Spring 2021 – 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.
Congratulations, ERA Chapters of the Year!
During the 2021 ERA Virtual Conference, held March 1-3, the Electronics Representatives Association (ERA) announced the chapters that have been selected as Chapters of the Year award recipients for their 2020 activities. This year, the awards are based on three categories: Education, Membership and Networking.
The award recipients were:
• Education: Carolinas ERA Chapter for its series of Networking Lunches.
• Membership: Chicagoland-Wisconsin ERA Chapter for its email campaign initiative focusing on former ERA members to promote upcoming chapter events.
• Networking: Arizona ERA Chapter for its Water Cooler event: Thriving in Today’s Economy.
New this year, each award recipient will receive one conference attendee registration for the 2022 ERA Conference in Austin, Texas.
Carolinas ERA (CERA) continues its bi-monthly networking virtual breakfast meeting. Once again, the chapter is issuing three scholarships in 2021. CERA would like to extend a special thank you to the 30 contributors to the Carolinas’ Virtual Memorial Golf Tournament hosted last quarter, which raised 68 percent of the previous year’s donations. CERA announced the awarded scholarships during its annual DTAM meeting, which was held virtually on March 22. Two additional donations were made to the American Cancer and American Heart associations. The chapter also is thankful for the generous donations during a very challenging year, which will allow it to continue this very worthy cause.
Chicagoland-Wisconsin ERA is continuing its 2021 monthly virtual meeting series, “There’s No Such Thing as a No-Sale Call.” The January event featured Jack Belford of Chicago Leadership Partners. The topic was “How to Plan for Success in 2021.”
Florida-Sunshine ERA announced the addition of Kim Brookshire to its board. Brookshire is the Southeast Area Manager for Hughes-Peters. The chapter looks forward to her contributions as a Board Member of Distribution Services.
The chapter was pleased to host an industry golf event in the Tampa, Florida, market in March. Forty participants, including customers, suppliers, distributors and reps, were in attendance. This was the third installment of a quarterly golf event and the chapter’s first-ever event in Tampa.
The chapter also announced its annual DTAM presentation, scheduled for May 18 at 4 p.m. EDT. This annual event will be held both virtually and in person from Dubsdread Golf Club in Orlando, Florida. For those unable to attend in-person, there will be a simulcast available online. The chapter looks forward to seeing everyone at that time.
In March, the chapter hosted its own Water Cooler session. It was well attended with all reps providing input on issues related to the ever-evolving rep model, rep firm operational issue advice and best practices. The chapter plans to meet again virtually in six to eight weeks. These calls are key for the chapter as most members tend to touch the automotive industry and the somewhat unique issues that go along with supporting that particular segment.
The chapter has monthly BYOB (bring your own breakfast) virtual meetings planned through 2021. The March event topic was “Major Impacts, Changes and Adaptations in the Last Year”, which featured guest speakers Craig Sanderson, VP Supplier Marketing and Product Management of Sager Electronics and Scott Lindberg, Vice President of Quell Corporation.
Northern California ERA announced the addition of three new chapter members: Linear Systems, Tim McCune – President and CEO; Power10 Sales, Ally Bocchieri – President; and SD Technology Group, Samuel Dahan – President and Tejesh Makanawala – Director of Engineering.
The chapter kicked off 2021 by supplying members with a well-constructed presentation by Ian Trevelyan, Taarcom on the topics of “Reps Value” and “Why Choose a Rep.” The chapter also sponsored 25 seats for the annual “Joint Venture State of the Valley” event. The State of the Valley is an old-fashioned, townhall-style meeting, a tradition at least as old as our nation’s founding, when concerned citizens met on the village green to mobilize for the challenges ahead.
The chapter is busy planning additional events in 2021, one of which included an all-chapter event in April featuring a presentation by ERA Consultant John Simari on new ways to prepare for a Quarterly Planning Session QPS vs. QBR. Additionally, virtual monthly meetings focusing on DTAM, panel discussions with engineers and purchasing, a presentation on the health of the local economy, and discussions of distribution in this new reality are all being planned.
The chapter’s website is undergoing a facelift with the goal to have the site completed in late Q2.
Southern California (SoCal) ERA sustains its commitment to the manufacturers’ representative model and its promotion. The chapter continues to provide education, networking opportunities and a commitment to professionalism.
This spring, the chapter has implemented a virtual breakfast meeting, BYOC (Bring Your Own Coffee), as a monthly networking event. Results have been exceptional. Many business topics are discussed, and the collective wisdom of the participants is shared.
SoCal ERA also has continued its monthly virtual educational meetings. This spring, the chapter has conducted two virtual meetings; the first provided a rep agreements update, new tax information and what’s new about 1099 contract workers; the second featured a presentation, “Marketing Your Agency on LinkedIn,” by Ted Robison, “Mr. Link-Me-In.”
In March many SoCal ERA members attended the 2021 ERA Virtual Conference which were very valuable and informative.
The chapter will continue to host its monthly virtual breakfast and educational meetings. There are valuable topics planned to educate chapter members and the larger rep community.
SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS
The Spirit of St. Louis Chapter of ERA has been Zooming! In-person luncheons have been halted until further notice, but the chapter has had good attendance in its online meetings. The chapter has been getting attendees from the Heart of America ERA Chapter covering Kansas and Nebraska. This chapter is seeing a resurgence with new rep firm owners taking interest. The Spirit of St. Louis Chapter’s Electronic Tabletop Show has been postponed again until Oct. 19, 2021, and it may be rescheduled to April 2022 as some customers are still not allowing outside contact.