2024 ERA Conference Speaker Biographies

2024 ERA Conference Speaker Biographies

Biographies are listed alphabetically by last name and include the session(s) in which each speaker participates. Click on the session name to link to its description.

Brent Adamson, B2B Sales Researcher, Author and Trainer

Creating the Customer Confidence to Make the Sale

Brent Adamson is a researcher, author, presenter, trainer and advisor who has been billed as having “the biggest crystal ball in B2B sales” and is co-author of The Challenger Sale and The Challenger Customer.

Adamson will present “Creating Customer Confidence to Make the Sale” during the Tuesday, Feb. 27 morning general session. In this session, Adamson will cover how to overcome the most significant forces that are eroding customer confidence: decision complexity, information overload, implementation uncertainty and value opacity. He will teach the audience how to use customer insecurity as a point of opportunity to build trust with the customer and set themselves apart from other sales teams by solving what your customer is craving and giving them the ability to believe in themselves.

Alan Ahern, President, Crowley Associates

Unleashing the Power of Data: Best Strategies for Effective Data Sharing and Collaboration in Today’s Electronics Industry

Alan Ahern joined Crowley Associates in 1992 and has been the president of Crowley Associates since 1997. In 1994, Ahern relocated from New England to expand Crowley Associates’ presence into the Metro NY/NJ territory. Three years later, along with the managing partners, he acquired Crowley Associates and assumed the role of president. Through organic growth and multiple acquisitions, Ahern continued expansion of the firm’s operations throughout the Northeast to its current footprint of five ERA territories with 29 employees. He has designed a tool utilizing an advanced analytic platform (AAP) which combines hardware, cloud solutions, ETL, CRM and digital transformation methodology. Ahern is chairman of multiple manufacturer’s Rep councils and distribution councils, the chair of the ECIA Independent Manufacturers’ Rep Council and on the Board of Directors, and is actively involved within ERA.

Matthew Amato

Global Marketing and Public Relations Manager, IBS Electronics Group

Artificial Intelligence: Real-World Applications for Field Sales

Matthew Amato is a highly seasoned digital marketing professional with over 15 years of experience working in B2B and B2C markets and is currently the global marketing and public relations Manager for IBS Electronics Group. Under his leadership, the company’s marketing and branding strategy has undergone a significant revolution that has taken the industry by storm, resulting in increased visibility and credibility globally. As a result of his contribution and strategic yet cost-effective digital marketing implementation efforts, the company has doubled its revenue in a few short years by successfully increasing brand awareness, customer acquisition and customer retention for IBS Electronics Group. He is always looking for new and unique experiences to mature his skillset and imagination to dream up campaigns uniquely designed to enhance the customer experience and maximize revenue growth.

Jennifer Angelo Smith

Field Sales Engineer and Partner, SJ Associates

The Kids Are Alright: The Art of Hiring, Training and Retaining Zillenials (Gen Z + Millennial = Zillenial) 

Smith has a B.S. in bioengineering from Lehigh University. She started with SJ upon graduation in the N.Y. metro market and moved to the Philadelphia market in 2018. Responsible for accounts in Eastern Pa. and Southern N.J., she appreciates being exposed to the diverse customer base and ever-changing technologies. Currently living in beautiful Bucks County, Pa. with my husband and one-year-old daughter.

Ted Batchelder

Technical Account Manager, SJ Associates

The Kids Are Alright: The Art of Hiring, Training and Retaining Zillenials (Gen Z + Millennial = Zillenial) 

Ted Batchelder has a B.S. in marketing & finance from Providence College, class of 2019. Following college, he began his career with SJ Associates in the New England & Boston market and is responsible for accounts in Boston, Cambridge and surrounding towns. He appreciates the industry’s constant innovation and ability to make a true impact at a company like SJ Associates. He currently lives in Newton, Mass. with his fiancé and puppy.

Mary Benetti-Condon

Distribution Manager, Bel Fuse

How the Digitalization of Product Information Accelerates Customer Engagement

Mary Benetti-Condon is an accomplished professional with a history in various sales and marketing roles within the manufacturing industry over the past 20 years. Offering a wealth of knowledge and experience to the electronic components industry over the past 12 years, Mary is currently serving as the distribution manager for the e-commerce/high service channel at Bel Fuse Inc. Mary’s specialty is relationship building. With each customer, Mary strategically partners to promote products, grow market share and helps to identify their internal value that results in maximizing potential in sales and growth. One of the top e-commerce distributors in the industry has recognized Mary with the distinguished “Best-in-Class” Award for four consecutive years. Her strong commitment to continuous growth and learning is evident through Mary’s educational achievements. She has been nominated by senior management to attend internal and external leadership programs as well as complete management training. Mary holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University where she focused on business management and strategy.

Charles Bobby

Field Sales Engineer, SJ Associates

The Kids Are Alright: The Art of Hiring, Training and Retaining Zillenials (Gen Z + Millennial = Zillenial) 

Charles Bobby obtained a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Penn State University in 2021. He joined SJ Associates in August 2022, with 1.5 years of industry experience. Currently in Philadelphia, he supports accounts based out of Pa., Del. and N.J. and thrives in this fast-growing tech industry.

Mike Budde, Jr.

