June 21, 2019
Eleven highly accomplished Hamiltonians are being honoured by Mohawk College as Distinguished Fellows. Among them are electrical industry leaders Heather and Elaine Gerrie of Gerrie Electric Wholesale Ltd., one of Canada’s largest family-owned electrical and automation distributors.
Heather and Elaine both serve as Co-President and CEO. Headquartered in Burlington, the 24-location, 8-division company is a family-owned business and is a certified Women Business Enterprise.
Heather knew from a young age that she wanted to carry on her father’s legacy and joined the family business after graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1981. She learned the business by working in the Lighting Showroom, Bookkeeping, Payables, Payroll and Corporate Sales. She joined the Executive team in 1988. Today, Heather focuses on Strategy, Vendor Relations, Retail Lighting and Human Resources.
Heather is currently Canadian Divisional Chair of Affiliated Distributors, and Past Chair of Electro-Federation Canada, Canadian Electrical Distributors Association, Supply and Distribution Committee, and the Oakville Chamber of Commerce’s Education Committee. She is also a Past Director of Tigertel Communication Inc.
As Co-President and CEO at Gerrie Electric, Elaine Gerrie Valentini focused on strategy, customers and operations. She worked in all areas of the company, including Automation, Operations, Administration, Corporate Quotations, and Sales before she joined the Executive in 1988.
Elaine continues to be an active owner and member of the community. She has served on numerous industry and executive boards, including Burlington Economic Development Corporation, Young Presidents Organization, Burlington Hydro Board of Directors, and as Chair of Electro-Federation Canada and its Scholarship Committee. Elaine also served on the steering committee that was tasked with developing the Industrial Distribution Leadership Certificate Program at Mohawk College. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for SupplyForce.
Also among Mohawk College’s honourees: Kathy Lerette, Senior Vice-President of Business Transformation for Alectra Utilities. Lerette works to ensure opportunities for young women seeking STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers in the traditionally male-dominated energy sector.
Mohawk’s Distinguished Fellows make invaluable contributions to the college through academic advisement and student engagement, community outreach and strategic advisement to Mohawk’s senior leadership team. Participation in Mohawk College’s Distinguished Fellow program is by invitation only.
Located in Hamilton, Ontario, Mohawk College educates and serves more than 31,700 full-time, part-time, apprenticeship and international students at its three main campuses in Hamilton, at learning hubs across Hamilton through City School by Mohawk, and at the college’s Aviation Facility at Hamilton International Airport. Mohawk is among the leading colleges in Canada for applied research. It has been named one of Canada’s greenest employers for six years in a row, and is also home to the country’s largest net zero energy institutional building. More than 120,000 people have graduated from Mohawk since it was founded.
Photo source: Mohawk College