Jeff Derkuch, President
Gescan West has remained resilient even during the last few years of muted economic growth in Western Canada due to the economic downturn. Credit is due to the company’s president, Jeff Derkuch. Known for his revolutionary approach to developing programs and departments aimed at supporting the needs of customers, Jeff is responsible for strengthening the company’s core business and at the same time thriving at vertical market opportunities.
Even before putting his stamp on Gescan, Jeff was quite the entrepreneur. He owned several small businesses while working for Honeywell, dabbling in waterbeds, foam bedding, auto-mobile leasing, and stereo equipment ventures.
After spending 26 years at Honeywell (the last decade as Sales Director), Jeff moved to Sonepar Canada and later became the President at Gescan. Now he is known for being the gentleman who was an integral influencer in turning Gescan around and making it one of the most admired companies inside Sonepar. His primary role is to get people aligned and focused on common goals for the company. Two of his top priorities include creating accountability and commitment from employees and gaining the trust of the suppliers. Jeff Derkuch’s greatest talent is in getting to the root cause of a problem and gathering the resources required to implement lasting solutions.
Creating a winning team is only one of the numerous things that Jeff is passionate about. He lives for leading people to learn and achieve more. He teaches people relentlessly on making the most out of their skills and talents. He prefers working with people who can take constructive criticism and give it back, he values openness and honesty never hesitating from calling a spade a spade.
Away from the hectic schedule of being Gescan’s president, Jeff is just a guy who very much enjoys music and tinkering with his sports cars. He played a huge part in raising funds for SAIT’s EngA Center a few years ago and is active in the community. He would like to cut back on the travelling that his position demands, but he is just too dedicated to his responsibilities, to his employees, to customers and suppliers. This is why he just makes the most of whatever free time he can get. He understands that spending some time away from his family is part of the job and is necessary in order to achieve the highest level of success.
Ever the humble man, Jeff simply wants to be remembered inside Gescan as a fair and equitable leader that wants the best for everyone and expects the best from himself and everyone else.
Mike Bellsmith, Vendor Relations Manager
After joining Gescan in 2000 in the Finance Department, Mike has held many positions at Gescan and Sonepar. His diverse experience include Branch Process Manager and Operations Manager for Gescan British Columbia. For two years, Mike worked for Sonepar Canada as Manager of Major Projects for Sonepar Canada, including leading the first vertical sales program targeting high end home builders. Mike returned to Gescan to lead the Pricing Department and continued to work closely with other Sonepar companies on pricing management. He was then asked to bring his vision and change management to the purchasing and inventory management functions by combining the previously separate Purchasing Department and Pricing Department and for the Purchasing and Pricing Team.
Mike is an alumnus of the Sonepar Junior Committee, serving from 2005-2007. The Sonepar Junior Committee (SJC) is made up of young managers under the age of 40 who embody the diversity of Sonepar’s cultures and businesses. Each year they work on a set of issues submitted by General Management, to which they present their findings. Mike is one of only 80 managers worldwide who have served on the SJC since its inception in 1991.
Outside work, Mike has been highly involved in youth sports organizations as a coach, referee and served on Boards of Directors. Mike enjoys travelling in his RV with his wife and daughter.
Scott Skelton, Manager, Industrial Business Unit
Scott Skelton’s career has blossomed beautifully during his 28 (and still counting) years in Gescan. He became an industrial electrician after graduating from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. During his time in the field, he was exposed to most electrical verticals, from industrial to residential.
At present, he is the Industrial Business Unit Manager for Gescan West, a post he has held since 2008. His recognitions include the Golden Pliers award from the Western Joint Electrical Training Society.
During his considerable tenure at Gescan, Scott has become known for his experience and dedication in product and market knowledge. He enjoys creating value for his customers and at the same time mentoring others to share and realize his vision for the company. Interpreting project needs to translate an abstract concept into reality is Scott’s forte. Creating value for the customer means getting creative with general specifications, cost savings and delivery and this is something that he has become very adept at all through the years.
It’s not a surprise that customer service is something that Scott is very passionate about. He pulls all stops to make sure that Gescan can provide and maintain only the best customer service for their clients. He lives for the positive feedback given by customers after a hard day’s work. Doing what he’s been doing for 30 years already, he stresses that a person cannot possibly work for him or with him if he does not share the same passion and commitment for making customers happy. He recognizes that customers are happier when he declares that he will handle a situation himself, a fact that he keeps in mind always when designing ways to improve client relationships.