Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Sept 11, 2019

EIN Medeiros ABB 2 400By Blake Marchand

Stephanie Medeiros leads ABB Canada’s Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure team, as well as transit bus charging in the United States and Canada. She has been with ABB in various positions for 10 years, compiling a diverse skillset that includes work all over the world. 

After receiving a degree in Electrical Engineering from McGill University, Medeiros got her start in the industry by volunteering with the Canadian government as an electrical engineering intern, where she travelled to Peru to help improve their water treatment infrastructure. The experience was an invaluable one for Medeiros, ultimately teaching her a great deal about leadership and giving her perspective on what leadership looks like in another culture.

“As soon as I graduated, I thought it was really important to take some time off and use the skills that I had learned to do something good,” said Medeiros. “I was sent to different cities in Peru to optimize the DC circuit for their electric supply, but with the intent on improving their drinking water supply. The majority of cities in Peru get their water from underground wells. So, they have systems of DC motors and pumps to get that water from underground.”

Medeiros explained that, because the towns were in remote locations they didn’t have access to electrical engineers and those types of skilled workers on a regular basis. As well, their systems were antiquated. “A lot of villages that I went to only had drinking water supply for two hours a day, because their systems weren’t optimized.”

“My task was basically to go to each of these cities, using the skills I learned as an electrical engineer and my knowledge of DC motors, to optimize these circuits. The goal was to increase the water access from two hours a day to 12 hours.”

The work was fulfilling from a humanitarian perspective, but it also provided Stephanie with a great deal of quality experience In terms of technical experience optimizing these systems, but also leadership and management. The fact that she was young and a woman made it challenging to prove herself as an expert in these communities. “Every town that I would go to, the first week or so was challenging,” she explained. “Basically I was supposed to be the expert. There were some tests I would have to do that I couldn’t do myself, so I was given labourers to work with and in every town I had start all over again to prove myself,” she said, adding “some of the towns were more reluctant to listen to me.”

It took patience to convince them to trust her expertise. Despite the challenge it was a positive and enriching experience. “I learned a lot about myself and leadership,” she noted.

“Experiences such as this are really an intensive crash course. Whenever I go to a new country, and especially countries or cultures that aren’t used to seeing women in the workforce, you have no choice but to find creative ways to make it work.”

Following her trip, she got a job with ABB as a project engineer working out of Montreal.

Her work as a project engineer included designing and commissioning components of substations — a particularly interesting role for Stephanie because it was highly technical. It allowed her to build off the work she did in Peru and develop a strong technical foundation doing fieldwork across Canada.

Medeiros would eventually move into a product management role, again out of Montreal. Although the position would take her abroad as well, living and working in other countries was interesting professionally and personally, offering her a greater appreciation for other cultures by experiencing them firsthand.

Her new position included management as well as marketing aspects, so she returned to McGill for a management/marketing diploma. Furthering her education was beneficial because it would qualify her for other management positions within the company.

Today, Medeiros leads ABB’s electric vehicle charging Infrastructure team for Canada, and in the United States she leads electric infrastructure for transit buses.

“The way I see it, what I’m doing at ABB is helping to create a better and more sustainable world for everyone, and at the end of the day this is what drives me.” Because there are always challenges along the way, Stephanie said she is motivated by the bigger picture associated with what she does at ABB Canada. In fact, she considers one of her greater accomplishments to be co-founding an ABB Canada program called the Excelle Group.

The Excelle Group promotes gender diversity at ABB Canada by putting on small and large events involving guest speakers, panel discussions with women across various industries, guided discussions, and networking. Medeiros said ABB Canada’s Human Resources department has many great initiatives to support woman in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), and “the Excelle Group is a means to work alongside these HR initiatives and to continue this important discussion.”

As a woman in STEM, Medeiros has experienced the challenges women face in the workplace firsthand. Without a support system of people with shared experiences, it’s easy to lose confidence and become discouraged.

“I felt alone sometimes early in my career,” she said, to a point where she would question her ability. “Those thoughts definitely happen, so I don’t want any woman — or man, because I know this happens to men, as well — to feel they are alone because they’re a minority in their field.”

“Just hearing other people’s stories and connecting with people gives them that extra push.” Having those support systems in place also goes a long way in fostering a productive working environment.

Medeiros noted ABB Canada has many women in leadership roles, including President, Nathalie Pilon. “Nathalie is a great role model for many in a STEM company, and even in other industries,” she said, because there is crossover to the challenges women face. And as Medeiros mentioned, having differing perspectives is a huge asset for innovation.

In Part 2, in which ABB’s Stephanie Medeiros talks about an approaching tipping point for Canada’s EV industry, her involvement in a new standard for overhead bus charging, and more, will be published in an upcoming issue of CEW.

Photo credit: Marc-Andre Pichette, ABB

Blake Marchand is Assistant Editor, Kerrwil Electrical Group

 

SignifyThe electrical and lighting industries were shocked this week with the announcement that Signify purchased the recently renamed Cooper Lighting Solutions from Eaton.

