ERA Conference Speaker Biographies

Speaker, Presenter and Panelist Biographies

Biographies are listed alphabetically by last name.

Alan Ahern

President, Crowley Associates
Breakout Session Panelist: Supporting Your Team from Inside and Out

In 1994, Alan Ahern established Crowley Associates into the Metro NY/NJ region. Three years later, he purchased the company and became president. Through organic growth and multiple acquisitions, Ahern expanded the company operations into five ERA territories. He has extensive industry knowledge and has deployed highly advanced technology in hardware, cloud solutions, Infor CRM and AI.

Prior to Crowley Associates, Ahern was vice president and an equity owner of Solarmetrics, a solar photovoltaic and power distribution company.

Ahern holds an Industrial Electronics Degree coupled with sales and marketing disciplines and is a fiber optic fusion splicer trainer and light brigade graduate. He is chairman of two manufacturers’ rep councils, as well as a member of two other councils. Ahern also is a member of two distributor rep councils, the manufacturers’ rep director for the ECIA, as well as a member on the ECIA Representative Council.

Ellen Albright

Marketing & Communications Director, E-T-A Circuit Breakers
Breakout Session Presenter: How Manufacturers’ Reps, Manufacturers and Distributors Can Implement a Joint Strategy to Produce Sales Qualified Leads Every Month

Ellen Albright joined E-T-A Circuit Breakers in 2003 and is currently the marketing & communications director. In this role, she focuses on all North American marketing activities including new product introductions, website management, digital advertising, events and social media. Over the past seven years, she has implemented the Marketo marketing automation platform to support activities like lead nurturing, lead scoring, automated lead routing and much more. These activities have helped E-T-A align its sales and marketing team and also better understand the impact of marketing activities. Outside of the office, Albright volunteers her time to support non-profit organizations implement marketing strategies. She was an active board member of the Chicago Chapter of the American Marketing Association and currently sits on the board of the Anima – Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus.

Vibhu Bhutani

Chief Strategy Officer, Softweb Solutions Inc.
Breakout Session Panelist: A Dose of (Immersive – Virtual/Augmented/Mixed) Reality: The New Paradigm – What You Need to Know Now Before It Is Too Late

Vibhu Bhutani has been associated with Softweb Solutions for past six years and currently works as a chief strategy officer. As part of his consultative role, he takes care of both formulation of the strategy and the execution of the strategy. His role extends to developing new relationships and creating new alliances to strengthen company’s core capabilities. His strategic initiatives across all levels of the organization have helped Softweb Solutions stay innovative and ahead of the curve.

Lori Bruno

Vice President/Distribution Sales Manager, Luscombe Engineering of San Francisco
Breakout Session Panelist: Design Registration Tune Up

Lori Bruno is vice president/distribution sales manager at Luscombe Engineering of San Francisco. Bruno is responsible for working as a liaison between suppliers and distributors in growing and maintaining business. Bruno has worked in the electronic component industry since the mid-1990’s. Prior to joining Luscombe Engineering, she worked in distribution most of her career, including at TTI and Avnet. Bruno understands the distributors “value proposition” and is an advocate of supporting the channel whenever possible. She holds a degree in Human Development from California State University, Hayward.

Mike Budde, Jr.

Vice President, Budde Marketing
Breakout Session Presenter: Selling More Through Data Analytics: Utilizing Today’s Tools and Recognizing Tomorrow’s

Mike Budde, Jr., is the Vice President of Budde Marketing Systems Inc., the industry leader in channel data analysis and data management services. Building upon the company’s foundation of providing quality point of sale (POS) reporting, Mike continues to promote innovation among Budde Marketing’s current team of 35 dedicated staff and affiliates. Budde Marketing provides services to manufacturers and reps primarily in the Electronic Components industry as well as in the high tech, hardware and electrical industries, among others.

His experience in leadership and team management has supported steady company growth each year since joining the family-owned business in 2007, which now services over 130 manufacturers and rep organizations throughout the world.

Along with contributing to industry workshops and speaking at ERA events, Mike has also had opportunity to speak at the AHTD and NEMRA National Conferences.

Michael Calabria

CEO and President, Abracon
Breakout Session Panelist: Design Registration Tune Up

Michael Calabria is a proven sales and marketing executive with 35 years’ experience at a $23 billion, Fortune 150, high-tech company. He has successfully executed change management through re-engineering organizations, divisional spin-offs, integrating acquisitions and merging operations.

During his 35-year career at Arrow Electronics, Calabria led various departments and sales operations including vice president of sales, vice president of marketing, vice president of product management, vice president of military semiconductor marketing and vice president of headquarter sales and customer marketing.

Calabria served on the Board of Directors for the Electronic Distribution Show Corp from 1995 to 2001 and from 2006 to 2012. In 2006, Calabria received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Electronics Distributors Association.

Since 2015 Calabria has held the position of president, chief executive officer and serves on the Board of Directors for Abracon LLC, a leading global manufacturer of passive and electromechanical timing, synchronization, power, connectivity and RF solutions.

