Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

Aug 23, 2021

Sarah SilversteinBlake Marchand

Sarah Silverstein is a principal with Liteline along side her two brothers Mark and Daniel. Together, they lead the company founded by their father, Steve Silverstein, who retired in 2018.

Although she initially pursued a career in outdoor education, Sarah was instrumental in the company’s expansion into architectural lighting and the U.S. market. She joined Liteline as a project manager in between stints working in outdoor education. Now she leads Liteline’s U.S. distribution arm and marketing department.

Not exactly accustomed to office worklife, she went into Outside Sales calling on distributors in the Toronto area, which bridged into the architectural sector. They didn’t have any salespeople working that market segment and Sarah took on the challenge of building their client base.

“I started calling on architects and interior designers, but we didn’t really have the products to service that market, at the time. So, I was going out and calling on them and figuring out what they wanted,” she explained. “I was able to bridge the gap between product development to make recommendations on what we should be developing and building to serve that market. And that’s been a huge growth for us in the last 8-9 years.”

They launched A-Line, their architectural product line, in 2010. Sarah was able to bridge the gap between sales and product development, allowing Liteline to develop products tailored to that market.

When she wanted to take on more responsibility, she proposed they expand into the U.S. Something the company had considered in the past.

“We had tried over the years but didn’t really have to much unique to offer – back in the 80s and 90s.”

At the time, they had launched their A-Line and introduced their SlimLED line, so they had an architectural product offering that would allow them to stand out a little more.

Sarah began reaching out to sales agencies in the U.S in 2015, growing their network to 44 rep agencies.

Along with managing their U.S distribution side, which they incorporated last year, she has taken the lead on Liteline’s marketing. Something she is really enjoying.

“I love getting creative, I like trying to find the easiest way and the simplest ways for people to understand what they need, what we offer and how to use it. The user experience is fun and exciting and it’s different.

“I had all these great ideas of what I wanted to do and now its great to implement them, and I have an awesome team that’s been super helpful and supportive in that.”

On their success as a company

“We’re lucky, my brothers and I, to have 40-years of a company behind us – but the recent success over the years is our excitement to grow the business. We’re all super eager, we’re all really engaged, really involved. Each of us has our own individual skills that balance each other out and we’re all really passionate about it, about growing the business and meeting change.”

“There’s a lot of moving pieces in the industry, we’re all sitting at the edge of our seats watching what’s happening and trying to guess the next move and be part of it.”

Meeting that change in the industry, as Sarah explains, also needs to be reflected internally. Not only to attract talented professionals, but to foster an innovative mindset.

“We’re modernizing our organization, we’re improving our corporate culture to attract young energetic people, passionate people and thought leaders.”

From Sarah’s perspective, you spend half your life at work so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to enjoy your time there. Particularly, when it comes talented professionals who have plenty of options. Developing a strong, vibrant corporate culture goes a long way differentiating a company. Which is a major factor for attracting and retaining people, as well as motivation and productivity.

“We’ve done that successfully, its been a bit of a change, changing from a 70’s run organization, that mentality to more of a start-up culture in the last 5-10 years, and I would say we’re there now.”

“We have in-house massages every other Friday, ice cream trucks every long weekend, we’re in a company wide competition right now that runs all year...”

“It took some time to make that change happen, but we’ve made it happen and its fun.”

Growing into the IoT field

“Energy became a major topic when we switched over to LEDs, circadian rhythm was a main topic over the last two or three years, now its all about PoE and IoT. The internet of things is huge, that’s where everyone is going, that’s what they’re talking about and how all that connects to energy, to circadian rhythms – its all interconnected, so that’s a major focus for us right now in R&D. It’s a really fun field to follow what’s happening and to turn your house over IoT. And that’s what is going to keep us leading. I can’t tell you too much about what we have in the works for that, but…”

Liteline has really turned their focus to innovation. IoT is tying all these major trends together… energy efficiency, lighting control, human centric lighting. “For us to remain independent and growing we need to focus on bridging that gap a little bit.”

“The Luna series has been a major product for us. We’re putting a lot of effort into growing that product line. Edge fixtures are changing the way troffers or panels are done.” And they also have a new step light released last year that molds into the wall.

“So, lots of fun things coming out.”

Challenges

When it comes to being in a leadership role for Sarah, “The biggest challenge is finding the right people.”

When you have people working remotely, finding people you can trust can be difficult because its harder to integrate into the company culture established at headquarters.

