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Rob Stott

Name: Rob Stott
Age: 33
Job Title: Corporate Communications Manager
Company: Nationwide Marketing Group
Years in the Industry: 5.5
Education: B.A. (Journalism), Duquesne University

Dealerscope’s 40 Under 40 Honoree 2021

Describe your current role.
I work with an awesome team of communicators here at Nationwide Marketing Group (NMG), where we collaborate to give a voice to the independent retail channel. Whether it’s new initiatives or programs coming out of Nationwide, the work of our members, or updates from our vendor partners, we’ll get the word out via press releases, the NMG Blog, our Independent Thinking Podcast and any other means possible.

What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?
In just over a year and a half with Nationwide, our communications team has completely reshaped and expanded the Independent Thinking (IT) brand. IT has always been a go-to source of vendor news and NMG updates for our retailers, but today it’s so much more than just a magazine printed twice a year for our PrimeTime shows. It has its own website, a robust content strategy, a weekly podcast and a newsletter — none of which existed within the last 18 months.

What do you like best about your job?
Getting to talk with our network of 5,000 independent retailers and share some of the incredible stories. If you want to see the living definition of resilience, all you need to do is talk to a small-business owner. And I’m lucky enough to get to do that on a daily basis and call it a “job.”

What technology are you most excited about at the moment?
Having helped compile the responses for this program for a few years, I know that the smartphone gets mentioned a lot. I second everyone here who probably (and rightfully) goes that way. But something that’s been incredibly interesting to follow, and will have major implications for the future of our pocket computers (and so much more), is the development of the successor to the lithium-ion battery. Will it be silicon-based? Maybe a sodium-ion battery? Whatever it is that eventually breaks through as the replacement to our current battery tech promises to be revolutionary. Imagine not needing to charge your phone, or earbuds, or smartwatch for months at a time? That’s what the next generation of battery tech could bring to the table.

Who in the CE or technology industry do you look up to, and why?
Our President and Chief Member Advocate here at Nationwide is like the beacon of light from a far-off lighthouse. The way Tom Hickman carries himself and this organization has always inspired me, even back to the days of covering Nationwide for Dealerscope. His commitment to our members, service initiatives, and our staff motivates you to want to be a better version of yourself.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention two tremendously important people who embraced my crazy and helped introduce me to so many people in the CE/retail industry — MEO [Maryellen Oswald] and Tony [Monteleone]. Appreciate you two!

What career advice would you give to people just getting started in the CE or technology industry?
Never stop learning. This industry is always changing and innovating. Never get too comfortable feeling like you know all there is to about this space, because it can change in an instant. So, stay curious.

What, in your opinion, is necessary for the CE/technology industry to thrive in the next five years?
Tech is going to be fine. The innovation will never stop. Where this industry has the opportunity to thrive, though, is at the local retail level. Manufacturers need to ensure they’re giving the local independent stores their fair shake of access to product, but also the training and support they need to effectively present their solutions to their consumers.