Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Apr 14, 2019

Tim MacDonaldThe Stratford and District Chamber of Commerce has presented its 2019 Business Leader of the Year Award to Tim MacDonald of Ideal Supply. The Business Leader of the Year is voted in secret ballot by the Chamber Board of Directors from a list of nominees.

Tim is President of Ideal Supply. The company was started in 1926, bought by Tim’s Grandfather in 1946, and taken over by Tim’s father 20 years later. Ideal Supply distributes electrical supplies and automotive parts and equipment from 31 branch locations in Southwestern Ontario. Tim joined Ideal Supply in 1981, was named President in 1995, and CEO in 2001, a position he held until he and his siblings sold Ideal Supply to Groupe Deschênes Inc. in 2016.

Ideal has been recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for nine consecutive years. Tim attributes much of the success of the company to investing in the people who work there, by providing personal development training, allowing flexibility for them to serve in various capacities on boards, local councils and other service groups, and by providing opportunities and inspiration to youth so they stay involved in their rural communities.

“Unless we create room for people to get involved in those types of things, you’re basically pushing responsibility off to someone else to get involved in community work. And then we don't really have a right to ever complain if we aren’t going to get involved ourselves,” says Tim. “We are in every Chamber of Commerce in every community... It’s a way to have a voice and work through common problems.”

Over 45 employees are in Ideal Supply’s 25-year club, not including others who have already retired. Tim believes in fostering a culture of loyalty, stability, top-notch customer service, hard work, growth, leading by example and community engagement.

Outside of Ideal Supply, Tim has sat on the Boards of several organizations including the Listowel Chamber of Commerce, Stratford Perth Community Foundation, the University of Waterloo - Stratford Steering Committee, the Stratford Festival, and the Young President’s Organization.

In 2011 Tim and Jim Balsillie co-founded the Arctic Research Foundation, which was instrumental in the search for, and discovery of the lost Franklin ships in the Canadian Arctic. Tim is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, and was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012 for community service. In 2018 Tim was appointed to the Order of Canada.

Wholesale SalesWholesale sales rose 0.6% to $64.1 billion in June, partly offsetting the 1.9% decline in May. Sales were up in four of seven subsectors, representing 54% of total wholesale sales.

In dollar terms, two subsectors — miscellaneous, and machinery, equipment and supplies — contributed the most to the increase in June, while the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector posted the largest decline.




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Investment In Building ConstructionTotal investment in building construction decreased 0.9% in June to $15.1 billion, the first decline in eight months. A slight increase in non-residential investment (+1.0% to $4.8 billion) was offset by a decrease in the residential sector (-1.8% to $10.3 billion). On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction decreased 1.1% to $12.7 billion. Despite the monthly decrease, total investment grew 1.6% year over year in the second quarter.




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Lori BagazzoliBy Blake Marchand

Lori Bagazzoli, Regional Sales Manager for Viscor, is a 20-year industry veteran that has built an interesting career from the bottom up. Beginning as a 19-year old just out of college in customer service with EXM, she gained an intimate knowledge of the electrical and lighting supply business by working her way through various organizational levels.

“I was definitely able to learn the different roles, and understand all the different aspects of the business,” she said, “starting so young, I really had to put in my time to be able to move up.”


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Louis BeaulieuBy Line Goyette

Neither a Millennial nor a Baby Boomer, Louis Beaulieu embraces new technologies and new markets, but remains faithful to family traditions. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in management from Laval University and is the General Manager of Ouellet Canada. A perfect profile for a career in the family business.

When I ask him if, as is often the case in a family business, he had always known that he was going to join the company, he replied, “Not at all. When I was young, I spent my school holidays at my older brother’s farm at Ile d’Orléans.

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