The former Eaton Lighting division was scheduled to be spun off from Eaton via an IPO late this year / early next year.  While rumored earlier this year to be up for sale, rather than being spun off, there were no takers for the business. Although, it was reportedly considered by some.  According to Signify, discussions with Cooper Lighting, and Eaton, began a month ago. The interest could have been provoked by the Q3 slowdown in the lighting market with Signify sensing an opportunity to make an acquisition, perhaps at a discount.

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Rick McCartenBy Rick McCarten

For a long time now, many experts have been pointing out how companies should be expanding their service offerings beyond their product sales. Companies are wrapping services around their product and packaging — everything from special deliveries, warranties, repair and technical assistance to 24-hour service. This “servic-ization” helps differentiate companies from their competitors. How big is this going to get? Some reports have this trend becoming the core of our future economy.

 

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Carol McGloganBy Line Goyette

With Industry 4.0 on our doorstep, we are facing significant technological and resource changes, some of which question our industry’s core values. Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, digitization, transport electrification, diversity and inclusion are among the inescapable changes that will affect our industry head on, both in its best practices and its business models. We have several advantages to help us deal with the changes, including an unwavering advocate for our industry: Carol McGlogan. She is the first woman to hold the position of Electro-Federation Canada’s (EFC) President and CEO. 

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CEW IDEAL Nationals 400

The IDEAL Nationals are underway with an 18 member Canadian Team supported by the IDEAL Industries Canada crew. This year over 55,000 electrical contractors and electricians competed worldwide so this is the cream of the crop competing here in Orlando .

The 2019 IDEAL National Championship is a highly charged, no-holds barred competition to determine the best electrician in North America and includes teams from China, Australia and Mexico.

To make it to Orlando, contractors have to qualify first and numerous qualifying events were held throughout Canada.

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GDP Rose 0.1 PercentReal gross domestic product edged up 0.1% in August, following no change in July. Goods-producing industries were up 0.2% after two months of declines, led by a rebound in manufacturing, while services-producing industries edged up 0.1%. Overall, there were gains in 14 out of 20 industrial sectors.

On a three-month rolling average basis, real gross domestic product rose 0.5% in August, compared with a 0.8% increase in July.

 

 

 

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Changing Scene

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Select manufacturer executives had precisely five minutes to present a key product with superior growth potential to the members of IMARK Canada. Distributor member executives then rated each supplier based on the quality of the presentation and the perceived sales potential of the product being demonstrated.

 

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OmnicableOmniCable would like to thank the electrical distributors and industry partners who attended OmniCable Toronto’s open house on October 23, 2019. OmniCable opened its Toronto branch back in April 2019. Toronto is OmniCable’s first branch outside of the United States. The Toronto facility, which is approximately 50,000 square feet, is OmniCable’s 13th branch and services electrical distributors throughout Canada.

During the open house, attendees toured the facility, met OmniCable Canada and US teams, enjoyed light refreshments, and walked away with giveaways.

 

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Ilsco and Adanac SalesILSCO Canada has announced the appointment of Adanac Sales as agency of representation for the ILSCO brand in the province of British Columbia.

This partnership exemplifies ILSCO’s dedication to collaborate with companies that share ILSCO’s commitment to providing excellent products and service to the electrical industry in British Columbia.

 

 

 

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ABBTotal orders -1%1, order backlog +3%

  • Steady revenues and book-to-bill2
  • Operational EBITA margin2 11.7%, +20 basis points; impacted 70 basis points by stranded costs
  • Income from continuing operations, net of tax $422 million, -1%
  • Net income $515 million, -15%
  • Operational EPS2 $0.33, -7%3
  • Cash flow from operating activities $670 million, +19%, solid cash delivery expected for the full year
  • Björn Rosengren appointed Chief Executive Officer, effective March 1, 2020

 

 

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Stephanie MedeirosBy Blake Marchand

For Stephanie Medeiros, this is an exciting time for Canada’s electric vehicle industry because it is approaching a tipping point. “One or two percent of vehicles in Canada are electric, but you’re going to see this change rapidly. There are different factors that come with that, but to make it a reality you need to have a charging infrastructure in place. One of the factors involved with that is establishing standards for charging, as well as settling on a uniform method for charging — ultimately, constructing a landscape that closely resembles that of internal combustion.”

 

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City Electric Supply - Jon LlewellynJon Llewellyn is the Branch Manager City Electric Supply’s Nanaimo, BC location. “I've worn many hats within this great organization,” Llewellyn told Canadian Electrical Wholesaler. Beginning as a Van Driver, Jon worked his way through several different positions at City Electric Supply after a 10-year career in the trades as a Drywaller. Starting as a driver, Llewellyn would move into the warehouse, and on into Inside Sales, which would turn into an Account Manager position before he would land in his current role as Branch Manager. The ability to learn on the job is an essential skill in an evolving industry, particularly one that is heavily technical. Something Llewellyn has certainly embraced.

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Looking Back

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