President, Budde Marketing

Unleashing the Power of Data: Best Strategies for Effective Data Sharing and Collaboration in Today’s Electronics Industry

Mike Budde, Jr. is the president of Budde Marketing Systems Inc. Building upon the company’s foundation of providing quality point-of-sale (POS) services, Budde continues to promote innovation among Budde Marketing’s always-expanding team of data experts and growing customer base. Under Budde’s leadership, Budde Marketing has expanded to now manage all data flowing through the sales channel; supporting hundreds of manufacturers, distributors and reps internationally.

In 2022, Mike was named president of Budde Marketing Systems, driving the company into its 28th year in business in 2024.  Budde’s experience in leadership and team management has supported steady company growth each year since joining the business in 2007.

Along with contributing to industry workshops and speaking at ERA events, Budde remains active with speaking at events for NEMRA, AHTD and NEMA amongst other industry groups.

Andrew Busch

Economic Futurist

Future Economy: Growth Opportunities

A former chief market intelligence officer for the U.S. government at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Andrew Busch is a futurist and economist, author and speaker who has advised the White House, Congress, U.S. Treasury and SEC on a wide range of global and domestic economic issues. He authored the book World Event Trading and is the former CEO of Bering Productions Firm, a boutique financial markets and policy research firm.


In his general session, Busch will present “Future Economy: Growth Opportunities” to Conference attendees. Busch will dive deep into exploring how innovation, policy changes and societal shifts impact our markets, economy and world — and how they drive opportunities for clients. He will introduce the market trends super charged by COVID-19 and war and explain how to apply them to the electronics industry via case studies to show where money is flowing, and opportunities are growing.

Doug Canterbury

President, Luscombe Engineering

Rep 2.0: Future-Proofing Your Manufacturers’ Rep Business

Doug Canterbury is president of Luscombe Engineering, a manufacturers’ rep firm covering southern and northern California, and the Pacific Northwest. In 2014 Luscombe and Spectrum Marketing joined forces increasing their territory coverage to include Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and the country of Mexico. Last year Doug and three rep partners launched a new rep firm, Fusion Technical Sales, in the TOLA region. The combined companies presently employ over 70 people covering ten states and the country of Mexico.

Doug joined Luscombe in May 1984 as the distribution sales manager. In 1988 Doug began the process of purchasing Luscombe Engineering.

Doug currently sits on five manufacturers’ rep councils and three distributor rep councils, where he and the other rep owner members provide guidance to those companies regarding best practices within the electronics industry. Given his professional roots, Doug has always been a strong advocate of distribution and has worked closely over the last 40 years with many distributors to promote the need for strong, consistent working relationships between reps, distributors and manufacturers with the goal of bettering our industry. Doug firmly believes in the value of the industry’s companion associations. He has had an active role in the ECIA, first as a Foundation Board member and now as a member of the manufacturers’ rep council. For the last 34 years, he has been active in ERA wearing many leadership hats in the organization during that time.

Lani Chau

Digital Strategist, SJ Associates

The Kids Are Alright: The Art of Hiring, Training and Retaining Zillenials (Gen Z + Millennial = Zillenial) 

Lani Chau received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Adelphi University in 2018, a master’s degree in technical management from the University of Rochester 2019. Chau joined SJ Associates at the end of 2019 and is responsible for supporting the firm’s digital strategy and operations. She resides on Long Island and enjoys painting, yoga, traveling and reading.

Steve Cholas

Executive Director, Enterprise Solutions

Engineers of Today vs. 5 years ago: Are They Getting What They Need from Us?

Steve Cholas is an industry observer and engager with more than 40 years of experience in the electronics field, covering almost every tangential aspect of the industry and its utilization of digital provisions and communities of engagement. He has successfully implemented digital environments of engagement for more than 100 leading electronics manufacturers and distributors. More recently, he’s directed the development of SaaS platforms to assist manufacturers and distributors in managing pricing, inventory, NPI and competitive status of their product, helping them make more efficient business decisions. He’s directed industry-recognized research services such as EETech’s “Engineering Insights”, as well as the Mind of the Engineer Report for EETimes plus other proprietary brand and engagement analyses. In addition, more than one-hundred global electronics manufacturers and distributors have relied on Cholas’ expertise as a sales and marketing consultant. Cholas directed strategies behind and implementation of some of the industry’s best known engineering communication platforms, including All About Circuits, EET, EDN, EEWeb, PCBWeb.com, Embedded.com, 21ic (China’s largest engineering forum) and many more.

Joe Ciolino

Field Sales Engineer, SJ Associates

The Kids Are Alright: The Art of Hiring, Training and Retaining Zillenials (Gen Z + Millennial = Zillenial) 

Joe Cioliono obtained a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell in May 2021. He joined SJ Associates New England in July 2021, supporting greater Boston with select accounts in Connecticut, in addition to channel manager responsibilities. Currently residing in Boston, he enjoys golf, basketball and quality time with friends and family.

Lou Copley

Vice President, Americas Sales, Avnet

The Evolution of Field Sales: Where Are We Headed?

