Speakers

Alan Ahern, Crowley Associates, Rep Council Chair and Board of Directors

               

Alan joined Crowley Associates, a Manufacturer’s Representative, in 1992 to establish the company into the Metro NY region. Three years later, he purchased Crowley Associates and became President. Through organic growth and acquisitions, Alan has expanded the company operations into multiple ERA territories and dramatically increased sales, while realizing efficiencies through advanced automated sales tools and creative marketing. As a pioneer in Fusion Splice SMPTE Interconnect, Alan developed associated business in the Broadcast Industry. Alan is Chairman of 4 Rep Councils, Associative Member of 2 Rep Councils, and Member of the ECIA Board of Directors. He is the winner of the 2013 Manufacturers Representative Leadership Award, and the Design For Manufacturing PCB Association Award.

John H. Archer, TTI, Inc.

               

John is the SVP, Global Ethics and Compliance and General Counsel for the TTI Family of Specialists where he provides counsel and guidance on ethics, compliance, litigation, and sustainability.  Prior to joining TTI over four years ago, John spent eighteen years at John Deere in a variety of global positions.   

He also clerked for Justice Benjamin K. Miller of the Illinois Supreme Court.  

John holds a bachelor’s degree from Illinois Wesleyan University, an MBA from the University of Iowa, and a law degree from Southern Illinois University. He serves on the Junior Achievement of the Chisholm Trail’s Board of Directors. 

Ross Bernstein, Ross Bernstein Speaking

               

The best-selling author of nearly 50 sports books, Ross Bernstein is an award-winning peak performance hall of fame business speaker who's keynoted conferences for Fortune 500 companies on all seven continents and has been featured on many major television networks and publications.

Frank Flynn, Sager Electronics & Chairman Board of Directors

                As president of Sager Electronics, Frank Flynn is responsible for the execution of the company's strategic growth plans. He works closely with his team to drive sales growth and to promote operational excellence.

Frank joined Sager Electronics in 1983 and was appointed president in 1999. Prior to assuming the position of president, Frank served as COO, CFO, and director of corporate development. Since becoming president, Frank has led the company through a period of unprecedented change, bringing focus and structure to Sager's market position, customer base and sales strategy. Frank is credited with the acquisition of West Coast distributor CalSwitch, which solidified Sager as a national distributor. He drove the company’s implementation of a new ERP system and its move to build a new state-of-the-art distribution center. Frank holds a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University and a MBA in Finance and Marketing from UCLA's Anderson School of Management.

Dale Ford, ECIA

                Dale Ford is a highly respected industry analyst with extensive experience producing award winning market research. He brings expertise in technology trends, competitive analysis, forecasting and supply/demand research of the electronics, semiconductor and electronics components industries. Mr. Ford has been researching the electronics and electronics components industries for over 25 years. His focused research delivers enhanced visibility on the products, technologies, and players shaping the electronics value chain.

Monica Highfill, Women in Electronics

               

Monica Highfill serves as a Founding Executive Director of Women in Electronics, a non-profit organization that empowers women with leadership and development skills in the Electronics Industry.  She is also serves as the Managing Director of the Mentorship Program for Women in Electronics.  Most recently, Monica was the Vice President of Sales for the Americas with KEMET/YAGEO.   Prior to her almost 14-year career at KEMET/YAGEO, Monica held management positions Kent Electronics, Avnet, and Heilind.  She graduated with a Bachelors Degree from Saint Mary’s College of California and obtained her MBA at Santa Clara University. Monica lives in California and Mexico and in her spare time likes to travel, hike with her dogs, and hunt for old things to make new again.

Tim Hill, Omron

               

Tim is the manager of investor relations at OMRON Management Center of America, Inc. He is responsible for maintaining good relations with global institutional investors and equity research analyst in North America; implementing extensive corporate communication initiatives in the financial community; and nurturing long-term relationships with key stakeholders throughout the region. Tim is broadening and enhancing shareholder value and communicating OMRON's long-term financial and non-financial ESG story through the OMRON Group's global investor relations and corporate communications programs and initiatives.  Tim is a board member of the Southland Development Authority and the Japan America Society of Chicago, both Illinois Nonprofits. Tim is a graduate of Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business and he completed an Asian Studies degree at the Japan Center for Michigan Universities in Shiga, Japan. Tim especially enjoys caddying for his 10-year-old daughter who is a competitive junior golfer.

Dean Kamen, DEKA Research & Development Corporation, FIRST®

                Dean Kamen is the founder and president of DEKA Research & Development Corporation. Examples of technologies developed by DEKA include the HomeChoice™ portable dialysis machine, the iBOT™ Mobility System, the Segway™ Human Transporter, a DARPA-funded robotic arm, a new and improved Stirling engine, and the Slingshot water purifier. Kamen has received many awards for his efforts, including the National Medal of Technology in 2000 and the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2002. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2005 and has been a member of the National Academy of Engineering since 1997.

Cynthia Gage KellamTE Connectivity

               

Cynthia leads digital transformation with focus on customer-centric innovation, omni-channel strategy and collaborative organizational culture -- her passion is leveraging data- plus human-driven insights to help organizations navigate and simplify internal complexity in service to the customer and as a growth driver for the business. Cynthia joined TE Connectivity in 2013, establishing a digital experience design practice and redesigning/launching TE.com in 2015, followed by the launch ecommerce, then leadership of enterprise product data and taxonomy transformation. In 2020 Cynthia picked up responsibility for TE.com overall and, in 2021, added leadership for TE’s CX COE including customer research, VoC capabilities, and business enablement. Cynthia also co-chairs TE’s ALIGN ERG - focused on inclusivity through support and advocacy for LGBTQ+ employees. Cynthia earned her B.A. in Anthropology from Haverford College and completed graduate studies in Anthropology at Columbia University GSAS.

Robert Kirch, Vishay Americas, Manufacturer Council Chair and Board of Directors

               

Robert Kirch is a 30 year Industry Executive who has worked both in Distribution and in Manufacturing all the time in a Sales, Marketing and Sales Operations capacity. He is currently the VP of Global Distribution for Vishay where he has been for over 2 years. Prior to Vishay he was with Fairchild Semiconductor in a variety of roles including Sr. Director of  Global Distribution and WW Sales Operations. He got his start in this industry working for Future Electronics in Sales on Long Island New York where he currently resides. He graduated from Binghamton University with a degree in Business Administration with a focus on Marketing & Finance.

Dr. Barry Lawrence, Thomas & Joan Read Center for Distribution Research and Education, Texas A&M University

 

                Dr. F. Barry Lawrence is the Leonard & Valerie Bruce Professor, Program Coordinator for the Industrial Distribution Program and Director of the Thomas and Joan Read Center for Distribution Research and Education. He holds a Ph.D. in Information and Operations Management from Texas A&M University and has been employed with Texas A&M for 30 years. During his tenure, he has devoted his time to developing distributors through research in best practices, distributor competitiveness, operational efficiency, and financial models. His approach is to engage the industry in understanding their problems, researchers in solving those problems, and faculty in developing educational processes that make the solutions real world for students who work in the industry or soon will. Dr. Lawrence serves on boards, conducts applied research projects funded by industry partners, manages large scale consortia in alliance with industry associations, and builds and delivers professional development programs to thousands of professionals.

David Loftus, ECIA

                Over a 35 year career in high tech, David Loftus has served in a broad range of senior executive positions, including Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing for Maxim Integrated, Executive Vice President Worldwide Sales and Applications for Cypress Semiconductor, Senior Vice President Worldwide Sales and Corporate Marketing for Intersil Corporation, Vice President & General Manager for Spartan Products for Xilinx Inc. In addition, Mr. Loftus served in Hong Kong from 2002 to 2005 as Vice President & Managing Director - Xilinx Asia Pacific.

Sonita Lontoh, Sunrun

               

Sonita Lontoh is a public company board director and former Fortune 100 senior executive focusing on ESG, digital transformation, and innovation. Over her 25-year diverse global career, she has led and advised public companies and governments on innovative programs that have delivered positive impact to businesses, consumers, and society. She currently serves as an independent board director at Sunrun (Nasdaq: RUN). Sonita serves on the Audit, Compensation, Governance, and Innovation & Technology committees. 

Sonita was recognized by U.S. Secretary of State Clinton for her pioneering work for TechWomen and was invited by U.S. Secretary of State Kerry for a roundtable discussing digital transformations. She is an inductee to the US Asian Hall of Fame, the US Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame, and is a notable MIT women alumna. Sonita is also a member for the National Association of Corporate Directors and the Women Corporate Directors Foundation.

Steve McClatchy, Alleer Training & Consulting

               

Steve McClatchy is a keynote speaker, workshop leader and author of the New York Times Bestseller Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress & Lead by Example. Steve has spoken before thousands of audiences on the topics of leadership, performance, personal growth, and work/life engagement. His client list includes the NFL, Google, Pfizer, Microsoft, Disney, NBC Universal, Accenture, John Deere, Under Armour, Wells Fargo and Campbell’s Soup. He is a frequent guest lecturer at Harvard and Wharton. He has appeared on ABC, CBS, Fox News, NBC’s Today Show and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Entrepreneur and Investor’s Business Daily. Steve’s passion is for continual improvement and believes that when we stop learning, gaining experience and achieving goals we stop living. Steve is best known for his passion, sense of humor and energetic personality. You will be captivated, motivated and truly inspired by his unique and practical approach to effectiveness and success.

Dennis Reed, Edgewater Research

               

Dennis Reed is a Senior Research Analyst in Technology. Dennis started in the industry in 2005 at FTN Midwest Research on the technology & semiconductor team. In 2006, he was a founding member of Cleveland Research Company and continued to develop and extensive network of technology industry professionals in the semiconductor, distribution, memory and HDD industries throughout the world. Dennis worked at KeyBanc Capital markets in New York, on teams covering Consumer Staples and Paper & Packing companies. Dennis also brings wide level of experience working in various roles with Travelers Insurance, including Market Research and various product roles supporting business unit growth in targeted end markets. Dennis is a 2002 graduate of Ohio University with a major in Sports Management.

 

Jeff Shaffer, Stroz Friedberg

               

Jeff Shaffer serves as a Vice President of Engagement Management in Stroz Friedberg’s Dallas office. In support of his clients, which include Fortune 500 companies across numerous industries, law firms, federal, state and local entities, Jeff provides breach or compromise response services and proactive cyber security assessments. Jeff often provides physical security and personal security assessments and corporate investigations. Jeff is a 25-year veteran of federal law enforcement and retired from the Unites States Secret Service in 2015. He has extensive expert witness testimony experience as well as varied experience as an investigator, physical and personal protection specialist, counter terrorism specialist, tactical Team and Cyber Team Leader and digital forensic examiner. Mr. Shaffer was nominated on separate occasions for Secret Service Agent of the Year and Texas Law Enforcement Agent of the Year. He has worked on hundreds of forensic investigations related to cyber crime, IP theft, fraud, terrorism, kidnapping and murder. He has investigated cases across numerous industries including energy, retail, banking, healthcare, telecommunications, and federal/state governments. 

Lynn Torrel, Flex

               

Lynn Torrel is Chief Procurement and Supply Chain Officer at Flex, a global diversified manufacturer that helps a diverse customer base design and build products that improve the world. Through the collective strength of a global workforce across 30 countries and responsible, sustainable operations, Flex delivers technology innovation, supply chain, and manufacturing solutions to numerous industries and end markets. 

In her role at Flex, Torrel is responsible for direct and indirect materials, transportation and logistics, business operations, materials management and strategic supply chain management. Torrel holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and an MBA from Arizona State University.

 

Cliff Waldman, New World Economics

               

During his extensive career as a Washington, D.C. economist, Cliff Waldman, New World Economics CEO, has been an active and in-demand public speaker on topics ranging from the U.S. and global economic outlooks to new markets, productivity, and automation. While he has spoken throughout the US, he has also appeared in Germany, Canada and South Africa. Cliff visited South Africa right after the fall of the apartheid government to give a series of lectures on survey methods and statistical analysis. His lectures formed the basis for South Africa’s present-day small business research program. As a rising voice in the D.C. policy research community, Cliff has made appearances at events on Capitol Hill and in major think tanks. He is the host of Manufacturing Talk Radio’s “Cliff Notes on the Global Manufacturing Picture” which is now in its fourth year. As a leader in the economics community, Cliff served two years as Chairman of the Board of the National Economists Club. In 2019 he served as co-chair of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) manufacturing roundtable.  In 2018 he was awarded the Certified Business Economist (CBE) designation by NABE. He received his M.A. in economics from Rutgers University.

Albert Vazquez, Sway Ventures

               

Albert is an Investment Partner at Sway Ventures, a California-based venture capital firm investing in early to mid-stage technology companies.

His early career in Digital Transformation at Schneider Electric, evolved into leadership roles in North America and Europe at industrial businesses, like Crydom, Kavlico or Crouzet, that progressively consolidated into the CST buyout project lead by The Carlyle Group.

Albert earned an MS in Management Science & Engineering from Barcelona Tech, Spain. He continued his executive education by completing an Advanced Management Program from IESE 

Karim Yasmine, Future Electronics, Distributor Council Chair and Board of Directors

 

               

Karim Yasmine is an accomplished executive with over 22 years of experience driving the overall business growth of a world leader in electronic components distribution, Future Electronics.

Throughout his tenure with Future Electronics, he has managed a number of major technology business units. Karim’s current responsibilities include Strategic Supplier Expansion and Development, leading the MCU/MPU/FPGA business unit, directing Future’s Rep Council and other key Demand Creation roles within the Future Electronics corporation.

Karim earned a Graduate Degree from Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business in Montreal, Canada, which is home to the Future Electronics worldwide Corporate Headquarters.