Representor Fall 2020 - Chapter News

Fall 2020 – 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.

Arizona ERA hosted a Water Cooler virtual meeting in September which featured a panel discussion on “Thriving in Today’s Economy.” The call was moderated by ERA CEO Walter Tobin and featured a panel consisting of a manufacturer, a distributor and an OEM. The discussion focused on the challenges currently facing the Arizona electronics business environment and strategies and concepts of how to succeed in overcoming these challenges. The meeting was open to Arizona Chapter members, as well as Northern and Southern California and Rocky Mountain Chapter members and was attended by more than 80 people.

Carolinas ERA continues to host its virtual bimonthly breakfast meetings. The chapter also held a meeting featuring ERA CEO Walter Tobin as a guest speaker who led a discussion on thriving in the new “abnormal” in September.

Additionally, in lieu of its Carolinas ERA Annual Memorial Golf Tournament, the chapter is hosting an Annual Memorial Fund Raiser, with proceeds benefiting the Carolinas ERA scholarship fund and the American Cancer Society.

Each year, the chapter highlights a local rep or distributor partner lost to cancer. To date, Carolinas ERA has reached almost 50 percent of its goal and is expecting to exceed it later this fall. The chapter thanks all who have contributed thus far; donations are greatly appreciated.

Chicagoland-Wisconsin ERA is continuing its “Coffee is for Closers” virtual series through the rest of the year. The September series topic was “Breaking Through to New Contacts or Target Customers During a Pandemic.” The chapter is planning another virtual meeting in October.

The chapter is hosting a lunch at Squealers BBQ featuring a tour of DIVaero, a new, rapidly growing contract manufacturing company, on Nov. 5. For more information on chapter activities, contact

The Southern California Chapter of ERA continues to hold virtual monthly educational meetings. The chapter’s objective is to help members increase their business skills. This year, Southern California ERA has hosted meetings on diverse subjects covering topics such as which virtual platform is the best choice, line profitability, Excel tips for sellers, and a discussion on the impact of COVID-19 on reps.

The Spirit of St. Louis Chapter met in-person for the first time a few weeks ago for a Chapter luncheon. A third of its members attended, with others joining via a Zoom call. The chapter’s tabletop trade show — “St. Louis Electronic, Electrical, Engineering and Manufacturing Show,” which is traditionally hosted every 18 months, has been rescheduled for the second time and has now been pushed to April 2021.

Many of the chapter’s rep partners are providing webinar training for customers independently or with factory involvement. While most distributors still have travel restrictions, the chapter is reporting that the local markets — specifically healthcare, military and industrial, along with security — are doing very well.

In talking with ERA partners, the chapter agrees there was an initial scare at the start of the pandemic, with customers having to write COVID-19 protocol documentation to add to their employee manuals; however, they are learning how to adapt to today’s business environment.