Representor Spring 2019 - News Beat

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News Beat


The Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) has announced that its board of directors elected new national officers for the 2019-2021 term during its Feb. 27, 2019, meeting. They are: chairman of the board – Dave Norris of Norris & Associates; president – Chuck Tanzola, CPMR, of the Fusion Sourcing Group; senior vice president / fiscal and legal – John O’Brien, CPMR, of Coakley, Boyd and Abbett; senior vice president / education – Tom Griffin, CPMR, of Catalyst Sales Inc.; senior vice president / membership – Cameron English, CPMR, of English Technical Sales Southwest; senior vice president / industry – Bob Evans, CPMR, of EK Micro; and senior vice president at large – David Fitzgerald of WESCO Sales Group Inc.

Griffin, English and Fitzgerald are new members of the association’s executive committee. Norris succeeds the outgoing chairman, Dan Parks, CPMR, of West Electronic Solutions, who concluded seven years as a national officer. The continuing executive committee members are: Ken Bellero, president of Schaffner EMC Inc., the manufacturer delegate; Chris Beeson, executive vice president of sales and supplier management for Digi-Key Electronics, the distributor delegate; and ERA CEO Walter Tobin, who serves as an ex officio member.


ERA announced that David Norris, president of Norris & Associates Inc. of Hingham, Mass., is the 13th recipient of the Ray Hall Spirit of ERA Award. Norris is the association’s current chairman of the board and has served on the ERA Executive Committee since 2004.

The Ray Hall Spirit of ERA Award was established in 2004 to honor the late Ray Hall, who served as CEO of ERA for almost 40 years. The award recognizes individuals who exemplify the spirit of ERA through their commitment to serving and advancing the professional field sales (manufacturers’ representative) function. Norris was nominated for the award by Cameron English.

“I am honored and deeply moved to have been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Ray Hall Spirit of ERA Award,” Norris said. “Ray was the driving force behind ERA for most of my nearly four decades as a member. All that I know about the rep business I have learned through the generosity and support of fellow ERA members. Ray led the charge as the ERA community grew and expanded its reach and relevance during his tenure as CEO. I only wish he was still with us so that I could thank him for all he did for our industry and for the professionalism of manufacturers’ representatives.”


At its 50th Anniversary Conference, held in Austin, Texas, Feb. 24-26, ERA presented the third annual Tess Hill Award to Bob Evans, CPMR, president of EK Micro in Rolling Meadows, Ill.

Evans was recognized for his nearly 20 years of contribution to ERA at the chapter and national levels, his long-standing commitment to education as the current chair of the Chapter Leadership Council, and his service to both the Chicagoland-Wisconsin Chapter and the ERA Executive Committee.

This award was created in 2017 to honor Tess Hill, a long-time ERA staff member. It recognizes individuals for their longevity of service to ERA, for inspiring volunteerism in its highest form and for their dedication to ERA’s educational mission.

“To say that it was humbling for me to receive an award bearing Tess Hill’s name, and one previously bestowed upon Tess and Kathie Cahill, would be a gross understatement,” Evans said. “In my mind, they have always been foundational figures of ERA, setting a standard of excellence rarely equaled. To be mentioned in their company was an amazing surprise to me, for which I am very grateful.”


Mark Larson, vice chairman of Digi-Key Electronics was presented ERA’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award at the association’s 50th Anniversary Conference in Austin. The award was created to recognize individuals who play an integral role in supporting the manufacturers’ representative model in the electronics industry.

When notified of the award, Larson commented, “The success that Digi-Key has enjoyed, growing from a tiny electronic component distributor to become the fourth largest distributor in North America and the fifth largest distributor in the world, has not happened by accident. Its growth is the result of the natural synergies that are inherent in the three-point sales relationship of the manufacturer, the manufacturers’ rep and the unique business model that Digi-Key created. It has been personally very rewarding to have had a part in creating this remarkably efficient sales relationship that serves the customer with minimal redundancy and minimal sales channel conflict. We often speak of “win-win” situations, or better yet, “win-win-win”. But amazing as it may seem, we have created a “win-win-win-win” — a win for the manufacturer, a win for the rep, a win for Digi-Key, and most important of all, a win for the customer.”