ECIA Podcasts - The Channel Channel

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ECIA's David Loftus hosts special NAM guests Michael O’Brien, AVP Advocacy, and Christopher Netram, VP Tax and Domestic Policy. The session focuses on the impact of proposed tax increases on U.S. manufacturers, and provides tax policy perspective as well as engagement opportunities for our member companies. This podcast provides the highlights from that discussion.

ECIA Chief Analyst Dale Ford interviews Mike Swenson, President of Mel Foster Company, an independent manufacturer representative. The discussion focusses on the completion of ECIA Manufacturer Representative (Mfr Rep) Council’s Business Review Best Practices research.

ECIA President and CEO David Loftus speaks with Foundation President Jim Kaplan, President of Cornell-Dubilier, about the new Foundation e-learning initiative PACE, the history of the Foundation and its evolving purpose, Jim's background in the industry and much more.

ECIA CEO David Loftus interviews Peter Heigis about the implementation of the ETL program, initiated by the ECIA Manufacturers' Rep Council.

ECIA's Chief Analyst Dale Ford interviews economist Cliff Waldman CEO of New World Economics and host of “Manufacturing Matters” podcast. The two discuss the broader economy and global trends that will impact growth in the electronic components industry.  Cliff will be presenting at the ECIA Executive Conference in October.

ECIA Foundation Executive Director Debbie Conyers joins Digi-Key Electronics’ Vice President of Business Development Paul Dosser for a thought-provoking conversation with inventor Dean Kamen. He explains in detail how his wildly successful FIRST® programs have addressed the ‘demand problem’ of lack of interest in STEM careers by engaging with students early to ignite the inventor’s spirit among young people all over the globe.

ECIA CEO David Loftus and Flex Chief Procurement and Supply Chain Officer Lynn Torrel discuss all things supply chain from the EMS industry perspective. Ms Torrel spent most of her career in the distribution industry before moving to the other side of the negotiating table just over a year ago. Her background gives her a unique perspective on the value of distribution to a global electronics manufacturing organization. In her role at FLEX she manages the supply chains of over 1000 customers, including around 16,000 suppliers and one million SKUs.
The wide ranging discussion covers Ms. Torrel’s commitment to mentoring through her activities with Women in Electronics, leadership, managing through Covid, her new understanding of the deeper complexities and challenges of manufacturing, and much more.

In this thought provoking interview, ECIA's President and CEO David Loftus interviews Steve Cholas for a discussion of digital transformation in the component supply chain. Steve Cholas is an industry media guru who has spent his career uncovering the pain points and misalignments between component manufacturers and distributors and developing brand solutions. Currently Steve is VP Global Business with Big Zeta, a B2B provider of technical products and solutions to enable better & easier digital transformation.

ECIA Chief Analyst discusses the post-COVID recovery and economic trends with IHS Markit Sr. Principal Economist Tom Runiewicz. They talk about supply chain disruptions, component shortages, price pressure, global acceleration of Environment, Safety, and Government (ESG) regulation and how it all impacts the electronic component industry. It's a fascinating discussion between two data experts.

Graham Kilshaw, Founder of Lectrix, the newest ECIA Service Partner (ESP), speaks with David Loftus about B2B marketing. He explains the ramifications of putting 'problem before product', a concept that has gained considerable traction especially during the pandemic. The two discuss what permanent changes will likely stick for electronic components sales and marketing and remind listeners to sign up for ECIA's webinar on the topic, "How to Build a Problem-First vs Product-First Marketing Plan for a Components company. But More Importantly... Why You Should." which occurs March 19, 2021. 

ECIA President and CEO David Loftus interviews Bob Evans, Founder and Principal of Evans Strategic Communications and creator of Cloud Wars, a unique website that ranks and analyzes the most influential tech companies. The two spend some time at 30,000 feet, pondering the big questions about current and future trends in the tech industry. It's a fascinating discussion covering Cloud Wars' Top 10, the nature of innovation, and why keeping the customer first is the most important marker of success.

ECIA President and CEO David Loftus interviews always thought-provoking Michael Knight, President TTI Semiconductor Group in this insightful discussion about the personal benefits of being an active member of ECIA, where the industry is headed post-Covid and beyond, his personal journey through the crisis, and much more. 

ECIA Chief Analyst Dale Ford interviews Tony Uphoff, President and CEO of Thomas about the current state of industrial manufacturing. These two self-described 'data geeks' discuss the shape the recovery seems to be taking, Thomas' latest business Thomas Industrial Data, reshoring trends, and much more. logs 1.5 million sourcing events every month in the MRO and industrial market giving the company a ringside seat to see trends in near real time. This 'big picture' discussion will be enlightening to any electronic components industry executive trying to navigate through the murkiness of the current crisis.

ECIA's President and CEO David Loftus interviews Carla Mahrt, Founder of JJM Search, an executive recruitment firm focused on the electronics industry. In this episode of The Channel Channel podcast, the two discuss workplace disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and what skills are required to work from home successfully; what the industry needs to do to attract a more diverse workforce, the importance of mentoring and much more.

