2016 is shaping up to be a great year for ERA!

Spring 2016 Executive Commentary

2016 is shaping up to be a great year for ERA!

by Walter E. Tobin, ERA CEO
e: wtobin@era.org
p: 617-901-4088

The conference was a great way to kick off 2016. But wait … there is more to come! The “New Era at ERA” is just beginning. Here is what we have in store for our valued members for the balance of this year.


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Elsewhere in this issue, you will read the From the Top column by ERA President Dan Parks, CPMR, on our 2016 Management and Marketing Conference that was recently held in Austin, Texas. It was truly an outstanding event, so check out Dan’s article to learn more.

The conference was a great way to kick off 2016. But wait … there is more to come! The “New Era of ERA” is just beginning. Here is what we have in store for our valued members for the balance of this year.

EDS: First, we will be “large and in charge” at EDS. Our staff is working diligently with the EDS Board to make EDS 2016 (May 10-13 at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas) the best ever. Our plate is almost 100 percent booked with meetings with current and prospective ERA rep and manufacturer members to continue to spread the word on the value that the manufacturers’ rep sales model provides to our manufacturer and distributor members.

Second, we will be offering a “free lunch” (Who says that there is no such thing? Anything is possible in Vegas!) to any ERA member who brings a non-member to listen to a BRIEF presentation on ERA. And if the non-member joins, both the existing and new ERA member will get a $100 discount off their annual dues. Details on this have been sent to members.

Third, the ERA-ECIA FREE breakfast program on May 12 at 6:45 a.m. (yikes!) will feature guest speaker Don Hnatyshin, senior vice president and chief procurement officer of Jabil. He’ll focus on how Jabil supports the “authorized channel” and share his thoughts on the worldwide manufacturing movement and our need to have strong “digital images.” This is a can’t-miss event.

COLT (Chapter Officers Leadership Training) is coming again this fall. Watch this space for news. Our chapters are fully-engaged and ready to attend this next session.

Electronica: ERA will be in Munich on Nov. 8-11 to help introduce the North American rep model into Europe, the Middle East and Africa — to bridge the gap between the two rep models and to help morph ERA into a global organization. Stay tuned for details.

NEW ERA Rep-Principal Contract – Also in this issue, you will hear from Gerry Newman and Adam Glazer about our new ERA Rep-Principal Model Agreement that has been updated to provide a fair and balanced document for our rep and manufacturer members. This update is both relevant and timely due to the changing landscape of our industry and the consolidations and changes of control that have been occurring over the past several quarters. Give this a strong look see! Gerry and Adam are available as always to help you navigate any legal questions or issues around this contract.

Chapter Events: Whew! I am on the road a lot trying to help the chapters with their local events. Here are some of the places where I’ll be “out and about:”

  • April 5 – Empire State Rep-Distributor Forum (DTAM Event);
  • April 18 – XCOM Meeting in Chicago;
  • May 23 – Carolinas Event;
  • June 20 – Metro New York Golf Event;
  • Aug. 18 – Chicagoland-Wisconsin Cubs-Brewers Baseball Outing.

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I am available to attend your local chapter events as you see fit. I have a BRIEF updated presentation on your ERA and its value proposition to our members as well as near-future projections for our industry. I promise I will not bore your audience!

In addition, many of our chapters are planning local customer events, golf outings, table-top shows and DTAM presentations to help our members with networking, data collection and navigating through these uncertain yet exciting times. The value proposition that ERA offers has never been stronger, more relevant or more needed.

As always, please send me your thoughts, comments, criticisms and suggestions on what you want from ERA. My bags are packed, and my phone is aways ON!

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