“Finding people who are as motivated as you are – nobody’s going to be as motivated as you are if you’re running the company – but people that can work with that level of excitement and energy everyday, and do it from their remote office, can be tough.”

“The excitement that we all have in here, that honestly radiates through the organization. Everyone in the headquarters, here, is excited about what they do and feel the pulse of it. We have a lot of really engaged people. I find it hard to find people that are working remotely that can get that level of engagement. It’s hard to do that remotely.”

Coming into a new industry is always a challenge, for Sarah it was understanding the business models.

“I’d say the products was probably the easiest part of it for me. But Just understanding how the decision-making channel works was tough at the beginning. But even for us as a company, we weren’t in specification at the time, so we were all kind of learning that together.”

Another challenge for her personally was being a young woman in the industry, particularly being in sales. She was 23 at the time she went into outside sales calling on electrical distributors that, for the most part, were used to a different demographic of salesperson.

“It was uncomfortable at times for me to assert dominance and develop those relationships with people who were 3-times my age, mostly male, and used to a different type of person coming in to pitch them. It had its challenges.”

That was part of the reason she wanted to go into architectural sales and grow that client base. An area that has really taken off for Liteline.

And now, being in a leadership position presents a similar challenge. But one that Sarah hasn’t shied away from.

“It’s just being confident, knowing yourself and knowing the company. And knowing that you can’t control others or their perception. You just got to do the best that you can, do the right thing and do it the right way and that comes across to people,” she said.

It can be easy to second guess yourself in the uncertain territory of a new position, company or industry. But focusing on what you can control and working hard ultimately translates into the confidence required to excel. Something Sarah has clearly done.

Given her experience and success, Sarah’s advice for young women in this industry is: “Be confident.”

“If you know your stuff, nobody’s going to question you in what you’re doing. Be knowledgeable, get back to people, show up, respond, and the right people find themselves to you.”

“You kind of have to let some things roll off your shoulders, as well. It can be tough, but its rewarding if you work hard.”

Blake Marchand is Associate Editor with Kerrwil Electrical Group

Grimard is more competitive and produces estimates 3X faster with Procore

Procore

When the pandemic lockdowns started in March of 2020, Grimard (an electrical contractor) had to decide whether to shut down its operations entirely or implement a new platform with people who were now freely available for work.

Once they implemented Procore, they found a way to efficiently communicate with stakeholders and offer full transparency in terms of project costs and planning. It also allowed Grimard to utilize historical data to make project estimates more accurate. Grimard was able to streamline its bidding process, which made it more attractive to potential clients and helped the business grow.

 

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2021 Canadian Electrical Code Overview of Changes

EIN CSA Group Logo 2022 400CSA C22.1:21, Canadian Electrical Code, Part I contains many updates and changes that are potentially significant to electrical professionals. This online, self-guided course provides the key changes and impacts to the industry presented in an easy-to-follow format.

 Designed for professionals with a good working knowledge of the Code and who solely need the key changes including general updates or those made for clarification, safety, and new products and systems. Key changes due to Rule relocation or deletion are also noted.

This course may help save valuable time to help keep electrical projects safe and in compliance. This training is developed with input from a broad cross-section of electrical industry experts and with cooperation from all provinces, territories and several key jurisdictions across Canada. 

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Changing Scene

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Sponsored Content

Brady Product Spotlight: Grip, Grab and Identify

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Yukon Canada

Communities across the North and Arctic are prioritizing cleaner, more reliable energy sources, as they continue to feel the impacts of climate change. By investing in renewable energy initiatives that support energy independence and economic development, we can keep our air cleaner and build resilient, healthy communities for everyone to call home, all while creating good-paying, sustainable jobs and lowering harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The Yukon is leading the country in its pursuit of cleaner energy and climate change initiatives. 

 

 

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Linde

Linde announced it has inaugurated the world's first hydrogen refueling system for passenger trains in Bremervörde, Germany.

Linde’s hydrogen refueling system, which it built, owns and operates, will refuel 14 hydrogen-powered passenger trains, enabling each train to run for 1,000 km emission-free on a single refueling. It has a total capacity of around 1,600 kg of hydrogen per day, making it one of the largest hydrogen refueling systems ever built. Linde’s future-ready hydrogen refueling system has been designed and constructed with the ability to integrate future on-site green hydrogen generation. The new hydrogen trains will replace existing diesel-powered trains.

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Chris Lane

The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Lane of Johnson Controls to the CABA Board of Directors. As Director of Product Management for Building Automation System (BAS) products at Johnson Controls, Lane leads a team of product managers responsible for designing the strategy and direction for Johnson Controls’ global portfolio of BAS products. 

