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> ERA Quick Connections – October, Volume 1


October 2021, Volume 1

Manufacturing Date Reports

Manufacturing data reports from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) are released at the beginning of every month and can be accessed at ISM. The latest report says economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in September with the overall economy notching a 16th consecutive month of growth. Of the 18 manufacturing industries included in the report, the computer and electronic products sector was one of the 17 industries reporting growth in September.

INDUSTRY NEWS

The semiconductor market grew by 10.8 percent in 2020 and it is expected to clear that bar in 2021 with 17.3 percent growth. IDC has published its analysis of what it expects to happen in 2022 and 2023 as manufacturers make long-term adjustments and new capacity comes online. Read more at ExtremeTech.

Research firms describe the electronics market environment as “stable” at the start of the fourth quarter of 2021. Lead times have leveled out and demand shows no sign of abating. However, logistics experts continue to point to seemingly endless backups at international seaports and retailers are bracing for holiday shipping delays. Read more at EPSNews.

A Gartner survey of 317 CFOs and finance leaders revealed that three-quarters will move at least 5 percent of their previously on-site workforce to permanently remote positions, and nearly a quarter intend to move at least 20 percent of their on-site employees to permanent remote positions. While remote working may not be an option for all, companies have determined that there are benefits for those who are able to leverage this new way of working. Read more at Forbes.

ERA NEWS

Registration is underway for the 2022 ERA Conference, scheduled Feb. 27-March 2 in Austin, Texas. Take advantage of the early bird rate and register to attend this electronics industry do-not-miss event. Sponsorship opportunities for the 2022 ERA Conference are also available. For more information, visit 2022ERAConference.

The ERA Chapter Officers Leadership Training (COLT) program will be held virtually, Nov. 3-5, 2021. All ERA chapters are encouraged to participate in this hands-on instructional program focused on chapter management and planning tactics. For more information and to register, visit COLT2021.

The next ERA Water Cooler session will be held on Oct. 19 at 4 p.m. EDT and will feature a session on “Employee Retention.” For login details or to listen to past sessions, visit WaterCooler.

FOR YOUR CALENDAR

Click here to browse the searchable ERA Industry Calendar and ERA Chapter Events listings!

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> A Sneak Peek at the 2021 ERA Virtual Sales Training Event

The Sept. 14 ERA Water Cooler Session featured a discussion about the association’s inaugural ERA Virtual Sales Training Event, “Sharpen Your Sales Skills in Today’s Market, scheduled Sept. 21-23, 2021.

The session was facilitated by Walter Tobin, ERA CEO, and included updates from guest panelists and members of the Virtual Sales Training Event planning committee Ellen Coan, CPMR, Vice President Operations for C C Electro Sales Inc. and ERA Sr. Vice President/Education; Erin Collins, ERA Events Coordinator, Hugh Daly, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for METZ CONNECT USA Inc. Gary Smith, CPMR, President of G.L. Smith Associates Inc.

The discussion included an overview of the educational program, session topics and speakers; useful takeaways, best practices and key tools for attendees; a walk through the event site and virtual environment; and Q&A.

A recording of the session is available at ERA Water Cooler.

For more information about the 2021 ERA Virtual Sales Training Event or to register visit ERA Sales Training.

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> Listen to ERA’s New Podcast: The Value of the Rep Model for Manufacturers

August 9, 2021
Source: Electronics Representatives Association

On this episode of ERA Talks, ERA CEO Walter Tobin discusses “The Value of the Rep Model for Manufacturers” with ERA consultants Cesare Giammarco and John Simari.

Giammarco and Simari offer insights into the seven key attributes of the Rep Model value proposition to manufacturers: Expertise, Flexibility, Advocacy, Control, Market Coverage, Affordability and Demand Creation.

Tune in to learn more about the value of the Rep Model.

All ERA Talks podcasts are currently available on the ERA website. You can also subscribe to our podcast channel on one of the following podcast networks — Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music and now on iHeart Radio.

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> A very special trade association

OBSERVATIONS & REFLECTIONS – The Representor, Spring 2021

by Harry J. Abramson
Founder (Retired)
Electronic Salesmasters Inc.

Harry Abramson founded Electronic Salesmasters Inc. in 1972. He established industry notoriety by virtue of his firm’s peak performance, hundreds of articles and speaking appearances at ERA’s national conferences and chapter meetings and sister trade association MANA. He has an electrical engineering degree from Temple University and entered the electronics industry as an engineer at RCA in Camden, N.J.

