MANA’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce that four MANA members have been elected to two-year terms on MANA’s Board starting May 1, 2022.
Sid Ragona was elected to his first two-year term. Keynae Agnew, Marnee Palladino, and Kenneth Russell-Murray were elected to their second two-year terms.
Sid Ragona founded Ragona Scientific LLC in 2006 and has been a MANA member since 2009. His company specializes in nanotechnology from foreign start-up companies that want to sell into the US and Canada. (https://ragonascientific.com/)
He is also cohost of a radio show and podcast about entrepreneurship. (started in July 2020) Rethinking Business: Success Sauce and two pickles. (https://www.successsaucetwopickles.com/) and has been a Certified Score Mentor since 2011.
In his Board application, Ragona wrote:
“I would be honored to serve as a board member for MANA. I have been an enthusiastic supporter of MANA ever since I joined around 13 years ago. I thoroughly enjoy the monthly Magazine (Agency Sales) and have contributed to it quite a few times.
“In 2015 I served on the professional development council for MANA and learned a lot from the process. I have benefited professionally and financially from being a MANA member and have found the organization and its personnel to be very helpful and responsive. I cannot imagine running a rep company without the vast arsenal of MANA resources at my fingertips.
“In addition to running a successful rep company that specializes in overseas manufacturers, I am also a certified SCORE mentor and board member (member at large) of our local chapter. I teach a large variety of workshops ranging from Sales, Marketing, Negotiation, and business planning using a Business Model Canvas. Additionally, I cohost a radio show and podcast about entrepreneurship.
“I feel that all these skills culminate to work in synergy to provide sound decision making based on a wide variety of experience.”
Keynae Agnew owns Agnew Pacific Enterprises, LLC, California. She writes: “From the beginning of my career as an independent representative, MANA has been a significant resource for education and training. As an agency owner, I understand the benefits and importance of being connected to a trade association like MANA. I am not only passionate about achieving success for my own agency, but also have a desire to assist others in achieving professionalism and success in their careers. I believe serving on the Board of Directors will provide opportunities to further promote MANA’s values within the industry and assist our trade association to grow.
“I have worked as an independent manufacturers’ representative for a little over 12 years, with approximately nine years of that time as CEO/president of my own agency, Agnew Pacific Enterprises, LLC. In 2017, I received my Certified Professional Manufacturers’ Representative designation through MRERF/IPA. I am actively involved on two leadership teams: MANA’s Special Interest Group — “A League of Their Own” (ALOTO), and the WomenReps Annual Conference Planning Committee. Additionally, I serve on the Board of Directors for Health Industry Representatives Association (HIRA).”
Marnee Palladino owns MARN, Inc. in Connecticut.
“Before starting my rep firm, I worked for Palladin, my husband’s Swiss precision turning company in Waterbury, Connecticut. It was my interaction with Palladin’s sales reps and my experience in sales and marketing that started me thinking about becoming a manufacturers’ representative. While visiting customers and prospects, some of these OEMs were asking if I had sources for other types of parts, so I realized I might be more valuable if I had a variety of parts to offer. While thinking about how to become a manufacturers’ representative, I began researching online. Fortunately, I found MANA right away. While I was perusing the MANA website, Charley Cohon contacted me to ask if I needed any help. After a phone call with Charley, I joined MANA, and a few months later, in September of 2014, I launched my agency.
“Given my 20-year history with Palladin, I have an understanding of manufacturing and the challenges manufacturers face on a daily basis. As a member of the Board, I will be able to offer a manufacturing perspective to balance my agency perspective.
As both a woman and the owner of a five-year-old agency, I believe I may be able to offer support to MANA’s newest members as they start their agency or work through any challenges they may have in the early years of the agency ownership. I look forward to being a resource as they work through any issues or concerns.
Finally, from the inception of my agency, the network of MANA relationships truly helped me get my rep firm off the ground and offered a framework (and best practices) for working with manufacturers. As I move forward with my agency, the first place I think to reach out to for support and guidance is and always will be MANA and its members in good standing. I will always be a strong advocate for MANA and the professional manufacturers’ sales representative in what we call the rep industry. I continue to be incredibly grateful to MANA and its member agencies with whom I have been fortunate enough to come to know. Since my firm was born through the network of invaluable support that MANA and its members continue to extend to me, I would be honored to be a member of the Board to offer my perspective and experience to help other MANA members
Kenneth Russell-Murray, ElectraSpec, Inc., Quebec, Canada, writes: I am a long-standing supporter of MANA and have over 20 years of experience as a manufacturers’ representative and as the proud owner of Electrospec, Inc. In 2020 Electrospec will celebrate 25 years of operation.
“In 2017 I took the initiative to create MANA’s Eastern Canada networking group in an effort to create greater awareness of MANA in our region. My hope is to encourage networking and communication so that we may advance and adapt our processes to the current best practices while maintaining a high degree of professionalism.
“I’m based in Quebec and speak English and French, which is definitely an asset in the global marketplace.”
I am Quebec’s representative for the Electro Federation of Canada (EFC) and am participating in ongoing education through the Certified Professional Manufacturers’ Representative (CPMR) program. I served for five years on the Board of Directors of a non-profit organization: Lake Marois Country Club (LMCC). In July 2017 I was honored with the LMCC Lifetime Honorary Membership Award.