ECIA's Chief Analyst Dale Ford welcomes CEO of New World Economics Cliff Waldman for this insightful podcast on the continuing economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the manufacturing economy. The two compare notes on the most recent U.S. and global forecast data. Cliff goes through his analysis to explain why he recently has become more pessimistic than his peers. They discuss trade tensions between the U.S. and China; the need for another stimulus to address food insecurity and real hardship in the U.S.; the difficult timing of the UK/EU negotiations and the risks to the outcome post-Brexit and much more.

ECIA CEO David Loftus interviews Monica Highfill, co-founder of Women in Electronics and Vice President of Sales, Americas at Kemet. They discuss WE's robust mentoring program to support women's careers in the electronic components industry. David learns more about Monica's background and mentoring experiences, the importance of mentoring, how WE's program was developed and much more.

ECIA CEO David Loftus chats with Alan Ahern, Crowley Associates and Independent Rep Council Chair about this quarter's activities, including developing best practices for distributor training, improving the extract, transfer and load (ETL) process, Alan's company response to COVID-19 and the benefits of active engagement in ECIA.

Vishay's Rob Kirch and ECIA CEO David Loftus update the industry on the ECIA Manufacturers' Council activities during this past quarter. In spite of COVID-19, the Council has accomplished quite a bit - adding new members, expanding market share data collection, reviewing a potential update of the Texas A&M study on the value of distribution, advancing the modernization of the design registration process and much more. Listen to this latest podcast to learn more about Rob on a personal and professional level, his endorsement of association work and the importance of being 'in the room where it happens.'

ECIA's Don Elario interviews Louise Forrest, who led the Global Regulatory Compliance team, for the last 5 years, at ECIA's newest Service Partner, Compliance & Risk. This valuable discussion covers how regulatory deadlines are impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, the new SCIP database requirements for the electronics industry; data protection regulations for the billions of connected IoT devices; how Brexit will impact the EU REACH rules and much more.

ECIA's Chief Analyst Dale Ford interviews Tom Runiewicz, Senior Principal Economist with IHS Markit about what the data is saying on how soon the global economy will recover from the Covid-19 crisis. In his sobering analysis of key datapoints, he explains how and what he's tracking to understand the impact of the global pandemic.

ECIA Senior Vice President Victor Meijers and Dave Doherty of Digi-Key Electronics discuss the rebranding of ECIA's component search engine, Victor and Dave explain why the ECIA Board decided to rename and how customers and members gain value from a source for 100% authorized components.

ECIA's Vice President of Industry Practices Don Elario talks with Penny Heyes, of The Trust Bridge. Learn how her organization came to be and how it is broadening its mandate; why it's more important than ever for companies to manage data security; and the value to members of the ECIA Service Partnership.

ECIA CEO David Loftus discusses gender parity in the electronic components industry with Jackie Mattox, Founder of WE. The conversation covers the reasons why the organization came into being, its history and structure, the positive industry response, and how people can get involved.

In this timely interview, ECIA's Dale Ford discusses the impact of COVID-19 on electronics manufacturing and the electronics components industry with Cliff Waldman, CEO of New World Economics, an economic research and consulting firm. Cliff tells Dale what managers should look for as the crisis unfolds and what the data are telling economists about the long term effects.

Bill Bradford interviews David Loftus, who has assumed the mantle of ECIA's President and CEO. As Bill passes the baton, we learn more about David's stellar background and his vision for the future of our industry and the Association.

Dale Ford, ECIA's Chief Analyst hosts this episode of The Channel Channel. He welcomes Chad Moutray, who is Chief Economist with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). They discuss the economic impact of Covid-19 on the 2020 forecast.

ECIA's Vice President of Industry Practices Don Elario discusses IBM's blockchain solutions for the electronics industry. Christophe Begue provides an update on how the industry is adopting IBM's TradeLens and Trust Your Supplier, as well as some insights into how some companies are leveraging Blockchain to create new business offerings.

Bill Bradford and Michael Knight discuss what's in store for the electronic components industry in the next decade: headwinds and tailwinds as well as disruptive forces that offer new opportunities.

Listen in as Ed Smith gives his perspectives on the industry, and some of the challenges the electronic component supply chain is facing.

Listen in as Don Elario shares the latest updates on the Global Industry Practices Committee and some of the improvements in the structure going forward in 2020.

Get to know the chairman of the ECIA Manufacturers Representative Council, Alan Ahern as he discusses the activities of the Rep Council in 2019, and the priorities going forward into the new year.

This episode consists of an interview with Vishay VP of Distribution, Robert Kirch.  Rob currently serves as the chairman of the ECIA Manufacturer Council.  Listen in to hear about Rob's start in the industry, and how he outlines the activities and priorities of the Manufacturer Council.

Dale Ford shares his insights on the state of the electronic components market and explains how members can take advantage of the rich market data set provided by the ECIA.

Join Podcast Host, ECIA President Bill Bradford as he gives a recap of the recent Executive Conference, followed by a conversation with Dave Doherty, Digi-Key Electronics President & CEO and Distribution Council Chair.  Dave shares his experiences with ECIA and outlines the work of the Distribution Council.

Jeff Thomson is the Vice President of Global Channel Sales for ON Semiconductor.  Tune in to get to know Jeff, and to hear what he has to say about the ECIA and how it can help its members navigate the dynamic electronic components industry.  For more information visit us at


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