Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

September 14, 2016 

Line Goyette

Murray Chamney is everywhere. He is involved in all initiatives, is active in the business community, constantly develops new ideas and, above all, implements them. Not having taken a vacation away from home, in more than 20 years helps explain how he accomplishes all this. 

The president of Intralec Electrical Products, whose term as president of EFC’s National Advisory Council ended in June, said in his final message that the further ahead you look, the easier it is to attain your goals. Murray seems to have applied this maxim to both his professional and personal life, so that a conversation with him may begin with business but quickly move on to horses, disruptive technologies, and the future of our industry. In particular, the challenges facing manufacturers’ representatives. He will speak more about this with us in the coming months.

If life is often a set of circumstances that lead us in one direction rather than another, Murray was beyond doubt headed for the electric industry. His grandfather worked for Ontario Hydro his entire life; his father, an electrical engineer, was Vice President and General Manager of ITE's Electrical Business before he and Dave Doherty left the corporate world to start their own rep agency.

Originally living in Ontario, Murray’s family moved first to Calgary, then Winnipeg and finally Montreal, where Murray attended one of the first French immersion schools. “I had to cross half the island to get to school.” 

Murray wanted to be a chemical engineer. “I love chemistry, physics, but my father did everything he could to convince me to study business. He told me I could learn technical things outside university.” 

At the end of his studies at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, Murray began his career at Intralec, where he remains today. “My father was finally right,” he said with a smile.

Under a succession plan put in place by Murray’s father and his partner the two sons of Intralec’s founders would gradually take over, Murray looking after operations and Ted Doherty focusing on sales. The sons were patient and respected their fathers’ methods, but quickly modernized practices when they assumed sole direction of the company. 

“They didn’t listen to us, they were part of the ‘Mad Men’ era. We first acquired computers in 1984. We changed the way we contacted contractors and end-users, and we redirected our focus toward the commercial market. We were successful and went from 12 to 27 employees without expanding our territory. We did a few things right and made a few good guesses!”

When you look back, is there anything you would have done differently?

“I might have embraced warehousing, we always had break even, but we also could have been a logistics company. This is one opportunity we missed. Secondly, I believe that we could have responded more quickly to end-users as we realized that we need to be more in control of the end customers, to see where the industry is going.” 

And what will the future look like for you?

My business partner left in November 2015, as his wife had retired. “We already had our own succession plan in place. When we were 50, we picked out our successors, and we are almost 10 years into our succession plan. 


When Ted left people missed him, but the business continued to function well. “I hope it will be the same for me. My plan is to leave the agency business in a few years, but I won’t retire. I am most comfortable when I am building something.”

Murray has built a lot since he joined his father's business, and not only at the agency level. For Murray, participating in the business community is a responsibility, not an obligation. He has been a big supporter of CEMRA and both he and his business partner both served as chairs. 

“In 1999 we were approached by EFC and asked if we would like to be affiliate members. I was the first serving Chairman under the EFC umbrella and bought the EFC concept.” 

During his term as the Chair of the National Advisory Council, he implemented the Young Professionals Network (YPN), an EFC Statistical Committee and a Canadian Manufacturers Committee.

With his wife, Sally, who he started to date at age 17, Murray has a farm operated in partnership with their 28-year-old daughter. This is where he spends his weekends and holidays. “I have a personal life that keeps me happy and occupied.” Perhaps the source of his incredible energy?

Murray will be a guest contributor in October and November for our CEMRA section. He will then yield the floor to John Baron, Principal, Elec-Tech Sales Ltd. in December.

Line Goyette is Managing Editor of CEW; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Latest Articles

  • Prev
Britech Corp, one of Canada’s largest heating cable companies has signed a formal agreement with ...
Leaders and innovators from business, government and the education sector gathered for this ABB ...
Hitachi has a deal with industrial giant ABB to purchase 80% of their Power Grids division for ...
I can still remember August 5, 2014 like it was yesterday. This date marks my first day as a ...
In setting growth plans for the coming year, one should ask, “What percentage of my customers might ...
The stigma behind dealing with contractors has forever been “they are a tough group to build a ...
Perhaps the better question is, “Why does it matter what young marketers want?” The answer is that ...
The Channel Marketing Group / William Blair Q3 2018 Pulse of Lighting Report shows that the ...
Following months-long renovations, Deschenes officially opened a renovated service counter at its ...
A question I sometimes ask managers and salespeople when I speak at conferences is, “How much ...


Westburne WOWLed by Divisional Lighting Manager Salma Siddiqui, the initiative will focus on making Westburne the workplace of choice in the electrical industry and beyond.

