2020 ERA Conference Committee Announces Tuesday General Session Topics and Speakers


Nov. 6, 2019
Contact: Neda Simeonova / Communications Director / nsimeonova@era.org

2020 ERA Conference Committee Announces Tuesday General Session Topics and Speakers

The Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) Conference Committee has announced the two Tuesday, Feb. 25, General Sessions topics and speakers at the upcoming 2020 Conference — “Takin’ it to the Streets: Succeeding in a Dynamic Market.”

Sam Richter, an internationally recognized expert and speaker on sales, marketing and technology whose award-winning experience includes building innovative technology, sales and marketing programs for start-ups and some of the world’s most famous brands, will present the Tuesday morning general session, “The Secrets to Sales Growth.”

Richter is founder and CEO of SBR Worldwide/Know More! and SVP/Chief Marketing Officer at ActiFi, a software and solutions firm serving the financial services industry. For more than six years, Richter was president of the James J. Hill Reference Library in St. Paul, Minn., where he led the transformation of an 85-year-old private, non-profit business research organization into a nationally renowned institution serving entrepreneurs and small businesses via cutting edge online resources.

Richter’s high-energy and motivating presentation will cover: How to find information in ways that you never thought possible including existing lead lists, inside information on companies and industries, and personal information on prospects and clients; how to use social media as a powerful sales and competitive “intelligence agent,” and how to access the “Invisible Web” to find information that most think is not available online; how to leverage information to ensure relevancy, gain permission to ask challenging questions and provide ongoing value to both prospects and clients; and much more.

“We are excited to have Sam Richter speak at the upcoming ERA Conference,” said Conference Committee Chair Mike Swenson, CPMR, Mel Foster Company. “His background in sales intelligence, along with a high energy delivery, will make this an informative and entertaining session.”

2020 Conference Co-Chair Craig Anderson, CPMR, Sumer Inc., added, “Sam’s dynamic motivational sessions have made him a top-rated national speaker. We’re excited to have Sam as a speaker and anticipate a great session.”

Michael Knight, President of the TTI Semiconductor Group and Senior Vice President of Business Development at TTI Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, will once again deliver the 2020 ERA Conference closing general session.

His presentation, “The Electrifying Future of Transportation,” will offer attendees a glimpse into the not-so-distant future where the news, and increasingly streets, are full of electric cars which are poised to become one of the biggest drivers of the electronics component industry as their production levels eclipse that of internal combustion engines. Beyond cars, all manner of transportation is moving to electric motors. If it rolls, floats or flies, it is in the process of being electrified and this presentation will examine the state of the current industry, associated timelines and projections, the ramifications for the electronic component supply chain, and the needs and technology enablers that are driving the evolution from fossil fuel to electric powered vehicles.

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.

“We are thrilled that Michael Knight is returning to speak at the ERA Conference,” Swenson said. “The feedback on his past sessions made him an obvious choice for the 2020 conference. His presentation style, along with his expertise, will make this a must-see session.”

Anderson added, “Michael has been one of ERA’s highest rated conference speakers and we look forward to his insights on the electronification of the transportation industry.”

General Session Sub-Committee Co-Chair, Mark Conley, president and CEO of O’Donnell Associates North Inc., commented on the 2020 ERA Conference general session topics and speakers: “As part of the general session conference planning team, it was truly enriching to evaluate speakers from all over and determine which of them had pertinent ideas and take-aways for our unique audience. I’m very pleased with the speaker panel that we have chosen as each has a different perspective on our business and I am sure our conference attendees will enjoy the speakers as much as we enjoyed carefully choosing them.”

The 2020 Conference will take place Feb. 23-25, 2020, at the AT&T Conference Center in Austin, Texas. For more information on the conference schedule or to register, visit https://era.org/era-events/era-conference/.

About ERA
The 84-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.