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

Arizona Chapter – Alicia Doten, Techni-Source
Canada Chapter – Rob De Rose, CST-Arwin
Canada Chapter – Gerry Iuliano, CSC Sygnum
Carolinas Chapter – Rob Brunson, Wallace Electronic Sales
Chicagoland-Wisconsin Chapter – Heather D’Amico, Brainard-Nielsen Marketing
Northern California Chapter – Erin Fox, TAARCOM
Ohio Chapter – Magi Baker, Catalyst Unity Solutions
Ohio Chapter – Alex Lambrinides, Allied Enterprises Inc.
Rocky Mountain Chapter – Collin Lambert, Taylor Marketing Inc.
Southern California Chapter – Ryan Steck
Southern California Chapter – Tom Walker

All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time

Day One: Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023

12:00 – 12:05 p.m.

Opening viewpoints with Phil Gallagher, CEO, Avnet

12:05 – 12:30 p.m.

Introductions of COLT staff & attendees, & course overview

12:30 – 1:15 p.m.

COLT manual review (Sections 2, 3, 4)

1:15 – 1:30 p.m.

Break

1:30 – 2:15 p.m.

COLT manual review (Sections 5, 6, 7, 9)

2:15 – 2:30 p.m.

Mock chapter event introduction

2:30 – 2:40 p.m.

Mock chapter teams assigned

2:40 – 2:50 p.m.

Review ERA Chapter Program Planning Checklist

2:50 – 3:00 p.m.

Why is COLT important?

3:00 p.m.

Adjourn

Day Two: Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023

12:00 – 12:25 p.m.

Ask a Chapter Leader: Q&A with Bryan White, CPMR, Ohio Chapter

12:25 – 12:45 p.m.

Event ideas brainstorming session

12:45 – 1:10 p.m.

Chapter Program, Structure & Project Planning/Review of ERA chapter events calendar

1:10 – 2:00 p.m.

Mock chapter event planning (breakout into assigned small groups)

2:00 – 2:15 p.m.

Break

2:15 – 3:00 p.m.

Legal presentation

3:00 p.m.

Adjourn

Day Three: Friday, Nov. 3, 2023

12:00 – 12:05 p.m.

Opening remarks

12:05 – 12:50 p.m.

Mock chapter event presentations (about 10 mins. per group)
Group 1: 12:05 – 12:15 p.m.
Group 2: 12:15 – 12:25 p.m.
Group 3: 12:25 – 12:35 p.m.
Group 4: 12:35 – 12:45 p.m.

12:50 – 1:15 p.m.

Event marcomm tutorial with Clare Kluck, ERA Communications Director

1:15 – 1:55 p.m.

ERA National website tour

1:55 – 2:00 p.m.

Chapters of the Year information

2:00– 2:30 p.m.

Why volunteer, open forum & closing remarks

2:30 p.m.

Adjourn

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 88 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.

Conduct:

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.

Contracts:

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.

Support:

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.

Honor:

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.

Respect:

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.

Confidentiality:

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

Association Organization

ERA Structure

Executive Committee
7 Reps
1 Distributor
1 Manufacturer
Chairman of the Board
President
Fiscal & Legal
Industry
Education
Membership
VP at Large
Sr. Vice President/Manufacturers
Sr. Vice President/Distributors
CEO

Board Of Directors
9 XCOM Members
22 Chapter Delegates

ERA National Office
CEO
Communications Director
Events Director
Events Coordinator
Membership Coordinator
Admin/Operations Director
Finance Director

ERA Membership

Members Reps – Manufacturers – Distribution
Chapter structure (22 chapter and territories)

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Executive Committee

Chairman of the Board
John O’Brien, CPMR
Coakley Boyd and Abbett Inc.
Framingham, MA
jobrien@cbane.com

Chairman of the Board
Chuck Tanzola, CPMR
Fusion Sourcing Group, Inc.
Ithaca, NY
ctanzola@fusionsourcing.com