Lou has had a long and diverse career in the electronics distribution industry. Starting as an inside sales rep at Tri-Com, Inc., and later joining Avnet’s Time Electronics division in 1996, he has worked his way up through various roles, including sales, sales management, supply chain management and branch management. Lou’s extensive experience has led him to his current position as Avnet’s VP of Sales for the Americas. In this role, he oversees field sales & sales management, application engineers, inside sales, customer service and pricing specialists. His responsibilities include leading efforts in demand creation, supply chain solutions and sales. Lou currently splits his time between Avnet’s headquarters in Phoenix, Ariz., and Orlando, Fla., where he resides with his wife and where his three children have also settled down.

Wendy Covey

CEO/Founder, TREW Marketing

More Than a Salesperson: Developing a Memorable, Trusted Personal Brand

Wendy Covey is CEO of a successful technical marketing agency, as well as an author and podcast host…and she holds a Texas fishing record. Through her company, TREW Marketing, Wendy has helped hundreds of engineering and technical companies become trusted advisors, grow sales pipelines and increase market share through content marketing. Wendy’s book, “Content Marketing, Engineered” – and her podcast of the same name – helps technical marketers looking to adopt or improve their content marketing programs. Wendy gained national recognition when she was named one of WSJ’s 10 Most Innovative Entrepreneurs in America.

Zach DeVillers, CPMR, CSP

President, Brainard-Nielsen Marketing

Rep 2.0: Future-Proofing Your Manufacturers’ Rep Business

Zachary DeVillers is currently director of sales at Brainard-Nielsen Marketing in Elk Grove Village, Ill. Brainard-Nielsen Marketing is a manufacturers’ rep firm specializing in the sales of electro-mechanical components serving Illinois and Wisconsin. He is directly responsible for the sales and marketing activities within the firm. In addition, Zach serves on the Chicagoland-WI ERA chapter as the director of marketing. Zach achieved his CPMR certification in 2015, and his CSP certification in 2014. His use of software, content marketing and line card synergy has created success for his employees in prospecting new accounts.

Ava Dunford-Groves

Field Sales Engineer, SJ Associates

The Kids Are Alright: The Art of Hiring, Training and Retaining Zillenials (Gen Z + Millennial = Zillenial) 

Ava Dunford-Groves has a B.S. in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, class of 2022. She joined the SJ Associates team in summer of 2022. She provides support for the Chesapeake market and manages accounts based out of Md., Va. and Washington D.C. She lives in bustling D.C. proper and is enthusiastic about contributing to such a dynamic industry. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, reading, cooking and spending time with her puppy.

Dave Foster

Director of Sales, Ohmite Manufacturing

Unleashing the Power of Data: Best Strategies for Effective Data Sharing and Collaboration in Today’s Electronics Industry

David Foster is a long time student of the electronic industry. He began his career as a purchasing agent for a small medical manufacturing firm in Boston, and quickly moved in to sales and marketing. David’s career has transversed across active, passive and electromechanical technologies. Today he is vice president of sales and marketing for Ohmite Manufacturing, a leading provider of resistive products. David earned his bachelor’s degree from Emerson College, Boston and an MBA from City University, Seattle.

Cesare Giammarco

Consultant, Cesare Giammarco Sales & Management Consulting, LLC

Rep 2.0: Future-Proofing Your Manufacturers’ Rep Business

Cesare Giammarco has been in the field of sales and sales management since 1971, with 35 of those years in the electronic component industry. In those 35 years, he has instituted, managed and integrated manufacturers reps globally into multiple organizations. Starting in 1984 with Elmwood Sensors, a privately-owned global manufacturer of temperature sensing products, he led successful integration of the rep sales model through four acquisitions of this business, culminating with Honeywell Sensing and Controls in 2002. He retired from Honeywell in May 2015 as North American Sales Director. Since then he has worked as an independent consultant for global manufacturers assisting in instituting and supporting manufacturers reps as their primary sales channel. He is also a special consultant to ERA on best practices to further facilitate the rep sales model. Cesare has been recognized over the course of his career for innovative and mutually beneficial sales rep management practices and procedures that reinforce the rep model with manufacturers. He holds a B.A. in economics and an MBA from Bryant University. He resides in Cranston, R.I., with his wife Angela. They have three children and two grandchildren.

Adam J. Glazer, Esq.

Managing Partner, Schoenberg Finkel Beederman Bell Glazer LLC

Strategies for Manufacturers’ Reps on Negotiating Better Contracts with Manufacturers

Adam J. Glazer, Esq., maintains a national litigation practice, which features the representation of sales representatives in the electronics and other industries. He is the managing partner of the law firm Schoenberg Finkel Beederman Bell Glazer LLC (SFBBG) in Chicago, known as the “go-to” firm for sales reps. SFBBG is a national leader in providing legal services to reps concerning the sale or acquisition of a rep firm, estate and succession planning, contract drafting and negotiation, and particularly the recovery of unpaid commissions.

Glazer has litigated sales rep claims of every stripe, including breach of contract actions, bad faith claims, actions under state Sales Representative Acts, and common law claims. He has successfully arbitrated and tried cases to verdict resulting in the recovery of millions of dollars in rep commissions, and awards of punitive damages, attorney’s fees and interest.

A frequent consultant to sales rep associations, including ERA, Glazer is also a regular speaker at rep conferences, and authors articles on sales rep law for rep publications.