Results from research conducted by Westburne found that the electrical industry has a ratio of 3:1 of male vs. female employees. “Realizing these stats are the industry norm has made our eyes open and realize we need to make a change and showcase our women who work for us and at the same time make Westburne the place women would love to work for,” the company says.

Read More




Westburne and RockwellThe Authorized Service Provider designation enables Westburne to deliver Rockwell Automation services through their factory trained team of specialists. These services include installed base evaluation, network assessment, arc flash assessment, lockout/tag-out assessment, and start-up of variable frequency drives.

According to Steve Roy, Regional Sales Manager for Rockwell Automation Canada, “Customer expectations continue to evolve. Aging infrastructure, workforce gaps, global competition and an explosion of new technology provide endless opportunities for customers to improve their businesses.

Read More


IdeaIDEA plans to introduce an online learning management tool, the IDEA Learning Portal, to train customers on the new IDEA Connector, which will launch in late September. This portal will contain comprehensive training information and documentation on the IDEA Connector, a master data management (MDM) platform that enables distributors to securely access accurate and timely product and pricing data directly from manufacturers.

To complement the portal, there will be four training session devoted to manufacturers and distributors at eBiz. These training sessions will dive deeper into specific content to ensure a complete understanding of important functionality.

Read More

LFI Innovation AwardsThe celebrated LFI Innovation Awards marked the opening this week of the 2019 Lightfair International Trade Show and Conference with a dramatic showcasing of the industry’s most innovative products and designs introduced during the last 12 months.

The 2019 awards and trade show opening mark the 30th anniversary of the world’s largest annual lighting and technology event. The 2019 awards saw entries spanning 14 categories, with each submission judged by an independent panel of lighting professionals. Winning entries exemplified the best in innovative design and thinking. 

Read More


Automation LabourforceBy: Thomas Donato, Rockwell Automation

We all are consumers. We all have expectations of quality and service.

When I talk to our customers, I do so with that experience and mindset. If we don’t deliver – we lose. Maybe not immediately, but eventually. It’s as simple as that.

I just lived through a great example of this. Every morning I use our blender. One of the parts broke, and the manufacturer made it quite difficult and cumbersome to get a replacement.

Read More

Changing Scene

  • Prev
At Electro-Federation Canada’s recent Annual General Meeting in Quebec City, the Nominating ...
Pilz Canada officially opened their Canadian Facility surrounded by Industry Partners, colleagues ...
Dr. Jayson Meyers, CEO of NGen — Next Generation Manufacturing Canada — will present on the topic ...
Last week, over 540 industry members and guests gathered at the EFC Conference in Quebec City, ...
Cree, Inc. has completed the sale of its Lighting Products business unit, Cree Lighting, to Ideal ...
Kelly Hanson has joined Ryan and Chris Maguire as agency Principal. Kelly has an extensive sales ...
AD, the contractor and industrial products wholesale buying/marketing group, reported a 7% increase ...
Legrand has promoted Scott Bausch to Vice President/General Manager for the Wiremold product ...
  The OmniCable Toronto branch recently completed its first customer order after opening ...
The Hannover Messe Trade Fair in Germany, held this year at the beginning of April, is the world’s ...

Eric TeacherLiteline Corporation is pleased to announce the promotion of Eric Teacher to National Specification Manager for Canada.

Eric Joined Liteline in February as Regional Manager - Specifications for Ontario, Canada and quickly became an indispensable resource to the Sales, Marketing and Product Development teams. Eric has extensive experience in the Lighting and Controls industry.



Read More



Customer Service Leadership SummitAt the one day Customer Service Leadership Summit, pick up expert insights, advice and tips on how to grow your business, engage team members, and make price less relevant.

Here are four reasons you and your leadership team should attend.

1. Make price less relevant

You already know that in today’s commoditized marketplace, your #1 competitive advantage is your team’s service. And it’s one of the few things you have total control over.

Read More


ABB Showcases Its Vision of Leadership in Digital Industries at ABB Customer World 2019

Show ReportBy Line Goyette

Leaders and innovators from business, government and the education sector gathered for this ABB premier collaboration event. More than 11,000 delegates attended the bi-annual ABB Customer World Houston 2019 from March 4 to 7 in Houston, Texas. ABB’s latest pioneering technologies were displayed over 150,000 sq ft of a colourful, buzzy display of futuristic conveyor belts and robots, an ABB Formula E Generation 2 car, and much more groundbreaking technology.

Read More



Looking Back

  • Prev
The best memory I keep from CEDA is the way that they accepted me when I came into the business. ...
In the 1930s to 1940s, CEDA’s Western Canada membership was very stable with old line independent ...
Prior to the late 1950s there was little if any involvement in CEDA by the so-called “national ...
  As 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation, we take a look back at an aspect of ...

Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2019 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil