March 3, 2020
Source: Electronics Representatives Association
At the 2020 ERA Conference, held in Austin, Texas, Feb. 23-25, the Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) presented the Fourth Annual Tess Hill Award to Karin Derkacz, Executive Assistant at ERA.
Derkacz service to ERA started when she joined the organization in September 1970. During her nearly 50 years at ERA, she has held various roles including executive assistant to the CEO; managing the planning and implementation of all meetings of the national executive committee national board and staff; coordinating the registration process, exhibitor participation and hotel room reservations for all national conferences and assisting with all ERA White Pin events; serving as office manager for the 40+ years of her tenure that ERA maintained an office in downtown Chicago; maintaining the ERA membership and other databases and issuing all related reports; coordinating ERA’s Lines Available service; and many more.
The award was created in 2017 to honor Tess Hill, a long-time ERA staff member. It recognizes individuals for their longevity of service to ERA, for inspiring volunteerism in its highest form and for their dedication to ERA’s educational mission.
Bob Evans, CPMR, of EK Micro, who presented the award to Derrkacz, said: “This prestigious award is a great tribute to Karin who has dedicated five decades to ERA. Over the years, one of Karin’s less known but key roles at ERA has been her direct connection with the organization’s members, acting as the ‘voice of ERA.’ She answers the phone to connect with everyone reaching out to the association for any reason. She is the main ERA “touchpoint” for countless former and retired members, including many multi-generation ERA families.”
“I would never have entertained the idea that I could be the recipient of the Tess Hill Award,” Derkacz said. “Tess educated me on ERA, and to this day, she is still there for me. I am blessed to have her as my friend and honored to receive this award.”
ERA CEO Walter E. Tobin added, “I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award than Karin. She uses her personal outreach, one individual at a time, to serve both current and past ERA members. Because of the personal contacts she maintains, she is a treasure trove of information about ERA’s history, and even more importantly, her outreach gives former members a sense of still belonging to the ERA family.”
The 85-year-old Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) is the international trade organization for professional field sales companies in the global electronics industries, manufacturers who go to market through representative firms and global distributors. It is the mission of ERA to support the professional field sales function through programs and activities that educate, inform and advocate for manufacturers’ representatives, the principals they represent and the distributors who are reps’ partners in local territories. For more information about ERA, visit era.org.