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Acuity Brands Announces Acquisition, Strategic Alliance

Acuity Brands has acquired WhiteOptics LLC, a New Castle, Delaware-based manufacturer of advanced optical components used to reflect, diffuse and control light for LED lighting used in commercial and institutional applications.

Additionally, the company announced its plans to work exclusively with OLEDWorks, a manufacturer of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) lighting technology, on an expanded product portfolio of OLED luminaires. Acuity Brands, using OLEDWorks technology, intends to develop a series of affordable and innovative OLED luminaires for architectural lighting applications.

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Atkore International Acquires United Structural Products

Atkore International Group Inc. has acquired the assets of United Structural Products LLC (USP), a manufacturer of welded aluminum and engineered-to-order cable trays that are built per NEMA standards and certified by Underwriters Laboratories.

Dana Black and co-owner Tom Meredith will remain with the company in leadership roles as they support the Atkore organization’s continued focus on serving electrical products customers. USP is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and will continue operating at its current location under its flagship brand of U.S. Tray.

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Encore Wire Celebrates 30-Year Anniversary

Encore Wire Corp. marked its 30-year anniversary on May 17 thanks to the support and dedication of its employees, customers and community. Beginning in 1989 as a 68,000-square-foot industrial warehouse building in McKinney, Texas, the manufacturer of copper and aluminum residential, commercial and industrial building wire has grown to approximately 3 million square feet stretching across 425 acres.

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NSI Industries to Supply Platinum Tools Products

NSI Industries is now the exclusive supplier of Platinum Tools products to the commercial and industrial electrical distribution, electrical commercial, industrial and residential markets.

Platinum Tools is a market-leading supplier of award-winning datacom products used for the preparation, installation, hand termination and testing of wire and cable. Platinum Tools’ portfolio includes cable management solutions, structured wiring products, tester kits, cutters, crimpers and other products for electrical, industrial, security, audio/video, commercial, residential, datacom and telecom applications.

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Littelfuse Releases Electrical Safety Awareness Survey Results

The global survey conducted by Littelfuse earlier this year finds that while most workers feel arc-flash mitigation is a priority in their workplace, only half have completed a risk assessment to identify hazardous areas. Of the facilities completing a risk assessment, 75% have equipment rated at high risk of more than 8 calories/cm². The calorie rating determines the required minimum arc-flash protection clothing workers must wear to protect themselves. To put that in perspective, the onset of second-degree burns may occur at 1.2 calories/cm².

The survey reveals a need for increased safety awareness. Many facilities fail to conduct an arc-flash hazard assessment, provide safety training and/or implement engineering controls to mitigate risk. The survey finds:

  • 79% agree that arc-flash mitigation is a priority at their workplace; however, one in three workers have experienced an arc-flash event
  • Arc-flash assessments were completed at 66% of the facilities surveyed. Of the facilities that completed an assessment, 77% also report having equipment at high risk—rated more than 8 calories/cm²
  • 85% are familiar with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, but only 40% are familiar with the 2018 edition of the NFPA 70E Hierarchy of Controls
  • Nearly 25% of overall respondents said they have never received safety training at their workplace

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Omni Breaks Ground for New Colorado Facility


OmniCable broke ground on its new Colorado branch facility in Aurora, Colorado. OmniCable’s Colorado branch, which is currently located in Denver, is moving to Aurora once the facility is completed in the fall of 2019. The new facility will be approximately 50,000 square feet.

OmniCable is also now authorized to sell Eaton, Schneider Electric (Square D) and Siemens circuit breakers to all electrical distributors in the United States. The agreements with Eaton, Schneider Electric and Siemens position OmniCable as an authorized source for electrical distributors to purchase genuine Eaton, Square D and Siemens circuit breakers reducing the chance of distributors seeking products from unauthorized sources.

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Maryrose Sylvester Moves to ABB; Greg Scheu to Retire


ABB has appointed Maryrose Sylvester as country managing director (CMD) and head of electrification for the United States. Sylvester will succeed Greg Scheu, who will support a smooth transition until his retirement on Oct. 31.

Sylvester was most recently president and CEO of Current, powered by GE, a GE startup business that was acquired in April by New York-based private equity firm American Industrial Partners. Having spent her career at GE, she held several executive-level positions, including president and CEO of GE Lighting, of GE Intelligent Platforms/GE FANUC, which was GE’s longest-running joint venture with a Japanese company, and of GE Quartz.


“On behalf of the board of directors and the executive committee, I would like to thank Greg Scheu for his many years of committed service to ABB in numerous leadership roles, and especially for his strong contributions as region president Americas, U.S. CMD and head of group service and business integration,” CEO Peter Voser said. “Under his direction, ABB has significantly strengthened its market presence in North America and positioned itself as a digital technology leader among key customer groups.”

