Winter 2023 – 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.
The Carolinas ERA continues to stay connected with frequent virtual breakfast and lunch meetings covering a variety of current industry topics. In October, the 19th Annual Memorial Golf Tournament benefitting Carolinas Electronics Representatives (CERA) Scholarship Fund was hosted at a new location, Tot Hill Farm, in Asheboro, N.C. The chapter is proud to put on this annual event, and this year had another great turnout. In December, the chapter hosted an in-person holiday networking lunch event where they discussed the topic “Findings from the Frontlines.”
The Chicagoland-Wisconsin chapter celebrated the holiday season by hosting a members-only happy hour social in December at The Local Kitchen + Tap located in Schaumburg, Ill. Many chapter members took advantage of this opportunity to mix and mingle while also supporting the local Toys for Tots drive. The cost of admission to the event was simply an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. The chapter was proud to hold this great networking event while also bringing joy to children in need.
An event in January featured an interactive, roundtable discussion with fellow reps, distributors and manufacturers on such current topics as: 2023 outlook; principal visits & expectations; coordinating new engineer meetings; and the future of field sales vs. inside sales. Attendees were encouraged to bring their own topics they wanted to discuss.
The Florida-Sunshine ERA Chapter held a virtual training with the topic, “Technology Swap Shop for a New Day” in November. The training was presented by Byron Holloway of Fralia Co. & Associates. The tech swap shop offered a chance to learn about great programs, tips, shortcuts and timesavers from industry peers across the nation. This was an informative training with open dialogue discussing ways to better maximize productivity. The chapter would like to thank Byron for taking the time to present to its members.
The chapter held their 29th annual Space Coast Holiday Happy Hour and Golf Tournament in December at Duran Golf Club in Viera, Fla. The local charity chosen to benefit was Kids Without Christmas, a charity endorsed by the Brevard County Sheriff’s office.
This year’s event brought out 92 golfers and over 100 attendees for the evening prior and lunch following the tournament. Over $10,000 in cash and toys was given to Kids Without Christmas. The chapter was thankful that ERA’s own CEO, Walter Tobin, attended and gave a “state of the union” address to the gathered industry leaders. The chapter thanks each and every member of our community for their generous gifts of time, talents and in a few cases, treasures.
The Minnesota Chapter hosted their first in-person networking event of 2022 in September. Over 20 members had a fun night of socializing at Nine Mile Brewing in Bloomington, Minn.
The New England Chapter of ERA was proud to once again partner with Molex to sponsor an annual holiday event and Toys for Tots Drive in December. The event was held at the Four Points by Sheraton Wakefield Boston Hotel in Wakefield, Mass., and was well attended by reps, distributors and Molex employees. Many toys were donated, and a donation was made to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Thanks to all who helped make this event a great success!
In December, the ERA’s Northern California Chapter celebrated its 75th anniversary with a happy hour event at Puesto in Santa Clara, Calif. The event was a huge success, with over 50 reps, distributors and suppliers in attendance. The atmosphere at Puesto was festive and lively, with guests chatting and laughing as they took advantage of the discounted drinks and appetizers. The event provided a much-needed opportunity for people to connect and socialize after a year of social distancing and isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a memorable evening, and the chapter looks forward to hosting more events like this in the future and bringing together community members to celebrate and have a good time.
The chapter sponsored a “Respect in the Workplace” training via Zoom for all chapter rep members in December. It was a popular event, as the state of California requires all firms of five people or more to have sexual harassment prevention training every two years. Certified trainer Elaine Henderson presented the material in two separate online sessions targeting two groups: managers and supervisors, as well as employees. Managers and supervisors who completed the two-hour interactive training received a certificate, which can be shown to the state to prove compliance. Henderson provided a comprehensive overview of sexual harassment in the workplace, including the various forms it can take and the steps individuals and organizations can take to prevent it. She also discussed the importance of creating a safe and inclusive work environment for all employees. The event also included Q&A sessions, during which attendees could ask questions and engage with the speaker. Overall, the event was well-received, with many attendees expressing appreciation for the valuable information and resources.
The chapter hosted its annual meeting in late January at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Santa Clara, Calif., its first in-person chapter event of the year. During the luncheon, new chapter officers were announced, and the budget was presented to attendees. There was a discussion about upcoming events and other important topics. This was a great opportunity for members of the chapter to come together, network and stay informed about the organization’s plans and activities.
The Southwest chapter was excited to host its first in-person event in their territory since the beginning of the pandemic. Members located in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area were thrilled to gather together at the Southwest Chapter ERA Happy Hour and Canned Food Drive event in November. This event was designed to bring members together and to also benefit the community by asking everyone to bring a donation for the local food bank. Members donated 99 pounds of food, as well as $80, which was all delivered to the North Texas Food Bank – just in time for the holidays. The chapter leaders are so grateful to all members who attended this event, and especially grateful for their generosity!
ERA Southern California presented its 6th annual golf tournament supporting Operation Homefront in November. This yearly industry event offers a chance to socialize, learn about the value of ERA memberships and win great prizes.
In December, the chapter hosted all Southern California ERA members for an end of year planning meeting.
SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS
For the upcoming 2023/2024 years, the Spirit of St. Louis Chapter has elected new chapter officers. They are: President – Veronica Stinnette of F&H Sales; Vice President – Mark Bowers of RW Kunz & Associates; Secretary – Rich Satori of Centech, Inc.; National Delegate – Mike Long of Siptech Sales; and Treasurer – Michael McElhone of ZF Electronic Systems.
Veronica will add great value to the chapter as our new president. She has a “go-getter” attitude and will strive to make us successful over the coming years!
The chapter continued to host lunch meetings the first or second Monday of every other month. Discussions included growing our chapter with suggestions of new members, the local market and guest speakers when they are available. The chapter also hosted a Christmas dinner party and for the first time, two members from Avnet attended. The chapter wishes a happy new year to the ERA family!