ECIA Podcast Series Features Council Chairs Rob Kirch and Alan Ahern

Atlanta–Two episodes of ‘The Channel Channel,’ ECIA’s podcast series have been posted to ECIA’s website and other podcast platforms: the first one features Robert Kirch, VP of Distribution for Vishay. Rob is very active in ECIA and currently serves as Chair of the Manufacturer Council. He and Bill Bradford, ECIA’s President and CEO, discussed a wide range of topics, including Rob’s own personal journey into this industry and how the Manufacturer Council selects activities and sets priorities.

“ECIA allows me to get in front of a lot of distributors and bounce ideas off the group and see their reactions in real time. Then I can start to formulate a strategy that I can bring home to my organization,” Rob explained. “I don’t understand why the 130 or so companies that are not currently part of the ECIA – why they don’t see the tremendous value in that.”

eciaThe second podcast posted this month is an interview with Alan Ahern, president of Crowley Associates and chairman of ECIA’s Independent Manufacturers’ Rep council. Mr. Ahern tells Bill about his path into the manufacturers’ rep business, as well as his adventures SCUBA diving in Portsmouth harbor. In addition, they discuss the industry and recent initiatives launched by the Manufacturers’ Rep Council.

When asked about the value ECIA brings to his business, Ahern explained, “ECIA helps bring efficiencies to the authorized Channel. When ECIA reformed the Councils into the three separate constituencies it was a big step in the right direction for Manufacturers Reps. Our Council is very dynamic. We have the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with the distributors and the manufacturers to collaborate with the industry leaders.” Two initiatives this Council is supporting now involve best practices in product training programs for distributor sales teams and eliminating inefficiencies in CRM systems.

Alan also commented on the importance of the data and analytics that ECIA compiles for members. “When calling on manufacturers in Europe and Japan recently I have been able to use the reports to support those meetings.”

“I enjoyed interviewing Rob and Alan about the value the association has for a component manufacturer like Vishay, and a manufacturers’ rep like Crowley Associates,” commented Bill Bradford. “These podcasts are meant to be a fun way for members and others in the industry to get to know the leadership of our organization. Listening to these discussions helps people understand the personal benefits to getting involved in ECIA by volunteering to serve on our Councils and other working groups.”

These two podcasts can be downloaded from the ECIA website, or found on iTunes, Google Play, and other podcast platforms.

About ECIA

The Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA) is made up of the leading electronic component manufacturers, their manufacturer representatives and authorized distributors. ECIA members share a common goal of promoting and improving the business environment for the authorized sale of electronic components. Comprised of a broad array of leaders and professionals representing all phases of the electronics components supply chain, ECIA is where business optimization, product authentication and industry advocacy come together. ECIA members develop industry guidelines and technical standards, as well as generate critical business intelligence. For more information, visit or call 678-393-9990.

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