Nov 23 2011

Top 10 Reasons I’m Thankful

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Did u know that America’s founding father’s felt the turkey should be our nation’s bird until they figured out the bald eagle was a smarter choice. The eagle easily would win in a cage match. Also Thanksgiving was made official holiday by President Lincoln (I do not believe that was reason he was shot).

In this economy if you have a job and your health you have ALOT to be thankful for…my best wishes to all our global  folks who are reading our blog.

Top 10 reasons I’m thankful

10) Work(ed) for two great companies, Molex and Avnet,,,with leaders who have high goals and standards…which makes a pr persons job easy…they have allowed me to see the world and make a difference

9) Live in Scottsdale, Arizona, where community programs are dynamic, and I can wear shorts and T shirts most of time and it’s considered finer wear

8) Chicago is my hometown, great culture and love all the sports teams, minus Sox (please God let the Cubs win once while alive)

7) Our vendors like Brodeur, Prisma, Spark, Tara,  Mark, Ginger, Misty, Kathy Kerchner, Valiere Charlie Babb, Steve Roberts, Bill Davis and Bill Graeber who make us look good everyday  

6) My staff is awesome, very talented, passionate about their jobs and willing to try new things

5) Business Marketing Association has made me smarter and has allowed me to meet some great folks

4) My friends, especially from the Baggers and Molex softball

3) The game of 16 Inch softball is best game in America…the Hall of Fame museum project keeps me going with some great board members

2) All the folks who support the Maag Toy Foundation, so we can help needy kids 

1) My parents, in-laws and family who are gone but remembered for their guidance and family today who make each day a good one

Gobble Gobble

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Jul 27 2011

Toy Foundation Program Continues to Help Needy and Catalyst to Other Avnet Community Efforts

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Pardon me while I show off…

My family and I for 21 years have organized a toy foundation golf outing in Chicago for 21 years and 11 in In Phoenix for needy kids. Our main sponsor have been Avnet and Hearst for more than a bakers dozen years. We garnerd over 500 toys this year and approx $40,000 + that will go to buy toys or memories for infants to teens. We get most of the money due to our cool auction from donated items from attendees, sponsors and trips from Helms Briscoe our planning company.

Monday we held our Chicago event and 140 people came…many from Avnet, Molex ranging from the CEO to warehouse folks, my softball buddies, BMA friends, family and  guys that I grew up in grammar school, gang I grew up with and an old friends.

I always get asked where do the funds go…in most cases we prefer to give to individuals or smaller groups in need….for example….a local grammar school teacher we know told us her kids were in need of Xmas gifts and then winter clothes…well we helped 70 of them. Gilda’s Club l0st in a flood a lot of toys….we helped fill their inventory back up. We sent quite a few kids to  camps and Cubs games to experience the joy of baseball and Wrigley Field. (Also to learn u cant win em all, My beloved Cubs stink).

My family and I want to thank everyone who volunteer, organize, come, donate and spend money to help kids out. Especially Hearst’s Bill Barron and Avnet our consistent supporters.

But there is more to to this story….

Roy Vallee when he was asking me to come back as an employee over dozen years ago be noticed what I was doing in this area…and asked why I did it. Bottom line I said we were selfish…we saw kids in need and my wife and I wanted to help, because it made us feel good and knew we could make a difference if we tried. I said if Avnet did it, we could enhance our brand. Roy said if I come back aboard he would support community efforts as company. Good to his word he gave me over 5 figures the first day I started to create a foundation which we eventually evolved into children’s and educational focused programs. It has also since grown outside of the PHX area to a global difference.

He also made sure Avnet was the main sponsor of the Maag Toy Foundation. This is just another example of his vision and understanding of how Avnet makes a difference “accelerating the success” of people in the world. This is why Avnet is different then our competitors. ..Community Relations.

Thanks to Roy, our leadership who have embraced this activity and all those Avnet employees and our suppliers and our official team of Avnet Cares volunteers who help us impact the needy daily. Keep up the good work team Avnet.

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Jun 12 2011

Ten Reflections

I’m 62 today, easy to reflect on positive things…of course my parents, family on both sides, wife and son and my belief in God, and good health or I would be struck by lightning. Beyond my luck and some wonderful friends like MJ and Rich, Art, Russ, Viv, Wool, Jan, KK, Frank, Bob, Steve and Rich…here are some reflections….

1) Growing up in the technology evolution era since 1950…I have benefited from crayons to fax to computers to ipads from dial phones to pdas….then comes twitter and social media tactics. Black and white small Tv’s to huge monitors. Consumer products, AC and cars that go zoom zoom.

2) Grew up in a gang, the Baggers who enjoyed life and sports and learned how to communicate and be a team member. Those folks are the foundation of my life…period.

3) Grew up in Chicago the greatest city in the world and also living in Scottsdale AZ…palm trees and blue sky almost everyday is special…but the excitement, architecture, culture, lakefront, and Chicago sports teams have made life very enjoyable. Greats like Hull, Jordan, Payton, Butkus, Sayers, Banks and Santo…Harry Carey, Lloyd Pettite and Jack Brickhouse who told those  stories.

4) Learning everyday to being a good communications person and giving me the rope to enjoy the job, theme parties, employee morale, video and create a brand for Molex from the Krehbiels and a few leaders like Krafthefer, Black, Slark and Hecht…to now with Avnet. Working with the Avnet Executive Board has been so rewarding…they are so nice and talented. Roy Vallee is simply the best communicator and leader any company can have. Plus we have some laughs. Starting w my leader Steve, Karen and then Ray who busts my chops everyday. Rick Hamada is going to do a great job.