Calabria also serves on the Board of Directors for Micro-Technologies a San Jose, a Costa Rica-based manufacturing, design and delivery solutions provider with an expansive and unique set of capabilities designed for vertical integration of production necessary for the uncompromised pursuit of manufacturing perfection.

He received his B.S. degree from the State University of New York at Oswego.

Adam Carlson

Advanced Lead Engineer, GE Aviation
Breakout Session Panelist: A Dose of (Immersive – Virtual/Augmented/Mixed) Reality: The New Paradigm – What You Need to Know Now Before It Is Too Late

For some, engineering is a job, but for Adam Carlson it is a hobby and a passion. By day, he works on turbine engine design with one of the big three aerospace engine manufacturers. At home, he continues to refine his art of engineering design. Carlson loves to have fun with his projects and share this love with others. It is through these projects that he learns and grows, and in turn brings that back to his career. Be it electronics, RC submarines, 3D printing, or the design of a 4 axis laser engraver, Carlson is always involved with an interesting project.

Steve Cholas

Managing Director Suppliers & Vendors, Dynamic Range Labs
VP Business Development, BigZeta
Breakout Session Moderator: A Dose of (Immersive – Virtual/Augmented/Mixed) Reality: The New Paradigm – What You Need to Know Now Before It Is Too Late

As an industry expert in digital engagement, sales and marketing, Steve Cholas has developed strategic programs for distributors and suppliers globally. With more than 30 years of experience, Cholas is a marketer companies can rely on to develop partnerships and strategies to achieve tangible goals.

Cholas’ passion for the electronic industry has allowed him to direct leading media, UI/UX and design tool brands in the electronics industry such as EET, EDN, EEWeb, Electronic Products, EBN, 21ic (China) Aspencore and Transim.

Linda Clemons

CEO, Sisterpreneur Inc.
General Session Speaker: I See What You Are Thinking: The Power of Nonverbal Communication

Linda Clemons, CEO of Sisterpreneur Inc., is an award winning, record setting sales producer, as well as one of the top sales trainers in the world in the resort/timeshare industry where clients have generated over two billion in sales. Clemons is a body language expert trained and certified in analytic interviewing and statement analysis, a process used to detect deception. Her clients and audiences include Southwest Airlines, Coca Cola, Spanx, Publicis, Nielsen, National Urban League, Nestle, MGM, Major League Baseball, Wells Fargo. Leo Burnett Worldwide, U.S. Customs, FBI, Marriott, Hilton, Wyndham and Starwood.

Randy Elkins

Sales and Marketing Manager, EMLinQ
Breakout Session Moderator: Increase Profitability by Selling EMS to Your Existing Customers

With more than 40 years in the electronics industry, Randy Elkins worked in distribution for 12 years, including five years as a regional vice president at Diplomat Electronics. In 1989, Elkins founded the rep firm Elkins & Associates (E&A) in Southern California and later expanded to Arizona. While focused on electromechanical and interconnect components, E&A became one of the first rep firms to include contract manufacturing as part of its core business. Now, as the sales and marketing manager of EMLinQ, a contract manufacturer, Elkins is involved with helping the company’s current rep network to apply the same successful model that was created and improved many years ago.

In addition to this role, Elkins was also the executive vice president of the Southern California Sports Broadcasters and the Tennis Coach at St. Bonaventure High School in Ventura, Calif. He has stepped away from those positions to focus on business, grandkids, golf and tennis (in that order!).

Bob Evans, CPMR

President, EK Micro
Breakout Session Moderator: Supporting Your Team from Inside and Out

Bob Evans, CPMR, spent his first 15 years in the electronics industry with a connector distributor/contract manufacturer serving the Chicago & Milwaukee metroplex. While there, he held positions in sales, sales management and general management. Evans joined EK Micro in 1993, taking over ownership in 1996, and is currently president. Evans serves on the ERA National Board of Directors as senior vice president, Industry Practices and is also very active in the Chicagoland-Wisconsin Chapter of ERA.

Frank Flynn

President, Sager Electronics
Breakout Session Panelist: The Profile of the Salesperson of the Future

Frank Flynn joined Sager Electronics in 1983 and was appointed president in 1999. Prior to this appointment, Flynn served as chief financial officer, chief operating officer, vice president of finance, and director of corporate development. Among his many accomplishments, he is credited with the acquisition of CalSwitch, an electromechanical West Coast distributor, which cemented Sager as a national distributor.

Flynn later led the acquisitions of three regional power supply distribution companies, PowerGate LLC, Norvell Electronics and PSUI, establishing Sager as a leading national power supply distributor. In 2011, ECIA bestowed its highest honor, the Gail S. Carter Award, to Flynn in recognition of his contributions to the industry. He is a past member of the ECIA Board of Directors and the Electronics Distribution Show (EDS) Board of Directors. Flynn holds an A.B. in Economics from Harvard University and an MBA in Finance and Marketing from UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Bill Gallucci

President, Peerless Electronics Inc.
Breakout Session Panelist: The Profile of the Manufacturers’ Rep Company of the Future

Bill Gallucci has over 30 years of experience in the electronics distribution industry. Gallucci began his career in 1986 working for a well-known manufacturer as an account sales manager. Over the next six years, Gallucci worked his way up the organization serving in roles including field sales manager and inside sales manager.
In 1992, Gallucci joined Peerless Electronics Inc. (as an inside sales representative) and in early 1996, was promoted to inside sales manager responsible for the Peerless New York Branch.

In 1998, he was appointed regional sales manager for the Mid-Atlantic region with responsibility for sales branches in NY and MD. Gallucci successfully grew the Mid-Atlantic Region into one of the most successful regions in the company.

In early 2000, Gallucci was promoted to vice president – sales. At that time, he was given responsibility for all Peerless branch locations, sales managers and sales representatives.

In late 2010, he was promoted to chief operations officer. In this role he was able to bridge the gap between sales, purchasing and warehousing facilities to improve communication, overall efficiencies and profits.

In 2016, Gallucci was promoted to president. He has been recognized by industry leaders, and is very active in biking, skiing and marathons. Gallucci lives in Long Island, N.Y. with his wife and three boys.

Cesare Giammarco

ERA Consultant
Breakout Session Moderator: The Profile of the Manufacturers’ Rep Company of the Future

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 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.

Giammarco 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.

Giammarco 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 Glazer

ERA Legal Counsel, Schoenberg, Finkel, Newman & Rosenberg LLC
Breakout Session Presenter: Standing Firm: Reps Deserve to Get Paid

Adam J. Glazer, Esq., maintains a national litigation practice, including representing sales representatives from diverse industries. He is a partner in the law firm of Schoenberg Finkel Newman & Rosenberg LLC (SFNR) in Chicago, known as the “go-to” firm for sales reps. SFNR 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 through litigation, arbitration or otherwise.

Glazer has litigated sales rep claims of every stripe, from breach of contract actions to claims brought under various states’ Sales Representative Acts to common law claims. He has successfully tried actions to verdict to recover rep commissions, including recovering punitive damages and attorney’s fees.

A frequent consultant to sales rep associations including ERA, Glazer is also a regular speaker at annual 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 SFNR, 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 he also arbitrates and mediates business disputes. Glazer maintains a general commercial litigation practice with a focus on litigating sales rep claims and other business-related actions.

Paul Golata

Senior Technology Specialist, Mouser Electronics
Breakout Session Panelist: A Dose of (Immersive – Virtual/Augmented/Mixed) Reality: The New Paradigm – What You Need to Know Now Before It Is Too Late

As a team member of Mouser Electronics since 2011, Paul Golata serves as a senior technology specialist. He contributes to Mouser’s success by driving strategic leadership, tactical execution, and the overall line and marketing direction for advanced technology-related products. He shares the newest and latest information with design engineers through the creation of unique and valuable technical content that facilitates and enhances Mouser Electronics as the preferred distributor of choice.

Before joining Mouser, Golata cultivated his expertise in various manufacturing, marketing and sales-related roles for Hughes Aircraft Company, Melles Griot, Piper Jaffray, Balzers Optics, JDSU and Arrow Electronics. Golata earned a BSEET from the DeVry Institute of Technology in Chicago, Ill., an MBA from Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.; and an MDiv (with BL) and PhD from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

Holly Good

National Distribution Manager, Cornell Dubilier Electronics, Inc.
Breakout Session Presenter: Diversity In the Workplace: What Men and Women Leaders Need to Know!

Holly Good is currently National Distribution Manager for Cornell Dubilier Electronics, Inc., a leading manufacturer of power capacitors. Holly has been with Cornell Dubilier for seven years where she previously held roles in product marketing management and inside sales leadership.

Prior to joining Cornell Dubilier, Holly’s work experience includes managing the New England sales territory for Carlton Bates Corporation, sales and distribution support for manufacturers’ representative firm Norris and Associates and various roles in sales and operations at Sager Electronics.

Holly is an Advisory Board Member for Women in Electronics, a national non-profit organization providing personal and professional leadership development opportunities for women in the electronics industry.

Holly is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University where she studied organizational leadership and marketing.

Cecilia Gorman

Owner, Creative + Talent + Partners
Breakout Session Presenter: Diversity In the Workplace: What Men and Women Leaders Need to Know!

Cecilia Gorman is a veteran of the advertising industry where she spent 20+ years in production, recruiting and human resources. She is a training partner with the Women in Electronics Association and a frequent keynote speaker at their annual Leadership Conference.

She spent the bulk of her career at Y&R Advertising where she was VP, Creative Services. She led Global Creative Operations at Oakley and was head of HR and Training as VP, Organizational Leadership at Innocean USA.

