Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

GerrieApril 13, 2018

The Burlington Chamber of Commerce has announced that Heather and Elaine Gerrie CEOs of Gerrie Electric, will receive Burlington’s 2018 Distinguished Entrepreneur Award.  

The Burlington Chamber of Commerce has announced that Heather and Elaine Gerrie CEOs of Gerrie Electric, will receive Burlington’s 2018 Distinguished Entrepreneur Award.  Heather and Elaine Gerrie were chosen as the award recipient to recognize their leadership role in building a successful, high-profile company that positively represents Burlington both locally and regionally.  They reflect entrepreneurship through their company and through their philanthropic endeavours giving back to the community.  

While Gerrie Electric as been around since 1957, it was in 1981 that the company moved its headquarters to a 20,000 square foot facility in Burlington.  Many of the faces behind the desks and counters, and on the showroom and warehouse floors, have been with the company for 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years. These employees have shown a tremendous commitment to Gerrie Electric and the customers they serve. Two principal players literally grew up in the business. Company Co-Presidents and CEO's Heather Gerrie and Elaine Gerrie remember accompanying their Dad "on the road" during school holidays.

They worked in shipping and in the showrooms, learning about the business from every conceivable angle. Heather and Elaine are now active owners, steering the company today and well into the future. They have earned those stripes and continue to maintain the culture, commitment to quality and dedication to customer success that Gerrie has come to be known by.

This is the fifth time the Chamber of Commerce has accorded the honour to local entrepreneurs and the thirteenth time great Burlington businesspeople have been recognized. In previous years the award was called the Entrepreneur of the Year award. The change to Distinguished Entrepreneur is more reflective of the lifetime achievements of the award recipient, according to Keith Hoey, President & CEO of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce.  “We’re extremely pleased to be honouring Heather and Elaine Gerrie with this very prestigious award and we’re looking forward to presenting them with the award at a special dinner this fall,” said Hoey. “The Distinguished Entrepreneur Dinner has a great tradition of recognizing and honouring great Burlington business leaders and it’s important that we acknowledge and thank these people for their contributions to our city.

Michael Gentile, President and CEO of Philips Lighting Canada, has had a long and distinguished career in the electrical industry and more recently the lighting industry. None of this is by chance. Always in decision-making circles since beginning his career, Michael spends the first 10 years first at Siemens, and subsequently in lighting at Osram as Vice President Finance and Vice President Sales and Marketing. After that, he joins Philips Lighting.

Michael agreed to share a few moments with us to discuss his career trajectory, the industry, trends, worries, and wishes. A tour of his career is also a tour through a key period in the industry and a reflection of its adaptability to new technologies — from an expert's point of view.

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Laura Dempsey

Owen Hurst

Laura Dempsey has been working as an outside sales representative for E.B. Horsman & Son for over 15 years, and is a member of the BCEA U40 network of young professionals. She lives in Langley, BC and is proud of her position and work with E.B. Horsman, particularly as she is the second Dempsey generation to work for the company.

Laura’s mother Shelly has worked at E.B. Horsman for over 25 years, and instilled in Laura a determination to succeed. Laura followed in her mother’s footsteps after witnessing how much her mother enjoyed her work and the people she works with at E.B. Horsman.

Read more: Laura Dempsey

Laura Dempsey

Line Goyette

I've known John Sencich since CEW began publishing. He agreed from the outset to be part of the newsletter’s Editorial Board. His contribution was regular and sustained. Always present to answer my technical questions, and refer me to the right person for additional information as needed. Always available despite his role as senior leader of an influential company.

Over the past five years, many industry insiders have cited John Sencich when I asked them to name someone who had made a difference in their lives or had inspired them as a leader.

Read more: John Sencich

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