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ECIA conference features leaders from Intel, PEI Genesis

Oct. 22, 2013
Annual conference of electronic components industry executives takes place October 27-29 in Chicago

The Electronic Components Industry Association will meet in Chicago next week for its annual Executive Conference, where leaders from component manufacturing, distribution and sales representative firms gather to network and get the latest industry news and analysis from experts inside and outside the electronics supply chain. Titled “Shift Happens,” this year’s meeting addresses the critical changes taking place in the electronics industry and how companies can turn those challenges into opportunities.

Industry experts speaking at the event include Steve Fisher of distributor PEI Genesis; Brad Whitworth of Cisco; Rick Dwyer of Intel; and Ed Smith, president of Avnet Electronics Marketing Americas. Their presentations will focus on various aspects of the electronics supply chain, drawing on each executive’s particular experiences.

Fisher will discuss “How to Grow a Niche Business without Losing Your Identity (or Your Soul),” for instance, and Dwyer’s presentation will focus on “The Internet of Things.” Other business experts will address topics such as on-shoring, economic trends, market changes, venture capital, sales strategies and global branding.

And in a nod to the increasingly important role of the Internet in today’s electronics supply chain, the meeting will include a panel discussion featuring Web-savvy professionals from the media and the electronics industry who will discuss advances and solutions in digital marketing.

Awards and honors

The 2013 Executive Conference will also feature an annual awards program designed to recognize members’ achievements as well as their service to the industry and the association. The association’s highest honor, the Gail S. Carter Award, honors an electronics industry leader for his or her significant contributions to the industry and active role in ECIA and civic affairs. A series of Distinguished Service Awards recognizes individual ECIA members for their contributions to the association.

The Electronics Choice Industry Awards (ECIAs) recognize excellence in marketing. Sponsored by ECIA and Penton’s Design Engineering & Sourcing Group (which includes Electronic Design, Global Purchasing, and 13 other brands), the awards recognize members who have displayed exceptional branding and marketing campaigns in the last year. They cover nine categories, ranging from Best Brand/Image in Print Marketing to Best Video Production, and include a Best of Show designation for the single entry with the highest score. This year will also include a Reader’s Choice Award, chosen by Penton subscribers.

For more information on the 2013 ECIA Executive Conference, go to

2013 ECIA Executive Conference

Sunday, October 27  
5 to 7 p.m. Conference Registration
6 to 7 p.m. Opening Reception
Monday, October 28  
7 a.m. Conference Registration
7:30 to 8 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8 to 8:15 a.m. Welcome & Opening Remarks
8:15 to 9:15 a.m. “From Shifting Markets to Future Success,” Adam Hartung, Managing Partner, Spark Partners
9:15 to 10 a.m. “Made in North America—Why It Makes Business Sense to Onshore,” Alexander Fernandes, CEO, Avigilon
10 to 10:30 a.m. Networking Break
10:30 to 11:15 a.m. “Exploring the Trends Transforming Tomorrow,” Jack Uldrich, Founder, the School of Unlearning
11:15 a.m. to noon “Weapons of Mass Discussion To Boost Competitive Advantage,” Frank Cutitta, Founder, the Center for Global Branding
Noon to 1 p.m. Luncheon
1 to 1:45 p.m. “Make Your Sales Team a Competitive Advantage in Shifting B2B World (Because Your Product, Price and Brand Will Not Be Enough),” Ryan Kubacki, President, Holden International
1:45 to 2:15 p.m. ECIA Association Service Awards and Electronic Components Industry Awards
2:15 to 2:45 p.m. Networking Break
2:45 to 3:30 p.m. “The Internet of Things,” Rick Dwyer, VP Sales & Marketing, GM Embedded Sales Group, Intel
3:30 to 4:15 p.m. “Byte Me!” Brad Whitworth, Senior Communications Executive, Cisco
4:15 to 5:15 p.m. “What Does the Internet Mean to You?” A Panel Discussion
5:15 p.m. Closing Remarks & Announcements
6 to 7 p.m. Evening Reception
Tuesday, October 29  
7:30 to 8 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8 to 8:45 a.m. “Beyond Venture Capital,” Donna Kent, Tallwave
8:45 to 9:30 a.m. “How to Grow a Niche Business Without Losing Your Identity
(or Your Soul),” Steve Fisher, CEO, PEI Genesis
9:30 to 10 a.m. Networking Break
10 to 10:45 a.m. “Economic Outlook & Trends in 2014,” Jack Ablin, Chief Investment Officer, BMO Private Bank
10:45 to 11:15 a.m. “ECIA Update,” CEO John Denslinger and special guest Tim Balz, FIRST team member
11:15 a.m. to noon “Drivers Wanted,” Ed Smith, President, Avnet Electronics
Marketing Americas
About the Author

Victoria Fraza Kickham | Distribution Editor

Victoria Kickham is the distribution editor for Electronic Design magazine, SourceESB and, where she covers issues related to the electronics supply chain. Victoria started out as a general assignment reporter for several Boston-area newspapers before joining Industrial Distribution magazine, where she spent 14 years covering industrial markets. She served as ID’s managing editor from 2000 to 2010. Victoria has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree in English from Northeastern University.

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