Glazer graduated from the Northwestern University School of Law, where he served on the National Trial Team, and now serves as an adjunct professor.

Before joining SFBBG, Glazer worked for two of Chicago’s largest law firms and in-house for an international insurance group. He has tried cases across the country, and maintains a general commercial litigation practice, but one with a special focus on protecting the rights of independent reps.

Bob Gourdeau

Vice President, Sales – Americas, Kyocera/AVX

The Evolution of Field Sales: Where Are We Headed?

Bob is a veteran of the electronics industry with over 37 years of experience. The first half of his career was spent in distribution, while the last 21 years have been spent on the manufacturing side. He has held various management positions in sales and marketing. His time has been spent with major companies Avnet, Arrow, Future, BCcomponents, Vishay and now Kyocera-AVX. Originally from New England, Bob moved his family to the Southeast in 1994 and currently resides in South Carolina. Bob graduated from Assumption College with a B.A. in management and also holds an MBA from New Hampshire College. Bob is an avid Boston sports fan, especially the New England Patriots and of course the Clemson Tigers. He and his wife of 35 years, Susan, have four children and four grandkids. In his spare time Bob enjoys traveling, golf and coaching his grandkids.

Ida Greenlee

Field Sales Engineer, SJ Associates

The Kids Are Alright: The Art of Hiring, Training and Retaining Zillenials (Gen Z + Millennial = Zillenial) 

Ida obtained a B.S. in biomedical engineering from Wake Forest University in 2022. She has been with SJ Associates for ~1.5 years now, starting upon graduation. She works with the N.Y. Metro team, supporting accounts in N.J., Manhattan and Brooklyn. She was most excited by the dynamic, fast paced nature of her degree, and finds this industry to reflect a similar flare of challenge, change and innovation. Aside from work with SJ, she enjoys exploring her new home (NYC), skiing, running and testing recipes.

Adam Grigor

President, Tech-Trek Ltd.

The Evolution of Field Sales: Where Are We Headed?

Adam Grigor is the president of Tech-Trek Ltd, a manufacturers’ representative with coverage across Canada. Adam started at TTL in 2001 as a distribution sales support person in Ottawa, Ontario, moving back to the Toronto area in 2006. Through his career, he progressed through the roles as account manager, area sales manager and general manager, before taking the role of president in 2018. He holds a honours degree in political science and business administration from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. Adam sits on the ERA Board of Directors and is involved in the leadership of the Canada ERA chapter.

Stacey Hanke

CEO/Founder/Owner, Stacey Hanke Inc.

“Build Trust and Connection to Create Influence Monday To Monday®”

Hanke is the CEO of a consulting and training company where she mentors leaders who are looking to wield influence and excel in their career, as well as sales professionals who want their message to better resonate with clients.

Hanke has acted as a corporate trainer to several Fortune 500 companies, training on every possible topic from motivation to customer service to leadership. She has traveled internationally, researching the difference between a leader who is influential versus a leader who’s simply a good communicator.

An inductee into the Speaker Hall of Fame, she has been a featured guest in The New York TimesForbesEntrepreneurThriveSmartMoney MagazineThe Economist and Business Week. Her client list includes FedEx, McDonalds, Google, Kraft Heinz, Nationwide, American Express, Discover and Oracle.

In Hanke’s engaging and fun keynote Conference session, she will share how connection and consistency are critical to communicating with influence and impact. Connection is about creating a meaningful experience for your listener to influence them to take action. Consistency creates a reliable personal brand, allowing customers to trust that you will show up for them the same way, “Monday to Monday.”

Thomas Hayes

Product Owner, Engineer, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC

Engineers of Today vs. 5 years ago: Are They Getting What They Need from Us? 

Thomas Hayes is a product owner in the brake control and e-mobility groups at Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems. In his current role, Thomas leads the development of Bendix’s new redundant park brake system, which brings together two separate systems to ensure a full redundancy to the park brake system for autonomous vehicles, and commercialization of new technologies for the Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) market. Thomas has held hardware design responsibilities at Bendix since joining the business in 2015. Before joining Bendix, Thomas held leadership roles in several venture-backed startups and worked in simulation technology for the aviation industry. A native of Montreal, he holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and has 14 granted patents in the transportation field. In his spare time, Thomas enjoys rebuilding vintage motorcycles and teaching kids how to solder without burning their fingers off.

Peter Heigis

CEO, Metal Cloud

Unleashing the Power of Data: Best Strategies for Effective Data Sharing and Collaboration in Today’s Electronics Industry

Peter Heigis is an entrepreneur and visionary leader as the CEO and Founder of Metal Corp, a groundbreaking company specializing in Sales strategies and solutions for representatives, manufacturers, and distributors. With a pioneering platform that facilitates seamless CRM synchronization, Metal Corp is transforming the way businesses manage their customer and partner relationships.Peter’s unwavering passion lies in streamlining the sales process, allowing sales departments to excel in what they do best—selling. Recognizing the pivotal role of efficiency and productivity in today’s fast-paced business landscape, he founded Metal Corp to provide innovative CRM solutions that empower businesses to thrive and grow.

