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> Bob Evans, CPMR, Named Recipient of the ERA Lifetime Achievement Award

March 4, 2022
Source: Electronics Representatives Association

The Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) announces that Bob Evans, CPMR, is the 2022 recipient of the ERA Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award was presented to Evans during the ERA Conference in Austin, Texas, on Monday, February 28, 2022, in recognition of his service to the electronics industry, manufacturers’ representatives and ERA.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was created to recognize individuals who play an integral role in supporting the manufacturers’ representative model in the electronics industry.

Evans began his career in 1978 eventually joining EK Associates in 1993 where he later became president in 1996. He recently retired in June 2021. Evans has been active in ERA for 20 years at the chapter and national levels, has chaired the Chapter Leadership Council in the past and served on both the Chicagoland-Wisconsin Chapter and the ERA Executive Committee.

Upon receiving the award, Evans said, “To be singled out from among the extraordinary group of men and women volunteers at the ERA is a humbling experience. I am truly honored to accept this distinction and to represent all the fine folks in our organization.”

ERA CEO Walter Tobin presented the award and said, “Bob has given so much of his precious time, energy and professional demeanor to ERA over these past many years – as our beloved Dean of COLT to heading up the Chapter Leadership Council. He served on the board of the Chicagoland/Wisconsin ERA Chapter in almost every seat for more than twenty years, and most recently served as a member of the ERA executive Committee for four years. ERA is both honored and proud to award to Bob our 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient.”

About ERA
The 87-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

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> ERA Quick Connections Feb. 2022, V2

Monthly POS Reports

Budde Marketing, which provides monthly POS Index reports to ERA members, issued its latest summary, running from January 2019 through December 2021. View the new index. According to the latest report, December 2021 marked the tenth straight month of double-digit growth, or 29 percent ahead of December 2020. Budde Marketing expects a strong first quarter in 2022, as sales activity shows no sign of letting up. Beginning in 2022, Budde Marketing will be using new metrics, due to adding a number of manufacturers to its customer base in the past year. For details on Budde Marketing’s services, visit


The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the consumer price index has risen 7.5 percent over the past 12 months, up from 7.1 percent in December and the fastest year-over-year pace since February 1982. At the same time, core inflation (which excludes food and energy) increased 6 percent year-over-year in January, up from 5.5 percent in the prior release and the biggest increase since August 1982.

IC Insights predicts the roaring growth of semiconductors will continue in 2022 and 2023, but may hit a wall in 2024. “2024 is currently expected to be the next cyclical downturn in the market, and 2025-2026 will return to growth years,” Brian Matas, vice president of market research, told The Register.

A new survey shows 92 percent of large companies reported that they are achieving returns on data and artificial intelligence (AI) investments, compared to a 2019 survey where 7 out of 10 companies reported minimal or no value from AI technology investments. The same percentage from the 2022 survey – 92 percent – said they are increasing investments into data and AI. Read more.


The 2022 ERA Conference is one week away! If you’re attending, be on the lookout for an email this week where you can download the Conference app. View the schedule, register for breakout sessions – and be sure to join us for the Welcome Reception on Sunday evening. See you there!

The Winter 2022 Representor is now live! Read it now. Don’t miss the cover story, “Long-Term Growth Drivers Remain Despite Nagging Disruptions” by Dennis Reed, senior research analyst at the Edgewater Research Group. The issue also includes results from ERA’s 2021-2022 Industry Survey. See how your peers feel about how 2021 shaped up, expectations for revenue, growth and operating costs in 2022, and important factors affecting their business this year.

ERA will hold its next Water Cooler conversation on Tues., March 15 from 4 to 5 p.m. EST. The guest speaker will be Steve Turner, Founder & CEO, Turner Time Management, speaking on the topic of “Effective Time Management Skills for Busy People.” Access log-in details and past Water Cooler recordings.


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

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> Trends in Proposed Contracts: Representative Viewpoint

VIEWPOINTS – The Representor, Winter 2022

Chuck Tanzola, CPMR
The Fusion Sourcing Group Inc.
ERA Chairman of the Board

by Chuck Tanzola, CPMR

(Foreword note: One of the observations I wrote about in my last article (“I Think, I Think”) was pandemic fatigue. Sadly, I could write about that again, but I’m not going to because it’s a different feeling of sadness that guides my writing today.

