Ode to Electronics Industry Moms

A belated Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there. My mother, Jean, passed away eight years ago at 91. Nice Italian lady. The life lessons she taught me were priceless — dusting the furniture, loving family first, believing in God, having integrity, being creative and kind to others, and more. She did everything to benefit my brother and me.

She also helped my Dad, who sold stoves; she was his back office and logistics traffic manager and used a dial-up phone and manual paperwork. Spring break was not in Cancun; it was spent spring cleaning closets, the basement, etc. Mom was darn tough mentally and physically, because she had me to deal with and had a few things physically wrong with her. I think she held out as long as she did to see the birth of her great grandson. I know she hated being the last to leave this earth because she came from a big family and missed everyone, especially my Dad.

There are days when I don't believe Mom had a great life because she did not travel all over or have a lot of expensive things — but I would be wrong. She taught me that material things are not important. She cared for and nourished two sons; my brother was an Eagle scout and is the man you want on your team, so I have to say she did a very good job (the jury is still out on me). She passed away happy. I think of her daily and wish I could tell her what I'm doing, that life is good. I think she would be proud.

Avnet moms, I have no idea how you ladies juggle the toddlers, daily teenage issues, dramas with school and illnesses, and give 100 percent, 8 to 5, every day, for the company. Unless, of course, you folks just want to get away from the kids (as per Rodney Dangerfield's quip, “Now I know why tigers eat their young”). All I know is, I'm not sure where I would be without my staff moms: Michelle Gorel, Michelle Kershner, Michele Spiegel, Lisa DeBride, and Jan Miller.

I can't even keep track of me, yet Michelle K, who's focused on making every written word perfectly crafted, 24/7, for our C-level folks, has twin daughters, and their lives seem to be perfected managed. The daughter of our incredible PR lead, Michelle G, is graduating from high school (the prom was last weekend) and is an artist.

Michele S has two boy athletes and one princess; she works from home and gets everything done on time and perfectly communicated to our employees (plus, she's remodeling her new house!). Lisa, our employee morale coordinator, has one growing boy, who has done great in high school — all this while being a single mom (she just got married in the fall). Lisa is never still; she's always helping somebody.

Last, but not least, is Jan, a mom of two successful ladies and one son who has made her a proud grandmother. Jan, who I've known for 25 years, is more active than most of us, and she's always trying to contain and encourage me, at the same time.

The bottom line is that all these women admirably handle the pressures of raising children, married life, and work. They handle all that life throws at them while doing their jobs perfectly. And they deal successfully with the tough part of working for an old grouch like me. Wow! Moms, you've helped make Avnet a Fortune 100 admired company, and I'm not sure where I would be without you. Thank you.

PS: To my wife… thanks for everything and leading the raising of our son. Nice job, Mom.

12 comments on “Ode to Electronics Industry Moms

  1. Anand
    May 10, 2011

    Al Maag,

     I am glad that you posted this article. Belated Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers. Thank you Mother, for being the special person you are.

  2. Tim Votapka
    May 10, 2011

    Nice article Al! Made me think of an idea. How interesting would it be to have a new slant on the annual Top 50 Distributors round up…as seen through the eyes of the mothers of the top 50 CEOs? Bet it would be well read! Imagine the stories we would have gotten from Leon Machiz or Seymour Schweber?

  3. AnalyzeThis
    May 10, 2011

    …for a second there that you'd forget to mention your wife! Hope you didn't throw that “PS” in at the last minute!

    Anyhow, none of us would be here if it wasn't for a mom! I very much appreciate mine, she's the most wonderful person I can think of. Happy (Late) Mother's Day to all mom's out there!

  4. Ms. Daisy
    May 10, 2011

    Al Maag:

    First, thank you for a thoughtful and heartfelt post. Your mom and all the other moms at Avnet who are obviously now your support system have all collectively done a great job . Your post sure honors' the terrific work each one has done in your life. Your acknowledgement of all the other mothers is greatly appreciated, belated or not.

    Rating your post, I want you to know your mom did a great job with you too!

  5. jbond
    May 11, 2011

    That's an excellent post and I'm sure your mom is proud of you. Thanks for shedding some light on the moms who not only do great jobs for their companies, but are doing great jobs in raining their families. Some would say that a working mom is the hardest worker out there, never really a time to relax and always worrying about others before themselves.

  6. Barbara Jorgensen
    May 11, 2011

    Hi Al, kudos to you and the Moms you mention here. I know a few of them and I, too, am amazed at how they manage their professional and personal commitments. Thanks for taking the time to write a blog to remind us of the people that make up our industry.

  7. eemom
    May 11, 2011

    What a wonderful post!  Thanks for recognizing all the working moms out there who work tirelessly in and out of the home.  There is no job more difficult or more rewarding.

  8. saranyatil
    May 12, 2011

    First Hats off to all the moms ….mom they really mean lot to everyone and its the best phase for all the women – motherlihood.

    next thanks to you AL for posting this message, definitely mom's create a spell on us we feel it especially once they are far away or no more with us. she's is the first teacher for each one of us, for what we are now she s the one completely responsible.


  9. Ariella
    May 12, 2011

    In the interest of equal treatment, we'll have to have a Father's Day post in appreciation of dads next month.  There are fathers who feel they have no obligation to their families beyond bringing home a paycheck (I know one who doesn't even know how to dress his thee year-old son!), and then there are fathers who are really involved in their kids' lives. 

  10. Ashu001
    May 15, 2011


    Mom's no matter where they are;are always amazing.



  11. Ariella
    May 15, 2011

    Ashish, in a 1950's movie, These Wilder Years, the bartender (who, of course, knows everything) offers a similar sentiment. But the focus there is really on the father who finds out that skipping out on your obligations also deprives you of parental rights.

  12. elctrnx_lyf
    May 20, 2011

    As everyone has said I admire any mom. They are sent on to this earth to take care of us. I'm proud of my mom and no one can replace her to me. I strongly support women work force and I encourage the companies to provide as many benefits as poosible during their maternal leave.

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