Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Feb 26, 2019

WestburneWestburne’s Rachelle Caron award recognizes the branch that demonstrates respect for corporate values, teamwork, continuous improvement, operational excellence, as well as perseverance and professionalism. The award’s first recipient is Westburne’s branch in Joliette, Quebec. (Shown in photo, L-R: Robert Gauthier, Regional Sales Manager, West Region, Jean-François Poirier, Joliette Branch Manager, and Nicholas Zigayer, General Manager, Westburne Quebec.)


An undisputed leader, Rachelle Caron was Westburne’s General Manager for 16 years, until her recent retirement. She had joined the company in 1987. In 2017, Caron received a Personality of the Year award from Electro-Federation Canada’s Quebec region. The award honours an individual who has made a significant contributor to the industry, demonstrating strong leadership through personal and professional contributions.

Left to Right: Robert Gauthier (Regional Sales Manager West Region), Jean-François Poirier (Branch Manager Joliette), and Nicholas Zigayer (General Manager Westburne Quebec).


Read a CEW profile of Rachelle Caron here.

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 Young Leaders: Taylor Gerrie

Taylor GerrieOn a regular basis, our publications profile members of our industry through their responses to a Q&A. It’s a way of recognizing industry movers and shakers, and helping our readers get to know them better. 

Recently we launched an initiative with Electro-Federation Canada's Young Professionals Network to include profiles of up-and-coming leaders. We provided the list of questions below to Taylor Gerrie, Automation Account Specialist at Gerrie Electric Wholesale Ltd. in Burlington, Ontario. Here are Taylor’s responses.

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Susan Uthayakumar, President of Schneider Electric Canada: Driving Success

Susan UthayakumarBy Owen Hurst

First and foremost, sitting down with Susan Uthayakumar feels more like sitting down and conversing with a friend than conducting an interview with the Canadian president of one of the world’s largest electrical manufacturers. Of course, she exudes the confidence and knowledge her position demands, but equally identifiable are an open and engaging nature.

In a recent sit-down, we learned a little about Susan’s history and what drives her to succeed.

To begin, Susan was born in Sri Lanka and immigrated to Canada at a young age. She went to high school in Canada and attended the University of Waterloo where she earned undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Upon completing university Susan began her working career with Deloitte, which she describes as a great starting point as she was surrounded by highly driven and intelligent individuals. She welcomed being in a position that was demanding and helped nurture a strong work ethic. Her work with Deloitte also instilled a great interest in acquisitions, which would serve her well as her career unfolded.

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CEW 3 Perspective 400

We often learn how to look forward by first looking back, or at the very least we realize that despite our best efforts we have not truly advanced quite so much as we had thought. Sure, technology is rapidly advancing. That’s beyond question. But what about our approach to selling it? Have we changed that much in the last 20, 40, 60 years? Inevitably there have been advances and changes in marketing, the Internet causing the biggest shift, but many of the concerns and directives that have driven the distribution and marketing of industrial electrical products remain, or at least planted the roots of the concerns of manufacturers and distributors today. 

To gain perspective of the perceptions and directions of electrical product distribution in 1960, we turn to Edwin H. Lewis. In 1960 Lewis published “The Distribution of Industrial Electrical Products” in the Journal of Marketing.

To fully define electrical product distribution in 1960, Lewis broke his study into several categories. We will follow his direction and provide his insights on the industry in each of the categories he identified.

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