Cecilia is a DISC-certified executive director with the John Maxwell Team and is the owner of Creative + Talent + Partners, a training consultancy that specializes in the development of new and struggling managers and the teams they lead. She’s the co-founder of Empowership, a year-long training and mentorship program designed exclusively for women.

It’s been her mission to inspire, educate and motivate employees toward their greatest potential.

Rich Greaves

Senior Partner, Empowering Systems Inc.
Breakfast Workshop Presenter: Drive More Deals Faster

Rich Greaves cofounded Empowering Systems in 1994. Greaves and his company help manufacturers and manufacturers’ representatives automate their sales processes with technology solutions. Today, Empowering Systems continues its focus on sales analytics and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions providing cloud-based business applications, planning and implementation services, as well as online training and technology support for manufacturers and representatives. With 30+ years of experience in the software industry and 25 in the rep industry, Greaves focuses on helping customers take advantage of Empowering Systems’ solutions and other best in class solutions to achieve success in their businesses. With 20 years as an ERA Recognized Resource, Greaves and his company are big supporters of the ERA and its mission.

Greaves lives in the Boston area with his wife and two daughters. In his spare time he enjoys woodworking and theater.

Bob Gourdeau

Vice President of Sales for The Americas, AVX Corporation
Breakout Session Panelist: Supporting Your Team from Inside and Out

Bob Gourdeau is a veteran of the electronics industry with more than 34 years of experience. The first half of his career was spent in distribution, while the last 17 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 AVX. Originally from New England, Gourdeau moved his family to the Southeast in 1994 and currently resides in South Carolina.

Gourdeau graduated from Assumption college with a B.A. in Management and also holds an MBA from New Hampshire College. Gourdeau is an avid Boston sports fan, especially the New England Patriots and of course the Clemson Tigers. He and his wife have four children and two grandchildren. In his spare time Gourdeau enjoys travelling, golf and coaching his grandkids.

Graham Kilshaw

Breakout Session Presenter: How Manufacturers’ Reps, Manufacturers and Distributors Can Implement a Simple Strategy to Produce Sales Qualified Leads Every Month

Graham Kilshaw is the CEO of ITEM Media, a digital marketing agency and publisher, exclusively serving the electronics industry. Their clients span the components, test equipment, materials, software and testing service spaces. ITEM focusses on sales-driven marketing strategies supporting manufacturers, distributors and representatives through all aspects of their sales channels. The company also owns the media brands: Interference Technology (dedicated to EMI/EMC) and Electronics Cooling (dedicated to thermal management).

From his 20 years’ experience, Kilshaw has developed a comprehensive understanding of the business needs of the U.S. and international electronics industry. Combined with his background in sales, media and marketing, he has transitioned ITEM Media from a traditional trade publisher to an electronics industry marketing powerhouse specializing in multi-channel marketing, content development, sales enablement and events.

Michael Knight

President, TTI Semiconductor Group (TSG) and Senior Vice President Corporate Business Development, TTI Inc.
General Session Speaker: TECHNOLOGY IN THE ROARING 20s: How the tech party rages on in the 2020s

Michael Knight is president of the TTI Semiconductor Group and corporate senior vice president of business development at TTI Inc, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary. Knight has worked in the electronic components industry since the mid-1980s. Prior to joining TTI Americas, he worked for a number of distributors and component manufacturers, including a manufacturers’ rep firm in Northern California. He has held a variety of national and global leadership roles in sales, marketing, operations and general management in both private and public companies. In the late 1990s, Knight launched a successful tech start-up in the semiconductor materials space that was sold in 2003, after which he joined TTI who had been a distributor for him in the early 1990s.

John Mitchell

CEO, Repfabric
Breakout Session Presenter: Selling More Through Data Analytics, Utilizing Today’s Tools, and Recognizing Tomorrow’s
Breakfast Workshop Presenter: Next Generation Email, CRM and Commissions

John Mitchell, CEO of Repfabric, delivers advanced technology solutions to cure many of the challenges today’s salespeople face.

He owned a 10-man rep firm in Florida specializing in semiconductors and electro-mechanical components for 12 years. Prior to his years in the rep firm, Mitchell was a leading specialist in process efficiency at Accenture and Software AG for clients such as EBay, Bank of America, Western Digital and Jabil. He sold his rep firm in 2016 to pursue the culmination of his experience as a salesperson, rep owner and software process expert.

In addition to rep trade organization meetings, Mitchell has spoken at the 2017 Artificial Intelligence Summit, and he is a regular lecturer at the University of South Florida School of Engineering.

Holly Myers, CPMR

Vice President, Genie Group Inc.
Breakout Session Moderator: The Profile of the Salesperson of the Future

Holly Myers, CPMR, joined Genie Group as the vice president of sales and marketing in 2018. Genie Group is a master distributor and buying group based in Brentwood, Tenn.. She started her career in the industry in 2005 as the sales and marketing manager at Wallace Electronic Sales, a manufacturer’s representative in the Southeast. Holly served as the chair of the 2017 ERA Conference Committee and is the co-chair of the 2019 ERA Conference Breakouts Sub-Committee. She was the recipient of the 2015 Jess Spoonts ERA White Pin Scholarship Award.

