The Electronic Retailing Association Europe elects Ken Daly as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors

Brussels, June 2019 – The Electronic Retailing Association Europe (ERA Europe, in transition to ERA Global) is pleased to announce that Ken Daly, CEO JML, has been elected Chairman of the ERA Europe Board of Directors, effective June 2019 – June 2021. Ken was voted onto the Board of Directors by the membership in 2012 and has served as Treasurer from June 2013 until his recent transition to Chairman.

Dr. Julian Oberndörfer, CEO, ERA Europe, said: “We are very happy to have Ken Daly as our new Chairman. As our Treasurer for the last 6 years, he has always been a strong supporter of our association and is clearly committed not only to bring our organisation forward but also to really transform ERA into the Global Representative of the Multi-Channel Home Shopping Industry. We also gratefully thank the outgoing Chairwoman Maja Umek, from Studio Moderna, Slovenia, for all her dedication. The past 2 years have been a difficult time with the demise of our affiliate association ERA U.S., but Maja managed to manoeuvre our association back in shallow waters, initiating our transformation to ERA GLOBAL”.

Ken Daly, Chairman of the Board of Directors shared the following message: “ERA Global represents a highly tenacious group of businesses. That was very clear to me at the recent conference in Budapest. Optimism and positivity abounded, even though the environment in which we all operate, one would have thought, is becoming more challenging every day. There are so many success stories in our industry, happening right now, that the conclusion must be that we have the specialist knowledge, the skills, the experience and the sheer willpower to take advantage of our changing world and to seek out and seize new opportunities.

One key element to success that ERA members have long realised, is that working together, globally, is essential. This is one of the reasons why what used to be ERA Europe is transitioning to become ERA Global. Since the sad demise of the USA ERA organisation last year, we have been talking to our friends and partners in countries beyond Europe about them joining our organisation. It makes perfect sense and I am delighted to say that what started as a small trickle of new members has now become a steady flow. Whilst we had 49 member companies this time last year, we are now up to 63. Our intention is to grow our membership further. However, we don’t want to become a very broad church. We are specifically the association for the multi-channel home shopping industry. We want to attract like-minded businesses that share our DNA, mainly that we use ‘video’/’film’/’the moving image’, call it what you like, to market innovative products to consumers.

Expanding our base of members will have many benefits. We will be stronger together and at the same time we shall all have greater opportunities to build our businesses by trading with one another. And then there is the matter of finance. With more companies contributing to our fixed costs, we should be able to reduce the fees we charge for membership and for attending our conferences. Whilst we are a true not for profit organisation, we must of course cover our expenses. We are about to conduct a review of our pricing structure and at the very least we can commit to simplifying it in the very near future. At the same time we would like to be able to offer additional benefits to members on top of the first class range of services we already provide. For example we intend to establish a meeting room with refreshments for ERA members and their guests at next year’s Chicago Housewares Show, and in Budapest we inaugurated our new APAC chapter to better serve the needs of our growing membership in this region.

I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to the ERA Board for putting their trust in me to be Chairman for the next two years at what is such an exciting time for the association. I’d also like to say another huge thank you to Maja Umek, the outgoing Chairwoman who has done such a great job in sailing our ship so superbly through what could have been very stormy waters. At the same time Maja has been instrumental in growing the membership and strengthening the ERA for the benefit of us all.
Over the coming weeks you will see ERA communications being re-branded as ERA Global with an official name change in due course. More imminently we will reveal the location and dates of next year’s European conference. Meanwhile we continue to work on the excellent relationship we have with the PDMI. We are of course only too aware of the concern over dates for the USA conferences that they are organising. Our intention is to get closer to the PDMI management so that they will take into consideration very seriously ERA members’ requirements before setting dates in future.

All that remains for me to say now is a final thank you to all ERA members for your continued support and to wish you a highly successful summer of business.”