John Hutson, CPMR

President, MacInnis Group

Technology Swap Shop: Digital Efficiencies to Help Your Team & Your Customers

John Hutson is president of MacInnis Group, a manufacturers’ representative firm in the Northeast. Huston joined MacInnis in 1992. Prior to that, he held a sales engineer position at Tyco Printed Circuit Group. Hutson has held numerous New England ERA Chapter level positions, is presently chapter president, and has held various roles on the ERA Conference Committee, including 2019 ERA Conference Committee Chair. He has a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and a master’s degree from Wesleyan University. During his free time, Hutson enjoys skiing in the winter, golfing in the summer and travels year-round.

S. Craig Jackson Jr.

Deputy Director, Indiana University Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research

Understanding Cybersecurity Threats & How to Protect Your Company

Craig Jackson is deputy director at the Indiana University Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research (IU CACR), where his research and development interests include cybersecurity program development and governance, cybersecurity assessment design and conduct, legal and regulatory regimes’ impact on information security and cyber resilience, evidence-based security and innovative defenses. He leads collaborative work with critical infrastructure and national security stakeholders, as well as interdisciplinary assessment and guidance teams for the NSF Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. He is the principal architect of the Trusted CI Framework. He is a co-author of Security from First Principles: A Practical Guide to the Information Security Practice Principles. Craig has served as a temporary faculty at Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane. He is a graduate of the IU Maurer School of Law, IU School of Education, and Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to his litigation experience, Craig’s research, design, project management and psychology background includes work at the IU Center for Research on Learning and Technology and the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine.

Tim Kilfoil

President, JF Kilfoil Co.

Reach More, Engage Deeper: Digital Tools That Can Amplify Your Tried-and-True Marketing Tactics

Tim Kilfoil is president of JF Kilfoil Co., a third-generation manufacturers representative agency based in Cincinnati, Ohio. After starting as an account manager with JF Kilfoil in 1994, he moved to open an office for the company in Cleveland, Ohio. He later opened locations in Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Grand Rapids and Farmington Hills, Mich. Today, he is focused on growing JF Kilfoil’s relationships with high-quality manufacturers on the supplier and customer side, as he looks to expand the base of services and geography the company offers. As a strong believer in the representative model, he continues to invest in those areas he feels manufacturers’ representatives hold advantages over direct selling.

Uwe Knorr, Ph.D.

Senior Director Business Development, SamacSys

How the Digitalization of Product Information Accelerates Customer Engagement

Dr. Uwe Knorr graduated from Technical University of Chemnitz, East Germany in 1990 with a Ph.D. in power electronics. His thesis in the field of design and simulation of power electronic systems early on started his passion to make design of electronic systems as easy as possible. As a result of the German reunification, Dr. Knorr and his research teammates from the university were able to obtain one of the first advanced technology startup grants of the German Department of Education and Science. The grant allowed them to commercialize SIMPLORER, the world’s first dedicated power electronics and drive systems design tool. SIMPLORER was acquired in 2000 by Ansoft Corporation in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Dr. Knorr had the opportunity to join Transim Corp. in Portland, Ore., in 2005. Transim is the engine behind a wide range of online simulation and design tools, such as Webench from Texas Instruments or EE-Sim from Maxim Integrated. In 2007 Dr. Knorr, together with a group of colleagues, acquired Transim.

Dr. Knorr joined Supplyframe in 2020, taking over business development for Supplyframe’s latest acquisition – Samacsys.

Daniel Litts

President/Owner, Sandler Training

The Eye of the Beholder: How do Customers View Salespeople?

Daniel Litts has been successfully selling and leading sales professionals for over 30 years. His career includes a successful track record in business development, channel sales and executive management in the industrial manufacturing sector. This experience has allowed him to exercise creative and innovative ways to motivate, lead, and inspire many sales professionals and clients. Today, Litts is president of Sandler by Ascending Performance in North Carolina. A hands-on leader with a passion for personal development and unifying an organization with a common vision, Daniel works with professionals to elevate their skills, improve their attitudes and implement successful behaviors. Litts believes that sales growth propels companies and has dedicated his career to helping teams and individuals grow. He has a passion for developing team environments, engaging those members who focus on problem-solving and meeting their objectives, and increasing top-line revenue for clients.

Wendy London

Field Sales Engineer, SJ Associates

The Kids Are Alright: The Art of Hiring, Training and Retaining Zillenials (Gen Z + Millennial = Zillenial) 

Wendy London has a B.S. in financial economics from Binghamton University. She worked for ~2 years in power tool sales before starting with SJ Associates in the N.Y. metro market and learning what a semiconductor is. She is responsible for accounts in LI & Brooklyn and appreciates that every opportunity brings a new challenge. She is currently living on the beach and is happiest when enjoying the view.

Rashon Lopez

Field Sales Engineer, SJ Associates

The Kids Are Alright: The Art of Hiring, Training and Retaining Zillenials (Gen Z + Millennial = Zillenial) 

Rashon Lopez has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech, graduating in 2023. He currently lives in Fairfax, Va. and calls on accounts in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Although he hasn’t had his “Aha” moment yet, he is excited to make his mark in the semiconductor sales world.

Dawn Manhart

Senior Director, Global Distribution Manager

The Evolution of Field Sales: Where Are We Headed?

