Representor Summer 2019 - News Beat

Summer 2019 – News Beat


ERA has announced the appointment of the chair, vice chair and members of the committee tasked with the development of its 2020 Conference, scheduled Feb. 23-25, at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin, Texas.

The chair of the committee is Mike Swenson, CPMR, of Mel Foster Company and the vice chair is Craig Anderson, CPMR, of Sumer Inc. Swenson is a returning committee member.

“It is an honor to chair the upcoming 2020 ERA Conference,” Swenson said. “This do-not-miss event brings together manufacturers’ representatives, distributors and manufacturers, and offers everyone a truly unique opportunity to learn, collaborate and network. I am confident that with the help of my fellow planning committee members we will deliver another outstanding conference program in 2020.”

In addition to Swenson, other returning members of the ERA 2020 Conference Committee are: Amy Hain of RFMW; Joe Braun, CPMR, of EK Micro; John Hutson, CPMR, of The MacInnis Group; John O’Brien, CPMR, of Coakley Boyd & Abbett; Kingsland Coombs, CPMR, CSP, of Control Sales; and Holly Myers, CPMR, of Genie Group.

New members of the committee are: Greg Pace of Ohmite Manufacturing; Mark Conley of O’Donnell Associates North Inc.; Michael Knight of TTI Inc.; Gordon Hunter of Littelfuse; Todd McAtee of Mouser; Steve Cholas of Big Zeta; and Tom Griffin, CPMR, of Catalyst Sales and ERA Sr. VP/Education.

Braun and Knight will serve as co-chairs of the Keynote Committee; Conley and McAtee will serve as co-chairs of the General Sessions Committee; Coombs and Hain will serve as co-chairs of the Breakout Sessions Committee; O’Brien and Pace will serve as co-chairs of the Sponsorship Committee; and Cholas, Hunter, Hutson and Myers will serve as conference advisors.

ERA staff members on the committee are: ERA CEO Walter E. Tobin, Erin Collins, conference coordinator; and Neda Simeonova, communications director.


ERA has added a new service provider, Upright, to its Recognized Resources. Upright is a New York City-based team that supports businesses through web design, development, branding, content strategy and corporate innovations. With diverse backgrounds in the startup tech community, the company provides resources for companies to expand their growth through technology. Upright is familiar with the manufacturer’s rep model and its interaction with their manufacturers and distribution partners.

“Our efforts are led by thoughtfulness and diligence and we place a strong emphasis on meeting the client’s needs,” said Emma Gaedeke, co-founder and lead content strategist of Upright. “We are passionate about helping businesses embrace tech innovation through a powerful digital presence, have a strong understanding of the manufacturer rep model and are excited to assist the members of the ERA.


Sponsorship opportunities are now open for the 2020 ERA Conference, scheduled Feb. 23-25 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin, Texas.

Conference sponsors will have the opportunity to support the conference vital educational programming and networking opportunities, and foster innovation and growth in the industry through increased collaboration among reps, manufacturers and distributors.

This year, sponsors can choose from various sponsorship options, most of which include one or more complimentary registrations for the event. For more details or to register, visit


NPR recently reported that signs are pointing to a coming U.S. recession, according to an economic indicator that has preceded every recession over the past five decades. It is known among economists and Wall Street traders as a “yield curve inversion,” and it refers to when long-term interest rates are paying out less than short-term rates. That curve has been flattening out and sloping down for more than a year, raising worries among some analysts that investors’ long-term view of the market is not positive and that an economic downturn is looming


ERA mourns the loss of Charles “Chuck” Henry Mathias, president of Mathias Associates Inc. in Longwood, Fla. Mathias passed away on June 19, 2019. He was 84.

Mathias served as president and delegate for the Florida-Sunshine Chapter of ERA. He also served as treasurer, and after he retired, he continued to serve the chapter in that capacity until 2018. Mathias also was a 1995 recipient of the Jess Spoonts – ERA White Pin Scholarship Award.

He is survived by his wife Alice Louise Newbolt, his two children, Melonie Louise Hall and Corey Hahn Mathias, and his granddaughter, Deanna Louise Hall.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Wekiva Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir.