Expert Access for ERA Members

Industry Experts Available to Members

Free phone consultations are available to ERA members for legal, tax, professional field sales, insurance, management and personnel recruitment advice from ERA’s team of rep-savvy consultants. Click on a title to view details about the expert.

Make sure to visit the ERA Member Services page which lists companies provide services and benefits tailored to meet the needs of ERA members. They have partnered with ERA National and carry the Association’s “Recognized Resource” logo.

Accounting & Taxes

Stan Herzog

847-564-1040
sherzog@theahagroup.com

Legal Issues

Gerald M. Newman

312-648-2300
gerald.newman@sfbbg.com

Executive Services

Carla Mahrt

carla@jjmsearch.com
402-721-6590

Carla Mahrt has held various senior management positions at Tyco Electronics (TE Connectivity), Raychem Corporation and Vishay Intertechnology, including extensive work in sales and channel management.

She has been and is still very active in the electronics industry having served as the president of EDS (Electronic Distributor Summit), a NEDA (now ECIA) board member and ERA program speaker. Carla has also been honored with NEDA’s Distinguished Service Award and is a frequent guest lecturer and speaker for the ASU Polytechnic Campus and ECIA Project Host students.

Services Available

JJM Search is a global executive search firm founded by Carla in 2011. JJM is part of the MRI Network – leaders in the search and recruitment industry for over 40 years. Carla has demonstrated utilization of her vast network of electronics industry contacts to place professionals in all of these categories:

  • Technical Sales
  • C-Level Executives
  • Global Product Management
  • Marketing
  • Supplier Management
  • Sales Management
  • Engineering Professionals
  • Channel Management

Many recruiters claim they are electronics industry experts, but JJM Search offers the expertise of someone who is a proven and accomplished leader with 20 years of experience working for global electronics manufacturers … someone who understands the channel and knows the nuances of the business, allowing her to connect your company with bright, qualified candidates.

JJM Search offers confidential contingency or retained searches – mid to executive level positions at manufacturers, distributors and rep firms.

Insurance & Employee Benefits

John Doyle

888-243-0174
jdoyle@adcbenefits.com

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Sales, Marketing & Business Strategy


Steve Cholas

Email: stevecholas@gmail.com
T: 949-413-1732

Global Electronics Industry Strategist

Steve Cholas is a sales and marketing expert with more than 30 years of experience in the electronics industry who has developed strategic programs for distributors and suppliers globally.

His hands-on experience with industry research and his broad network of associates and colleagues enable him to bring together unique solutions and achieve tangible goals.

Cholas’ passion for the electronic industry started at Electronic Buyers News (EBN) where he was a publisher, and continued as he managed leading brands in the electronics industry such as EET, EDN, EEWeb, Electronic Products and 21ic China — China’s largest technology portal.

Cholas can be reached at stevecholas@gmail.com or 949-413-1732.

Expertise:

  • Marketing strategy
  • Channel expertise
  • Company strategy execution
  • Strategic partnerships
  • Product marketing
  • Company marketing and branding
  • Product development
  • NPI launch
  • Industry research
  • Presentation
  • Sales management and execution

Craig Conrad

Email: crgconrad@yahoo.com
Cell: (817) 917-8268

Craig Conrad has a 35-year career in electronics distribution. He has held various senior corporate positions at TTI Inc., including chief marketing and strategic planning officer (2005-2010), senior vice president of global sales and marketing (1997-2005), and vice president of sales and marketing (1993-1997).

Prior to that, Craig was the vice president of marketing for Hamilton Hallmark where he oversaw the rebranding of Avnet, following a merger between Hamilton Avnet, the industry’s largest distributor and Hallmark Electronics, the industry’s third largest distributor.

He also has extensive experience at Schweber/Lex Electronics, where he held positions as senior vice president of marketing (1988-1990); vice president of semiconductor marketing (1986-1988); regional vice president of Midwest (1983-1986); branch general manager, Atlanta/Huntsville (1979-1983); and product marketing manager, Chicago Branch (1978-1979).

Craig has been actively involved in industry associations and has served on various university advisory boards, including Texas A&M and Texas Christian University. He retired as chairman of NEDA (now ECIA) after a 10-year involvement on the board. Craig also retired as president of EDS in 2009. He holds a B.S. in marketing from Northern Illinois University.

Cesare Giammarco

Email: cesaregiammarco@gmail.com
Phone: 401-595-7331

Cesare Giammarco has been in the field of sales and sales management since 1971, with 35 of those years in the electronic component industry. In those 35 years, he has instituted, managed and integrated manufacturers’ reps globally into multiple organizations.

Starting with Elmwood Sensors in 1984, a privately owned global manufacturer of temperature sensing products, he led successful integration of the rep sales model through four acquisitions of this business, culminating with Honeywell Sensing and Controls in 2002. He retired from Honeywell in May 2015 and is now a special consultant to ERA on best practices to further facilitate the rep sales model.

