Cyber Security Symposium at the BMO with Westburne’s Automation team

Cyber Security Symposium at the BMO with Westburne’s Automation team

Westburne’s Automation team recently hosted its first cyber security symposium in Calgary, Alberta focusing on cyber security in the electrical industry. In conjunction with industry leading operational technology partners, Westburne presented a symposium on technologies, processes and practices designed to protect networks, computers, and data from attack in the industrial space.

The symposium showcased speakers from various companies within the industry including:

  • Brian Richwine with Claroty Networks who discussed the options available to uncover advanced cyber threats and malicious activity and how to utilize real-time monitoring to detect human error and operational issues.
  • Gary Fort with Stratus who discussed why the host is critical when implementing Cyber Security in Operational Technology.
  • Robert Barton with Cisco Systems who examined the key industrial exploits that have emerged in the age of Cyber Warfare and discussed the best practices that can help protect critical assets from cybercrime.
  • Matt Senechal with Tempered Networks showcased a new identity paradigm, one that is based on the host itself not a spoof able IP address. Tempered Networks is the 2017 Security Award Winner for Cyber Defense Solutions
  • Bill Behn with Tosibox communicated that IOT is simply a matter of connections, our mission and passion is to create the world’s best and most secure remote connections between devices.
  • Jeff Brown with Process Control Systems presented Industry best practices for Industrial Control System (ICS) security.

The event had over 35 customers in attendance and created discussion around cyber security within the industry.

Ndioro Diop- Marketing E-commerce Specialist

Ndioro Diop- Marketing E-commerce Specialist

When did you start at Westburne?

I started with Westburne in the beginning of May!  I am the new kid on the block!

How did Westburne cross your career path?

I saw that Westburne had a lot of job openings available via LinkedIn. I saw an opening for a marketing position and went for it.

What is your favourite part about working with Westburne?

Foremost, the people. Everyone at Westburne is always willing to lend a helping hand no matter how busy they are. Even if it might affect deadlines on their own project, people always have five minutes to spare! People will also put in the work whether or not it is within their job description.

What is your best memory at Westburne or What are you most excited for your career with Westburne?

I haven’t been here that long to have a best memory, but I am definitely excited of all the new things I will be learning. I am excited to grow within a company that values its employees and in all, to work with a wide range of amazing people

What is your career and or schooling background and how has that experience helped you in this position?

I completed my bachelor degree in Beijing and have a Master’s degree in global business from the University of Victoria. I am fluent in English, French, and Mandarin with knowledge in Spanish. My background has helped me become a fast learner (learning Mandarin is no easy task). I am always open to learning new things.

What is something your Co-workers don’t know about you?

I am Beyoncé’s half-sister !!!! Just joking, never met the woman!

I like to sew. It’s kind of like my DIY pass time.

What is something that always makes you smile?

FOOD! and the smell of coffee.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

`I’ll Be There For You` –  from Friends

What makes your job unique?

Ecommerce is so vast and there is so many dimensions to be explored within this field. It is being revolutionize in so many different ways we never thought possible. I Can’t wait to see all the great things that will be done in Ecommerce and how it will benefit (or affect) us all. Let’s see what the future holds.

Stratford Branch Opening

Stratford Branch Opening

As Westburne grows, so does our branches. Westburne proudly opened the doors of our newest showroom in Stratford, Ontario.  We celebrated this with a grand opening with BBQ on June 17th with our partners and customers.

The Stratford branch hired a brand-new local team to deliver Westburne’s products and core values to the Stratford market.   Swing by our branch located at located at 341 Lorne Avenue East, to meet Branch Manager Peter Seale and his great team!

Jackie Hepner- Divisional Office Supervisor, Westburne Midwest

Jackie Hepner- Divisional Office Supervisor, Westburne Midwest

When did you start at Westburne?

I remember exactly when I started working at Westburne.  It was March 14, 1990.

How did Westburne cross your career path?

After college I was employed at a small business until they hit a rough patch and laid off staff, me included.  My job search led me to “Amesco” and as they say, the rest is history.

What is your favourite part about working with Westburne?

My favourite part about working with Westburne has to be the people!  We’re a group of people with different skills, ideas and personalities who work well together.

What is your best memory of Westburne or What are you most excited for your career with Westburne?

Right now I’m working my way into a new role with Westburne Midwest as the Divisional Office Supervisor.  It’s going to be exciting learning the ropes and working with my new department.