For me personally, it starts with the realization that I have recently lost three friends, some to COVID-19, some not — but all way too early. One of those friends was a fellow representative, Steve Alford. As I begin this article, I want to pay a special tribute to Steve and his contributions to the industry and the ERA, both in metro New York and nationally; and to me as a friend. Time and space limit the ability to detail my thoughts but suffice it to say that sometimes we worked together, and sometimes we competed; but at all times, I considered Steve a friend — a man of keen insight and the highest integrity — and I will miss him.)

On a professional level, I have had the opportunity to review multiple representative contracts over the years. Recently, I’ve noticed some alarming trends in proposed contracts that have frankly added to the melancholy, because no matter how good the manufacturer’s people, product or position are, signing a bad contract is not sustainable in the long term for anyone — and that’s sad. So, today, I thought I would address a couple of contractual topics in composite along with some observations.

As I bring these forth, I recognize they are probably not new, but I believe the trends I’ve seen warrant comment. I also fully understand that for every guideline there is an exception, and nothing I write changes that; but they are called exceptions for a reason.

Point 1. If the contract structures commission payments to control costs on some accounts, the contract should structure commission payments to provide ROI on all accounts. I’ve seen an increasing attempt to limit/regulate/control commissions paid as a regular component of the contract on accounts where success occurs. Whether it is adjusting commission rates, shortening terms of paying commissions or some other methodology, the premise that you can only be paid a limited amount by account is justified with the philosophy that “it doesn’t cost as much” to service that account as the commissions paid. So, what about all the efforts that don’t lead to commissions that exceed the perceived costs of servicing an account? How are those paid for? No manufacturer (or rep) can guarantee a 100% success rate at all accounts; but both are looking for overall ROI. The net result of the approach described above is to limit the rep’s ability to generate ROI; and will likely result in activity change — an unintended consequence. (By the way, if you can guarantee 100% close rate, please send your contract. We probably wouldn’t be too sad to sign it!)

Point 2. You cannot contractually manage an indirect sales force (i.e., independent, commission-based representative companies) the same way you manage direct salespeople, who usually have some component of salary in their compensation; and as a corollary, not every territory should be managed the same way. I see an increasing number of unrealistic “mandated activities and expectations” being added to contracts to try to guarantee activity, whether it is a productive and mutually profitable activity or not. My unscientific research suggests these are often included to try to prevent the reoccurrence of prior bad experiences. (For every action there is an equal and opposite overreaction.) These are typically applied in a “one-size fits all” approach for all representative companies, or all rep salespeople within a company, regardless of the contracted territory, or the salesperson’s account base. My experience also tells me that this approach invariably leads to unmet expectations, potentially with contractual financial penalties.

Point 3. Contractual one-sided cherry picking to compensate for unmet expectations is unfair, unwise and does not guarantee results. The argument is made that not every salesperson within a rep company performs the same (that’s true), so the manufacturer should be able to pick and choose whether to add additional reps for specific areas or accounts, or handle them directly. Does every one of a manufacturer’s products perform the same in the marketplace? (Not likely.) Would it not be fair then, for the rep to be able to cherry pick from a manufacturer’s products and find alternatives at specific accounts for those that don’t perform as well? The rep and the manufacturer are interdependent – growth and performance are the mutual responsibility of both; but cherry picking diminishes the team.

My father taught me to ask, “If I were on the other side of the deal being proposed, would I sign it?” If yes, then consider it a fair deal. Otherwise, it is not. My suggestion to manufacturers is to read the contract you are proposing from the viewpoint of the representative. Does it read like a series of methods to limit compensation? Or mandate activity without regard for compensation? Or does it present a framework for interdependence and the team approach, with opportunity for ROI and mutual benefit?

Now, I recognize that my approach to these topics is naturally biased from the representative’s perspective. I also realize that the representative must always provide value, and nothing in my comments relieves them of that responsibility. In the spirit of teamwork and candid discussion, I have asked my friend, Ken Bellero, president of Schaffner EMC and the manufacturers’ voice on the ERA Executive Committee to shed light on his viewpoint from the manufacturer’s perspective. Please read his insights on page 22.

