News Beat - Summer 2015

Summer 2015 News Beat


The ERA Conference Committee has announced that the keynote presentation at the 47th Management and Marketing Conference will be delivered by author and consultant Scott Klososky. The conference theme is “Smart Solutions: Navigating the Connected World,” and the keynote program is titled “Building Relationships in a Connected World.” Digi-Key Electronics is the Keynote Sponsor.

Klososky is the former CEO of three successful start-up companies who now consults with clients and speaks to many types of audiences around the world on technology integration, business culture and over-the-horizon trends. His firm, Future Point of View (, helps clients optimize their use of technology and human effort to create significant competitive advantage. He is also the author of The Velocity Manifesto, Enterprise Social Technology and The Manager’s Guide to Social Media. His new book, to be published before the conference, is Did God Invent the Internet?

The ERA Conference is scheduled from the evening of Feb. 28 through the afternoon of March 1, 2016, at the University of Texas AT&T Conference Center in Austin. Details about the event, including online registration forms, sponsorship information and a video clip from a previous Klososky appearance, are available at Conference Updates.


As of July 1, Mark Larson, the president and chief operating officer of Digi-Key Electronics for the last 39 years and the leader of the company for most of its existence, stepped away from his executive position and on to the company’s board as vice chairman and advisor. He has been succeeded by Dave Doherty, a 30-year veteran of the electronics industry who came to Digi-Key seven years ago and was most recently the firm’s executive vice president of operations. He will now report directly to Ron Stordahl, the company owner. It was Stordahl who recruited Larson, his high school friend, to help him run the business side of his fledgling distribution firm in Thief River Falls, Minn.

Larson’s hands-on role in building Digi-Key – from $800,000 in annual sales to $1.76 billion and with a crrent workforce of 3,400 employees – is well-known and borders on legendary. “It’s certainly been an amazing ride,” Larson said. “Over the past 39 years, I’ve enjoyed the daily challenges of adapting and improving our business to better serve our customers … Looking forward, as the industry continues to evolve, Digi-Key is well-positioned for the next stage, and I’m extremely confident in the future of the company with Dave Doherty at the helm.”


The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) is urging frequent fliers to apply for its trusted traveler program in order to shorten airport security lines and allow the agency to focus more on travelers who might pose some sort of threat. Various airlines have their own pre-check-in programs, and TSA offers its Pre√ system, which permits travelers to go through airport security in expedited fashion, i.e., with shorter lines, while wearing shoes and belts, with computers in bags and with all-around less inconvenience. More than a million travelers have registered thus far. For details go to


The Manufacturers’ Representatives Educational Research Foundation (MRERF) has two more Certified Sales Professional (CSP) courses scheduled for this year. They will be held in Chicago on Sept. 15-18 and in Portland, Ore., on Oct. 6-9. The foundation’s Certified Professional Manufacturers’ Representative (CPMR) course and its Manufacturers’ Best Practices (MBP) course are next slated to run in early January 2016 in Austin, Tex. For information on all MRERF’s educational offerings, visit


The wearables market maintained its upward trajectory in the first quarter of 2015 as new vendors, including Apple, prepared to enter the market, according to a Business Wire report. A new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker estimates that 72.1 million wearable devices will be shipped in 2015, up a strong 173.3 percent from the 26.4 million units shipped in 2014. Shipment volumes are expected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42.6 percent over the five-year forecast period, reaching 155.7 million units shipped in 2019.