ERA Talks

ERA Monthly Podcast Series

ERA Talks

ERA introduces its new monthly podcast series, ERA Talks. The series will feature informative and educational interviews with industry leaders in a quick conversational format.

Episodes of ERA Talks are available in the media player below, as well as on various key podcast networks allowing listeners to tune in at their convenience, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music and our newest channel on iHeart Radio.

Listen to the ERA Talks channel!

Digital Marketing: What Do Manufacturers’ Sales Reps Need To Know Today?

Tune in to the latest episode of ERA Talks which tackles the hot topic of digital marketing. Listen in on this valuable discussion between ERA’s CEO, Walter Tobin, and guest, Tim Kilfoil, President of JF Kilfoil Co., regarding the benefits of today’s many digital marketing tools that are available for low to no-cost to manufacturers’ sales reps and the advantages of implementing these tools. Tim offers useful insights on how to get started on a digital marketing path and why sales reps today should be embracing this way of selling and connecting. Plus, Tim provides a realistic digital marketing action plan that can be implemented with ease.

A Preview of the 2022 ERA Virtual Sales Training Event

October 2022

Tune in to the latest ERA Talks podcast, hosted by Walter Tobin, ERA CEO, and featuring a discussion with Holly Good of Cornell Dubilier Electronics, Holly Myers, CPMR, of Genie Group, and Chris Straube, of Straube Associates Inc., to get a sneak peek of the 2022 ERA Virtual Sales Training – an online educational initiative to be hosted live Oct. 4 – 6.

In this episode, you will learn more about the Virtual Sales Training event, its benefits and goals. The group will provide answers to such questions as: what audience is this training targeting, how will the program differ from the 2021 training, what are the sessions that will be presented, what takeaways will the sessions provide, who is presenting the training, and how this training is different than other industry training being offered?

On the fence about attending this event? Interested in learning more of what this ERA educational opportunity has to offer? Tune in today to get more information! And we hope to see you online at the event in October.

Learn much more about the ERA Virtual Sales Training, and easily register online, here.

2022 White Pin Mark Motsinger Internship

June 2022

Tune in to the latest ERA Talks podcast featuring Ellen Coan, CPMR, of CC Electro Sales Inc., and ERA Executive Committee SVP of Education, Cameron English, CPMR, of English Technical Sales, and Aparna Sproelich, BSME, CPMR, of Aurora Group.

In this episode, you will learn about this new initiative from ERA that was launched as a way to help the rep community attract, hire and retain college graduates into the rep model to keep the electronics industry fresh and relevant. Cameron and Aparna, whose companies are recipients of the inaugural scholarships available for 2022, share their stories regarding how they found their interns, along with how they are training their interns, and how their interns have already helped to benefit and contribute to their businesses.

Learn much more about the White Pin Internship Program online here.

2021 COLT Update

October 2021

Tune in to the latest ERA Talks podcast featuring ERA CEO Walter Tobin, Cam English, CPMR, President of English Technical Sales / ERA Sr. VP Industry, and Bob Evans, who recently retired as President of EK Micro and who has supported ERA for over 20 years at the chapter and national levels, including as former chair of the ERA Chapter Leadership Council.

This episode provides an update of the upcoming ERA Chapter Officers Leadership Training (COLT), which will be held virtually from Nov. 3 – 5, 2021.

COLT is a hands-on instructional program focused on chapter management and planning tactics. The program is a vital tool in chapter planning for chapter managers, board members and anyone taking a chapter leadership role.

For more information about COLT or to register to attend, visit

A Sneak Peek of the 2021 ERA Virtual Sales Training Event

September 2021

On this episode of ERA Talks, Walter Tobin, CEO of ERA, Erin Collins, Events Coordinator of ERA and special guest Ellen Coan, Vice President Operations at C C Electro Sales, a second generation Electronics rep in the Midwest, and Sr. Vice President/Education of the ERA Board discuss the upcoming ERA Virtual Sales Training Event.

This premier event will be hosted online, Sept. 21-23, 2021, and is specifically designed for frontline sales professionals. The program offers nine robust 75-minute educational sales training modules covering an array of topics for 11 total hours of training.

Tune in for a sneak peek of the event program, sessions and speakers.

For more information or to register, visit ERA Sales Training.

The Value of the Rep Model for Manufacturers

August, 2021

On this episode of ERA Talks, ERA CEO Walter Tobin discusses “The Value of the Rep Model for Manufacturers” with ERA consultants Cesare Giammarco and John Simari.

Giammarco and Simari offer insights into the seven key attributes of the Rep Model value proposition to manufacturers: Expertise, Flexibility, Advocacy, Control, Market Coverage, Affordability and Demand Creation.

Navigating Disruption with Avnet

July, 2021

In the latest episode of ERA Talks, Walter Tobin, CEO of ERA, and special guest Phil Gallagher, CEO of Avnet, discuss “How Avnet Helps Its Customers and Suppliers Navigate Disruption.”

TTI 2021 Initiatives and Beyond

June, 2021

In this episode of ERA Talks, Walter Tobin, CEO of ERA and special guest John Drabik, Senior Vice President Sales and Product Marketing – Americas at TTI, discuss TTI’s initiatives in 2021 and beyond.