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> Pushing Forward New Initiatives in the New Year

FROM THE TOP – The Representor, Winter 2022

John O’Brien, CPMR
Coakley, Boyd and Abbett
ERA President

by John O’Brien, CPMR

A lot of times in a new year article, I would take time to look back on everything we’ve been through in the previous year. However, I think enough has been written on 2021, so I’d like to take a run at what I’m looking forward to in 2022.

First and foremost, the 2022 ERA Conference in Austin is shaping up to be a conference the likes of which we haven’t seen in more than 25 years. With over 450 current registrations and an all-star line up of keynote, general session and breakout sessions, this conference will be the first in-person event many of us have attended in almost two years. There is a real pent-up desire to get out and travel and to meet with friends and colleagues as we look at life and business and where it’s going in the future.

Speaking of meeting with friends and colleagues, EDS 2022 is right around the corner. We will head “Back to the Summit” at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas from May 10-13. Here we’ll continue to network and strategize on how to mutually grow our businesses, while rekindling old friendships and business partnerships and developing new ones.
When I look internally within the ERA, there are a number of new and exciting things happening within our own organization. First, I’d like to welcome Clare Kluck as our Director of Communications. Like many of you, I’ve already witnessed how Clare came on board and has hit the ground running.

The Executive Committee had a very productive meeting in Phoenix in 2021. I am excited about a number of initiatives coming out of that meeting, some of which have already been announced and are underway:

The ERA Rep Locator is getting a refresh. I’ve seen the initial design and Walter, along with Alan Ahern are diligently working to provide a more accurate, interactive experience with the online locator. Please watch for coming announcements.

Ellen Coan of CC Electro and ERA’s senior vice president of education has launched the Next Generation Special Interest group (NGSIG). This special interest group is looking for talented next-generation employees who are interested in networking with other next-generation reps and discussing various issues in their business life as well as work-life balance. The group will share their persistence, creativity and tolerance for the world as we know it today and help plan for the future. Members of the group will share ideas for improvement and/or changes in the rep business model. This is a great opportunity to help train, motivate and inspire our younger talent in all of our organizations.

I will be heading up a committee to review split strategies in the changing climate of our business. While our customers are shifting to remote work, some are choosing to live somewhere other than where their companies location resides. How do we as reps address this phenomenon and provide guidelines for our industry to fairly compensate all parties?

Cameron English of English Technical Sales and ERA’s senior vice president of industry is working within ERA to research and develop rep contracts, specifically for new and pioneering lines. His goal is to come up with a custom framework that we as reps can view as a guideline on what to try to maintain in a pioneering style agreement.

While 2022 holds a number of uncertainties regarding raw materials, logistics, product availability and the spread of COVID, one thing is for sure: ERA is pushing forward and driving new initiatives all with our membership in mind.

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> What a great year 2021 was … “Wait What?”

EXECUTIVE COMMENTARY – The Representor, Winter 2022

Walter E. Tobin, ERA CEO
T: 617-901-4088

by Walter E. Tobin

No, the above title was not a typo – and I have not [yet] lost my marbles.

Allow me to put aside the tragedy of the sickness and death caused by COVID. With so many of our fellow citizens getting sick and dying, I am not trivializing this loss for our country, our industry and our families.

Having said that, I maintain that 2021 was a great year for most/all of us. Let me try and explain a bit and perhaps even convince you why we are all better off at the end of 2021 than we were at the beginning.

First, we survived. Your company not only survived but perhaps even thrived. Oh, I know how much time we all spent listening to our customers looking for parts; begging us to help them get their supply chain back in shape; trying to expedite open orders; tracking shipments from overseas; becoming experts on shipping costs, locations of cargo containers and the rising costs of shipping a container from wherever to the U.S., etc. Most of your time was spent helping your customers out of jams and getting product to their manufacturing floors so they would build and ship their products to their customers.

But who did you get to talk to at your customers? Who called you to ask/beg you for help? In many cases, customers’ expedites got elevated to Directors, VPs, SVPs and C-Level managers at your customer. These are folks that perhaps you have never spoke to, but always wanted to get to meet who are maybe blocked by the engineers and buyers. Suddenly, they are calling you looking for your help. You worked hard to try and help – developed a dialogue and relationship with them – and if/when you solved their shortage issue, you became a “trusted resource” in their eyes! This would probably have never happened if the chaos of the supply chain did not happen. Thus, you ended 2021 with a whole new set of senior relationships at many of your customers.

