Iillustration 19276996 / Dirk Erck / Dreamstime
Illustration 60886103 / Kheng Ho To /Dreamstime
Illustration 19276996 / Dirk Erck / Dreamstime

Electrical People - Molitor Picked to Head IDEA

Dec. 5, 2014

IDEA (Arlington, Va.): IDEA’s board of directors named Paul Molitor of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) as CEO and president, effective Dec. 15. According to an IDEA press release, Molitor has held several positions with NEMA, including his most recent role as assistant vice president, strategy and policy. His tenure with NEMA has been highlighted by his leadership in establishing technical standards for the Smart Grid.

The IDEA board has also promoted Mike Wentz of IDEA to the role of executive V.P., sales and marketing, effective immediately. Wentz has been with IDEA for nearly five years, serving most recently as V.P., operations. He has more than 30 years in information services as a technology provider working with distribution.

“We are excited to have someone of Paul’s background lead IDEA at this critical juncture,” said interim CEO and IDEA Board member Chris Curtis, who led the executive search committee. “The committee and I know that both manufacturers and distributors will benefit from his presence.” The search committee consisted of four IDEA board members: Curtis (Schneider Electric), Jack Carlson (Southwire Co.), Wes Smith (Mayer Electric Supply), and David Rosenstein (Connexion Electric Supply).

“IDEA has an aggressive agenda to enrich the data field standard and dramatically increase the level of data quality in the Industry Data Warehouse (IDW), enabling distribution to confidently use the IDW in all their digital applications to drive growth and reduce cost, he added. “The Board thinks the combination of Paul and Mike will put IDEA on the most solid leadership footing since its inception. We know they will bring value to the entire electrical industry, and to the IDEA employees, and we believe that both Paul and Mike will lead IDEA to realize its vision of becoming the preferred source of high-quality manufacturer data, delivered efficiently and cost effectively.”

Summit Electric Supply (Albuquerque, N.M.): Rick Zelenka is now the company’s director of MRO/strategic accounts.  With more than 34 years in electrical distribution, Zelenka is an industry veteran who’s managed Gulf Coast operations for most of his career. He’s held regional management roles for various global supply chain companies in the Gulf Coast and has led successful sales, operations, and support teams. Zelenka was most recently the global account manager for a large international distributor, where he was responsible for the oil and gas customer segment. He will be based out of the company’s Houston, Texas, service center.

Specialty Lighting Industries Inc. (Ocean, N.J.): This architectural lighting fixture company recently appointed three lighting industry veterans to its marketing, sales, and strategic/product development team. Ron Steen, a lighting engineer who helped develop the first LED tail lamp for the automobile industry, has been appointed to the position of V.P. of business and product development for SLI.  Prior to joining SLI, Steen was director of product management for SSL Systems and Drivers at Philips Lighting Electronics.

With nearly 15 years of lighting industry experience, Lyle Perkins has been appointed to the position of national sales and marketing manager for SLI, where he will be responsible for the company’s inside and agency sales force, sales strategy, and asset management.  Prior to his role at SLI, Perkins served as international key account manager at Philips Lighting Electronics.

Chris Reed has been appointed to the position of director of product innovation for SLI, where he will work with SLI’s line of specialty architectural fixtures and innovate new fixture platforms.

National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), St. Louis: The association recently added a new position to support member distributors’ talent recruitment and retention efforts, and has hired Allison Olden for the role. Olden has a B.S. in business administration and several years of experience in talent recruitment. As NAED’s talent recruitment and retention specialist, she will be responsible for creating and delivering tools and resources to help distributors attract top talent to the electrical wholesaling market.

Universal Lighting Technologies (Nashville, Tenn.): Ed Steen is now  regional sales manager for the company’s Southeast territory. Steen joins Universal with more than 17 years of industry experience  and an expertise in selling LED products in the entertainment, architectural and retrofit lighting arenas. In his new role, Steen will provide support to Universal’s reps in the Southeast, United Electrical Sales, Orlando, and Gorin Hopper McCoy, Norcross, Ga.