What is something your Co-workers don’t know about you?

I enjoy painting with oils!

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

For a theme song I’d probably go with something upbeat and a little silly.  Let’s go with Shiny Happy People by REM

What makes your job unique?

While transitioning into a new role everything feels new and unique but at the end of the day I think I can sum it up as variety.

Effectively Managing change with Westburne’s Salim

Effectively Managing change with Westburne’s Salim

The business world is changing every day and you need be able to adapt.  Pick up your smart phone and you’ll see daily examples of businesses that have failed to evolve or keep up with the times and are being left behind as a result.

If I had known how the world was going to change, I’d be a rich man, but instead I’ve developed a few key tactics to help me predict and manage change.

  1. Surround yourself with different people – this will instantly provide you with different perspectives of the world.
  2. Actively read about your industry –be “in the know” about what is happening with your partners and your competitors. Read their business results, look at their websites, and sometimes just surf social media sites like LinkedIn.  Make this a daily habit.
  3. Ask a lot of questions – this usually leads to better solutions, and also helps to engage the right people that you need to drive change throughout your organization. “What do you need to make this successful?” and “How could we do this better?” are my usual go-tos.
  4. Face fear – people usually don’t like change for fear that it will somehow negatively impact their lives. I encourage you to take the time to look at this from their perspective. Are their fears justified?  Can we do something to address these concerns?
  5. Communicate, communicate communicate – you can always do this better. We all can.  Take the time to address change with each of your team members. Sometimes a 5 minute conversation can address a lot of concerns and improve moral.  I personally dislike the “if you don’t hear from me, everything is okay” approach.  This is lazy and shows a blind spot in your ability as a leader.
  6. Be adaptable – plan and have a backup plan just in case.
  7. Laugh – generally everything works out in the long term. Take the time to use humor and make any situation less stress full.  We spend a lot of time at work, so a little bit of fun is allowed 

Change is the only constant in life.  Having the ability to lead during times of change is important.  Your team will thank you for this.

Calgary Stampede BBQ and Customer Appreciation at Calgary Main

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Calgary Stampede BBQ and Customer Appreciation at Calgary Main

The Calgary Stampede is held close to Calgarian’s hearts. To the world the Stampede is known as the greatest outdoor show on earth, but to Calgarians it is known as the 10 days in summer where you can find pancake breakfasts and BBQ’s all around the city!

Westburne has been holding their annual BBQ for 7 years and it continues to be a huge success! This year the event had almost 400 people in attendance and 14 vendors which created a mini tradeshow.

Tracy Gilbert, Westburne The value of hosting our client appreciation is worth a dozen meetings in any other setting. Breaking bread with a valuable resource, potential partner or customer will allow them to understand our ‘why’ they should continue to do business with us, more organically than at a meeting in a conference room.

Sitting across the table from someone is an escape from the usual trappings of power and vertical relationships—the stuff of offices and conference rooms so an event like this puts our guest at ease and allows them to mingle with our employees and vendors informally,” Says Tracy Gilbert, Commercial Projects Manager, Calgary Main,

There is no better venue to nurture our important contacts and connections. The casual and fun atmosphere allows for personal re-connection that can naturally flow into business.

Each customer received a Westburne branded BBQ sauce and an entry to win a Stand-up wooden cooler filled with tools.

The Annual BBQ is a great chance for the Westburne team to meet face to face with customers and vendors and the Calgary Main branch plans to continue the tradition next year!

Calgary Staff Appreciation Stampede Pancake Breakfast

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Calgary Staff Appreciation Stampede Pancake Breakfast

Pancake breakfasts during the stampede are part of the Calgary culture. They are fun, festive and tasty so on Friday July 7th the Calgary Westburne offices decided to host a pancake breakfast for all team members.

The breakfast included eggs, bacon, sausage and of course pancakes that was a hit with employees to kick off the stampede season.

When asked where the inspiration for the breakfast came from Tomika Gould, Calgary Main Branch Manager commented, “Nothing says Stampede like a pancake breakfast, so we decided there was no better way to kick off Stampede than to share the experience with our team. Everyone on our team makes Westburne better every day and we wanted to express our appreciation for our remarkable staff!”

Even Rick Pozniak, Director of Ecommerce Adoption, got festive. “My wife thinks this outfit makes me look like woody”, Rick shared with us. I can’t disagree with her, but I can say that Rick looks awesome!