Sr. Vice President/Fiscal & Legal
Tom Griffin, Jr., CPMR
Catalyst Sales, Inc.
Gibsonia, PA
tgriffin@catalystunity.com

Sr. Vice President/Industry
Cameron English, CPMR
English Technical Sales Southwest
Scottsdale, AZ
cenglish@englishsales.com

Sr. Vice President/Education
Ellen Coan, CPMR
CC Electro Sales, Inc.
Indianapolis, IN
ellen.coan@ccelectro.net

Sr. Vice President/Membership
John Hutson
MacInnis Group
Norwood, MA
john@macinnis-company.com

Sr. Vice President at Large
Kingsland Coombs, CPMR, CSP
Control Sales
Schaumburg, IL
kingc@controlsales.com

Sr. Vice President/Manufacturing
Ken Bellero
Schaffner EMC
Edison, NJ
ken.bellero@schaffner.com

Sr. Vice President/Distribution
Gary Zullo
Arrow Electronics
Raleigh, NC
gzullo@arrow.com

CEO
Walter Tobin
ERA
Chicago, IL
wtobin@era.org

Chapter Delegates

ARIZONA – Cameron English, CPMR, English Technical Sales Southwest
CANADA – Adam Grigor, Tech-Trek Ltd.
CAROLINAS – Greg Thompson, CPMR, SACS
CHESAPEAKE – Steve Cooper, CPMR, Cover 2 sales, Inc.
CHICAGOLAND – WISCONSIN – Eric Sagendorph, Select Technology Group
EMPIRE STATE – Laura Senn-Sanborn, Senntech MacInnis
FLORIDA/SUNSHINE – Rick Tally, CPMR, Phoenix Components LLC
INDIANA/KENTUCKY – Chris Platt, CRP Technical Solutions
MEXICO – Toby Lasley, Ion Associates, Inc.
MICHIGAN
– Mallerie Merchant, R.C. Merchant & Co., Inc.
MID-LANTIC – Ken Ball, Astrorep, Inc. Envision Design Tech
MINNESOTA – Brad Butler, EI Sales Company
NEW ENGLAND – John Hutson, CPMR, MacInnis Group
NEW YORK – Gina Coleman, CFE-MacInnis
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – Lori Bruno, CPMR, Luscombe Engineering of SFO
OHIO – David Gassman, CPMR, CC Electro Sales
PACIFIC NORTHWEST – Dave Wilkes, Westmark Electronics, Inc.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN – Dave Hurlbut, CPMR, J. F. Hurlbut Company
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA – Steve Tennessen, aSTron Electronics, Inc.
SOUTHEAST – Todd Ford, CPMR, SACS
SOUTHWEST – Jim Moore, Fralia Company & Associates,Inc.
SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS – Veronica Stinnette, FH Sales

ERA Staff

Walter Tobin
CEO
wtobin@era.org

Susan Banwart
Director of Finance
susan@era.org

Erin Collins

Director of Events
ecollins@era.org

Karin Derkacz
Director of Operations
kderkacz@era.org

Ama Derringer
Membership Coordinator
aderringer@era.org

Clare Kluck
Director of Communications
ckluck@era.org

Janine Spediacci
Events Coordinator
janine@era.org

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.

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.

ECIA
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.

MRERF/IPA
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.
MANA
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.
Women in Electronics
Fueled by authenticity, honor, courage, and commitment, Women in Electronics (WE) is a community of progressive women leaders at all stages of their careers dedicated to the professional and personal leadership development of women in the fast-paced Electronics Industry. WE values authenticity, honor, courage, and commitment. All chapter meetings and events will be held within the framework of the value system. Visit https://womeninelectronics.force.comfor more information.

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 …

Current as of August 2023:

Manufacturers’ Rep Members: 422
Manufacturer Members: 179
Distributor Members: 36
Recognized Resource Members: 14
Total Membership: 651

Section 5 – Education and Communications

ERA Water Cooler Library

This teleconference series provided an open forum to both ERA members and non-members (implemented during the pandemic). Participants joined in on dynamic conversations and contributed to different timely topics by sharing challenges that ALL of us face during the turbulent time of the pandemic. Hosted on a bi-weekly basis, this series started in March 2020 and ran through December 2022. All Water Cooler sessions were recorded, and are available for on-demand listening here.

