Representor Winter 2018 - From the Top

Get involved, collaborate and help build a stronger association together

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by David Norris
Norris & Associates, Inc.
ERA President
dnorris@norrisrep.com

It is through the process of “associating” that we have the opportunity to network, collaborate, share best practices and help one another in the process.


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Why “associate?” This is an ongoing question as we work to serve members of our association and attract new members to the fold.

At the Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) recent Executive Committee (XCOM) meeting, we had lively discussions about two core subjects near and dear to those who serve ERA: How can we better serve our membership, and how can we engage more of our members to do so?

An active and relevant association requires more than just membership numbers to serve the needs of its members. As with all associations, the biggest challenges are identifying the needs of its constituents and engaging active member participation in order to serve the members. The more we “associate,” the more relevant we become to our members and our industry.

The history of ERA tells the story of many selfless volunteers who took time from their business to help reps become better and more successful.

People like Tim Coakley, Bob Trinkle, Gene Foster, Bruce Anderson, Jess Spoonts, Jack Berman, Scott Lindberg and Lloyd Mullin invested in the formation of the Manufacturers’ Representatives Educational Research Foundation (MRERF), which has educated countless reps over the years as part of the Certified Professional Manufacturers’ Representative (CPMR) program. They did so not for personal gain, but to help elevate the professionalism of manufacturers’ representatives and the image of reps in our industry.

The challenges we face in our individual businesses are likely quite similar. Yet, more often than not, we try to face them alone.

ERA, YOUR association, continues to bring together representatives, manufacturers and distributors to face the issues that challenge us all, together! It is through the process of “associating” that we have the opportunity to network, collaborate, share best practices and help one another in the process. Collectively we strengthen not just our own ability to grow and innovate, but those connections we develop within our industry through involvement in our association.

As the founding fathers of MRERF demonstrated decades ago, the best thing we can do to improve the conditions within which we earn our livelihood is to take the time to invest together toward the betterment of our ecosystem. That is best done through association with our peers and business partners.

Membership is not a spectator sport. Come join us at the table and get involved. We’ll welcome your thoughts and energies, and ERA will be a stronger association as a result!


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