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The AeA (formerly the American Electronics Association) was a nationwide non-profit trade association that represented all segments of the technology industry. It lobbied governments at the state, federal, and international levels; provided access to capital and business opportunities; and offered select business services and networking programs.In 2008 the AeA merged with the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) to form TechAmerica.
AeA was founded in 1943 by David Packard and 25 of Hewlett-Packard's suppliers to help lobby for government contracts. It was originally named the West Coast Electronic Manufacturers Association (WCEMA). In 1969, WCEMA changed its name to the Western Electronic Manufacturers Association (WEMA) to reflect the growing membership outside California. In 1977, the association once again changed its name to the American Electronics Association, in an effort to more accurately represent its 750 members nationwide. A final name change occurred in 2001, as the American Electronics Association was shortened to AeA with the tagline "Advancing the Business of Technology."AeA had 18 offices across the United States, and had two international offices in Brussels and Beijing. AeA had nearly 2,500 corporate members (and the 1.8 million employees they represent nationwide) at the time of the merger. The membership was drawn from a wide range of high tech sectors, including the aerospace/defense, business related services, computers, medical equipment, semiconductors/electronic components, software, and telecommunications industries. Since 1959, AeA has awarded an annual Medal of Achievement to a recipient selected for contributions and advances within the high-tech industry, their community, and humankind. AeA also produced an annual Cyberstates report which quantifies the high-tech industry on a state-by-state basis in the United States.On September 11, 2008, The Boards of Directors of AeA and the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) announced that they are in discussions to merge the trade associations’ memberships and programs.On December 9, 2008, the Boards of Directors of AeA and ITAA announced that they have each approved the merger of the two trade associations' memberships and programs. The combined associations became TechAmerica (The Technology Association of America) on January 1, 2009. The merger, gave rise to a stronger voice for the technology industry by bringing together the largest number of tech companies throughout the United States.
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