Over the course of his career, Cesare has been recognized for innovative and mutually beneficial sales rep management practices and procedures that reinforce the rep model with manufacturers.

He holds a B.A. in Economics and an MBA from Bryant University. He resides in Cranston, R.I.

Services Available

For Manufacturers: Goal: Optimize the manufacturers’ rep selling model for long-term growth

  • Rep selection and deployment
  • Establish a balanced Rep performance measurement process based on sales objectives and behaviors to predict future success
  • Rep reward and recognition programs
  • Launching and or managing the Manufacturers sales opportunity management system with your Rep network
  • Establishing and managing a hybrid Vertical market sales organization
  • Integrating the Rep selling model into a merged or acquired organization maximize growth/minimize conflict
  • Optimizing the Rep/Distributor collaborative sales effort

For Reps: Goal: Reinforce and communicate the mutual value between rep and manufacturer

  • Approaches and strategies to communicate the rep value proposition to current or potential manufacturers
  • My manufacturer is considering a direct sales model. What is the best way to effectively and positively approach the situation?
  • My manufacturer is struggling with working with the rep sales model from a process and procedure perspective. What can we do to help improve this?
  • I am aware of a manufacturer that has a direct model that could benefit from reps. What is the best way to approach this opportunity?
  • My manufacturer has a “hybrid” selling team, and it inherently breeds conflict and confusion in the field. How can we help improve this?
  • My manufacturer is going through a merger or acquisition. How do I best assess risk to my position and reinforce my role in the newly combined business?

For Distributors: Goal: Sales collaboration with reps to achieve supplier objectives

  • New business opportunities growth strategies
  • Direct to distribution account transition support
  • Distribution back to direct requests, Rep involvement to minimize reverse transition “Long tail” customer account development initiatives
  • Aligning supplier, rep and distributor goals

Bryan C. Shirley, CPMR

Email: bryan@bryanshirley.com
Office: 267-620-6000 • Cell: 267-463-7898 • Skype: bryanshirley12

Presentations-Seminars-Consulting

A former Rep and former CEO of MANA, Bryan has consulted to hundreds of Reps, Manufacturers and Distributors on various aspects of sales, marketing and business planning. He continues to provide new and fascinating methods for the ultimate goal— to boost sales!

Bryan is a graduate of Virginia Tech, a visiting professor at the University of Texas-Austin teaching Motivational Compensation for Outside Sales at CPMR (the Certified Professional Manufacturers’ Representatives program), and has presented to thousands of salespeople at association conferences and sales meetings. He is published in various industries’ sales and trade journals and magazines. In addition to serving on many Board of Directors and Executive Committees, including the National ERA Ex-Com, he is the former President/CEO of MANA, the former Executive Director of AIM/R and was the President/CEO of COLRUD Corporation, a premier manufacturers’ representative organization in the Philadelphia area.

Services for Manufacturers’ Representatives:

  • Buy, Sell, or Merge a Rep Firm: Value, Structure of the Deal, Making It Work – Bryan has been engaged in over 200 Buy-Sell transactions with Rep companies
  • Sales Team analysis: review your Team, compensation plans, motivational team building
  • Line Portfolio Management: analyze your line card and interview to win
  • Strategic Planning: operations, review of systems and software (and your tech tools)
  • Sales Tools and Marketing: Branding your Rep firm, Sales Tools, Social Media success
  • Legal and contracts: creating great agreements, commission/termination issues

Services for Manufacturers:

  • Strategic Planning: fun methodology with a focus on winning with Reps
  • Sales Boost Assessment: an internal and external evaluation of the entire sales stream
  • This several day process involves a dive into sales culture, sales process, sales structure
  • Compensation plans: internal and for Reps and also incentives to grow sales
  • Rep Councils: creating effective and sustaining Rep councils
  • ‘Emotional favorite:’ specific strategies and tactics with your Reps to boost sales
  • Finding Reps: find, interview, select the best Reps for your team
  • Presentations for sales meetings: motivating and fun talks that unite your team

To see more details please visit his website at www.bryanshirley.com.

John Simari

Email: simariconsultingllc@gmail.com
Office: 214-325-4117

Sales Channels Consulting / Coaching

John Simari held a range of sales and marketing positions at Texas Instruments (TI) prior to his retirement in 2016 after a 37-year career. For most of that time, John was a key contributor to TI’s worldwide distribution program.

John has held positions as worldwide distribution director, Americas distribution director and worldwide account manager for distributor and OEM accounts. During his tenure, the industry saw significant consolidation from local/regional distributors to global full-service and online distributors, as well as the emergence of a modern distribution program in Asia.

John has been an active contributor to industry activities serving for eight years on the Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA) Board of Directors and Foundation Board. He also is a business leadership center instructor at the SMU Cox School of Business in Dallas.

John holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of Dallas. He lives in Plano, Texas.

Services for Manufacturers’ Representatives, Manufacturers and Distributors:
  • John is available to provide consulting and coaching on Sales Channels with special focus on the Manufacturer/Distributor relationship.

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