ERA Electronic Component Industry Trends Survey

ERA Electronic Component Industry Trends Survey

In June 2023, ERA partnered with Edgewater Research (an independent equity research provider and market intelligence company) to issue the monthly ERA Electronic Components Industry Trends Survey to our members. The survey represents responses from large cross-section of ERA Members including Manufacturer Reps, Manufacturers and Distributors, and presents data on things like Sales Growth, Bookings & Backlog, and Inventory and Lead Times from our industry. The survey is sent to only one person per member company. Results are only available to ERA members, and you can view monthly updated reports on era.org.

ERA Conference

The 2024 ERA Conference is scheduled to be held in Austin, Texas, Feb. 25 – 27, 2024, at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center.

The 2024 ERA Conference is the only opportunity for electronics industry reps, manufacturers and distributors to learn together from many experts in an environment dedicated to sharing practical, proven best practices in field sales and marketing. The 2024 Conference Committee is committed to delivering yet another dynamic educational program. We are anticipating over 600 attendees at the event.

STEP (Sales Training for Electronics Professionals)

STEP 2023 is ERA’s third annual virtual sales training program, scheduled for October 17-19.

This vital online program, crafted by ERA members, targets frontline sales professionals and offers nine robust 75-minute educational sales training modules, all presented live. That’s more than 11 total hours of training!

What attendees can expect from this dynamic online event:

  • A mix of high-caliber professional sales training speakers and industry sales executives.
  • A unique blend of tactically-focused sessions that will provide useful takeaways.
  • Best practices and key tools aimed toward honing skills for success at sales in today’s ever-changing market.
  • Downloadable materials that will allow attendees to implement what they have learned and help them excel at their jobs.

Plus, all sessions will be recorded for on-demand viewing.

ERA Talks Podcast

ERA introduced its monthly podcast series, ERA Talks, in 2020. The series features informative and educational interviews with industry leaders in a quick conversational format. Look for new episodes about every other month on the ERA website, as well as on various key podcast networks allowing listeners to tune in at their convenience, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music and iHeart Radio.

ERA LIVE!

In June 2023, ERA introduced its new series of virtual information and discussion sessions … ERA LIVE!

These virtual sessions take place frequently throughout the year and will feature electronics industry experts and peers who will present a variety of hot topics.

These are 1 hour in duration and facilitated by ERA staff. Anyone in the electronics industry is welcome to attend. There is no registration required.

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 seven 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.

ERA White Papers and Standards

ERA White Papers and Standards
ERA periodically develops, co-develops and publishes industry white papers and forms based on its own research and/or cooperative studies conducted with other organizations, for the benefit of its members and the electronics industry.

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.

ERA HoverMap

The most widely used online, searchable source for finding rep candidates is the ERA HoverMap.  Established in early 2022, this useful tool is available to ERA members only.  You can uses the ERA HoverMap to find reps, view DTAM information, and identify ERA Chapters.

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

EDS

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.


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Electronica

An international gathering (hosted every other year) 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 at the 2024 event, Nov. 12 – 15! ERA will have a booth (location TBD).

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.

 

Section 7 – Legal and Tax Issues

Legal and Tax Matter PowerPoint Presentation by ERA Legal Counsel

(PowerPoint presentation to be provided)

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.
  8. The officers should include a president, a vice president, secretary and treasurer. Some of the offices can be combined such as secretary and treasurer.
  9. The members should discuss a due structure for both local and national membership.
  10. 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:
Adam Glazer
Schoenberg, Finkel, Beederman, Bell, Glazer LLC
300 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 1500
Chicago, Illinois 60606
(312) 648-2300, Ext. 343 |
Adam.Glazer@sfbbg.com
sfbbg.com