February 6, 2024   

Wes Smith Takes the Helm at NAED

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Photo credit:  National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED)

Smith's diverse background in electrical distribution heralds a new chapter for NAED


The National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) has ushered in a new era of leadership by appointing Wes Smith as its President and CEO, effective immediately. This announcement follows the June 2023 resignation of Tom Naber, who had been with NAED for over two decades, holding various positions of increasing responsibility. 

Wes Smith brings a rich history within the electrical distribution sector to his new role at NAED. His career trajectory, beginning in a warehouse and progressing through diverse functions such as finance, technology, operations, and strategy, showcases a comprehensive understanding of the industry's nuances.


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's other leadership roles, including his tenure as NAED Chairman during the critical period of the COVID-19 pandemic and his involvement with the Industry Data Exchange Association (IDEA), demonstrate his deep commitment and influential presence in the electrical distribution community.

The transition period after Naber’s mid-2023 departure saw Ed Orlet, NAED’s Senior Vice-President of Government Affairs and Strategic Projects, stepping in as Interim CEO, a role for which he has been commended for maintaining momentum and stability within the association.

“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.”

Smith's recognition by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) with the Bernard H. Falk Award signifies his significant contributions to the industry. This accolade, coupled with his longstanding engagement with NAED and IDEA, positions him as a leader poised to navigate the association towards new heights.