"I’m honored to have the opportunity to join CABA’s board and support their vision to empower connectivity among people, spaces and technology,” said Lane. 

 

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Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 permit....no record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion

 


 

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Grimard is more competitive and produces estimates 3X faster with Procore

Procore

When the pandemic lockdowns started in March of 2020, Grimard (an electrical contractor) had to decide whether to shut down its operations entirely or implement a new platform with people who were now freely available for work. Once they implemented Procore, they found a way to efficiently communicate with stakeholders and offer full transparency in terms of project costs and planning. It also allowed Grimard to utilize historical data to make project estimates more accurate. Grimard was able to streamline its bidding process, which made it more attractive to potential clients and helped the business grow.

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HellermannTyton Double Slit Conduit

HellermannTyton announces HelaGuard Double-Slit Corrugated Conduit. The two-piece solution features one semi-circular tube that snaps over another to envelop a wire or cable bundle. This makes it possible to add flexible corrugated protection to wiring that is already connected on both ends.

Standard conduit requires installers to guide cabling into and through the length of tubing. That is less of an issue at the time of manufacture. But if the ends of the wire are soldered to a terminal or otherwise inaccessible, non-slit conduit – and even single-slit conduit – can be tedious or impossible to apply.

 

 

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Greenlee Mobile Bending Table

By Blake Marchand

For the new Bending Table for Greenlee® 881 Series Benders, Greenlee Tools, Inc. set out to improve ergonomics and product security.  Previously, contractors usually had to disassemble their bender unit for relocation off the jobsite due to it being harder to secure on the jobsite. New anti-theft features incorporated into the bending table product design allowed the cart and its accessories to be more fully locked. 

This increases contractor productivity by helping reduce the need for tedious setup and tear down of the bender due to off-jobsite storage. Greenlee wanted to make the Mobile Bending Table as versatile as possible and intentionally designed it to fit through most 32” wide doors.  

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Siemens PBSI Sept1 GIF fire test

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DCC-11 EV Energy Management System

DCC-11, manufactured by Thermolec, is an energy management system designed to allow the connection of an EV charger to the main feeder of a panel without affecting the load calculation. 

HOW IT WORKS 

  1. DCC does a real-time reading of the total power consumption of a home or condo electrical panel;

  2. It detects when the total power consumption of the main circuit breaker exceeds 80% and temporarily de-energizes the charger.

 

 

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Klein Tools Knee Pads

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Knee Pad Sleeves

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  • Unique design keeps knee pads close to the body for a second-skin fit allowing for agility when working in tight spaces.
  • Lightweight, breathable mesh back to keep you cool and comfortable.
  • Elastic cuff with slip-resistant silicone helps knee pads stay in place.

 

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Sponsored Content

Fire Protection for Lithium-ion Battery Energy Storage Systems

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Lithium-ion storage facilities contain high-energy batteries combined with highly flammable electrolytes. In addition, they are prone to quick ignition and explosion in a worst-case scenario. Such fires can have a significant financial impact on organizations. Rapid detection of electrolyte gas particles and extinguishing are the key to a successful fire protection concept. Since December 2019, Siemens has been offering a VdS-certified fire protection concept for stationary Li-ion battery storage systems.

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sdgs poster 936 enBy Blake Marchand

With many organizations, governments and policymakers finding it challenging to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) , CSA Group has developed a methodology for mapping CSA standards to UN Sustainability Goals (SDGs) aimed at demonstrating how organizations, governments and policymakers can use CSA standards as an effective tool in developing and implementing their SDG strategies. The methodology was developed as part of a research project initiated by CSA Group, completed in collaboration with University of Guelph, Niagara College and the Toronto Metropolitan University. To support the methodology, CSA Group also launched an interactive searchable database that allows standards users to quickly find out how and where CSA standards support specific UN SDG targets.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by all UN member countries in 2015. The agenda includes 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals that aim to promote and provide strategies to improve health, education, inequality, and the economy while prioritizing climate change and the environment. 

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EIN 21 TSBC EJTC 400Effective October 1, 2022 the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I, 25th Edition, Safety Standard for Electrical Installations, Canadian Standards Association Standard C22.1-21 is adopted as the BC Electrical Code. All electrical work that is subject to the BC Electrical Code must be in compliance with the updated edition effective November, 30, 2022. 

All code-related information bulletins and directives that have been issued to date remain in effect. All potentially impacted information bulletins and directives will be reviewed for consistency with the new code edition and revised if necessary. 

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