Eric Thoreson

District Manager at The Okonite Company

The Okonite Company   |   Eric’s LinkedIn Profile

How long have you been a member of SME?

I have been a member since 2008 when I became District Manager of the Minneapolis office for my company.

Why did you join?

I joined for selfish reasons. I wanted to get a new perspective in sales and marketing by individuals peering through different glasses and different businesses.

What value do you get from your membership that you may not have expected?

I like the way SME tries new things. I became a member of a business roundtable where we as a group looked at ways in solving member’s problems and achieving goals.

Please tell us a little bit about your business.

Founded in 1878, a manufacturer of underground power cable, employee owned, direct sales force and supporting utilities and commercial/industrial interests. Very active in petro-chemical and renewables.

What was your “best” recent sales experience?

I accidentally parked in the CEO’s parking spot on a cold call at a local refinery. The receptionist attempted to hunt me down. I negotiated getting all of their future cable business before they found me.

What do you do when you’re not working or attending SME events?

Spend as much time as possible up at the lake cabin with family fishing, biking or golfing.

What was your first car? Did it have a nickname?

1979 Mercury Capri. “Gilbert” License #EHY-21

What was the first concert you ever attended?

The Johnny Holm Band, Maple Lake Pavilion, Mentor, MN 1978. I’m distantly related to him…my closest claim to fame.