Chapter News – Spring 2016

Spring 2016 Chapter News

Chapter News reports the local activities of the 22 chapters of ERA.

The chapters sponsor educational and training workshops, local trade shows, legislative and industry projects to enhance the professionalism of individual members and to advance the goals and mission of the national association.

Congratulations, ERA Chapters of the Year!

Four ERA chapters have been selected as the Chapters of the Year for their 2015 activities and projects. The award recipients and their entries, by category, are:

  • EducationCHICAGOLAND-WISCONSIN for its breakfast round table discussion titled “When Principals Merge: What to Expect, How to Prepare and What to Do (or NOT Do);”
  • Membership and Member Services NEW YORK for its dinner program event that featured a rep-manufacturer-distributor panel discussing present and future developments in the electronics industry;
  • Marketing ServicesSOUTHERN CALIFORNIA for its series of ElectroTech table top shows; and
  • Special ProjectsNEW ENGLAND for its co-sponsorship with ECIA of an all-industry networking and education event that attracted 100+ attendees to hear a presentation regarding technology trends.

Each award recipient receives a full-tuition scholarship to ERA’s Chapter Officers Leadership Training (COLT) program. The Chapter of the Year judges, who reviewed all 14 entries and selected award recipients, are: ERA Senior Vice President/Education Kathie Cahill, CPMR; ERA Senior Vice President/Membership John O’Brien, CPMR; ERA National Delegates Matt Cohen, CPMR (Michigan), and Ellen Coan, CPMR (Indiana-Kentucky); plus ERA CEO Walter Tobin. The Chapter of the Year program is coordinated by Bob Evans, CPMR, chair of ERA’s Chapter Leadership Council.


At the 2016 Carolinas ERA Rep-Distributor Forum, the chapter’s annual territory DTAM report was presented by the project coordinators, Penny Hoglund of the AEM Group and John King of Battleship Technologies. They also reported on the results of a second yearly survey of reps and distributors about their mutual working relationships.

The Carolinas chapter continues to hold networking breakfasts in Charlotte and Raleigh. These events offer a great forum to swap stories and best practices.

The chapter held its annual Rep-Distributor Forum in mid-March at which 32 reps, distributors and guests received the annual territory DTAM report. During the forum, the chapter awarded three $1,000 college scholarships. The recipients are: Sam Winner, son of Dave Winner, CPMR, of SACS, Inc.; Andrew Frank, son of Bud Frank of Avnet, Inc.; and Catherine Gemberling, daughter of Scott Gemberling, also of Avnet, Inc.

Volunteer DTAM coordinators John King of Battleship Technologies and Penny Hoglund of the AEM Group developed the DTAM report. In addition, they conducted and reported on a survey among reps and distributors about their working relationships. The results indicate that reps and distributors are working well together and that cooperation yields increased business.

The chapter’s Annual Rep-Distributor Bowling tournament was slated in mid-April. Coming up is a May 23 program with ERA CEO Walter Tobin as the guest speaker.

On Feb. 4, the chapter hosted an all-industry program with ERA’s CEO, Walter Tobin, as the speaker.

The topic was “How ERA Can Help Reps, Manufacturers and Distributors Adapt to the FUTURE of the INDUSTRY!” The chapter’s breakfast round table in early April focused on an “ERA Conference Wrap-Up: Reviewing Key Take-Aways.” Members who attended the conference each highlighted specific program sessions.

In addition to its events, Chicagoland-Wisconsin has updated its website. A new feature is a section for “Recommended Books.”

The Empire State Chapter held its annual Rep-Distributor Forum and DTAM report presentation in early April. The event featured Leslie Whatley, the executive vice president of START-UP NY, as a guest speaker who delivered content on technology.

The chapter also continues to hold monthly rep-networking functions and recently was represented by three rep firms at the ERA National Conference in Austin, Texas. At the conference, Dave Dasson, CPMR, CSP, of Net Sales Company, was inducted into the ERA White Pin Group, whose members are recognized for national service and volunteerism. Dasson is the current president of the Manufacturers’ Representatives Educational Research Foundation (MRERF).

The Indiana-Kentucky chapter has plans for a Cyber Security lunch meeting in early May. Also on the calendar is a June program with ERA CEO Walter Tobin.

Leaders of New York ERA have been active working on two upcoming events. For the second year, the chapter is working with the local chapter of the IEEE to co-sponsor the 2016 Long Island Systems, Applications and Technology Conference in late April. The event provides the opportunity for reps, distributors and manufacturers to exhibit and demonstrate new products. The conference runs concurrently with technical seminars run by the IEEE. This year, with more advanced planning, the chapter is hoping to triple the attendance. For more information, visit

The second event is coming up on June 20 and will be the chapter’s first Charity Golf Outing. The site is the St. George’s Golf and Country Club in East Setauket, N.Y. Proceeds will go to several charities, including Long Island Cares for the benefit of wounded veterans. The event is open to reps, distributors, OEMs, contract manufacturers and principals. To facilitate registration, the chapter has implemented updates to its website to automate payments (via PayPal) and the collection of attendee information.

Northern California held its annual meeting in early February and also conducted an education class on Feb. 23. In March, an Owners Forum program was also held.

The Southern California chapter has remained active with several table top shows, including the 2016 ElectroTech show in late January and the Panasonic Adjacent – Irvine/Lake Forest Show on March 9. The chapter also hosted an Owners Forum in mid-March that focused on rep best practices. Special presenters for that program were consultant Bryan Shirley, CPMR, and Scott Lindberg, CPMR, of the Quell Corporation.

Spirit of St. Louis members came together in early January for a presentation by guest speaker Bill Holschen, purchasing manager at Becs Technology. He spoke to the group about “Value Added/Value Engineering Turnkey Manufacturing.” The chapter also held a happy hour in January at the Train Wreck Saloon in Westport.

The major event thus far this year for the chapter was the biannual Electronics, Electrical, Engineering and Manufacturing Show on April 6 in Maryland Heights, Mo. The show featured more than 50 exhibit booths and technical seminars.