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.”