After working at Sharp for more than 25 years, Erica Calise has discovered one fundamental truth. The learning process never ends.
“You can’t take the attitude of thinking you know everything; we are always learning and must continually challenge ourselves and others,” said Calise, the director of government and corporate marketing for Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America (SIICA) and a 2017 ENX Magazine Difference Maker.
“Things that worked or didn’t work in the past may be the answer to an existing problem. The solution may need to be tweaked, but it could be the answer for the current situation, under the current circumstances. I am constantly looking for ways to improve the system, to make it more effective and efficient.”
A political science major in college, Calise has always been fascinated with government and its inner workings. Her first job out of school was as an international trading liaison for Merrill Lynch’s fixed income trading desk. A resident of New Jersey, she soon found the Manhattan commute to be extremely taxing and wanted to find a position closer to home.
Fortunately for Calise, Sharp was in need of a government account marketing manager. The responsibilities included working with contracts, terms and conditions, plus marketing combined with technology and providing solutions to customers—duties which fell right inside her wheelhouse. Thus, a career was born.
Calise finds the most rewarding aspect of her job to be enabling Sharp sales account managers and the dealer network to better understand the value of helping government and educational end users. “It isn’t all about making a sale,” she said. “It’s about building a relationship, gaining trust from the buyer, representing yourself and your company—all leading to providing a solution that helps an organization be more efficient and potentially save money.”
Calise follows a “make it better” mantra that entails getting ideas and input from the entire team in order to devise solutions. She takes nothing for granted and asks all the necessary questions to help achieve a given goal.
“I like to know the big picture, but realize it is the little things that add up to the success of any project,” she said. “Careful planning, attention to detail, straightforward directions and ensuring everyone on the team knows the objectives and goals we want to accomplish is critical.”
Being fair and honest in her business dealings has been a trademark of Calise’s work ethic, even when providing answers to people that they may not want to hear. She also underscores the importance of being a good listener.
Calise cites SIICA’s award of the National Joint Power Alliance contract last November as one of the most significant accomplishments of 2016. The company is looking to grow business with new opportunities this year and Calise’s team will work closely with its national account sales team to support Sharp dealers and their efforts to grow mid-size market account business.
Calise has many interests outside of her work with SIICA. She enjoys traveling, learning to speak Spanish and reading mystery novels. Calise and her husband are the parents of two college students—one is studying civil engineering at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, CA; the other is a Pre-Med major at Penn State University in State College, PA.
Another interest for Calise is nurturing her sometimes unrequited love of golf. “Someday I hope to make it through 18 holes of golf without getting totally frustrated,” she said.