His ERA involvement includes serving as vice president of the Components Group and president of the Ohio Chapter. Under his leadership, the chapter was awarded the National Chapter of the Year Award. Abramson recently was recognized with ERA’s prestigious Life Membership Award.

You can reach Harry J. Abramson at 216-406-4119 or email him at hja725@yahoo.com.
The traditional purpose of trade associations is to promote, protect and improve their members’ function. Fortunately, ERA does an exemplary job in these three categories.

Despite a crippling pandemic plus an unpredictable economy, reps have managed to survive and, in many cases, thrive. This article is a tribute to their resilience especially as it applies to our profession and how ERA has and continues to support its members.

ERA is a viable and inherent part of the electronics industry. The organization was created for a perfectly good reason — to foster the spirit of mutual respect among its fellow members and other groups such as principals, distributors and customers. Our association’s primary mission is to educate the industry about the economic advantages of outsourcing the sales function and the benefits of utilizing multiple-line sales professionals. It’s essential that our customer base (distributors and manufacturers) understand that we are not middlemen. Conversely, we add value to the sales process.

The ideal trade association avails the opportunity of continued growth through educational programs and networking. Like everything else in our business lives, some trade associations excel over others. Some are more financially sound and have better leadership. These two things exemplify why ERA is about to celebrate its 87th birthday.

Why join ERA? I have been an active and proud member for over 50 years. Upon reflection, it has made me a better businessperson, educated my staff and provided cost-effective benefits. So why doesn’t everyone join? Good question, they should!

Too busy? No one is ever too busy to learn new things and make new friends.

Too costly? ERA is a bargain at any price and dues are reasonable.

Nothing to learn? Wrong! The annual ERA Conference delivers valuable takeaways for even the most tenured firms.

For owners only? Wrong! Your staffers are your successors of tomorrow.

Benefits of group unity? Collectively we can learn from others and achieve workable solutions for difficult issues. These may include negotiating commission rates, house accounts, one-sided contracts and split commission tracking. This should not be construed as unionism or collective bargaining but simply an adjunct to “good faith and fair dealing.”

Why network? Networking is a perfect reason to join an association, especially ERA. It’s a place to share and help each other. Subjects such as how to motivate and compensate are great ideas. Improving efficiency and productivity are also two critical benefits derived from networking. Unique and modern selling techniques are shared by networkers and ultimately improve our function.

Additional education? ERA promotes the CPMR curriculum to make us better business people in sales. It is tantamount to having an advanced degree in business and marketing. What can be better than that?

Succession planning? ERA has done a good job of providing experts at its annual conferences to address the subject of succession. This applies to all businesses as well as associations. If done correctly, the successor will outperform his/her predecessor.

Conferences and seminars? Education is critically important to the ideal association. To that point, ERA does not recycle the same material from one year to the next. Programs are refreshed to keep members learning and growing. ERA conferences continue to provide members with an opportunity to hear and learn from accomplished industry leaders.

Leadership? This is typically part of every conference and may come from within our own ranks or an outside expert. ERA has been blessed with many role models that have been depicted in The Representor magazine column “Where Are They Now?”

Cronyism? Perfect trade associations are not viewed as fraternities or “good old boys” clubs and are void of cronyism. Officers and board members are elected, not hand-selected, appointed or anointed. There is no room for showcasing or self-aggrandizing. Ideally, all trade associations are democratic and not autocratic.

Dominating factions? Large rep firms do not constitute an elitist group within the ideal association. All member firms have an equal say and an equal vote. Larger does not mean louder or smarter. As a matter of fact, many smaller firms outperform larger ones where it counts — the bottom line!

Image building? Many associations create an image that their membership consists of an elitist professional group of peak performers. That’s part of their mission and a good thing.

Mission statement? The perfect association has a mission statement that is more than just rhetoric. Ideally, it is periodically updated. Unfortunately, these statements have lost their importance based on an overload of sameness.

Elections and appointments? The best associations cycle new faces with fresh ideas through their ranks of officers and board members.

Lines available? This is likely the most important benefit for member firms, especially new ones. In many cases, it’s a good reason to join.

Code of ethics? This could also be construed as good conscience and morality. Admittedly, some reps are fiercer than others when it comes to pursuing new principals. I’ll let it go at that.

In summary, trade associations are like people and companies, neither is perfect. However, they both exist for good reasons: they provide benefits and a collective voice. If they did not, there would be no reason to join.

Fortunately, ERA provides both. If you are not an active member, I urge you to get involved and committed. It is bound to be in your company’s best interest. Why? You’ll be working with members who share the same goals.