5) To accomplish #4 I truly needed my wonderful staffs, fellow employees and great vendors to make my ideas come to life…even when they thought I was crazy…they were not afraid to do things for the first time. More importantly they always did things better than I could imagine.

6) I have enjoyed being entertained by comedians like Dangerfield, Carlin, and even Woody Allen…and rock and roll music…seeing most of the stars…Bill Haley and Comets, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Connie Francis, Turtles, Tom Jones to folks who only need one name on the marquee; Frank, Barbara, Cher and Elvis. Then the Who, Stones, Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Prince and probably the best..Michael Jackson. Today? Black Eyed Peas are my fav.

7) Hopefully made a difference in the community with the Toy Foundation and other programs…with some very nice people who think of others.

8) Playing 16 inch softball has given me an opportunity to play ball and have lifetime friends like from the neighborhood to Molex’s excellent teams and now here in PHX. I have been allowed to learn the history of this great sport…and create a documentary with Tom Tillisch on the game and then establish the Hall of Fame with some amazing board members..

9) I Still want to give back more in PHX and the Business Marketing Assocation is at the top of the radar screen. Learned alot from my BMA PHX peers and new friends…now is the global scale.  I want to accelerate the success of B2B marketers with more knowledge and networking ops. Our awesome national board, Landon-Farrey team and chapter leaders can do it.

10) My biggest accomplishment? It has been enjoying, guiding and watching Zack grow up into Eagle Scout and now doing his own av business. That was not always easy…but so far so good. I love when he creates softball videos. I know he thinks we are a bit out there some times…he says we put the fun in dysfunctiional.

 I have seen alot of history. Nam, civil rights, Berlin wall falling down to Kennedy and 9-11. Landing on the moon was awesome…Apollo 13 maybe even more so…I have had the pleasure to meet Kranz and Lovell. Can’t wait to see what else happens…maybe people will stop hurting each other and we can cure some diseases too.

So retirement is not going to happen too soon…I’m really enjoying life and work inside and out of Avnet. Lots of excitement and challenges ahead but can’t wait to see what unfolds.

Thanks to u folks who make my life so enjoyable and rewarding. I really miss a few that are not with us anymore. Michaelle thanks for everything and your love, ideas and support and keeping me balanced by telling me Im wrong and need to shape up, daily….she cant control me but she has contained me. I’m going for 62 more years. May need it if I’m going to see Cubs win World Series.

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Jun 09 2011

Vallee wows BMA Crowd on Communication Tips

Last week, the Business Marketing Association (BMA) held its annual B2B marketing conference in my home town, Chicago. Most topics for 3 days centered around the increasing importance of organizing content, data and internal and external communications to create strategic competitive advantage.  The event theme was “unleash” and 12 keynote and 11 breakout sessions did just that. Branding, innovation, life balance, career success, business strategy and culture were some of the main topics.

Our Chairman and CEO Roy Vallee, the first CEO to ever speak at the BMA conference discussed the CEO’s point of view, importance of internal and external communications to impact the business results, and show to integrate communications into corporate culture. He noted” Communications are the voice of the CEO; they drive the brand, and research shows that branding drives the stock price.”

As usual he was “on” and he made our folks so proud. Everyone was envious that he was our leader. Consistent theme from folks who stopped me…wish he was my boss. (his speech video will be available soon)

Other conference highlights was the Roush Fenway #16 car with the Avnet and BMA logo that would race Saturday night. Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne was on hand to sign autographs…great kid. I loved the Odyssey Chicago boat cruise which departed the Sheraton and went through an opened Lake Shore Drive bridge to Lake Michigan on a picture perfect evening. I have not done that in decades.

The keynote speaker was the famous Seth Godin, who gave a rousing speech discussing his most recent book, Poke the Box, which urges people to take immediate action.  Seth encouraged empowering experimentation, ”If failure is not an option, neither is success.” That is a strategy I have always lived by…hence the NASCAR entry.

For some strange reason the 2160 members have allowed the board of directors to let me be their chairman for 2011-2012. Our board has some great agencies and sr leaders and CMO”s of Siemens, IBM, Motorola, Emerson, GE, Tellabs, Google, LinkedIn, AON and Bloomberg. What are they thinking, they look like stable people?

Here is the Cliff Notes (that shows my age) plan…I want to Inform-Engage-Inspire our members. How? With networking opportunities like in Chicago and content, content, content…the power of BMA is our members…so I intend to get great content from them…ranging from videos, survey, research and white papers and enhance our website with it. That I hope translates into knowledge and then more members. And members who will learn so much and network with other pros that they will increase sales and profits…be recognized for it and get get promoted and make more money.

So if your a marketer who wants to get ahead…look up…let’s see if we can help you acclerate your success.

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Jun 04 2011

First Avnet Experience with NASCAR Almost Ends Up in Victory Lane

Published by under Breaking News

Trevor Bayne almost stole the race Saturday in last seconds…and went from 35th to 3rd in Chicago. Our Avnet/BMA car looked great. Could see our logos easily and was on TV for at least 5 minutes. After the race Trevor did an awesome interview on ESPN…wearing an Avnet white hat and he mentioned Avnet and BMA…the cherry on the sundae. Trevor is such a nice person he attracts the coverage…he is going to be a star.

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