Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

 

Lina RishmawiLine Goyette

At the age of 30, Lina Rishmawi, a professional electrical engineer, is Customer Service Manager — Distribution Channel at Southwire Canada. Before that, she was Internal Technical Sales Engineer involved in software development. You know the expression, “being comfortable in your own skin,” and it's striking when you see Lina for the first time. I met her at the ElectricElle Golf Tournament this fall and was taken aback by her openness to everyone around her.

I asked Lina why she had studied electrical engineering at university.

She spontaneously replied, ”Oh, because my dad, uncle and both my brothers are engineers, either electrical or mechanical.” But why electrical for you? “I like to get into details of things, I like the control of things, small details you can do with your hands to power up something.”

I then asked her how she had felt as a woman studying in predominantly male discipline. Her response really took me by surprise. She said, “I wasn’t originally aware it was male discipline. For me it was a family discipline. Plus, in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, the universities are single sex institutions. I studied only with other women. It was when I arrived in Canada that I realized that the discipline was predominantly male, but I like challenges.

“At the beginning it was hard to adapt. Everything was different, but at the same time, it felt great to be part of it all.”
Lina’s family emigrated to Canada after she had already begun her engineering degree, which she completed at McMaster University. “My mother wanted her children to have a better life and a better education… It took us three years to get into Canada, and once we were here I felt for the first time in my life at home.”

Just as well Lina likes challenges, because when she graduated more lay ahead.

Since completing her engineering degree as well as a number of business courses, Lina has worked in a mostly male environment. She started her career as an inside sales engineer. “At the beginning, when people crossed paths with me they assumed I was working in administration. They reacted in different ways when they learned that I was an electrical engineer.

“It was quite difficult at first, but I developed a thick skin, I learned the language, and now I don’t think I could be any happier. I like the technical aspects of my work, but I can't sit behind a computer all day long. I need frequent contact with people. In my current job, I enjoy conducting regular visits with my outside sales rep to my customer, which allows me to nurture the relationship we have with them and help build the trust we have with them.  It took me one year to find this job, but it is the perfect fit for me.”
Lina Rishmawi
I asked her if it was different from what she was expecting when she graduated. Without hesitation she said, ”Oh, I never expected to get the best of the two worlds so quickly, sales and technical support.”

What personal attributes/abilities/skills are you drawing on in your work life that you weren't expecting to? How do they help?

The questions make Lina laugh. She realized early on that she is a good listener. Customer service requires it, she says. If customers have a problem, they want a quick solution. She adds that good listening helps clients remain calm, making interactions more positive and productive. She also discovered that she has a lot of empathy. "Putting yourself in the clients’ shoes, you understand better where they want to go. It is definitely a rough environment. I was not used to that, and at the beginning I was overwhelmed but I've learned that customer relationships can go very far. Once you gain their trust, it can be very rewarding for everyone.

What decisions do you find are the most difficult to make?

“I find it difficult to separate work from your personal life. I try not to bring my work at home, and to keep my personal life out of my job. I prefer to stay late at work than bring work at home. I think it helps avoid chaos in your life.

If you could change one thing about your industry, what would it be?

No hesitation in Lina’s response. "One change I want to see is to have more women in our industry.* I’m accustomed to be almost always the only one in my group, but I would like it to be different. I would like to encourage women to come and work in our industry. They’re not doing it spontaneously, so they need to know as early as possible that technical jobs are challenging and very stimulating. I would add, ‘Join our industry: it is wonderful and so much fun, you feel you can conquer the world, you are competing against men, it’s an environment in which we can grow and thrive.’”


Line Goyette is Managing Editor of CEW.
@linegoyette

Lina Rishmawi is a member of Electro-Federation Canada’s Young Professionals Network. Click to find out more about YPN.

* Jim Taggart, President of EFC, wrote about this issue in the September 3, 2015 issue of CEW. Read his article, “We Need to Engage More Women in the Industry. Me included

Read more Peers & Profiles in CEW by Line Goyette:

Among the Dunnigans of Techspan Industries: a Sense of Adventure from One Generation to Another

David Beron — A Resolutely Scientific Spirit in a World that May Not Be Moving Fast Enough

Running Man: Stelpro’s Yves Chabot

Cara Backman— Open to Everything, Even Life’s Surprises

Nathalie Pilon: A Woman Who Knows Her Own Mind

David Nathaniel: A Talent for Being There at the Right Time

From One Generation to the Other, New Ideas Help the Company Grow

Daniel Peloquin: Just Do It, But Fail Fast

Lina Rishmawi — A New Canadian Who Loves Challenges

Michelle Branigan

Read all Peers & Profiles

 

Latest Articles

  • Prev
According to the State of Science Index – a research survey commissioned by 3M Canada that analyses ...
The Ontario Division of Westburne has announced two new additions to the senior leadership team.
In his new role of Inside Sales, Thane will be working out of the head o­ce in Bedford Nova Scotia.
There were slightly fewer active businesses (-0.1%; -1,208) in May compared with a month ...
 Leviton Canada have announced that the company has been certified as a Great Place to Work® ...
ABB is an international company with a large global presence, but did you know that a significant ...
Looking back to early 2020, the industry entered the first quarter with a sense of a solid year ...
Someone once asked me why we struggle with diversity and inclusion in Canada. My response was that ...
At this time of year my colleagues and I here at Kerrwil are in the final throes of producing ...
As we transition from the pandemic many wonder about the future of sales, meaning, “What will the ...

