NAED – NAED Appoints Wes Smith as President & CEO

National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (February 6, 2024) – The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) has named Wes Smith as the new President and CEO of the association. 


Smith will begin his role as President and CEO immediately.


Smith previously worked as the Senior Advisor for Rexel USA and as President and CEO of Mayer prior to Mayer becoming part of Rexel.  Smith has grown up in the industry, starting in the warehouse and working through various roles in finance, technology, continuous improvement, operations, and strategy.

Smith has extensive experience with the National Association of Electrical Distributors. He was NAED’s Chairman from 2020-2022, helping to navigate the association during the COVID pandemic. He remained on the NAED Executive Committee as Past Chair until his appointment as President and CEO. Smith has been involved with IDEA over the past 20 years, including past IDEA Chair.

Last November, Smith was the first-ever distributor to earn the National Electrical Manufacturers Association’s highest honor, the Bernard H. Falk Award, which is given in recognition of outstanding achievement in technology, management, marketing, international trade, education, public affairs, or any other field important to the electro industry.

“We wanted someone with a technology bent and an eye over the horizon,” John Cain, NAED Board Chair said. “We also wanted someone who knew the industry as a distributor but fully understood the importance of relationships with our manufacturer partners and other critical players in the industry.”


“I couldn’t be more excited to spend the rest of my now 40-year electrical career as part of our industry association, working on our collective behalf,” Smith announced. “There has never been a more exciting time to be in this industry. The bar at NAED is high; we will only achieve our goals through a strong and healthy culture that brings out the best in the association.”


Ed Orlet, NAED’s Senior Vice-President of Government Affairs and Strategic Projects, served as NAED’s Interim CEO since June of 2023.

“Ed kept the train on the track and moving forward, which is no small feat,” Cain added. “He was just the right person at the right time.”

“I can’t thank Ed enough for stepping in and leading NAED in the job that he has done, and I look forward to working closely with Ed. He has so much internal experience at the association, and I will rely on him as a key advisor moving forward.”


EMR Analysis

More information on NAED (National Association of Electrical Distributors): + The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) is dedicated to helping progressive distributors overcome business obstacles by delivering resources so they can own their customer. We support our members through leading-edge approaches to effectively meet personalized educational and leadership development demands. Whether through online classes, expanded research, benchmarking and data analytics capabilities, or conferences and other networking opportunities, NAED empowers members – arming them with a competitive, long-term advantage.

Electrical distribution is a multi-billion dollar industry, made up of solution providers – from salespeople, product experts, skilled and technical professionals – to warehouse associates and drivers.

We help our members by creating the knowledge electrical distributors need to improve their long-term competitive advantage:

  • Identify and explain trends and insights from a larger economy to a broader perspective for the industry.
  • Develop an understanding of contractors’ challenges so distributors can deliver valuable solutions and services.
  • Administer educational programs that develop employees and focus on leadership.
  • Define relevant issues and assist in navigating the regulatory environment.

We assist our members by transferring knowledge and insight through a variety of networking channels:

  • Use leading-edge approaches with education to meet the demands for our members.
  • Create the best distributor networking opportunities
  • Employ a learner focused approach to leadership and workforce education programs

More information on John S. Cain (Chair of the Board, NAED): See the full profile on EMR Executive Services

More information on Wes Smith (President and Chief Executive Officer, NAED): See the full profile on EMR Executive Services

More information on Edward Orlet (Senior Vice President of Government Affairs & Strategic Projects, NAED): See the full profile on EMR Executive Services


More information on Rexel: See the full profile on EMR Executive Services

More information on Guillaume Texier (Chief Executive Officer, Rexel Group): See the full profile on EMR Executive Services

More information on Rexel USA Inc.: + Rexel USA had 2022 sales of 6.4 billion euros. 

Our Focus on Smarter Solutions Made Us America’s Premier Distributor

Millions of US electrical customers trust the expertise, resources and relationships of Rexel USA, Inc. As the US presence of Rexel Group, one of the world’s largest electrical distributors, we apply our know-how, productivity tools and hands-on business-building initiatives to help our customers thrive. Not satisfied with simply delivering products, nearly half of our employees are dedicated to improving how we connect customers with the supplies, solutions and services they need. We’ve developed supply chain models that reduce inventory, raise productivity and cut installation costs. We also help our customers uncover new opportunities. Our energy teams can slash the cost and raise the performance across a facility – from lighting upgrades to complete energy management solutions.

Other Rexel USA Companies are:

  • PLATT: + At Platt Electric, our goal is to be the best distributor in the electrical industry.
    • In 1953, Isadore and Morrie Platt started the West’s newest electrical supply company. As the first orders rolled in across their orange crate desks, products rolled out to customers in an old Ford truck. 
    • Today Platt serves customers throughout the west from a network of over 136 full-service stocking locations and distribution centers in Salt Lake City, Utah, Beaverton, Oregon, and Patterson, California. 
    • Platt is a value-added service company that supplies a broad range of high quality products and services to the utility, industrial, electrical, construction, solar, datacomm/security and commercial markets. 
    • Platt services are designed to save time and money using Technology, Training, Logistics and Information, ensuring that customers receive consistent quality of service with each and every transaction and/or process.
  • Gexpro: + At Gexpro, our goal is to be the best distributor in the electrical industry.
    • Gexpro is a distributor of electrical parts and components for construction, industrial and energy solutions markets. We supply a wide range of electrical supplies and productivity solutions for electricians, contractors and industrial plants. Gexpro carries everything from lighting components, motors, circuit breakers, and tools to electrical wiring, conduit, automation solutions and solar panels. In addition to our online store, we have over 80 warehouse storefront locations throughout the U.S. where customers can find the electrical material they need for their projects as well as product expertise from our experienced staff. Gexpro supports customers across the country to create value, lower their total cost of ownership and run their businesses better.
  • psc (Parts Super Center): + Licensed provider of Genuine GE Renewal Parts.
    • General Electric engineered and manufactured countless electrical products whose designs are still prominent in today’s modern industrial world. Whether you need a new or backup industrial motor, a simple gasket kit for your mature transformer, or backup stock for unplanned outages, Parts Super Center is your source for genuine GE renewal parts and life-extension solutions.
    • Originally a department of GE Supply, PSC became its own business in 2006 when Rexel Holdings acquired GE Supply and rebranded the organization. We are licensed to have the original drawings, intellectual property, and over 15,000 SKU’s to support the GE installed base.
    • With over 25 years of experience in the power distribution and control markets, we are highly qualified to assist you with the identification and supply of genuine, OEM renewal parts to help your operations remain efficient and profitable. Whether you need renewal parts, life-extension kits, or complete units, we are your solution.
  • Capitol Light: + Your National Lighting Source
    • Incorporated in 1926 and with 45 offices coast to coast we are your onestop shop lighting provider. With a customer-centric focus and a culture of cooperation we supply sustainable lighting designs, unparalleled project management for new construction supply needs, the most comprehensive lamp replacement program on the market, lamp recycling, lighting and electrical maintenance for the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, complete turnkey remodel/retrofits and we handle all of the administrative duties for qualifying and collecting applicable utility rebates on your behalf.
  • Rexel Energy Solutions: + Energy Optimization + Electrification Solutions
    • For the past 35 years, the Rexel Energy Solutions team has enabled our clients to make smart choices for a sustainable future through energy efficiency upgrades in facilities across the country.  As a specifying distributor supporting Energy Service Companies (ESCOs), Utility-driven programs, and energy retrofits, our team implements over 60,000 energy projects across the country annually.
    • A specialized, standalone business unit within Rexel, RES is a stocking distributor of energy efficient products and technologies from top tier manufacturers, and are continually vetting new and emerging technologies to assist our clients in providing comprehensive energy retrofits for their end user clients.   We continue to research new ways to further decrease the levels of greenhouse gases and expand our offering to help create a more sustainable future for generations to come.
  • Utility Supply Group: + Industry Experts in Electrical Supplies
    • Utility Supply Group is a nation-wide supplier to RV Parks and Campgrounds.  We ship from warehouses near Kansas City & Seattle to all of North America.  USG maintains over $500,000 in inventory for immediate shipment.  We also drop ship from many manufacturers.
  • Mayer Electric: + Electric Supply, Distribution and Connected Solutions
    • As a Rexel USA banner company, Mayer is one of the nation’s largest wholesale distributors of electrical products and equipment, connected solutions, lighting, digital tools, DataCom technologies, power distribution, and automation and control systems. We serve contractors, industrials, OEMs, integrators, institutions, government entities, utility providers, commercial businesses, and residential customers.
    • Founded in 1930, Mayer was a privately-held, family and certified women-owned business that employed over 1,200 associates in over 68 locations across 12 states and generated sales of $1.2bn over the last twelve months through end-August 2021.
  • Valley Electric Supply, Colorado:
    • Valley Electric Supply is a successful longstanding family-owned business located in Glenwood Springs, Colorado which primarily services the Roaring Fork Valley and adjacent geographies in Western Colorado.
  • Buckles-Smith Electric:
    • Premier Electrical ans Automation Solutions provider for Northern California. With over 80 years in the industry, we’ve seen it all, and we understand the frustrations of malfunctioning parts and machinery failure. Buckles-Smith provided integrated electrical and automation solutions by offering high-end customer service and quality products. Buckles Smith operated 6 branches and generated 2022 sales of c. USD150m.
    • As of August, 2023 Buckles-Smith became a banner of Rexel USA.
  • Teche Electric Supply, LLC: + Keeping you competitive, Keeping youn supplied
    • Teche Electric is an independent, family owned distributor serving commercial/residential construction, industrial and municipal markets. We support new construction, building renovations, maintenance and repair operations (MRO) and original equipment manufacturing (OEM).

More information on Roger Little (Group Executive Committee Member + Chief Executive Officer, Rexel USA and Leader of the USA-Canada Cluster, Rexel): See the full profile on EMR Executive Services


More information on IDEA: + IDEA is the industry-endorsed technology solutions provider. We know the challenges of companies large and small, because we were created for the industry by the industry. Since the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) established IDEA in 1998, we’ve been servicing distributors and  manufacturers with product data syndication and EDI (electronic data interchange). 

More information on Frank Kulaszewicz (Chairman, IDEA): 


More information on National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA): + Founded in 1926, NEMA is an ANSI-accredited Standards Developing Organization made up of business leaders, electrical experts, engineers, scientists, and technicians. NEMA convenes a neutral forum for Members to discuss industry-wide concerns and objectives under a legal umbrella by trained NEMA Staff.

NEMA publishes more than 1,000 electrical and medical imaging standards and technical documents based on the latest science and engineering. NEMA standards promote the safety, efficiency, resilience, and sustainability of products and systems used to power the world.

Representing 370,000 American manufacturing workers across all 50 states, we are the voice of the electroindustry that commands the attention of policymakers and regulators. As legislation and regulations are proposed, the U.S. electroindustry looks to NEMA for advocacy at every level of government, including local building codes, infrastructure funding, national energy laws, and international trade. NEMA is nationally recognized for our focused policy expertise. We help Members define discrete policy goals, identify options and key legislators, map out timelines for action, and manage opportunities for Members to “Fly-In” for Capitol Hill visits or to host Senators and Representatives in company facilities.

More information on Debra Phillips (President & Chief Executive Officer, NEMA): +