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2023 30 Under 35 Profile: Sally Cogan

Sally Cogan, 30
Product Manager

Sally began her career with Eaton in February 2017 in the Technical Sales Leadership Development program. “I had interned in other industries—chemical, housing, distribution, oil and gas—but found that none were quite the right fit at the time,” she recalled. “Eaton had a presence at Texas A&M, and I became familiar with the electrical industry that way.”

During her time in the program, Sally worked in Dallas for a year, training to understand the market, selling technique, and distribution. “After completing the development program, I moved to Austin where I worked as a technical sales engineer and aligned more than 30 contractors with channel partners in commercial, residential, and industrial sectors to achieve my sales goal,” she said.

In time, Sally gained further responsibility as a senior technical sales engineer, winning key projects to grow her market and supporting three distributors with stock sales, product training, and increased engagement—and achieving her sales target each year she worked in sales. “In April 2021, I started as the product manager for Enclosed Drives, where I was responsible for product development, portfolio management, and product line strategy,” she said.

In January 2023 Sally started a new role as the area sales manager for the Dallas District for the data center vertical and now leads her team to grow market share in North Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. “This was something I was working toward for several years,” she said. “To prepare, I accepted a spot in Eaton’s Future Leader Xcelerate program to undergo extensive training in management, feedback, and emotional intelligence, along with many other topics. I also volunteered for stretch assignments that would expose me to new areas of the business or leaders in areas I was interested in pursuing.”

When asked what first interested her in electrical distribution, and what continues to appeal to her, Sally replied, “In our industry, you get to work with so many kinds of customers and their respective industries. I also wanted to work for a large company like Eaton that valued its people. Investment in development, learning, and career growth were, and still are, very important to me.”

Regarding a challenge the industry is currently facing, Sally pointed to the supply chain. “I think everyone has been feeling the supply chain struggles that have affected so many industries over the past three years,” she said. “Lead times are longer, flexibility is lessened, and it’s hard on our customers. As a product manager, I was able to employ a few strategies to help my products: Communicating changes in lead time often, approving alternate suppliers, and assisting in resiliency efforts are just a few examples.”

Asked what she would say to someone just entering the industry, Sally said, “Some of the best advice I was given was to listen and learn from those around you, especially as you are new in an industry. Seek out different viewpoints, methodologies, and information to give yourself a really solid and well-rounded base to work off of.”

Another piece of advice: “Network!” encouraged Sally. “It’s so important to spend meaningful time networking in your industry and company.  I’m involved with the Society of Women Engineers [SWE] and have been since I was in undergrad. I have held different positions, including the secretary in Austin and the Eaton SWE liaison. I also volunteer in my local community. I’m especially passionate about programs focused on STEM education for young girls and women.”

Outside of work (and aside from volunteering), Sally enjoys playing tennis and going to the gym. “My husband and I are very adventurous,” she added. “We love to travel, try new things, and experience new cultures. Last year we went snorkeling in glacial melt in Iceland (in between continents!), surfing in Vietnam, and hiking in Grand Teton National Park.”

Each year tED magazine recognizes 30 of the industry’s best and brightest under the age of 35. Please visit tedmag.com/30Under35 for nomination information and updates about the 2024 program. Questions can be sent to tED Editor Misty Byers at mbyers@naed.org.


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