Gerald Newman

ERA Legal Counsel, Schoenberg, Finkel, Newman & Rosenberg LLC
Breakout Session Presenter: Standing Firm: Reps Deserve to Get Paid

Gerry Newman is a practicing attorney in Chicago, Ill., and a senior partner in the law firm of Schoenberg, Finkel, Newman & Rosenberg LLC. The firm engages in the corporate and general practice of law, and it has been general counsel for numerous trade associations and their members for more than 40 years.

Newman and his law partner, Adam Glazer, focus on all phases of sales rep law, corporate and business law.

He has written many articles dealing with rep issues, and he has conducted numerous seminars for trade and professional associations on manufacturer-rep-principal issues and general business matters.

Newman’s areas of expertise include trade association representation, sales rep matters, commission collection issues, corporate mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buy-outs, business continuation and succession plans and financing, business counseling, estate planning and intellectual property matters.

John O’Brien, CPMR

Vice President Coakley, Boyd and Abbett, Inc.,
Luncheon Presenter: SPARK Program (EDS Summit)

John O’Brien, CPMR, joined Coakley, Boyd and Abbett Inc. in 1994 as an inside salesperson. In 1995, he moved to Connecticut as an outside salesperson and in 1999 he became general manager. In 2002, O’Brien returned to the Massachusetts offices and became vice president. He received his CPMR designation in 2002. O’Brien served 10 years in various positions for the New England ERA Chapter and has since joined the ERA Executive Committee where he currently serves as VP Education. O’Brien chaired the ERA Conference Committee in 2008 and continues to serve on the 2019 Conference Committee and sub-committees. He has also served three years on the EDS Board.

Bill O’Neill

Senior Sales Manager, Americas, Sensata Technologies
Breakout Session Panelist: The Profile of the Salesperson of the Future

Bill O’Neill is the senior sales manager for the Industrial Business at Sensata Technologies and is based out of corporate headquarters in Attleboro, Mass. In his role, O’Neill leads the regional team for North and South America, working closely with manufacturers’ reps, distributors and regional managers driving the development of business opportunities, commercial strategic initiatives, and sales channel management.

Prior to Sensata, O’Neill was the global director of business development and sales at Buehler/ ITW, a world leader in materials preparation, testing and analysis. O’Neill held various positions within ITW including applications engineer, product manager, business team manager, and sales management and development.

He holds a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts and is a graduate of the Greater Boston Executive Business Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management.

Will Oliver

Vice President of Business Development & Strategic Alliances, VirTex Enterprises
Breakout Session Panelist: Increase Profitability by Selling EMS to Your Existing Customers

Will Oliver is the vice president of business development and strategic alliances for VirTex Enterprises, an industry-leading electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider with a workforce of over 500 industry experts, and currently 350,000+ sq. ft. of operational floor space in seven locations; Texas, Wisconsin, Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Mexico.

Oliver has more than 24 years of experience in electronic component and EMS sales and business development. He started his career with Arrow Capstone out of Texas A&M University in the early ’90s. At Arrow Capstone, he was twice recognized as the most productive sales representative and a Capstone All-Star before jumping into the EMS industry in 1999 with Rtron in Houston. He has a successful record of generating positive growth by developing strategic plans and goals for his teams with industry leaders in EMS such as Flextronics and KeyTronicEMS. He is an expert in multi-layer strategies for customer development that requires team experts and disciplines in supply chain, engineering, operational support, and logistics. He has developed and managed teams that support the small start up to the multi-billion dollar Fortune 100 companies. His experience includes working with top-tier ERA firms throughout the U.S.

As vice president of strategic alliances, Oliver’s experience in strategic team development is a key component to developing and managing the North American team of rep firms in strategic locations within the U.S. and Canada. He is responsible for the individual firm strategic and customer development. This is a similar role that he played for other EMS providers he has worked for over the past 20 years.

Eric Pfaff

President, Allied Enterprises Inc.
Breakout Session Panelist: The Profile of the Manufacturers’ Rep Company of the Future

Allied is a second generation rep firm that was founded in 1964, with a territory consisting of MI, IN, KY, OH, WPA, WVA, and Upstate NY. Allied has 28 employees, and concentrates on markets including Transportation, Industrial, Medical, Consumer and Mil/Aero.

Eric Pfaff joined Allied in 1989, handled the WPA territory until 1995, and then became president of Allied in 1997, and is co-owner of the company with his brother Mark.

Pfaff graduated from Ohio State University.

Sam Read

Global Sales Manager, Cornell Dubilier Electronics
Breakout Session Panelist: Getting Your Message to the Customer

Sam Read joined Cornell Dubilier Electronics in 2006 as a regional sales manager before assuming his current role as global sales manager four years ago. Read has 30 years of experience with several manufacturing companies in the electronics industry servicing commercial, military, and consumer markets. He enjoys leading and working in team environments, and excels at developing and nurturing business partnerships.

