i3 - November/December 2017 - 65

By Deb Kassoff

CT R E P O RTS

Meet the Mentors

 C 

TA's Mentor program helps members
get the information they need to
run their businesses more effectively.
Seasoned industry veterans are available
to provide insightful advice to any member
seeking guidance about their business strategy. We asked three CTA mentors, Coleen
Sterns Leith, president of Marketing Matters;
Tom Malone, president of VOXX Electronics
Advanced Solutions; and Larry Richenstein,
managing director of Peak Ventures, to share
some of their experiences.

What advice would
you give a first timer
at CES?

Malone: I've attended
CES for 35 years and my
advice for first time attendees
is to start networking from
Leith: My first CES was
day one. Your entire
summer 1990 in Chicago.
industry and its
I've attended every
influencers are
show since except
there. Every
one. My advice to a
encounter is
first timer at CES is to
a chance to learn,
plan your time by
add to your knowlvenue. Dedicate one
edge base and
or two days to the Las
make an impression.
Vegas Convention
Coleen
Listen and learn.
Center, another to the
Sterns Leith
Richenstein: I attended
Venetian/Sands Expo,
my first CES in June
etc. Don't go back and
1968 at the age of 15, and except
forth during the day or do
for during college, I never missed
off-site meetings. Use the
a show until January '17, when
CTA meeting rooms and enjoy
I was recovering from surgery.
your membership benefits.
Best advice for someone
Wash your hands often.
coming to CES the first time:
Change your shoes before
don't expect to see it all. CES
your evening activities - your
is too big. Review CES before
feet will thank you. Have fun
the show and decide what
but not too much. It's quite
areas are of key interest and
challenging to do a CES day
set a plan to see those.
with little sleep!

I've attended CES for 35 years
and my advice for first time attendees
is to start networking from day one.
-Tom Malone, VOXX Electronics
C TA . t e c h / i 3

What advice would you give
your younger self?

Business

that works for the retailer.
As an example, there is no need
to quote pricing for 1,000 units
at net 30 when your customer
can only buy 100 and will need
extended dating.

Leith: Get several mentors on
board as soon as you can. If
finances allow, join a strong CEO
group that gives you a board of
directors that can provide advice
What do you enjoy about
when situations arise. When I
being a CTA Mentor?
was in startup mode 20 years
Leith: I truly enjoy mentoring
ago, I didn't know what I didn't
startups. I've worked with many
know. Mentors made all the
over the past 20 years and I love
difference in teaching me how
the excitement and passion
to grow my business.
that a startup exudes. Mentees
Malone: It's easy to get lost
come from various business
in the everyday details of your
backgrounds and I find that I can
job but you must make time to
typically help them see things
step back and look at your
they hadn't considered. It's
industry as a whole and where
rewarding to share my
it's going to see if you and
experiences with folks
your company are
doing what I was
moving in the right
doing so long ago.
direction. Trends
Malone: Every
can be evident but
mentee I meet
many are subtle and
brings a new story,
develop more slowly
a new idea and a
and you won't
passion for what they
recognize them and be
Tom Malone
believe in and most
able to react if you don't
importantly a real desire
take time to look.
to learn and benefit from what
Richenstein: Don't be so
they have been through
goal oriented that you forget
already. Their openness is
to enjoy the process of accomrefreshing and many things
plishing your goals.
we take for granted are brand
new for them so it's a great
What's the best advice
discovery process.
you ever received?
Richenstein: I truly enjoy
Leith: As CEO of my
business, and welcome
company, I need to
the opportunity to hear
focus exclusively on
from entrepreneurs
cash, staff and
with regard
strategy. All other
to the tough issues
functional tasks can
they face. Sharing
be delegated. One
knowledge that
of my mentors shared
I've gained over the
that with me about
Larry
years, often the hard way,
15 years ago.
Richenstein
enables me to give back.
Malone: I was told that
trust and integrity are
qualities that will serve you
your entire career and that is
absolutely true. Business
relationships formed on that
foundation will generate
benefits for years to come.
Richenstein: Know your
customer. Each customer has its
own nuances as to what it needs
from a vendor, and a salesperson
must have this information in
order to structure a program

In a few words,
what is the value of being
a CTA member?

Leith: Technology, mentoring,
networking, research and
the ability to stay on top of CE.
Malone: You feel part
of, and truly connected,
to your industry.
Richenstein: Networking,
education and a chance
to impact our industry.
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017

65


http://www.marketingmatters.net/ http://www.voxxintl.com/ http://www.voxxintl.com/ http://peakventures.vc/ http://cta.tech/i3

i3 - November/December 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - November/December 2017

Contents
i3 - November/December 2017 - Cover1
i3 - November/December 2017 - Cover2
i3 - November/December 2017 - Contents
i3 - November/December 2017 - 2
i3 - November/December 2017 - 3
i3 - November/December 2017 - 4
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i3 - November/December 2017 - Cover3
i3 - November/December 2017 - Cover4
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