In 2021, Knowles welcomed Dawn Manhart as senior director of global distribution. She is responsible for leading the company’s worldwide strategic distribution efforts and is known for her ability to design and execute sales processes and strategies that align with corporate and partner objectives.

Dawn brings over 12 years of experience from Littelfuse, Inc., where she held various leadership roles and focused on providing the best-in-class services to global partners. Her most recent position was leading global sales integration efforts, where she successfully drove operational efficiencies to support customers’ needs, drive revenue and increase profitability. She was also responsible for overseeing global inside sales, customer service and system integration efforts.

Dawn’s passion for the electronic industry is well-known, and her contributions are highly valued. She serves on the ECIA Global Industry Practices Committee and is a mentor with Women in Electronics.

Cam Marston

Workplace Consultant and Public Speaker, Generational Insights

Selling Across the Generations

Cam Marston — author, consultant and radio/podcast host — is the founder of the company Generational Insights and is a multi-generational relations and workplace communications expert who has authored countless books and articles about how generational workplace and marketplace preferences affect every aspect of business, including recruiting, retention, management, sales and marketing.

Marston will present, “Selling Across the Generations” to Conference attendees. The first rule of sales is to know your customer, but with five distinct generations currently participating in buying decisions for companies worldwide, this task is not easy to fulfill. Marston’s session will expound on succeeding in today’s business climate by approaching each buyer with an informed generational perspective. Recognizing your own biases, values and expectations affects how you communicate, how you make an impression and how you ask for the sale. Once you understand the depths of sales biases in each generation, you’ll then begin to realize the opportunities for making deep and lasting connections with customers.

Adam C. Maxwell

Litigation Attorney, Schoenberg Finkel Beederman Bell Glazer LLC

Strategies for Manufacturers’ Reps on Negotiating Better Contracts with Manufacturers

Adam Maxwell is a Chicago-based litigator who has successfully handled jury trials in courts across the nation. He has over a decade of employment-related litigation and advisory experience behind him, which is why companies and individuals regularly call on him to handle their contractual employment disputes. Maxwell is often the first call when a dispute erupts, and for good reason: he is a natural problem solver who leverages his business degree and experience to blend forward-thinking guidance with legal strategy to obtain exceptional outcomes.

Independent sales reps regularly call on Maxwell because he has recovered millions of dollars in unpaid commissions and other compensation from public and private companies. Among the employment, business and commercial disputes he handles are the defense of former employees against misappropriation and breach of fiduciary duties claims, the voiding or enforcing of post-employment non-compete and non-solicit obligations, and the obtaining of injunctions to stop unlawful conduct on an emergency basis.

Jeff May

President, Logix Sales & Marketing

Unleashing the Power of Data: Best Strategies for Effective Data Sharing and Collaboration in Today’s Electronics Industry

Jeff May is the founder and president of Logix Sales & Marketing, proudly servicing the Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mexico. We foster a culture of synergy within our team, working together seamlessly to deliver an exceptional consultation experience for our valued customers, esteemed manufacturers, and trusted distributors.

Jeff is the vice chair for the 2024 ERA conference, an officer in the Southwest ERA chapter for many years, has held various positions within the ERA to promote our annual conference and is a White Pin member. He is a big believer in the sales representative model and the value it brings to our customers, principals and distributors.

Scott Mayo

Senior Partner, Empowering Systems

Unleashing the Power of Data: Best Strategies for Effective Data Sharing and Collaboration in Today’s Electronics Industry

Scott Mayo co-founded Empowering Systems in 1994. Scott and his company empower manufacturers and manufacturers’ representatives with software solutions to help them better serve their customers. Today, Empowering Systems continues its focus on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and sales analytics solutions providing cloud-based business applications, planning, implementation, training and other professional services. With over 35 years of experience in the software industry and 30 years working with reps and manufacturers, Scott focuses on building best-in-class solutions to achieve success in their businesses. Scott and his company are big supporters of the ERA and their mission, proudly named an ERA Recognized Resource for more than 25 years running. Scott has lived in New England for most of his life and enjoys sailing and skiing with family and friends.

John Mitchell

President, Repfabric

Unleashing the Power of Data: Best Strategies for Effective Data Sharing and Collaboration in Today’s Electronics Industry

John Mitchell is founder and president of the Repfabric brands, including Repfabric, CRMSync, Manufabric, Planscan.ai and Distifabric. An AI, CRM and big data expert, Mitchell holds a CPMR designation and is an ERA White Pin member. He was formerly a 10-person rep firm owner, is a dot.com boomer and Accenture alum. He frequently speaks at trade associations and universities. His mission is to create wildly successful teammates and customers using process and technology.

Holly Myers, CPMR

Director of Supplier Marketing & Product Management, Sager Electronics

Technology Swap Shop: Digital Efficiencies to Help Your Team & Your Customers

Holly Myers has been an active leader in the electronics industry since 2005, currently holding the position of director of supplier marketing and product management at Sager Electronics. Holly’s career in the industry began as a sales and marketing manager for Wallace Electronic Sales, a manufacturers’ representative firm in the Southeast. After serving in this role for 13 years, Holly has since been in distribution leadership roles.