Increasing Productivity With Existing Tools

March, 2021

This episode features Patrick Knoelke, Partner and Founder of Spyre Group. Spyre Group, a digital design and technology company, and Silver-level Microsoft Partner.

In this episode, Patrick discusses the unique features of Microsoft 365 and properly using the applications that many are already paying for but not fully utilizing. Utilizing the applications’ full potential helps create a more organized and timely system for daily tasks.

SPARK: Igniting Talent in the Industry

December, 2020

The Spark Pro­fes­sion­al Devel­op­ment Pro­gram is designed to help up-and-com­ing professionals advance their careers in the elec­tron­ics com­po­nents indus­try.

This episode of ERA Talks features John O’Brien, VP of Coakley, Boyd and Abbett, and a member of the Spark Planning Committee, as well as Jennifer Smith, President of JMS Synergy and the Spark Director.

Tune in to ERA Talk’s 10th episode, to learn more about the history, program growth, curriculum and how to attend.

A Peek Behind the Curtain of the 2021 ERA Virtual Conference

November, 2020

Planned by more than 50 hardworking ERA member volunteers, the 2021 ERA Virtual Conference will be the 52nd conference and the first virtual conference in the history of ERA. This episode of ERA Talks focuses on the new virtual platform of the conference, what to expect, the committee make-up, takeaways, and more.

Tune in and get a peek behind the curtain as Stephanie Tierney, Membership Director for ERA, interviews Erin Collins, Event Coordinator for ERA, as well as Conference Committee Chair Craig Anderson, President and Owner of Sumer Inc., and Conference Vice Chair Bryan White, VP of Catalyst Unity Solutions.

Association Collaboration: Women in Electronics

October, 2020

In this episode of ERA Talks, Stephanie Tierney, ERA membership director, interviews Jackie Mattox, founder and president of Women in Electronics (WE).

Tune in to learn more about WE’s gender parity efforts, goals, expansion, history, and the collaboration with industry leaders and associations to better the electronics industry.

A View Through Customers’ Eyes

September, 2020

In this episode of ERA Talks, ERA Membership Director Stephanie Tierney, interviews Moe Elghrawi, Senior Electrical Engineer for Aptiv, and Chad Bryner, Senior Hardware Engineer for Sentient Energy.

This lively discussion focuses on the answers to what customers want and need from a manufacturers’ rep in this new abnormal. Tune in to learn more about what customers really want from the rep community.

Episode 6 – The Academic View of the Rep Model

August, 2020

In this episode of ERA Talks, ERA CEO, Walter Tobin, interviews Dr. George John, Professor and General Mills-Gerot Chair in Marketing for the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

This lively discussion focuses on the academic view of the rep model. Tune in to learn more about the benefits of the rep model, the fractured customer journey, digital transformations, sales trends and more.

Episode 5 – Line Conflict and Resolution Today

August, 2020
In this episode of ERA Talks, ERA Membership Director, Stephanie Tierney, interviews ERA Consultant Cesare Giammarco. Prior to retiring from Honeywell in 2015, Giammarco spent most of his career in field sales management, including 35 years in the electronics component industry.

Giammarco recently authored a white paper, “Line Conflicts: Navigating to a Mutually Beneficial Resolution,” which was featured in the summer issue of The Representor magazine and can be found on the ERA website. This ERA Talks episode dives deeper into the topic! Tune in to learn more!

Episode 4 – The Transformation of the Rep Role

June, 2020
The world has seen a great deal of transformation in the last couple of months and our industry is no different. In this episode of ERA Talks, ERA Membership Director Stephanie Tierney interviews Alan Ahern, President of Crowley Associates, and Mike Swenson, President at Mel Foster Company, about the transformation of the rep role and their plans to improve business in the times ahead.

Episode 3 – EDS Reflections — From the Couch

May, 2020
The month of May in our industry usually brings EDS plans for back-to-back meetings, dinner outings, and a very hectic schedule. But with the EDS Summit canceled this year, ERA members are taking the time to reflect on EDS from home … or from their couches. In this ERA Talks episode, “EDS Reflections — From the Couch,” Stephanie Tierney, Membership Director for ERA, interviews two industry leaders about what they will miss, what they look forward to next year, and how they envision the EDS show in the future. Tune in to hear Don Akery, President at TTI Americas, and Cameron English, President and CEO at English Technical Sales, weigh in on this topic.

Episode 2 – Building Your Brand Awareness In a Remote World

April, 2020
Stephanie Tierney, Membership Director for ERA, interviews industry leaders about building business and brand awareness virtually. Graham Kilshaw, CEO at Lectrix, Rob Tavi (Sohrab Tavakoli), Managing Director at IBS Electronics and Matthew Amato, Global Marketing and Public Relations Manager at IBS Electronics discuss promoting brand image on social networks, using video, webinars and more!

Episode 1 – ERA: Adapting in a Changing World

March, 2020
The first ERA Talks episode is about adapting to change and moving ERA forward in 2020 and features interviews with industry leaders, David Norris, president and owner of Norris and Associates and chairman of the ERA Board of Directors, and Chuck Tanzola, VP of Fusion Sourcing Group and ERA president.