We all learned new things and new ways of communicating. Video conferencing technology has been around for over 30 years – yet, did any of us use it as a part of our day-to-day communications before 2020? No! So, what happened? The pandemic hit and we all pivoted to the work-from-home model and BAM! We all started using video conferencing within 30 days. This was the tipping point of mass usage of video conferencing and it is now here forever – accept it and get good at it! Get a professional background, put the dog/cat in another room and close the door. It is a business call!

We also learned new ways of organizing and time management. When did any of us even think of sending out a Doodle poll and then scheduling our own Zoom calls? We learned new ways of delegating; managing our team members who are now remote; trusting them in their ability to do their jobs without being in the office; relying on them. The confidence that you put into them would perhaps have never happened if the work-from-home phenomenon did not occur. I am guessing that you have emerged as a better manager – perhaps more trusting – and they have emerged as better, more productive work-from-home employees, and feeling more confident in their ability due to your confidence in them.

With the arsenal of all of these new things, we need to do a complete inventory of what old things we did that we should/will never go back to and what new things we will continue to do – and get even better at doing them. Do this now. The new normal is already here and has been here for over a year. Do not yearn for the “good old days” – they are gone…forever…this is it! Not only have YOU changed, your customers have changed! They are also doing an inventory of their new skills. They may love the work-from-home model. They are also more productive and may never want to do some of the things they did in the past. Ask them, they will tell you. Work-from-home is here forever in some form or another. Get good at it…get GREAT at it…your competition is getting really good at it!

I often hear: “I cannot wait until we get back to face-to-face selling.” What do you think a Zoom video call is? It is face to face! Yet, some of our folks get on a video call and do not turn their cameras on. It is a video call – cameras on! One of our members has a saying: “If I cannot see you, I cannot hear you!” Turn the camera on, go to your “Money Room.” Get good/better at this, because virtual selling is here to stay! It will be blended with in-person selling going forward.

Your customers will be very stingy in awarding in-person audiences going forward – they already are! If you insist on an in-person visit, you had better demonstrate that your goal and agenda was something that could not have been done via Zoom. You never want to hear during or after a meeting: “This could have been easily accomplished via a Zoom call.” Probably not what you want to hear…especially if you had a manufacturer come in/fly in for the meeting! What do you think your reception will be when you request your next in-person visit?

So, let’s all take a bow here. You led your companies through 2021. We all adapted and then adapted again. We had record results – some due to us, some due to the market. Do not look back – look forward. Get rid of the old ways and get really good at the new ways. Your customers and principals expect and demand it, as well as your employees. They are counting on you to lead and inspire them.

Full speed ahead, and remember: “Think positive and test negative.”

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> White House Weighs in on Semiconductor Shortage

Feb. 2, 2022
Source: Bloomberg News

The Biden administration predicts that a global semiconductor shortage will persist until at least the second half of this year, Bloomberg News reported. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in January U.S. officials will investigate possible price gouging for chips used by auto and medical device manufacturers. Median inventory for semiconductors has fallen from 40 days to fewer than five days.

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> In Memoriam of Harrison Frank

Feb. 2, 2022
Source: Electronics Representatives Association

Harrison Frank passed away Dec. 15, 2021 at 96 years old in San Diego, Calif. Frank was a lifetime member of ERA, and a White Pin member since 1975. He was a partner at Halbar Associates, and a member of the Southern California ERA Chapter.

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> In Memoriam of Herb Kramer and Bert Aaron

Source: Electronics Representatives Association

ERA is mourning the loss of Herb Kramer and Bertrand Aaron.

Herb Kramer passed away in December 2021. He retired from MicroSales, of which he was the owner, in 2006. Kramer held several positions in the Ohio chapter of ERA, including president, and was awarded ERA lifetime membership in 2005.