She has been active in ERA since 2006, serving on many ERA Conference committees, and was named Chair of the 2017 ERA Conference. Holly was the recipient of the 2015 Jess Spoonts ERA White Pin Scholarship Award.

Zak Nelson

Director of Marketing, ArKco Sales

Reach More, Engage Deeper: Digital Tools That Can Amplify Your Tried-and-True Marketing Tactics

Zak Nelson is director of marketing and business development at ArKco Sales, Inc. As a brand and content strategist, he helps businesses achieve their goals through engaging storytelling and targeted marketing approaches. Prior to coming to ArKco, he was senior copywriter for Sands Costner, a digital content marketing agency, where he developed brands and executed content strategies for clients across different industries. A graduate of UC Berkeley, he got his start in book publishing, where he was a pioneer in digital marketing. He later taught rhetoric and composition to engineering undergraduates at North Carolina State University, where he received his master’s degree in creative writing. As a sales rep, Zak is a innovative marketer and strong advocate for the strategic alignment of customer research, brand identity, and long-term business goals.

Ryan Nogueira

Field Sales Engineer, SJ Associates

The Kids Are Alright: The Art of Hiring, Training and Retaining Zillenials (Gen Z + Millennial = Zillenial) 

Ryan Nogueira acquired a B.S. in industrial engineering from University of Miami in 2011. He was a recruiter for a year before starting at SJ Associates in late 2012. He resides in Newport, R.I. and is responsible for accounts in CT, RI and Southern MA. He enjoys snowboarding,  golf, photography, Formula 1 and playing the drums.

Mark Noon

Executive Leadership Coach, Author, Leadership10

Succession Planning: Passing Down Key Knowledge, Skills and Abilities – Why It’s Important & How It Works

Mark Noon is an author, actor, speaker, executive coach, husband and father. Mark served 20 ½ years in the U.S. Air Force, 12 ½ years as clinical lab director before retiring as a Major. Nine different assignments, seven states and a tour of duty in the Middle East created experiences few in healthcare or leadership ever acquire. During that time, Mark was a key leader in a cultural and leadership transformation within the AF medical community. Following his military retirement, Mark brought his operational and service excellence expertise to Studer Group, and now to Leadership10. He is an expert at conveying the value connection — driving results by teaching leaders to cultivate value in the people they manage. He has taught the highest level of both civilian and military medical leaders about improving employee engagement and, patient and customer experience, self-leadership, values and culture. Mark Noon specializes in leadership development, providing an exceptional foundational understanding of the leadership framework. He has coached and spoken in more than 265 organizations in 43 states and one province. When he’s not traveling the country speaking to organizations and leaders, Mark lives in a small beach community near Destin, Florida, with his wife. He has four grown children, one daughter-in-law and two dogs.

Morgan Norris

Senior Brand Strategist, TREW Marketing

More Than a Salesperson: Developing a Memorable, Trusted Personal Brand

Morgan helps highly technical companies define their corporate brand, identify their differentiators, and communicate their value to customers through brand storytelling and content. For the last decade, she’s worked with clients to align corporate leadership, build stories that engage customers, and create a foundation for consistent content. Morgan also helps executives build thought leadership platforms across channels, and trains marketers to write content that converts technical audiences in her annual course, Content Writing, Engineered.

Kevin Payne

Senior Global Category Sourcing Manager

Fortune Brands Innovations, Inc.

Engineers of Today vs. 5 years ago: Are They Getting What They Need from Us?

Kevin Payne is the senior sourcing manager, electronic components, at Fortune Brands Innovations, a brand, innovation and channel leader operating in the high-growth categories of water, outdoors and security. In this role, he collaborates with engineering, product management, and procurement to craft and execute the sourcing strategy for electronic components used in Fortune Brands Innovations’ growing portfolio of electronic and connected products, which include Moen Smart Water Network, Master Lock Bluetooth-enabled lock products, and newly added Yale and August smart residential security solutions. Prior to joining Fortune Brands Innovations, Kevin designed energy efficient lighting at General Electric and led the R&D department for a company designing lighting solutions for commercial agriculture. A proud Cleveland native, Kevin lives in Hudson, Ohio, with his wife and two young girls. He received a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.

Amy Rathsburg

President, Rathsburg Associates

Rep 2.0: Future-Proofing Your Manufacturers’ Rep Business

Amy Rathsburg is a co-owner and the president of Rathsburg Associates, a 70-year-old, third-generation manufacturer’s representative covering 15 states in the North Central of the U.S. She holds a B.S. in electrical engineering (BSEE) from the University of Michigan. She joined the company in 2007 as a sales engineer. Since then, she has played a key role in the company’s growth and success. As the president of Rathsburg Associates, Amy is responsible for overseeing the company’s operations and ensuring that it continues to provide first-class sales service. Amy is the daughter of Gregory J. Rathsburg, current Chairman of the Board, and the granddaughter of John M. Rathsburg, the company’s founder. She owns the business alongside her sister Rachel Rathsburg, brother Bob Rathsburg, and father Greg Rathsburg. Her family has been involved with the company since its inception in 1954. Amy is married, has two children, and enjoys playing golf in her free time.