Why I Mentor- Salim Bhojani, National Director, Business Strategy & Marketing

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Why I Mentor- Salim Bhojani, National Director, Business Strategy & Marketing

People take on leadership roles for different reasons. One reason why I enjoy being a leader is the platform to coach, develop and mentor others. Success cannot be achieved alone. When I look at my own life and career, I feel fortunate to have had so many mentors and know this is a key ingredient in my success. My mentors encouraged me to believe in myself, which improved my ability to connect with others, as well as my overall decision-making skills.

Life is busy, and it’s not always easy to find time for mentorship. However, mentorship rejuvenates me and recalibrates my priorities as a leader, which makes each session well-spent time. It’s easy to lose sight of priorities in the midst of busyness, but coaching and guiding others in their professional development should remain a top priority for leaders. I engage in mentorship in a few ways: professional development initiatives and programs, and focused coaching sessions.

I engage in mentorship in a few ways: professional development initiatives and programs, and focused coaching sessions.

I’m fortunate to work for a company like Westburne that believes in, and takes action to invest in the development of our people. This year we introduced an initiative within Westburne marketing to take two individuals from regional marketing teams, and put them on special assignment. These marketing team members have been elevated to support the business on a National level. In addition to increased visibility to all facets of our business, they are exposed to regular coaching and professional development from a manager with a different style and approach than what they are used to. As a result, I’ve seen tremendous personal growth in both of these individuals, and look forward to watching the continued evolution of their careers. Outside work hours, I act as a board member with the Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board for Canada. This organization runs over 300 annual events for youth across Canada that range from sporting events and summer camps, to cultural showcases and mentorship programs. These mentorship programs focus on the mental, physical and social health of youth. We specifically focus on young people in challenging circumstances; in particular, those from low income and financially-challenged homes. I have seen these programs change the direction of the lives of young people and their family. This positive impact is truly humbling.

A couple of years ago, I acted as a mentor with Futurpreneur (formally the Canadian Youth Business Foundation.) Futurpreneur is a national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring young business owners. Futurpreneur enables mentorship by pairing an entrepreneur with a senior business leader. To be honest, at the onset I was a little nervous about this! I have worked within large corporations my entire career, but have never started my own business. Regardless, I began to meet with my mentee each month to discuss how to take her event planning business to the next level. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that many skills and tactics used in traditional corporate environments are incredibly applicable to an entrepreneur; particularly around strategy, market research and tracking of results for continuous improvement. Ultimately, my work with Futurpreneur was an incredibly positive experience for me and my mentee alike.

Each of these unique mentorship opportunities have allowed me the privilege to watch people grow, both personally and professionally, to the next level – and I’ve met some amazing people along the way. The rewards of mentorship go both ways. Though it may sound cliché, I have learned more from my mentees than they know, and for that, I’m thankful.

Michelle gets a special haircut

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Michelle gets a special haircut

Michelle, from our Mississauga offices just got a haircut, but not a regular one. She cut her hair to donate for cancer society. That’s right; she cut 21 inches of her pretty long hair to help make wigs for cancer patients. The best part is that this is not her first time donating her hair… it’s her third. Here’s what Michelle had to say about the experience and the picture of her hair:

“Here is a picture that I took after cutting my hair to donate to cancer society. It’s a picture of my two daughters’ hands holding my hair after it was cut. It’s important for me to teach my kids that there is more to life than playing with their toys. Kids in North America are so fortunate to have everything they need…. One thing I definitely want to teach my girls are to think of others before themselves.”

Bravo Michelle for this inspiring gesture!

Meet our Midwest Veterans

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Meet our Midwest Veterans

Congratulations to these dedicated and hardworking employees of +30 years with Westburne Midwest! Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to our team!

+30 years, not pictured: Brent Little, Wayne Robertson, Dan MacRae, James Pulak, Bruce Loranger, Barb Sokolowski, Doug Badiuk, Brent Turko, Darryl Robinson, Perry Van Damme.

+30 years, pictured: Darryl Day, Warren Lucy, Russ Crook, Craig MacArthur, Lane Neely, Bob Hinds, Loreen Robertson, Steve Morris, Tony Estella, Bonny Groening, Tara Sookram, Diane Broek, Carlos Encarnacao, Dan Diawol, Gayle Davidson, Theresa Crowe, Dave Williams

+40 years, pictures: Allen Einarson

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