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Joe Sheridan is New Central RSM for Arlington


Arlington Industries recently appointed Joe Sheridan as central regional manager. Sheridan will work with some of the electrical industry’s leading independent sales representative agencies in promoting and selling Arlington’s innovative and labor-saving products to distributors, end users and installers. His territory includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.

Sheridan joins Arlington after a 29-year career in the electrical industry with such companies as Walkerduct, Ilsco, Wheatland Tube and Western Tube & Conduit. He is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and was deployed in Lebanon in the 1980s.

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Burndy Appoints Kevin Ryan VP, GM


Burndy, a Hubbell company has appointed Kevin Ryan as vice president and general manager. Ryan has more than 20 years of experience. He joined Burndy in 2009 as vice president of finance and went on to serve as vice president of corporate financial planning and analysis for Hubbell and vice president of finance for Hubbell’s construction and energy group.

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Electri-Flex Names New COO

Electri-Flex Co. has promoted Jan Jesernik Ruthe to chief operating officer. Ruthe joined Electri-Flex in 2015 as the director of finance and has since made several successful process and staff development improvements. Ruthe came to Electri-Flex from Illinois Tool Works where she was division controller with both domestic and international responsibilities.

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Hubbell Inc. Makes Key Personnel Changes


Hubbell Inc. appointed Gerben Bakker to the role of president and chief operating officer. In his new role, Bakker will support David G. Nord, chairman and CEO, in ensuring the operational excellence of the enterprise.

Bakker will be building on a strong track record of success in leading Hubbell Power Systems. After assuming the role of group president in 2014, he led the business through 12 acquisitions and approximately doubled revenues over four years. He comes into his new role with a wealth of experience across Hubbell, having held numerous positions around the world and in multiple functional and business groups.

Bill Sperry

In addition to Bakker’s appointment, Bill Sperry has been named executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer. He will continue to report to Nord. Sperry joined Hubbell in 2008 as vice president of corporate strategy and development. He had previously worked in the investment banking field, most significantly for J.P. Morgan.

Finally, Katherine Lane has been appointed to the position of vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary. In this capacity, she will lead the company’s legal, compliance and risk organizations and will continue to report to Nord. She has been with Hubbell since 2010 and has served on the legal teams of multiple business groups within the company.

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Legrand Announces Leadership Changes


Legrand recently promoted Scott Bausch to vice president/general manager for the Wiremold product line and Angela Coffman to vice president of marketing in addition to general manager of the adorne Collection. Both will execute their responsibilities for the electrical wiring systems division of Legrand, which includes the Cablofil, Pass & Seymour and Wiremold product lines.

Bausch has been with Legrand for 15 years, starting in 2004, and most recently held the position of vice president of marketing and customer experience. He will continue to oversee customer experience efforts while leading the Wiremold business, where he will bring valued industry knowledge and leadership to strategic areas including open space, outdoor and furniture power solutions.


Coffman joined Legrand in 2018 with more than 20 years of marketing and product management experience. She will play a key role in the ongoing development and execution of marketing strategies and initiatives, including training and marketing communications for all product lines within the division and for the adorne Collection.

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IDEA Names Kevin Corcoran as VP, Sales and Marketing


IDEA has appointed Kevin Corcoran as the company’s new vice president of sales and marketing. In this role, Corcoran’s responsibilities encompass sales team leadership and accelerating IDEA’s revenue through sales and marketing strategy. Corcoran brings more than 20 years of experience in technology sales, leadership and business development to the position.

Prior to joining IDEA, Corcoran was the senior director of industry sales at 1WorldSync and director of sales and channel management for six years prior to that at LANSA Inc.

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Milbank Hires New Regional Sales Manager

Milbank Manufacturing has hired Adrienne Sander as a regional sales manager for the north central region. Sander has a mechanical engineering background and brings more than 10 years of experience in the electrical industry with her to Milbank.

Sander will be a successor for Tom Harmon, current regional sales manager for Milbank’s north central region. Harmon will introduce Sander to manufacturing representatives, distributors, utility contacts and other partners of Milbank in their region. Sander will also work with internal teams to gain insight on Milbank products, processes and manufacturing capabilities.

Tom Harmon has lead Milbank’s North Central region for nearly 10 years and has spent his entire career in different facets of the electrical industry. He will work with Sander to transition the territory to her over the next 12 to 18 months.