Sam Richter, CSP, CSAE

Founder and CEO of  SBR Worldwide/KnowMore

Embrace It: Artificial Intelligence and Your Future

Considered a leading authority on sales intelligence and digital reputation management, bestselling author and Hall of Fame speaker Sam Richter, CSP, CPAE, delivers his top-rated, incredibly dynamic, highly entertaining, and extremely high-content keynote presentations and workshop sessions to audiences worldwide. Sam was named one of the World’s Top 50 Sales Keynote Speakers, one of the Top 15 Virtual Presenters, and one of the Top 25 Most Influential Sales Leaders. Learn more at www.samrichter.com.

Andrew Schwarz

Western Area Sales Manager, 3Peak

How the Digitalization of Product Information Accelerates Customer Engagement

Andrew Schwarz is from New York, N.Y. and received his BSEE from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He started his career as a Texas Instruments field sales engineer, working mostly with distribution and ROW accounts. After 18 years he went to a startup, Supplyframe, which owned and managed 70 websites, including findchips.com and datasheetarchive.com. Currently Schwarz works with 3Peak Semiconductor, an global analog MFG based in APAC.

Mike Slater

Vice President of Global Business Development, DigiKey

Unleashing the Power of Data: Best Strategies for Effective Data Sharing and Collaboration in Today’s Electronics Industry

Mike Slater is vice president of global business development at DigiKey, where he oversees the company’s worldwide customer and supplier development strategy. With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Mike helps guide DigiKey’s strategic growth initiatives and global expansion efforts. Prior to joining DigiKey, Mike served as the president of E-Switch Inc., where he was responsible for the company’s operations, engineering, marketing and sales functions globally. He also served as a general manager at Arrow Electronics, where he built, managed and developed effective sales teams and spent more than 20 years of his career.

Maryellen Stack

Director of Marketing Communications, Sager Electronics

How the Digitalization of Product Information Accelerates Customer Engagement

Maryellen Stack is the director of marketing communications for Sager Electronics. She works closely with the company’s executive council to define, articulate and drive the Sager brand and its specialized group, Sager Power Systems, in the electronic components marketplace. Stack also plays an instrumental role in the company’s eBusiness activities and is involved in the development of the company’s new website.

She is an active member of the industry’s various organizations, including ECIA, ERA and Women in Electronics. She currently serves on the Advisory Board for Women in Electronics, where she works to support the organization’s marketing and communications efforts and is also involved with both the local New England Chapter of the ERA as well as the ERA Executive Conference planning committee and as a past panelist. Prior to joining Sager Electronics in 2000, she worked in business development for a national sports facility management firm. She received a bachelor’s degree in political science with a business minor from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.

Terri Straube

Vice President, Distribution Manager, Straube Associates

Reach More, Engage Deeper: Digital Tools That Can Amplify Your Tried-and-True Marketing Tactics

Terri Straube is an owner and key account and distribution manager at Straube Associates. She has a strong background and extensive experience in the electronic components industry, particularly in roles related to engineering design, business development, contract negotiation and sales operations.

Terri’s expertise is in distribution management, including technical assistance, DR support, quotes and sample orchestration at both branch and corporate levels.

Terri is an active ERA supporter at both the national and local NCAL ERA chapter level. She is a past NCAL ERA Chapter Board member and has also worked on many national ERA committees to support the industry.

Jeff Tilley

Field Sales Engineer, SJ Associates

The Kids Are Alright: The Art of Hiring, Training and Retaining Zillenials (Gen Z + Millennial = Zillenial)

Jeff Tilley has a B.S. in bioengineering from Lehigh University, class of 2016. He began his career with SJ Associates right after college, supporting the N.Y. Metro market. He is recently engaged to his fiancé, with plans to get married in 2025. Outside of work, he enjoys skiing, golf, tennis, exercising and watching the Boston professional sports teams on TV.

He enjoys the fast-paced, ever evolving high-tech industry that is electronic components and semiconductors and looks forward to broadening his professional experience and progressing in his career.

Mark Wachtel

President, SJ Associates

The Kids Are Alright: The Art of Hiring, Training and Retaining Zillenials (Gen Z + Millennial = Zillenial)

Mark Wachtel has a B.S. in electrical and computer engineering from SUNY Buffalo. Mark started with SJ Associates in July 1986, had a short employment stint with Premier Technical Sales San Jose, Calif. and returned to SJ in 1992.  Mark has 38 years of industry experience.  He has been married for 32 years and has three kids, two sons who are 28 and 25, and one daughter who is 20.  He resides in beautiful Long Island. His proudest business accomplishment is the development of the company’s CRM which is the engine that drives their business.

Crystal Washington, CSP, CPAE

Futurist, Tech Strategist, International Speaker, Author

The Future is NOW: Technology & Trends That Will Revolutionize

Crystal Washington, CSP, CPAE, is a technology strategist, certified futurist and author, whose clients have included Google, Microsoft and GE. She is a “tech translator” who specializes in taking complex social media, app and web topics and makes them easy to understand for everyday people. Washington will present, “The Future is NOW: Technology & Trends That Will Revolutionize” on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at the final afternoon general session, where she will present a high-energy session on exciting and practical ways that technology will rock our world over the next 10 years. Attendees will learn the top five technologies that could interrupt or revolutionize our industry and walk away with the ability to use new tactics and stay ahead of the trends.