So, if you know of any non-member reps, please share this article with them. Also, assure them that joining ERA will likely be the best business move they ever made … IT WAS FOR ME.

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> Declaration of interdependence

VIEWPOINTS – The Representor, Spring 2021

by Chuck Tanzola, CPMR
The Fusion Sourcing Group Inc.
ERA Chairman of the Board
ctanzola@fusionsourcing.com

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary to write an article, and you’re not exactly sure what to do, reach for something in plain sight.

On Sunday last, we celebrated the founding of our nation; and not coincidentally, as I began to consider this Representor column, a recent Monday Morning Inspiration from my good friend Bob Evans that arrived in my inbox read:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

This oft-quoted, and perhaps most memorable, phrase from the Declaration of Independence got me thinking. Typically, when we consider this foundational document of our nation, we rightly focus our attention on the conclusion — the declaring of independence from Great Britain by the colonies — but as I read it, I realized there are other lessons from within its contents that merit our attention as well.

In writing the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson leads with an explanation of why it was written and upon what beliefs it is based. In addition to the quote above, we find some interesting language in the first two paragraphs, such as, “… necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another …” and “ … a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” And “… Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes …”

While tempting to center on the words, “dissolve,” “separation” and “change,” note that each is not possible without having “connection” first. In fact, even in the midst of the duress he undoubtedly felt, Jefferson still declares some of the principles of connection – “decent respect” for others, seriousness of purpose (“… not … light and transient causes …”) and communication.

The Declaration then moves on to a list of 27 grievances and the attempts made to resolve those complaints. The specifics of the issues are not critical for the purpose of this discussion, but implicit in the itemized list of issues are declarations of expectations governing the relationship between the British Crown and the colonies. Despite the issues, he also identifies the need to maintain relationship and concern for the loyalists living in the colonies: “Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren.” And “In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms.” He closes the document proclaiming the action resulting from the inability to resolve them.

I wonder though if there would have been a Declaration of Independence if the colonists had felt a “decent respect” for their expectations of the governance relationship with Great Britain?

So, how are these observations from history relevant to our industry today? As I speak with representatives, manufacturers and distributors alike, many of the frustrations they express can be summed up in two categories: 1) unmet expectations or 2) a feeling of disrespect from others with whom there should be a relationship. The common denominator in each case — actions undertaken (or neglected) that betray a recognition of the healthy balance between self-interest and community concern, whether unintentionally or serendipitously.

Wikipedia notes that the manufacturers’ representative is an “independent sales representative.” Similarly, manufacturers and distributors set their own, individual courses in producing and delivering products to our industry. Yet, despite this, it is incumbent upon each member to understand that they are but one leg of the stool — legally independent but all functionally interdependent! We are fortunate to work in an industry that for the most part recognizes this, but is challenged at times to remember it when faced with the increasing pressures of daily activities. I hope this column in some small way helps remind us to rise up to those challenges.

At the end of August, we will gather (IN-PERSON) for the EDS Summit, where the industry will discuss expectations, foster relationships and the declaration of our interdependence will be on full display. I look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas and pursuing life, liberty and happiness together. As always, I can be reached at ctanzola@fusionsourcing.com and welcome your comments.

For reference, you can find the original text of the Declaration of Independence at https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript.

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> What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger

EXECUTIVE COMMENTARY – The Representor, Spring 2021

by Walter E. Tobin
ERA CEO
wtobin@era.org

T: 617-901-4088

I hope that all of you are enjoying the summer and getting to spend some time with your family and friends (remember them?). Things seem to be getting back to normal a little bit at a time: traffic is picking back up, the airlines are packed, airports are once again in chaos. Yet, some parts of this re-entry process feel good. I am sure I will get over this feeling of euphoria sooner than later and become a tired “road warrior” once again.

Last week, I took my first flight since the February 2019 ERA Conference to celebrate the retirement of Bob Evans of EK Micro. I was totally “off my game.” I forgot how/what to pack, what IDs I need to have with me, how to download my boarding pass to my iPhone app, how to request an Uber, etc. How could I have forgotten so much in so little time?

Yet, it all felt good to hug people, to shake hands (I had vowed to NEVER AGAIN shake hands … oh well), to chat with people without a mask, to share some common war stories of the past 15 months. We all seemed to be helping each other get back our A-game.

So, what is ERA doing to help YOU get back YOUR A-game? Plenty!

