In the years following the abandonment of the Division Manager program, the domestic sales force was reconstituted with journeymen sales professionals and it was anything but stable. After Steve Johnson left the company, John McKinney, who had been in sales in the Southeast, became Domestic Sales Manager. The turnover within the sales force was quite large, but this may have been the case with our competitors as well although it is unclear exactly why. It is likely that the company did not understand that, while the MBA GM wannabes had enough drive and ambition to succeed without a lot of stroking, the sales professionals who followed needed more support from headquarters. This condition continued for many years, until the ND acquisition, when the strong ND Sales Management team more-or-less took over. With seasoned regional managers, Jim Barstow in the West, Cameron Seely in the East, and specialists such as Gene Sinclair for Nuclear Power we began to see greater stability in the sales force and this has continued to this day in many territories.
Some idea of the turnover can be seen in the following very incomplete list of sales people who worked the traditional territories over the years. Post ND acquisition members are in red.
Gene Della Vecchia
Freeda Ahmed (very short time)
Pulcir : Joe Eddlemon,Marv Nushan,Alan Barber
Jim Johnson: Bob Ellis, Howard Soisson, Rich Goldworm
Judy Beckes Talcott
George Brock (Rep)
Ben Campagnuolo (Benny Compo) joined Canberra in sales support just after the move to Gracey Avenue and he quickly became the spark plug that got the sales department firing on all cylinders. Ben instilled an alacrity and responsiveness in Canberra Sales that had never been seen at Canberra or perhaps in the industry. This was particularly welcome by our international distributors who were accustomed to waiting by their telex machines for long periods for responses to inquiries. Ben’s mantra was “the day doesn’t end until all inquiries are responded to”. If answers were not immediately available, at least an acknowledgement of the inquiry went out promptly.
Ben eventually became our International Sales Manager and later took over Domestic Sales from John McKinney, who relocated to Northern California where he served as the local Sales Engineer for a few years.
For a time the Domestic Sales Force was managed by Peter DeVecchis, who came from the Service Department. Peter was a hard driving manager who had controversial ideas on what it takes to make a good salesman. When we interviewed Dan Gladys for a sales position in California, many of us had reservations about hiring him because of his lack of experience. Pete hired him anyway saying something like “He’s a greedy little SOB and that’s enough for me”.
Later the US Sales Force was managed by Mike Zebarth who came from the field and had an active role in Marketing as well as sales.
After the ND acquisition, Pete Bianchi served as Eastern Regional Manager for a while but this didn’t last. Cameron Seely was put in charge of the Eastern Region and eventually became National Sales Manager under Ben Compo. Later Cameron became a Nuclear Power Specialist and had a stint at managing the Canadian Sales Force for a while. He retired in 2014. Cameron was steadfast in his opposition to the sale of PC Based Systems in Nuclear Power Applications. He promoted DEC-based systems almost until the end of DEC as we knew them, rightly claiming that the PC would take us “down into the trenches to fight for scraps against low-end suppliers”.
By the early 1970s Emery had begun to see the futility in trying to run foreign sales organizations without effective local management. This brought about the establishment in Europe of several joint ventures with proven local principals in these businesses. Thus Canberra GmbH was established in Germany with Norbert Gneiser and Rolf Schwall, who had been with ORTEC. Paul Hering, who had been with Intertechnique, established Canberra France, and Klaus Stock with Danny Meert established Canberra Positronika in the Benelux countries. The results were dramatic. Not only did we gain the best and brightest for our team, but by the same stroke we left our competitors reeling from their loss of talented players.
In addition to the joint ventures in Europe, we were able to cultivate representative relationships throughout Europe that served us well for decades. There were some colorful characters within this group including Ole Aberg in Finland and Juan Alborg in Spain. An organization based in Vienna covered Eastern Europe including Russia and the Soviet Republics.