From his progressive roles in sales management, business unit management, product marketing and engineering, Read has developed a diverse skill set and broad perspective on the keys to succeeding in a manufacturing business and competitive markets. Read graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering

Chris Reginato

Manager for Demand Creation Programs & Customer Master Operations, Avnet Inc.
Breakout Session Panelist: Design Registration Tune Up

Chris Reginato is the manager for Demand Creation Programs and Customer Master Operations of Avnet Inc. He is responsible for overseeing supplier registration program additions and adherence to program specifications while managing a team in Guadalajara, Mexico, for daily workflow. He also manages a team in Phoenix, Ariz., that governs new customer additions and updates for integrity and accuracy.

Reginato began his career in the electronics components industry in 1989 and served in sales, product management, marketing and operations both manufacturing and distribution industry groups. He recently relocated to Charlotte, N.C., where he lives with his wife and two daughters.

Mark Robinson

VP Americas Sales, Finisar Corporation
Breakout Session Panelist: The Profile of the Manufacturers’ Rep Company of the Future

Mark Robinson is vice president Americas Sales at Finisar Corporation, the world’s leading manufacturer of optical communication products. Robinson has led sales organizations throughout his 40 year career. He is an advocate for the rep model and for reps to be treated as business partners. Robinson has a degree in Electrical Engineering from Cambridge University, England.

Tony Roybal

President, Americas Electronic Components, Avnet Inc.
Breakout Session Moderator: Getting Your Message to the Customer

Tony Roybal is president, Americas Electronic Components, for Avnet, a global technology solutions company. He is responsible for the broadline distribution and value-add business in the Americas, and leads the operational support teams in the region.

With 28 years of experience in the electronics industry, Roybal has a track record of accelerating top and bottom line growth. Prior to joining Avnet in July 2018, he worked at ON Semiconductor (formerly Motorola Semiconductor) for 24 years, with the last 12 years as the vice president of the Americas. Under Roybal’s leadership, his region realized significant double-digit, year-over-year revenue growth and market share gains. Roybal has held various sales positions at Motorola Semiconductor. He began his career at Hamilton Avnet as a field sales engineer in Los Angeles, Calif.

Roybal holds a B.S. in Engineering from California State University Northridge.

Jason Schenker

President, Prestige Economics and Chairman, The Futurist Institute
General Session Speaker: Our Disruptive Future Economy – An Economic, Financial, and Technology Outlook

Jason Schenker is president of Prestige Economics and chairman of The Futurist Institute. He has been ranked one of the most accurate financial forecasters and futurists in the world. Bloomberg News has ranked him a top forecaster in 42 categories. Schenker also was ranked one of the top 100 most influential financial advisors in the world by Investopedia in 2018. He advises executives, industry groups, institutional investors and central banks as the president of Prestige Economics. He has advised NATO and the Department of Defense on the future of work, blockchain, Bitcoin, cryptocurrency and fake news. Schenker is a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion and has written eight books.

John Simari

ERA Consultant, Simari Consulting
Breakout Session Moderator: Design Registration Tune Up

John Simari held a range of sales and marketing positions at Texas Instruments (TI) prior to his retirement in 2016 after a 37-year career. For most of that time, Simari was a key contributor to TI’s worldwide distribution program.

Simari has held positions as worldwide distribution director, Americas distribution director and worldwide account manager for distributor and OEM accounts. During his tenure, the industry saw significant consolidation from local/regional distributors to global full-service and online distributors, as well as the emergence of a modern distribution program in Asia.

Simari has been an active contributor to industry activities, having served for eight years on the Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA) Board of Directors and Foundation Board. He also is a Business Leadership Center instructor at the SMU Cox School of Business in Dallas.

Simari holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of Dallas. He lives in Plano, Texas.

Mark Simon

Vice President of Sales, Allied Electronics
Breakout Session Panelist: Supporting Your Team from Inside and Out

Mark Simon joined Allied in 2004 as national sales director. He transitioned to vice president of sales in 2005, and, under his leadership, Allied sales have grown from $180 million to $600 million. In July 2016, and for the next eight months, Simon took on the additional role of acting president, while the company searched for its next president.

Simon worked 21 years with Carlton-Bates Company, where he started and led five branch locations from ground up. He then served as the Southwest regional director, and finally as director of sales corporate, during his tenure at CBC the organizational grew from $10 million to over $300 million in revenue. He was responsible for National Accounts, Material Handling Division and Corporate Sales Group.

Simon is a native of Tulsa, Okla., and began his career with Combined Technology Companies, a small Oklahoma distributor.

