Representor Summer 2020 - Someone You Should Know

Someone You Should Know: Amy Hain

Amy Hain
Director of Global Accounts

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 Amy Hain, director of global accounts for RFMW.

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 Chicagoland. I am the director of global accounts for RFMW, a distributor of radio frequency (RF) and microwave components. I don’t like to sit still. I am always busy doing something, professionally, politically or personally. I am the mother of two teenagers, who are currently exploring options for university (How did that happen so quickly?).

How long have you been in the distribution business?

My time in the distribution industry began in 2007.

How did you become interested in the electronics industry?

It was an evolution, of course. When I was in university, I had no plans to enter into the electronics industry. I was carrying a full course load at school and working full-time as well (in a different industry). A friend of mine was working for an interconnect manufacturer that was growing by leaps and bounds and needed some temporary help with accounting work. He asked if I would help and I declined with fervor, letting him know that I had zero disposable time. He insisted that if you wanted something done, you ask a busy person, and I guess that sold me. I ended up really enjoying the industry. I left my full-time job to stay at that company and ended up working for them for almost 10 years but in a sales role. I moved from manufacturing to distribution in 2007 and love the fact that my role allows me exposure and influence in all areas of the business, functionally and geographically.

What have you found to be most rewarding about the business?

I love being involved in tech and being in a global role. Although tech will continue to present us with ethical challenges, it has the potential to be a great equalizer and I find that exciting, challenging and fulfilling. Being in a global role is also extraordinarily rewarding. As Mark Twain once said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” Connecting with people across regions in a meaningful way has allowed me to celebrate our differences while appreciating the value of our interconnectedness.

Briefly describe your organization.

RFMW is the premier pure-play technical distributor of RF and microwave semiconductors, connectors and components for our customers and suppliers by providing component, value add and design solutions through a focused technical sales and marketing organization.

What recent innovations, best practices and/or changes has your organization made?

Our most significant change would be the acquisition by TTI. Most of us have been through a merger or acquisition and understand that it can be a challenging time. Company cultures can clash, strategies are frequently misaligned, and often, the core competencies of the acquired company are diluted as a result. Fortunately, co-owners Joel Levine and Steve Takaki were experienced enough with M&A to be hyper-sensitive to these variables, when entering acquisition discussions. TTI’s leadership and focused strategy as a specialty distributor have allowed RFMW to remain focused on its core competencies but do so with the additional power and resources needed to more successfully execute on the strategy.

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?

ERA has been a fantastic resource for me. During my first year with ERA, I was able to participate as a panelist at the annual conference. In the second year, I was a member of the breakout sessions committee, and in the third year, I was fortunate enough to be able to co-chair the breakout sessions. The more involved I become with ERA, the more I see the value in the organization. The “big picture” discussions on market trends and best practices are thought-provoking, and ERA members are very focused on tactics as well. We see that our world continues to evolve and agree that we must determine how to continue to provide value as that evolution occurs. On a personal level, I’ve also formed friendships with some amazing people, and I’m grateful to ERA for that as well.

Are you active on social media? Do you follow ERA? Have ERA updates via social media been helpful to you?

I am very active on social media and believe that it is a strong tool in today’s environment. Professionally, I find LinkedIn to be incredibly valuable. Gone are the days when LinkedIn’s primary function was recruitment. It’s a great networking tool. It helps me stay current on supplier and customer news to better understand their needs and how RFMW may provide value in delivering solutions. It’s also a great source of news, as contacts and organizations share product and market trend information, financial results, economic updates and more.

In today’s environment, it’s tough to walk into a customer meeting and conduct research. LinkedIn and other social media outlets help me do that research proactively so that when I conduct the visit, the discussion is targeted and solutions-based. I do follow ERA on LinkedIn, as well as Facebook, and find the information shared to be useful.

What are some things you enjoy outside of the workplace?

I enjoy endurance sports (long-distance running, primarily), travel and reading. I am also very politically active.

What is one interesting fact that people may not know about you?

On the weekends, I am a flying trapeze instructor for TSNY Chicago. If you are in Chicago, come fly with us!