
ERA’s monthly e-newsletter provides members with a convenient way to catch up on business information, announcements and events of interest.

Lines Available

The Lines Available Listing Service is available to all manufacturers and features targeted e-mail blasts. This service is FREE to manufacturer members.

All current Lines Available are also listed on the ERA website and available to member reps as the Lines Available Bulletin.

The Locator

The most widely used online, searchable source for finding rep candidates is the ERA Locator.

ERA Industry Dictionary

The ERA Electronics Industry Dictionary of Abbreviations, Acronyms, Nicknames, Terminology is available to ERA members as a searchable glossary of industry terms and acronyms – make sure to check periodically for updates!

Social Media

ERA is linked to the world through it’s social media network …

Section 6 – Industry Presence and Trade Shows


ECIA Executive Conference

Conference Overview:

The ECIA Executive Conference is the only conference where senior management teams from the electronics industry’s leading companies – representing the entire supply chain – gather to understand and address cross-enterprise challenges. Here’s where you can gain access to industry experts and knowledge, forge the relationships that can make a real difference, and learn how to remove roadblocks to success. This key conference comes just in time for 2018 strategic planning, offering macro and micro economic forecast data and an industry-specific, results-oriented program.
It’s the one conference you can’t afford to miss.


What is EDS? – EDS is a leadership summit.

It is an important gathering of the movers, shakers and brightest minds that electronic component manufacturers, distributors and representatives have to offer.In an energized, progressive atmosphere, top decision makers come together to build business. It’s a forum to plan, discuss new opportunities, and reset goals.The core of EDS is valuable idea exchange. It happens through high-level strategic meetings, event functions and informal gatherings. Business relationships are rekindled and new ones formed.

EDS is more than just one week in May. It is year-round matchmaking and planning activity that culminates in Las Vegas at the EDS Summit.If you’ve never been to EDS, then you’ve been missing out on some amazing opportunities. It’s not your typical tradeshow environment where all of the action happens on the convention floor. EDS is a combination of scheduled, one-on-one meetings, product exhibits, educational programs and networking opportunities to maximize success.EDS is a strongly supported, joint effort by the industry’s top member organizations: the Electronic Components Industry Association and the Electronic Representatives Association.



An international gathering for the electronics industry for more than 50 years: This is where thousands of exhibitors present products and services that will define our future. Join us. We look forward to seeing you!

The entire electronics industry gathers at a single location
2,725 exhibitors from nearly every sub-sector of the electronics industry from 52 countries around the world with a comprehensive range of exhibits, all at a single location: Such a high concentration of innovations at this level is only available at electronica.

Whether it comes to PCBs, semiconductors, sensors, connectors or displays: electronica is the best place to find out first which components, systems and applications are made possible by the latest developments. You can see the entire world of electronics here—on Planet e.


Section 7 – Legal and Tax Issues

These are the steps for becoming a legal chapter:

  1. Select a name for the Chapter;
  2. Identify the “incorporating members,” typically three or more individuals;
  3. File Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State as a non-for-profit Corporation;
  4. Draft new by-laws for the new non-for-profit chapter;
  5. Call a meeting of the incorporating members and other potential members of the chapter;
  6. Elect new directors and new officers (directors are elected by the members, the officers are elected by the directors);
  7. Identify committees such as membership committee, local activities committee, chapter programing committee, other committees as necessary.

The officers should include a president, a vice president, secretary and treasurer. Some of the offices can be combined such as secretary and treasurer.

The members should discuss a due structure for both local and national membership.

The chapter should have a bank account but that can only be established after the Chapter is formed through the Secretary of State and after a taxpayer ID number is obtained from the IRS.

For questions and comments, refer to ERA’s legal consultant:
Gerald M. Newman
Schoenberg, Finkel, Newman & Rosenberg,LLC
222 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2100
Chicago, Illinois 60606
(312) 648-2300 Ext 309
(312) 648-1212 Fax

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