Curt Steinhorst

Founder, Focuswise
Keynote Speaker: Can I Have Your Attention? Reach the Distracted Customer

Curt Steinhorst is the bestselling author of “Can I Have Your Attention? Inspiring Better Work Habits, Focusing Your Team, and Getting Stuff Done in the Constantly Connected Workplace.” He is on a mission to rescue us from our distracted selves. After years studying the impact of technology on human behavior, Steinhorst founded Focuswise, a consultancy that equips organizations to overcome the distinct challenges of the constantly-connected workplace.

Diagnosed with ADD as a child, Steinhorst knows intimately the challenges companies face to keep the attention of today’s distracted workforce and customer. He has coached executives, TV personalities, and well-known professional athletes on how to effectively communicate and create focus when they speak to audiences, lead their employees, and engage their customers.
Steinhorst’s unique insight and entertaining speaking style has captured the attention of audiences worldwide. He speaks more than 90 times a year to organizations that include everyone from global leadership associations and nonprofits to Fortune 100 companies.

Mike Swenson

President, Mel Foster Company
Breakout Session Panelist: The Profile of the Manufacturers’ Rep Company of the Future (Tuesday, Feb. 26)

Mike Swenson, CPMR, is president of Mel Foster Company, a manufacturer’s representative firm for electronic components and embedded solutions which focus is on demand creation and customer relationships to create sales growth in the upper Midwest. Swenson is ERA’s 2019 Conference Committee Co-Chair and 2016 Conference Committee chair. He serves on the manufacturer representative councils for Artesyn, Littelfuse, Finisar, Panasonic, Ohmite, Digi-Key, Future, Arrow and Sager. He also serves on the Computer Engineering Program Advisory Board for the University of Wisconsin (Stout). Swenson is an active participant in ECIA. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a B.S.B. in Marketing.

Bryan Teen, CPMR

Vice President of Sales, Tech Marketing
Breakout Session Panelist: The Profile of the Salesperson of the Future

Bryan Teen, CPMR, is the vice president of sales at Tech Marketing, a manufacturers’ rep firm that has been servicing the Southeast since 1995. Concentrating in electro-mechanical components, their product concentration is in connectors, batteries, and power related products. Teen started his career with Tech Marketing in 2005, after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Teen started working as inside sales, later moving into other roles as an account manager, and sales manager. Teen serves on the Board of Directors of the Carolinas ERA, and recently attended ERA’s COLT training in Chicago. Bryan is also a 2019 graduate of MRERF’s Certified Professional Manufacturer Representative (CPMR) program.

Rick Vairo, MBA, CPMR

President, Field Sales and Management, Aurora Group
Breakout Session Panelist: Increase Profitability by Selling EMS to Your Existing Customers

Rick Vairo, MBA, CPMR, founded The Aurora Group, a multi-territory manufacturers’ representative firm in 1987. He has embraced the core values of integrity, innovation and growth to successfully lead his company and provide outstanding service to manufacturers, OEMs and distributors. While building his organization, Vairo has promoted ERA’s function by sharing his experience and knowledge as an expert in the industry, including authoring and presenting “Benefits of the Manufacturer’s Representative Model vs. Direct Sales” to MBA students at Rutgers University.

Representing both ERA and MANA, Vairo chaired the project to publish the white paper “Developing New Markets with Professional Sales Reps.” Vairo also chaired the committee to launch the annual charity golf outing for ERA’s Metro NY Chapter. Now in its fourth year, this event brings reps, distributors, principals, CMs and OEMs together to raise money for Long Island Cares with the proceeds benefiting Veterans and ERA’s Metro NY Chapter. Currently serving as a board member for the ERA’s Metro NY Chapter, Vairo continues to support the growth and mission of ERA.

Ross Valentine

Senior Director and Architect of Product & Services, Arrow Electronics
Breakout Session Presenter: Delivering a Powerful Supply Chain Customer Experience in Today’s Complex Environment

Ross Valentine has 20 years of experience working for and with the largest technology companies in the world spanning OEM’s, EMS providers, electronics distribution and component manufacturing. He has held roles in the areas of Supply Chain Solutions and Services, Supply Chain Architecture, Supply Chain Systems and Product Line Management and is currently senior director and architect of product and services for Arrow Electronics Supply Chain Services Company.

In his current role, Valentine works with the world’s largest technology OEMs and technology manufacturers to establish supply chain solutions in the areas of Supply Chain Design, Supply Chain Visibility, Demand Management, Supply Management, Inventory Management, Order Management, Fulfillment & Logistics, Invoice & Payment Management and Returns Management. His interests lie in supply chain technology and looking at how supply chains will operate in the next several decades.

Tim Wackel

Founder and President, The Wackel Group
General Session Speaker: The Constant Client: Building Relationships Your Competition Can’t Steal!
Breakout Session Presenter: Stop Pitching, Start Solving: Helping Customers Discover What They Really Want

Tim Wackel is the founder and president of The Wackel Group, a sales training and consulting firm dedicated to helping organizations find, win and keep customers for life. Wackel is one of today’s most popular sales speakers who has mastered the ability to make information entertaining, memorable and easy to understand. He combines more than 30 years of successful sales leadership with specific client research to deliver high-impact programs that go beyond today’s best practices.