First, we are a co-sponsor of EDS, which is going to be held in Las Vegas on Aug. 30 – Sept. 2 at the Mirage hotel. This is a do-not-miss event and a perfect opportunity to see old friends, make new ones, and to get back in the game. I expect the show will look pretty normal. Perhaps a few favorite restaurants and bars may be closed or operating on a limited schedule due to staffing issues. However, the buzz at the Mirage will be unmistakable and refreshing.

Second, ERA is conducting its first-ever Virtual Sales Training session, “Sharpen Your Selling Skills” on Sept. 21 – 23. This unique initiative will give all of us a chance to dust off our toolkits, get rid of any rust that we have accumulated and be ready to hit the streets running! I know that ALL of us can benefit from a refresh of our toolkit to help ensure that we are the sales leaders of tomorrow.

We also have begun the planning process of our 2022 ERA Conference, to be held once again at the AT&T Center in Austin, Texas, Feb. 27 – March 1. It may seem like a long way off but, trust me, it takes months to plan for this event making sure we have a great agenda, motivational and educational speakers, and a diverse list of breakout sessions.

But can we take a moment to acknowledge all of the challenges that we have faced together over the past 15 months? I certainly do not want to dwell on all that we have had to deal with and go through. But, WE DID IT! Yeah us! We seem to be on the cusp of a new day for us and our industry. If we learned ONE thing from the past months is how strong we are!

We will need this strength to embolden us to be vigilant as we move out of our cubby holes and reengage to see how our industry has forever changed, how our customers have changed, how they want us to change, and to develop our road map to stay ahead of the change-curve and deliver a strong value to our customers on behalf of our manufacturers.

None of us can afford to or want to go back to the old ways of doing business – driving in a car for two hours each way to see ONE customer is probably out the window! We can certainly have a face-to-face meeting but, more often than not, these would be conducted via video. Video is FACE-TO-FACE!

We can ask our customers what specific meetings or events they want to have IN-PERSON — perhaps a product demo, a lunch-and-learn (although many of you did plenty of virtual lunch-and-learns over the past 15 months). Listen to your NEW customer and let them define how they want you to support them moving forward.

Let us all LEAD THE WAY to help define the new role of the field sales engineer, the best tools on time and territory management, customer profiling, etc.

ERA will continue to evolve and change in this new world. Please let me know what you need from US to help YOU navigate these new waters. We will continue to work hard to provide an excellent and relevant value proposition to our members.

My bags are, once again, packed and my phone (617-901-4088) is always on.

I am all ears.

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> Reconnect, realign and recommit at EDS 2021

FROM THE TOP – The Representor, Spring 2021

by John O’Brien, CPMR
Coakley, Boyd and Abbett
ERA President
jobrien@cbane.com

As we all start to see that light at the end of the tunnel, the beacon calling us all to get out there and get together is the 2021 EDS Summit. EDS will be held Aug. 30 – Sept. 2 at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Yes, it’s in August. Yes, it will be hotter than our normal May time frame, but lets be honest, how much time do we really spend outside when we attend EDS?

The true value of EDS is the opportunity to meet and network with the leaders in our industry and this year’s theme — “Now More Than Ever” — couldn’t ring more true.

EDS 2021 will be the first in-person industry event in over 18 months. Everyone is looking for some sense of normalcy, a feeling of community and a need to belong to something bigger than ourselves and our companies. EDS 2021 will provide the opportunity to do just that.

So, why is it important for you to be there?

• To Reconnect. Virtual meetings cannot replace the face-to-face interaction our industry and sales have come to depend on. EDS provides the forum for industry leaders to reconnect on the interpersonal level that has helped all of our companies reach the successes we’ve achieved so far.

• To Realign. We’ve all had to continue to pivot into, through and coming out of the pandemic. EDS gives us the opportunity to realign our goals as reps, manufacturers and distributors. It’s a chance to all meet to align our common goals of servicing our customers in the most effective manner possible. We update our strategies to address our market needs and decide how best to go forward working together.

• To Recommit. Once we reconnect and realign, it’s critical that we all recommit to one another, to work for the common good of our industry. Our industry has seen unprecedented times but our future has never been brighter. By recommitting to the plans we develop at EDS and focusing on opportunities that lie ahead, EDS will become the platform we all need to continue to grow and prosper

EDS and the Mirage hotel are doing everything they can to assure that EDS 2021 is a safe event. According to the Mirage management, the hotel has increased the amount of routine cleaning, with a focus on high-touch surfaces and common areas using cleaning products that meet EPA guidelines. The hotel also has undergone rigorous measures to provide more outside air circulation throughout the buildings and guest rooms with air filters that meet or exceed published standards.