Bert Aaron passed away in December 2021 and would’ve been 100 years old in January 2022. Aaron was the owner of Aaron Technical Consultants, Chesapeake chapter, and owner of Bertram D. Aaron & Co. Inc., New York chapter. Aaron was awarded ERA lifetime membership in 2003. Aaron led a passionate life and illustrious career. Among many other accomplishments, he attained the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army in the Pacific during World War II, which led to a position as aeronautical research scientist at NASA and then as an engineer for the U.S. Army Signal Corps where he received the Commanders Medal. Having lost two wives to breast cancer, Aaron organized and chaired the first Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation Symposium on state-of-the-art medicine for breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

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> Hughes-Peters Sells 49 Percent of Company to Employees

Source: Hughes-Peters

Hughes-Peters, a multi-regional distributor of electronic components, announced to their employees that they are now part-owners of the company. After nearly a 28-month process, the owners sold 49 percent of the company into an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) on December 3, 2021.

Industry veterans Mike Okel, Donna Hensley, and Mike Smith purchased Hughes-Peters in 1999 and created a business model that has been very successful. They realize that the company’s greatest assets are the employees. “We did not get to where we are today without a long list of dedicated and loyal employees, some that are no longer with us. Selling the company outright was not an option,” said Mike Okel, president of Hughes-Peters. ”We’ve had a year of celebration for our company’s 100th year in business and there is no better way to cap it off.”

The owners will remain active and in control of the company with 51 percent ownership. This ESOP is a wealth-building opportunity for the Hughes-Peters’ employees that allows them to share directly in the success they are helping to create. It also sets the company’s long-term direction. Hughes-Peters remains committed to continuing to build strong relationships with both customers and suppliers.

For more information about Hughes-Peters, please visit

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> EDS Summit Returns This May

Source: EDS Leadership Summit

The EDS Leadership Summit is returning in-person in 2022 at the Mirage in Las Vegas, from May 10 through May 13. The event is co-sponsored by ERA and the Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA).

The Summit’s goal is to provide a forum for manufacturer, representatives and distributors to plan, discuss new opportunities and set goals in an energized atmosphere. This happens through a combination of sched­uled, one-on-one meet­ings, edu­ca­tion­al pro­grams and net­work­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties.

For more information and to register, visit

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> Intel to Invest in Chip Factories and Education/Research in Ohio

Source: Intel

Intel announced at the end of January that it would invest $20 billion for the construction of two new semiconductor factories in Licking County, Ohio, just outside of Columbus. It is hoped the new facilities will aid in meeting surging demand for semiconductors. In addition to the construction investment, Intel pledged an additional $100 million toward partnerships with educational institutions to strengthen research programs and enhance the workforce and talent pool in the region.

Construction is expected to begin late in 2022. Production is expected to come online in 2025, when the fab will deliver chips using the industry’s most advanced transistor technologies.

Read more information.

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> ERA Announces Day Two General Session Speakers at the 2022 ERA Conference

January 12, 2022
Source: Electronics Representatives Association

> ERA Announces Day Two General Session Speakers at the 2022 ERA Conference

The Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) is pleased to announce Crystal Kadakia and Michael Knight as General Session speakers who will present at the 2022 ERA Conference on Tuesday, March 1. The 2022 ERA Conference will take place Feb. 27 through March 1 at the AT&T Conference Center in Austin, Texas.

Kadakia will be presenting “The New Normal: A Digital Workplace Culture” on the morning of March 1.

Kadakia is a transformational change expert who has been asking organizations around the world, “What is the possibility of different?” through her keynote speeches, books and consulting work. With a focus on reframing and operationalizing culture, technology and generation changes, Kadakia aims to go beyond the traditional future of work conversations to inspire leaders to transform their businesses to thrive in this newly disrupted world.

In her 2022 ERA Conference presentation, Kadakia will move the audience beyond the status quo to embracing what’s possible in the digital age. From 10+ years of future of work research, Kadakia will share a new perspective shift that will allow attendees to empower their performance in today’s digital context, rather than engage from a stressed, overwhelmed, digitally-defused state.

“For the past two years, we have all experienced an acceleration in working in a digital world,” said Paula Renfrow, vice president, Americas Marketing, TTI Inc. and General Sessions Subcommittee co-chair. “This shift can sometimes cause stress and uncertainty, and raises lots of questions regarding how can we best work in this digital environment. Crystal will bring a fresh approach to teaching us how to use digital technology to empower ourselves and our teams. Crystal has developed a real understanding of our industry and the challenges that we are all facing, and will weave together a practical organizational change strategy. Her new perspective will provide attendees with powerful tools to use as we continue to push forward, be resilient, and embrace a new digital workplace.”

