In the realm of long-standing careers, few individuals can boast a journey such as Janet Ward's. For 40 years, Janet has been an integral part of Gescan, leaving an indelible mark on the company's success. Through dedication, resilience and a drive for continuous growth, Janet has become an inspiration for her colleagues and a testament to the power of perseverance.  


From data-entry to department management: A journey of ambition  

"Fresh out of school, I began my journey with Gescan in a Data Entry position. I had my first interview in the morning and was offered the job that night. I started on my 19th birthday," recalls Janet. Helping her team to clear a backlog of purchase orders and invoices, Janet worked six days a week, 12 hours a day for several months. This early display of dedication laid the groundwork for her illustrious career. "I was the first employee of the month and got the coveted parking spot right outside the front door."  

Throughout her tenure, Janet's thirst for challenges and learning experiences has been met with projects and role transitions. "Gescan has always been open to providing new opportunities,” Janet affirms. From data integrity to vendor and customer pricing, inventory management, purchasing and project work, she continually adapted and embraced new possibilities.   

Janet emphasizes, "Gescan has been incredibly supportive of my continuous education and leadership development." This support fueled her ambition, enabling her to pursue night school and weekend courses. The mutual commitment between Janet and Gescan forged a symbiotic relationship that fostered growth. 

Janet’s exceptional leadership abilities became evident during her eight years managing the purchasing and pricing departments. Today, Janet is Gescan's Inventory Systems Manager. "Having the opportunity to get into management was a great achievement," Janet proudly recounts. Gescan's trust in her abilities allowed her to explore new areas and make meaningful contributions to the company's success. 

In Janet’s experience, cohesive teamwork, a sense of purpose and respect within Gescan have been instrumental in overcoming obstacles and driving her and the company forward.  


Breaking barriers and paving the way: Inspiring inclusion  

"One of the important lessons I've learned is to believe in yourself. Your strength is inside of you," Janet reflects. “It was during challenging moments that I experienced the most growth, even though those situations made me uncomfortable. Those who pushed me the hardest were the ones who ultimately prompted me to learn, adapt and be flexible in changing times.” 

Her journey as a woman in the industry has not been without its challenges. Her commitment to standing up for what is right not only benefited her but also paved the way for future generations of women in the industry. By breaking down barriers and advocating for equality, she became a trailblazer within the organization. "As time went on, things started to change. We began to see more women in leadership positions and the culture evolved to become more inclusive," Janet remarks.   


Looking back, looking forward: A lasting impact  

Janet reminisces about the two-decade collaboration with her lifelong best friend and Langley Branch Manager, Carolyn Renholm, running the company's and children's annual Christmas party. "The shared laughter with colleagues, some of whom have ventured onto different career paths, has truly made this journey fulfilling," Janet fondly recalls. 

"Even after moving on, many people still stay in touch. It humbles me to know they value our bond and seek my guidance. It speaks volumes that they continue to engage with me, despite my former position as their boss," says Janet. Recognizing her lasting impact on others, Janet values the importance of nurturing meaningful connections. 

"I'm grateful for the incredible individuals I've had the privilege to work with and mentor, watching them grow professionally and succeed in their own paths. As I continue my journey, I hope to keep sharing my knowledge and emphasizing the power of teamwork," Janet continued.  

Looking forward, Janet is excited about the developments she sees within Gescan, "I'm thrilled by the advancements I hear about in Town Halls; marketing, pricing, supply chain and the implementation of AI on e-commerce platforms."  


Celebrating her 40th anniversary at Gescan, Janet reflects on the invaluable lessons learned and the growth experienced throughout her journey; trusting her instincts, embracing discomfort as a learning opportunity and emphasizing the power of teamwork have been key to her success. Janet also acknowledges, “Without the unwavering support I received from my son, family and friends through the late nights of going to school, trying to get a project done or working through a challenging time, I would not be where I am today. They would always say ‘you are strong, and you can do this.’” 

Looking back with gratitude, Janet remains committed to sharing her knowledge and continuing to make a difference in the lives of her colleagues and the future of Gescan.