Someone You Should Know: Lori Bruno
Vice President and Regional Distribution Sales Manager Luscombe Engineering Company of San Francisco
With so many ERA members, it is not easy to get to know every rep, manufacturer and distributor in the business.“Someone You Should Know” is The Representor department that gives readers the chance to learn about fellow ERA members, including how their time is spent both in and out of the office.
Meet Lori Bruno, VP and regional distribution sales manager for Luscombe Engineering Company of San Francisco.The Representor asked Amy a few questions about her time in the electronics distribution business and her experiences with ERA. Here is what she had to say.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and have lived in Fremont, Calif., since I was 10 years old. Today, I live within a mile of where I grew up! I went to college after marriage and having my two children. I have a B.A. in human development and took master’s level courses in counseling psychology. I wanted to become a marriage and family therapist, but as I was doing my internships, I realized it was not the right career for me.
What are some things you enjoy outside of the workplace?
I have a large circle of friends and family I enjoy spending time with. My husband and I love entertaining and host most holidays annually. I also love to cook (anything Italian), gardening, walking our rescue dog, Violet, and reading.
How long have you been an ERA member and how long in the rep business?
I have been in the rep business for six years and a member of ERA the entire time.
How did you become interested in being a rep in the electronics industry?
I actually “fell into” the electronics industry. I was dating a man who thought I would be great in sales and introduced me to the area manager at Time Electronics in San Jose, Calif. With no industry or sales experience, I was hired on the spot because I had “moxie.” Most of my work experience has been on the distribution side of the house as an account manager (TTI, Avnet). After I was laid off from Avnet in 2013, I took a few months to clear my head and figure out my next move. My husband owns Luscombe Engineering Company of San Francisco (LECSF) and needed a distribution sales manager. After many discussions, we thought we would give it a try, and six-plus years later, I must say, I have the BEST job ever, with a boss I can actually say I love!
What have you found to be most rewarding about the rep business?
I love being a resource to people, putting the pieces of the puzzle together. I work as a liaison between our suppliers and our distributors. Because I have worked on the distribution side of the business, I understand the value proposition that distribution brings, and I can help create solutions that fit the needs of the customer. This business is all about the people. That to me is the most rewarding part; knowing people for many years who have become friends.
Briefly describe your rep firm.
LECSF has been in existence since 1954 and was solely owned by Jim Luscombe. John Latimer took over ownership in 1972. At that time, all Luscombe Companies became independent. LECSF is primarily an IP&E manufacturers’ rep firm, but we are now entering the world of semiconductors with the addition of SMC-Diodes to our line card. LECSF covers Northern California and Nevada.
What recent innovations, best practices and/or changes has your firm made?
In the past two years, LECSF has implemented a new CRM system from Repfabric. We have also begun a mail campaign program to send targeted emails to our customers. We are marketing and branding ourselves to show the new LECSF. We built an entirely new website in the last year, changed the company logo after 30+ years and are just “thinking outside the box,” especially in light of COVID-19 and our new normal. But honestly, our best investments have been in our people. We have a great group of sales engineers, from millennials to seasoned pros.
What have you learned and/or what contacts have you made through ERA that have had the greatest positive impacts on you and/or your business?
I cannot begin to express how much I have learned from other ERA members; it’s very different than the distribution world. Reps really are a “band of brothers” and I feel a great sense of camaraderie; it makes me feel we are not alone in our pursuits. I have made new friends, who I believe will be in my life for many years to come. I have especially loved participating in the planning of the ERA Conferences in 2019 and 2020.
Are you active on social media? Do you follow ERA?
I am active on all social media platforms. I absolutely follow ERA and often re-post articles on both the LECSF and my personal LinkedIn page and Facebook. I primarily got on Facebook to follow my children (and their friends) but it has now morphed into a platform for me where I share recipes and pictures of cute dogs and babies.
What is one interesting fact that people may not know about you?
I was on Ding Dong School, billed as the “nursery school of the air” when I was three years old. Ding Dong School was the precursor to Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and was aired on national NBC syndicates.