Michael Knight, president of the Exponential Technology Group and senior vice president of corporate business development at TTI Inc., will close the conference in the afternoon of March 1 with his presentation “A Linear Approach to an Exponential Curve is an Accident Waiting to Happen.”

Knight has worked in the both the manufacturing and rep communities prior to joining TTI. He has held a variety of national and global leadership roles in sales, marketing, operations and general management in both private and public companies.

Knight’s presentation will cover how the exponential nature of technology has changed the game of the electronics industry and how legacy, linear approaches to thinking, planning and strategy-setting are working against us. The presentation will cover the state of the component supply chain and ramifications for the automotive industry especially as it pertains to electric vehicles and related infrastructure, as well as the federal response to electronic industry supply chain issues.

“For the sixth year in a row, we are thrilled to have Michael Knight present the closing general session at the 2022 ERA Conference,” said Matt Cohen, CPMR, vice president of sales & marketing, CC Electro Sales Inc. and General Sessions Subcommittee Co-chair. “Michael is consistently one of the highest-rated presenters at past ERA conferences, and his forward-thinking and cutting-edge topics are always as educational as they are entertaining. And this year’s topic is no exception, where Michael will tackle the timely subject of the shift within the electronic component supply chain. As we come together in Austin, I am confident that Michael, a respected and industry-recognized thought leader, will show us the ‘new day and new way’ as we continue to understand and navigate the new path forward in our industry.”

For more information about the conference schedule and to register, visit:

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

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> 2022 Breakout Sessions Announced

January 11, 2022
Source: Electronics Representatives Association

The ERA Conference Committee is excited to announce the breakout sessions for the 2022 ERA Conference, scheduled for Feb. 27 – March 1, in Austin, Texas.

Over the past nine months, volunteers on the Breakout Sessions Sub-Committee have been working diligently to develop 15 Breakout Sessions for the upcoming conference. These interactive and highly informative sessions are the highlight of the ERA Conference, and the interactions, education and insights gained will not disappoint.

For a description of each session, visit the Breakout Sessions page on the ERA Conference website.

Pre-registration for the breakout sessions will open the first week of February. Each session is offered twice, which will allow you to attend six breakout sessions during the two-day event.

The conference is less than six weeks away, so don’t wait to register or sign up to be a sponsor!

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> ERA Mourns Bud Moulthrop

December 27, 2021
Source: Electronics Representatives Association

ERA regrets to report the Dec. 18 passing of F. W. “ Bud” Moulthrop, the founder of the Northern California rep firm Moulthrop Sales, Inc., and a long-serving volunteer at the local and national levels of ERA. He was 94 years old.

Bud was a pillar of ERA leadership from the 1960s to the 1990s, holding local offices in Northern California ERA and serving for many years as a trustee and then chairman of the ERA Insurance Trust. He was recognized with numerous awards for his volunteerism, including the ERA Key Award and Honor Award. He was also one of the early inductees into the White Pin Group in 1967. Beyond ERA, Bud served on the board of the EDS, was active in many other industry activities and was involved in Rotary Clubs in both Oakland and Lafayette, Calif.

He was a Navy veteran who served in both World War II and the Korean War. In the five years between wars, he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, met and married his wife Patty and in 1950, established his rep firm selling antennas, tubes and other radio products.

In addition to Patty Moulthrop, Bud is survived by his two sons, John and Clark — a member of the ERA Hall of Fame — and their families. Notes of condolence can be sent to Patty at

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> ERA Welcomes Clare Kluck as Its Communications Director

December 13, 2021
Source: Electronics Representatives Association

The Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) announces that Clare Kluck has joined its team as Communications Director, effective December 13, 2021.

In this role, Clare will be responsible for developing effective messaging and communications strategies for the Association, and directing its Web, print, social media, email, podcast and ERA conference communications efforts. Clare will serve as editor of The Representor, ERA’s quarterly print and digital publication.

Clare brings a breadth and variety of experience to her role as Communications Director, including communications and web marketing work in the realms of non-profit associations, corporate property management, agricultural associations and years of publishing experience. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and Mass Communication and Political Science from University of Iowa.

A suburban Chicago native, Clare now resides in Mooresville, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband Rob, and her three children. She is a big football fan and loves to read and be active outdoors.

“I’m excited to take this new role for many reasons,” said Clare. “I love doing communications work, but I’m new to the electronics industry and look forward to learning the industry and meeting all of the fantastic people here. I look forward to continuing the work of showcasing the ERA brand and demonstrating all of the value ERA offers its members and the industry.”

ERA CEO Walter Tobin, added, “We are delighted to welcome Clare to our ERA family. Her communications skills and background will be a tremendous asset in continuing our outreach, branding and communications efforts within the industry.”

Clare can be reached at

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

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> Bryan White on Why You Should Attend the 2022 ERA Conference

2022 ERA Conference Chair, Bryan White, CPMR, VP of Sales at Catalyst Unity Solutions, took a few moments to speak with ERA Events Coordinator, Erin Collins, about why reps, manufactures and distributors should consider attending the upcoming event.

In this candid video interview, Bryan provides a brief overview of the conference educational program and networking opportunities, and shares what he personally gets out of attending the conference.

More than 225 electronics industry professions have already registered to attend the 2022 ERA Conference, “A New Day, A New Way,” scheduled to be held at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, Feb. 27 to March 1, 2022, in Austin, Texas, and there is still time to register!

For more information about the 2022 ERA Conference, visit

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> Tess Hill’s Son

ERA regrets to advise you that Marc Noe, the son of long-time ERA staff member Tess Hill, passed away on Nov. 20. He was 51.

As a student and young man, he was an accomplished musician and active in community theater. His business career was spent mostly in the restaurant industry, but his fondest memory was working for the Chicago Cubs during in 2016 and earning a World Series Championship ring.

A private memorial event will be held in early 2022. For the published obituary, go to

Messages of condolence can be addressed to Tess and her husband Jim at 320 Marion Ave., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137.

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> ERA Mourns Steve Alford

Steve Alford, President and owner of Superior Technical Solutions located in Hauppauge, New York, passed away suddenly on November 17. He was 59.

He is survived by his wife Marjorie, and 2 daughters, Rebecca and Emily. Steve was the President and National Delegate of the Metro NY/NJ Chapter of ERA. Under his leadership, the Chapter was 3 times awarded Chapter of the year. Steve was inducted into ERA’s White Pin in 2018.

Steve was very well known and highly respected within New York’s high tech electronics industry to which he had devoted his entire professional career spanning 37 years. Among his many talents, a golfer, accomplished musician and all around great guy, a gentleman. Our thoughts and our prayers are with the Alford family during this most difficult time. Our industry lost a good one. Steve will be dearly missed.

The family asks that memorial donations be made to one of the following charities:

LI Cares:

St Francis Hospital:

Guide Dog Foundation:

Messages of condolence can be addressed to Marjorie Alford at 4 Glenmere Lane, Commack NY 11725.

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> Insights From 2022 ERA Conference General Session Speaker Jason Dorsey

Global speaker, acclaimed generational researcher and bestselling author, Jason Dorsey, will deliver a thought-provoking presentation, “Crossing the Generational Divide: Unexpected Discoveries and New Actions to Inspire and Bridge Generations,” on Monday afternoon, Feb. 28 at the 2022 ERA Conference.

Watch Dorsey’s insightful preview of his presentation to learn how he will separate myth from the truth for each generation — Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers — and share with conference attendees the actions that can help transform the generational divide into a breakthrough opportunity for growth.

Visit ERA Conference for more information about Dorsey’s presentation or to register for the conference scheduled, Feb. 27 to March 1, 2022, at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin, Texas.

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> Video Preview from 2022 ERA Conference Keynote Speaker Seth Mattison

Internationally recognized thought leader and FutureSight Labs Founder and CEO, Seth Mattison, will open the 2022 ERA Conference program on Monday morning, Feb. 28, with the presentation “The Emerging Future: Building Future-Ready Organizations and High-Performing Cultures to Compete and Win in The Decade Ahead.”

Watch Mattison’s video to get a sneak peek of how his upcoming keynote presentation will inspire leaders to anticipate disruption, navigate transformation, grow their business, build their teams and elevate client and employee experience.

Visit ERA Conference for more information about Mattison’s presentation or to register for the conference scheduled, Feb. 27 to March 1, 2022, at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin, Texas.

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