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New Director of Engineering, Marketing at NICOR


NICOR Inc. recently hired Bill McDonough as director of engineering and marketing. McDonough recently worked for Dialight Corp. in New Jersey in a variety of positions and previously served as the western United States area sales vice president for Cooper Lighting. McDonough will report to NICOR’s President and CEO Rocklan Lawrence and has relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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OmniCable’s Latest Announcements

OmniCable Corp. has hired Tom Bisson as the western regional vice president. In this role, Bisson is responsible for managing OmniCable’s Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle locations working closely with the company’s regional managers in those facilities.

The company also hired Mike Baker as the San Francisco regional manager. In this role, Baker is responsible for the day-to-day operations and leadership of OmniCable’s San Francisco branch.

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NAED Endorses NEMRA Point-of-Sale Standards

The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) Board of Directors voted to endorse the National Electrical Manufacturers and Representatives Association (NEMRA) Point-of-Sale (POS) minimum reporting standards at their meeting last month.

The association, which represents more than 400 electrical distributors, joins 44 electrical manufacturers, and IMARK, in endorsing standards designed to streamline the POS reporting process for manufacturers and distributors. The standards also ensure manufacturer representatives are appropriately compensated for product sales in their territory and they receive the sales information needed to support both the manufacturer and the distributor.

The standards, developed by a joint manufacturer representative/manufacturer task force, focus on capturing the minimum amount of information manufacturers need to track where a product is sold so the information provided is consistent. Sharing of customer information is a decision between the distributor and the manufacturer.

According to NAED President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Naber, helping representatives get the needed sales data to ensure they are properly compensated is important to all NAED members.

“The Board also appreciates the fact that NEMRA recognizes the confidential nature of member customer information and is leaving this decision to the distributor and their manufacturer,” he said. “We encourage our members to use this new set of standards when possible.”

Ken Hooper, outgoing president of NEMRA, said, “The board recognized the importance of the initiative, the role of the reps and the fact that more than 40 manufacturers and a number of prominent distributors had already endorsed the standards. They felt NAED should support this as a channel solution.”

Jim Johnson, the new president of NEMRA, said, “Having NAED support NEMRA, NEMRA reps and our POS process is much appreciated. While NEMRA’s goal is helping get our members appropriately compensated, with NAED’s support we are hoping to also bring channel efficiency through a common format and improve data quality for manufacturers. This is a win-win for all parties.”

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HPS Endorses NEMRA POS Standards

Hammond Power Solutions (HPS) has endorsed the National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association (NEMRA) Point-of-Sale (POS) Minimum Reporting Standards.

The standards identify the minimum information that manufacturers need from distributors to accurately compensate their local sales agent. This information is needed for identifying where product is sold, at the zip code level, and does not require customer information. The decision to share customer level information is left to commercial discussions between distributors and manufacturers, and can be accommodated within the standards reporting format.

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Channel Marketing Group is Now an IMARK Service Provider

IMARK Group recently announced that Channel Marketing Group is now an IMARK member service provider. Since 2001, Channel Marketing Group has been assisting electrical distributors (including numerous IMARK members) to grow their businesses by helping companies gain customer insights and turn this knowledge into growth strategies. Areas of focus include strategy development, marketing ideas, market research, customer satisfaction surveys, promotional and incentive initiatives.

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DDS Named Inaugural IMELCO MSP

Distributor Data Solutions (DDS) was named the founding member of IMELCO’s new member service provider (MSP) program. IMELCO is the largest marketing group of independent electrical wholesalers in the world with 1,130 members in 22 countries. The MSP program was officially launched at IMELCO’s annual meeting in Brussels.

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Joe Carroll Retires from Arlington

Arlington Industries recently announced that Joe Carroll has retired after 15 years as Arlington’s central regional manager and 40 years in the electrical industry.

He began his career with General Signal/Anchor Electric in 1979 in New Hampshire as a marketing specialist. Prior to that, he was employed in the consumer electronics field in Massachusetts. He also held management positions with General Signal/Anchor, T&B Corp., Milbank Mfg. Co. in Kansas City.

He served in the U.S. Army with the 101st Airborne Infantry from 1969-1970 in Vietnam earning a Bronze Star with Valor and Combat Infantry Badge.

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Mike Wentz Retires from IDEA

The Industry Data Exchange Association (IDEA) recently announced Mike Wentz, executive vice president of sales and marketing, has retired. Wentz held the position since 2010.

Wentz started his electrical industry career 38 years ago with a distribution software company. His industry knowledge and technology experience provided him the foundation required to have played a vital role in the maturation and success of IDEA. During Wentz’s tenure as executive vice president, he contributed to the vision that helped the firm evolve to meet the growing demand for high-quality content and digital integration. His leadership and service have made a significant contribution toward the growth and development of IDEA.

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