Wackel’s keynotes and workshops are insightful, engaging and focused on providing real world success strategies that audiences can (and will) implement right away. His list of clients includes organizations like Allstate, Cisco, Hewlett Packard, Wells Fargo, Lexmark, Philips Medical Systems, Red Hat, as well as many professional and trade associations. He earned his Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Nebraska and currently lives in Dallas where he and his wife raised their two children and are now enjoying more time on the golf course.

Lalit Wadhwa

Vice President, Advanced Analytics, Avnet Inc.
Breakout Session Presenter: Fundamentals of Blockchain and Its Impact on the Electronics Industry

Lalit Wadhwa is vice president of Advanced Analytics at Avnet. Based in Phoenix, his team is responsible for continually improving customer experience, revenue and margin opportunities by embedding pervasive analytics into business processes. His responsibilities also include implementing Big Data infrastructure, building vendor partnerships, executing intelligent automation initiatives and delivering promised benefits.

Wadhwa is a 29-year Avnet veteran with more than two decades of global supply chain operations, procurement, materials management and hardware product design experience. He is a trained and certified SCOR-Professional – having undergone the educational practicum offered by the Supply Chain Operations Reference model (SCOR), the world’s leading supply chain framework. Mr. Wadhwa is passionate about leveraging the Python and R languages for advanced analytics, visualization and machine learning. Wadhwa holds a B.E., Electronics and Communications, from Delhi University in India.

Nicki Weiss

President, Saleswise
Breakout Session Presenter: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

Nicki Weiss is an internationally recognized Certified Professional Team, Executive, Leadership and Sales Coach, Master Trainer, consultant, strategist, thought leader, speaker, and facilitator. Since 1992, her programs have served over 30,000 business leaders, managers, sales teams, and reps. SalesWise’s focus is to help sales leaders and their teams become higher functioning, and to cultivate a healthy culture that allows them to achieve excellent results. Weiss has a particular passion for working with manufacturers’ reps, distributors, and manufacturers who are involved in long, complex sales.

Weiss is the leadership and sales consultant to many manufacturers’ rep associations, including ERA, MANA, ECIA, IHA, PTRA, IHRA, Auto Care Association, and others. She is the brainchild and facilitator of the outstanding series of ongoing teleforum programs for these associations, which have run monthly since 2007. Weiss is a regular columnist for ERA’s The Representor and MANA’s Agency Sales.

Weiss is the founder of the SalesWise Academy. Every day, managers and leaders wake up knowing they and their sales team need to sharpen their focus and their skills. And yet, these managers don’t necessarily have the tools, programs, resources or patience to continuously train and coach sales, communication, relationship building, and strategy skills. The SalesWise Academy provides powerful and relevant content, tools, and support to develop sales people, sales teams, and sales managers/leaders. The program offers “bite sized “ learning you can easily digest and access on the go – no need to take time out of the field or pay for flights and hotels. The SalesWise Academy is the competitive edge your sales team needs to continuously drive more revenue…more easily and with more fun.

Bryan White, CPMR

Vice President of Sales, Catalyst Sales Inc.
Breakout Session Panelist: Getting Your Message to the Customer

Bryan White, CPMR, joined Catalyst Sales Inc., in 2011 as a sales engineer, before moving to his current role of vice president of sales three years ago. White has 20+ years of sales experience, in a wide range of industries including pharmaceutical and construction materials. He enjoys managing the day to day sales at large corporations along with leading his sales team to further growth and success and excels at developing and managing the relationships at all levels of the buying process. Using these sales skills along with the skills obtained in earning his CPMR he continues to help Catalyst Sales grow and expand. White graduated from the University of Toledo with a B.S. degree.

Barry Wright

Senior Partner, Grosvenor Training and Consulting
Breakout Session Presenter: Negotiate Like a Champion and Stop the Race to Zero

Barry Wright relocated to the U.S. from his native England on the 4th of July a few years back, after his remarkable success as one of the U.K.’s top salespeople. With 10 years of sales success behind him as a “quota-buster” in the highly competitive office equipment/supplies industry with Xerox, Pitney Bowes, IBM, and VGC Corp., he transitioned his skills of sales and leadership expertise to coaching and training others.

Now, as senior partner at Grosvenor Training and Consulting, Wright brings his warm, dynamic, and entertaining teaching style to the arena of sales management, negotiation, and leadership training. He has facilitated more than 1,300 developmental and breakout workshops along the way providing skill building across many business types, with a few clients who taught him a thing or too. Introduced to electronics component with the EDS Summit’s SPARK program he has made a few new friends, who all have a story to tell of his practical, easy to apply approach.

Wright was educated at the school of hard knocks, is well traveled, now residing in Los Angeles.

As a lively presenter, coach, and role model for leadership, Wright is guaranteed to keep everyone engaged. An original thinker, he is always ready to challenge existing processes and help his students actually do new and better actions for improving the bottom line.

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