News Beat - Winter 2017

Winter 2017 News Beat


The registration list is growing every day for ERA’s 48th Management and Marketing Conference, scheduled Feb. 26-28, 2017, at the AT&T Conference Center in Austin, Texas. The theme of the conference is “Collaborate, Differentiate, Accelerate! Drive to Excellence.”

The six general sessions on the conference program include: a keynote bringing the theme to life with practical demonstrations by author and humorist Jon Petz; a presentation by Amazon executives on their company’s current and future sales model in the electronics industry; two sessions focusing on demand creation — one featuring a panel of reps, manufacturers and distributors discussing who is, or should be, responsible for what in the demand creation process, and the second consisting of interviews with design engineers about how they manage their varying design cycle processes; an exploration of new energy markets by Gordon Hunter of Littelfuse; and perspectives by Michael Knight of TTI, Inc., covering the upcoming technology changes that will be the sources of electronics industry growth.

Other conference program segments include 14 new breakout seminars, including sessions on rep and principal evaluations, best practices and minimizing conflicts in rep-distributor partnerships, creating and enhancing a company’s digital image, moving missionary lines off ground zero and a human resource management workshop.


The ERA Executive Committee and Board of Directors have two new members with the recent addition of a manufacturer and a distributor to the association’s leadership team. Ken Bellero, president of Schaffner EMC, and Chris Beeson, executive vice president of sales and supplier development of Digi-Key Electronics, have accepted appointments to serve alongside the six rep members who make up the executive committee. (To see full roster of the Executive Committee, click here.) They will attend their first ERA Board meeting in Austin, Texas, on March 1, immediately following the ERA Conference.

ERA CEO Walter Tobin says, “We are thrilled to expand ERA’s Executive Committee with the addition of manufacturer and distributor delegates. This action will benefit all three constituents of our members and continue to build stronger partnerships among reps, manufacturers and distributors in the field.”


The ERA White Pin Group has announced that Buzz Reynolds of Performance Technical Sales in North Carolina is the 2016 recipient of the Jess Spoonts – ERA White Pin Group Scholarship. He was nominated by the Carolinas ERA Board in recognition of his volunteer work as the chapter’s chair of membership activities and in particular for his efforts to reactivate the Dixie Chapter of the association.

The award is named for the late Jess Spoonts, an ERA past president, member of the organization’s Hall of Fame and past coordinator of the White Pin Group. Reynolds will receive a $1,000 grant to be used for continuing education as a professional rep.


The ERA Executive Committee has appointed two new members to the EDS Board. They are Robert Logan, CPMR, of Kruvand Associates, Inc., and Mike Swenson, CPMR, of the Mel Foster Company. They succeed outgoing EDS board members Kathie Cahill, CPMR, of Net Sales Company and Dave Rossi of Empire Technical Associates. The other ERA members on the EDS Board, whose terms are continuing, are Dave Norris of Norris & Associates, Inc., and John O’Brien, CPMR, of Coakley, Boyd and Abbett, Inc. The EDS Board consists of members from its two sponsoring organizations, ERA and the Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA).


ERA mourns the loss in late November of Gary Yantis, the founder of Midtec Associates, Inc., of St. Louis and Kansas City. He was 69 and had served as president of the firm from its establishment in 1977 until 2010 when he retired. Matt Pansing, Midtec’s president, says, “I couldn’t have asked for a better boss for the 27 years I worked for him. He was my mentor and taught me most of what I know about the rep industry.” Memorial donations can be made to the Johnson County Young Matrons Scholarship Fund, 11700 W. 148th St., Overland Park, KS 66221-9654.