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Former NAED Chair Passes Away

Former NAED Chair Passes Away

James (Jim) Pockey, 1994-95 NAED Chair, passed away January 14, 2019 at the age of 98 in Pompano Beach, Florida.

He is survived by his wife Phyllis, his son and daughter-in-law, Bruce and Ann Pockey, and his daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Bill Vogler. He had five grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Pockey began his electrical distribution career in 1958 at McDonald Distributors of Florida, at that time a two-salesman, 11-employee operation based in Florida. He served beside his father in law, H.M. Long, brother in law, Dick Long, and their sons.

From his beginning as an outside salesman, over the years Pockey filled the positions of purchasing agent, vice president, president, and eventually vice chairman of McDonald when he was named NAED Chair in 1994.

In a June 1994 tED magazine article, he described his early days in Florida:

“It was my job as the outside salesman to go out and attract new customers, but making that more difficult than it should have been was the fact that newcomers generally were frowned upon.” Complicating his life was the fact that the previous McDonald owners had developed a reputation for not spending much time with smaller contractors. “During World War II, McDonald called only on the big ones and let the smaller contractors go by the wayside. My introduction to the business was one of constant resistance from those smaller contractors.”

His solution to the problem of resistance was to keep on calling, wait and see, and take advantage of any and all opportunities. “I knew I was the new kid on the block, but the longer I was there, the easier things became for me,” he said.

Pockey was also a founding member of the distributor marketing group SIED (Southern Independent Electrical Distributors), which merged with several other marketing groups, forming IMARK.

He was laid to rest on Saturday, January 19th. His obituary can be found here.

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