I look forward to seeing you all at EDS 2021 in Las Vegas.

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> ERA Mourns Jerry Bean

July 30, 2021
Source: Electronics Representatives Association

It is with great sadness that ERA must report the passing on June 1, 2021, of Jerome “Jerry” Benjamin Bean. He was 77.

Highly respected in the electronics industry, Bean joined R.O. Whitesell & Associates in July 1973, first working in its Kokomo, Indiana, office, later in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Grand Blanc, Michigan, Farmington Hills, Michigan, and eventually moved to Indianapolis where he succeeded Max Hinkle as president. He retired in 2013.

Bean was a long-time supporter of ERA and R.O. Whitesell and Associates has been an ERA member since 1952.

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> 2022 ERA Conference Sponsorship Opportunities Are Now Available

July 23, 2022
Source: Electronics Representatives Association

ERA announces that sponsorship opportunities are now available for the 2022 ERA Conference, scheduled Feb. 27 – March 1, 2022, at the AT&T Conference Center in Austin, Texas.

Sponsors will again have the opportunity to support the conference’s robust educational program and networking opportunities, and foster innovation and growth in the industry through unparalleled collaboration among reps, manufacturers and distributors.

“We look forward to seeing you in-person at the 2022 Conference, and invite you to sponsor the event and become an integral part of its success,” said Sponsorship Sub-Committee Co-Chair Scott Lindberg, CPMR, of Quell Corporation. “We understand that the past year has been challenging; therefore, we have made the decision to hold sponsorship fees flat for a third year in a row to encourage you to support this best-in-class event.”

Conference supporters can choose from various sponsorship opportunities, most of which include one or more complimentary registrations for the event.

Investment in a sponsorship will return many promotional benefits starting immediately — on ERA’s website and in upcoming issues of The Representor — and running through EDS 2022.

View sponsorship levels and register online.

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> ERA Recognizes 2022 Conference Volunteers

July 13, 2021
Source: Electronics Representatives Association

ERA extends its thanks to the dedicated volunteers who are serving on the 2022 Conference Committee and Sub-Committees.

This distinguished group of talented industry manufacturers’ representatives, distributors, manufacturers and suppliers selflessly volunteers countless hours developing a dynamic educational conference.

Your commitment is deeply appreciated.

Visit ERA Conference to view the full list of volunteers.

Electronics Representatives Association

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> Early Registration is Now Open for the 2022 ERA Conference

Registration is now open for the 2022 ERA Conference scheduled Feb. 27 – March 1 at the AT&T Executive Conference Center in Austin, Texas.

Register now to take advantage of the early registration rate and reserve your spot to attend the electronics industry’s do-not-miss event.

ERA has reserved a block of rooms at the AT&T Executive Conference Center and a limited number of rooms are available at the discounted group room rate. All hotel room reservations must be made separately from conference registration.

Sponsorship opportunities for the 2022 ERA Conference will be available soon. Most sponsorship levels come with complimentary attendee registration(s). Any registration fees paid now will be applied toward subsequent sponsorship fees owed.

For more information, visit 2022 ERA Conference, or contact Conference Coordinator Erin Collins at ecollins@era.org.

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> New ERA Talks Podcast: Navigating Disruption with Avnet

July 8, 2021
Source: Electronics Representatives Association

ERA Podcast: How Avnet Helps Its Customers and Suppliers Navigate Disruption

In the latest episode of ERA Talks, Walter Tobin, CEO of ERA, and special guest Phil Gallagher, CEO of Avnet, discuss “How Avnet Helps Its Customers and Suppliers Navigate Disruption.”

Celebrating 100 years in distribution, Avnet’s unique position at the center of the technology value chain enables it to accelerate the design and supply stages of product development so customers can achieve their business goals and revenue faster. With operations in 125 countries around the world, Avnet helps its global customers and suppliers realize the transformative possibilities of technology.

Tune in to learn more about Avnet helps its customers navigate through these challenging supply chain times; the role manufacturers’ reps play with Avnet’s field sales teams to support customers and manufacturers; and what the industry can expect for the second half of 2021 and beyond.

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> Conference Committee Reveals 2022 ERA Conference Theme

July 1, 2021
Source: Electronics Representatives Association

The Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) Conference Committee announced that it has selected the theme “A New Day, A New Way” for the 2022 ERA Conference scheduled Feb. 27 – March 1 in Austin, Texas.