Statistics CanadaThere were slightly fewer active businesses (-0.1%; -1,208) in May compared with a month earlier, marking the first time since May 2020 that the number of closures outpaced openings.

The number of business openings decreased by 11.5%, the largest percentage decrease since December 2018 and the second consecutive month with negative growth (Chart 1). The number of business closures declined by 2.9%, following a 2.5% increase in April. The decline in the number of business openings in May was largely driven by fewer entrants (-16.4%). The number of entrants in May was below the 2015-to-2019 average for the first time since August 2020. 

Read More


 

Investment in Building Construction - May 2021Investment in building construction cooled slightly in May, decreasing 1.9% to $19.4 billion. This was the first drop in seven months. Residential construction investment (-2.7%) was down for the first time since April 2020, while non-residential construction increased slightly.

On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction declined 2.7% to $14.8 billion in May.

 

 

 

Read More


 

 

David GordonBy David Gordon

As we transition from the pandemic many wonder about the future of sales, meaning, “What will the sales process (sales model) look like in the future,” and, essentially, “What is the role of / for outside salespeople?”

In reality, this question was asked pre-pandemic as management lamented that Sales wasn’t being as productive as they desired. Companies are always seeking to improve their processes, whether it is having salespeople better penetrate accounts, identify and call on new customers, use a different (new?) sales method...
 

Read More


 

Changing Scene

  • Prev
Beginning October 1st, 2021, we are pleased to announce CSA Enterprises Limited will be become the ...
 Canada’s National Electrical Trade Council (NETCO) is pleased to announce that IDEAL ...
IMARK Canada announces 2021 Award Winners-Oscan and Kidde take top honors.     ...
More ultraviolet (UV) radiation-emitting and ozone-generating devices such as lights and wands have ...
 Leviton Lighting Canada has announced David Janowski as the new Eastern Regional Sales ...
EdisonReport has announced their 5th Annual Lifetime Achievement Awards.  These Awards will be ...
The Executive of Gerrie Electric Wholesale Limited has announced that Jason Krehl joined the team ...
 The Executive of Gerrie Electric Wholesale Limited has announced that Scott Currier joined ...
The 2021 Sapphire Awards, one of the lighting industry’s top honors, announced ...
 David Gordon, President of Channel Marketing Group, will provide insights from the Rep ...
 

 

Signify“In the second quarter we saw an acceleration of the pace of recovery in comparison to the first three months of the year,” says CEO Eric Rondolat. “We successfully executed our strategy as demand for our connected lighting offers and our growth platforms remained strong.”

The consumer segment held its momentum and demand for conventional products proved resilient. The professional lighting segment showed sequential improvements, while still impacted by both extended lockdowns and supply constraints. Overall, we managed to improve the operating margin by 190 basis points and generated a solid free cash flow. 

 

Read More


 

Adrian ThomasSchneider Electric Canada, together with the France Canada Chamber of Commerce Ontario (FCCCO) is proud to announce Adrian Thomas as the newly elected President of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Canada (EUCCAN). Thomas, who currently serves as the country president of Schneider Electric Canada is entrusted with continuing the growth of EUCCAN by reinforcing transatlantic cooperation between the European and Canadian business communities.  “I am deeply honoured for the opportunity to join EUCCAN as their new President and build on the growth they’ve experienced in recent years,” says Adrian Thomas, Country President of Schneider Electric Canada. 

Read More


 

 

Agents of ChangeAgents of Change is an event for stakeholders from Canada's electricity and beyond to build capacities in diversity, equity and inclusion.

Agents of Change is a one-day event focused on equipping attendees with the tools they need to address the challenges under-represented groups face in the workplace. Women, Indigenous people, racialized people, persons with disabilities, LGBQ+, gender diverse people and newcomers to Canada are under-represented in electricity and often face systemic barriers. We have the power to change this disparity and transform our sector into a paragon of equity.

 

Read More


 

Flemming Jensen, Jason Samuelian, and John ClancyLED lighting solutions manufacturer Espen Technology has announced three changes to its sales management team.


Flemming Jensen (left), previously was Vice President of the Central and South Regions, has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing. Flemming brings over 40 years of industry experience in the distribution, ESCO, and agent markets. He will focus on continuing Espen’s top line growth, in the coming years.

 


Read More


 

Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2021 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