As the conference returns to its in-person format, the planning committee chose a theme that reflects the industry’s excitement to reunite and reconnect in 2022 while embracing the need to transform and identify new ways of doing business to stay relevant and successful.

“Our first goal is to hold an in-person conference. As the world reopens for business, we are starting a whole new day. How we resume our roles in sales, management and marketing will be very different,” said Conference Committee Chair Bryan White, CPMR, of Catalyst Unity Solutions. “The second goal is to develop a program featuring open discussions on how we approach this new way of doing business. The 50-plus conference volunteers are already busy brainstorming relevant topics and selecting dynamic keynote, general session and breakout speakers. It is these dedicated volunteers that will make the 2022 ERA Conference one to remember.”

Conference Committee Vice Chair Lori Bruno of Luscombe Engineering of San Francisco added, “The 2022 conference theme, “A New Day, A New Way,” captures the resiliency of our industry, and how we have pivoted to serve the needs of our customers. The theme takes into account the core values of ERA and how we strive to deliver best-in-class sales tools, economic updates and programs to facilitate our reps, manufacturers and distributors to work together to support their common customers. The 2022 conference will be especially important, as this will be our first in-person conference since February 2020. It’s a reaffirmation of our common desire to support each other.”

More information about the 2022 ERA Conference, including registration and sponsorship opportunities, will be forthcoming.

About ERA
The 86-year-old Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) is the international trade organization for professional field sales companies in the global electronics industries, manufacturers who go to market through representative firms and global distributors. It is the mission of ERA to support the professional field sales function through programs and activities that educate, inform and advocate for manufacturers’ representatives, the principals they represent and the distributors who are reps’ partners in local territories. For more information about ERA, visit era.org.

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> ERA Announces New Virtual Sales Training Educational Event in September 2021

June 23, 2021
Source: Electronics Representatives Association

ERA announces its new Virtual Sales Training educational course, scheduled Sept. 21 – 23, 2021. Official registration for the event will open in mid-July.

This online sales training event was developed by a small ERA members committee including Ellen Coan, CPMR, of CC Electro Sales Inc. and VP of Education of ERA’s Executive Committee; Gary Smith, CPMR, of G.L. Smith Associates Inc.; Hugh Daly of Metz Connect USA Inc.; and Chris Beeson of RS Components.

The program will offer nine 75-minute sales training modules. The training sessions will be conducted by both professional sales training companies and by industry corporate and regional sales executives to allow frontline sales professionals an opportunity to sharpen their selling skills.

“ERA National is proud to expand its educational offerings with this new initiative,” Coan said. “ERA is responding to the call from many of our members for sales training geared toward all skill levels in our rep, manufacturer and distributor communities by taking advantage of a virtual learning environment. Due to its online nature, this dynamic sales course will be accessible to all in our industry.”

Walter Tobin, ERA CEO, added, “This sales training will be both real and relevant. Tailored to our industry and conducted by people who speak our language. Attendees will leave with some new tools and sharpen the tools they already have. Mark your calendars and do not miss this chance to improve your game!”

For more information, please contact ERA Events Coordinator Erin Collins at ecollins@era.org.

About ERA
The 86-year-old Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) is the international trade organization for professional field sales companies in the global electronics industries, manufacturers who go to market through representative firms and global distributors. It is the mission of ERA to support the professional field sales function through programs and activities that educate, inform and advocate for manufacturers’ representatives, the principals they represent and the distributors who are reps’ partners in local territories. For more information about ERA, visit era.org.

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> ERA Welcomes Ama Omari Derringer as Its Membership Services Coordinator

June 16, 2021
Source: Electronics Representatives Association

The Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) announces that Ama Omari Derringer has joined its team as Membership Services Coordinator, effective June 14.

In this role, Ama will serve as the liaison between the association and its members, focusing on recruitment, retention and engagement efforts, and assisting on a variety of administrative tasks.

Early in her career, Ama worked in the public education sector supporting administrators and colleagues as an administrative assistant. She recently accepted early retirement after a successful career of more than 25 years working with faculty, administrators, superintendents and university presidents.

The daughter of a United Nations diplomat, Ama was raised primarily in Africa. She has also lived in England, France and the U.S. on the East Coast, in the Midwest, and currently resides in the South Bay San Diego area.

Ama’s greatest passion is authentically connecting with people and building meaningful relationships. She has four children and five grandchildren. She enjoys traveling and bicycling the Southern California coast with her husband, Robert Derringer. You may recognize Robert from his time when he managed reps while at Dialight and Amphenol RF, and for the last six years as Crouzet North America’s director of global channel.

Ama, who shared her excitement about her new role, said, “I’m eager to join the ERA team for so many reasons. I love learning new things and taking on new challenges. It’s exciting to return to industry after being in academia for such a long time. More importantly, I look forward to meeting new people, gaining new experiences and traveling with my colleagues to support industry events. The timing was serendipitous, as this role perfectly aligned with my goals and aspirations for the next phase of my career.”

ERA CEO Walter Tobin, added, “We are delighted to welcome Ama to our ERA family. Her remarkable interpersonal skills and ability to build relationships will be valuable assets in driving membership engagement and retention.”

Ama can be reached at aderringer@era.org.

About ERA
The 86-year-old Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) is the international trade organization for professional field sales companies in the global electronics industries, manufacturers who go to market through representative firms and global distributors. It is the mission of ERA to support the professional field sales function through programs and activities that educate, inform and advocate for manufacturers’ representatives, the principals they represent and the distributors who are reps’ partners in local territories. For more information about ERA, visit era.org.

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> ERA Podcast: TTI 2021 Initiatives and Beyond

June 11, 2021
Source: Electronics Representatives Association

In this episode of ERA Talks, Walter Tobin, CEO of ERA and special guest John Drabik, Senior Vice President Sales and Product Marketing – Americas at TTI Inc., discuss TTI’s initiatives in 2021 and beyond.

TTI is the fifth largest electronics distributor in North America and the seventh-largest global electronics distributor.

This year, the company is celebrating a significant milestone as it honors its 50-year legacy as the specialty distributor of choice for military, industrial, transportation and medical electronics manufacturers worldwide.

According to Drabik, as the industry continues to see unprecedented stress in the supply chain with extended lead times and price increases, TTI will continue to deliver on its commitment to its customers through open communication and complete visibility into order pipelines.

Tune in to learn more about TTI and Drabik.

All ERA Talks podcasts are currently available on the ERA website. You can also subscribe to our podcast channel on one of the following podcast networks — Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music and now on iHeart Radio.

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> ERA Announces 2022 Conference Committee

May 13, 2021
Source: Electronics Representatives Association

The Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) announces the appointment of the chair, vice chair and members of the 2022 Conference Committee responsible for planning the ERA Conference scheduled Feb. 27 – March 1, 2022, at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin, Texas.

Bryan White, CPMR, of Catalyst Unity Solutions was appointed conference committee chair and Lori Bruno of Luscombe Engineering of San Francisco will serve as the committee vice chair. Both White and Bruno are returning committee members.

“It is truly an honor to serve as the 2022 ERA Conference chair. It does come with some pressure to surpass the success of the 2021 conference, but I am confident that the stellar planning committee we have assembled is up to the task,” White said. “We are lucky to have Lori Bruno as conference vice chair whose passion and support will help ensure our success.”

In addition to White and Bruno, other returning members of the 2022 Conference Committee are Adam Anderson, CPMR, of Norris & Associates Inc.; Matt Cohen, CPMR, of C C Electro Sales Inc.; John Guetens of E-T-A Circuit Breakers; John Hutson, CPMR, of The MacInnis Group; Scott Lindberg, CPMR, of Quell Corporation; and Holly Myers, CPMR, of Genie Group.

New members of the committee are Paul Dosser of Digi-Key Electronic; Paula Renfrow of TTI Inc.; Tony Roybal of Avnet Inc.; and Perry Thornton of Pinnacle Marketing Inc.

Myers and Thornton will serve as co-chairs of the Keynote Committee; Cohen and Renfrow will serve as co-chairs of the General Sessions Committee; Anderson and Guetens will serve as co-chairs of the Breakout Sessions Committee; Hutson and Lindberg will serve as co-chairs of the Sponsorship Committee; Dosser and Roybal will serve as advisors; and ERA Senior VP of Education, Ellen Coan, CPMR, of C C Electro Sales Inc. will serve as the acting XCOM liaison to the 2022 ERA Conference Committee.

ERA staff members on the committee are ERA CEO Walter E. Tobin, Erin Collins, conference coordinator; and Neda Simeonova, communications director.

“I am very thankful to be working with these 11 core committee members who have volunteered their time and energy. These respected ERA members, comprised of reps, manufacturers and distributors, are dedicated to making this conference one to compare to for years to come,” White said, “We look forward being together again in-person, from the opening reception to the closing remarks. Learning from each other the new ways we need to sell and market to our customers, discussing innovative ways we can partner with our manufactures and distributors to create success, and sharing thoughts and ideas on how we can grow our businesses.”

Tobin added, “We are excited to announce the 2022 ERA Conference Committee. In the months ahead, this power team of volunteers will dedicate their time and talents to help us chose the 2022 conference theme and plan another outstanding educational program that attendees have come to expect of ERA.”

About ERA
The 86-year-old Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) is the international trade organization for professional field sales companies in the global electronics industries, manufacturers who go to market through representative firms and global distributors. It is the mission of ERA to support the professional field sales function through programs and activities that educate, inform and advocate for manufacturers’ representatives, the principals they represent and the distributors who are reps’ partners in local territories. For more information about ERA, visit era.org.

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> EDS 2021 Registration Is Now Open

April 16, 2021
Source: Electronics Representatives Association

The Electronics Components Industry Association (ECIA), the Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) and the Global Electronics Distributors Association (GEDA), co-sponsors of the EDS Leadership Summit, are excited to announce that registration is now open for EDS 2021, which will be held at the Mirage Las Vegas, Monday, Aug. 30 – Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021.

For detailed information about the upcoming EDS Summit, visit EDS2021.

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> ERA Elects New Officers for 2021-2023 Term

April 13, 2021
Source: Electronics Representatives Association

The Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) has announced that its board of directors elected new national officers for the 2021-2023 term during its March 4, 2021, meeting. They are: chairman of the board – Chuck Tanzola, CPMR, of the Fusion Sourcing Group; president – John O’Brien, CPMR, of Coakley, Boyd and Abbett; senior vice president / fiscal and legal – Tom Griffin, CPMR, of Catalyst Unity Solutions; senior vice president / membership – David Fitzgerald, CPMR, of WESCO Sales Group Inc.; senior vice president / education – Ellen Coan, CPMR, of C C Electro Sales Inc.; senior vice president / industry – Cameron English, CPMR, of English Technical Sales Southwest; and senior vice president at large – Kingsland Coombs, CPMR, CSP, of Control Sales Inc.

Coan and Coombs are new members of the association’s executive committee. Tanzola succeeds the outgoing chairman, Dave Norris of Norris and Associates, who concluded eight years as a national officer and served for nine years as the national vice president of the Components Group.

The continuing executive committee members are senior vice president / manufacturers – Ken Bellero of Schaffner EMC Inc.; senior vice president / distributors – Craig Sanderson of Sager Electronics; and ERA CEO Walter Tobin, who serves as an ex officio member.

About ERA
The 86-year-old Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) is the international trade organization for professional field sales companies in the global electronics industries, manufacturers who go to market through representative firms and global distributors. It is the mission of ERA to support the professional field sales function through programs and activities that educate, inform and advocate for manufacturers’ representatives, the principals they represent and the distributors who are reps’ partners in local territories. For more information about ERA, visit era.org.

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> ERA Makes Charitable Donation to the Central Texas Food Bank

April 1, 2021
Source: Electronics Representatives Association

ERA Makes Charitable Donation to the Central Texas Food Bank in the Name of 2021 Annual Conference Speakers and Program Participants

The Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) announced that it has made a charitable donation to the Central Texas Food Bank in the name of 2021 ERA Virtual Conference speakers and program participants.

Similar to past years, instead of presenting each speaker, moderator and panelist with a small gift of appreciation, ERA has chosen to express its deepest gratitude to conference program participants in the form of a charitable donation.

With so many people struggling with food insecurity this year, ERA chose to support the Central Texas Food Bank.

“Because we were unable to convene in Austin, Texas, this year for the conference, we selected the Central Texas Food Bank as a way to give back to the community that has hosted our event for the past several years,” said Walter Tobin, CEO of ERA. “Donations are especially important now when so many families are struggling due to COVID-19, and we wanted to support a local charity that could provide tangible help for families in need.”

The Central Texas Food Bank  is the largest hunger-relief charity in Central Texas. A leader in the fight against hunger for nearly 38 years, the Central Texas Food Bank’s mission is to nourish hungry people and lead the community in the fight against hunger.

About ERA
The 86-year-old Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) is the international trade organization for professional field sales companies in the global electronics industries, manufacturers who go to market through representative firms and global distributors. It is the mission of ERA to support the professional field sales function through programs and activities that educate, inform and advocate for manufacturers’ representatives, the principals they represent and the distributors who are reps’ partners in local territories. For more information about ERA, visit era.org.

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