Whistler, British Columbia – May 5, 2023 – In the last week of April 2023, Bunzl Canada held its first Canadian National Sales Conference in beautiful Whistler, B.C. Over 250 Bunzl team members and 50 industry-leading vendors gathered at The Westin Resort & Spa – Whistler for an opportunity to focus on category growth and go-to-market alignment, attend valuable meetings and spend unprecedented quality time meeting other professionals.
Our teams across all five segments – Cleaning & Hygiene, Safety, Industrial, Grocery, Retail & Processor, and R3 Redistribution Canada – learned what it takes to be “ALL IN” – the theme of the multi-day event. Embodying “ALL-IN” revolves around common goals with team members and vendors, and our vision to provide customers with product innovations, expert knowledge and all the tools they need to make their business more efficient.
To get everyone into the swing of the ALL-IN attitude, Bunzl Canada President, John Howlett kicked off the National Sales Conference with a Welcome Ceremony to energize Bunzl Canada staff. Later in the evening, Bunzl employees joined vendors for a networking and social dinner, which provided a chance to exchange ideas, gain insights and connect with colleagues and partners.
The Sales Conference really kicked off on April 25, traditional Squamish welcome to Whistler. The welcome was led by Kyle Lawrence, a Key Account Manager with Bunzl Industrial and member of Squamish Nation, who used the moment to educate Bunzl Canada guests about the history of traditional Squamish and Lil’wat territories on which Whistler sits. Joined by Nory Woolnough, a Regional HR Manager and member of Curve Lake Nation in Ontario, Lawrence explained how Whistler is the final resting place of Thunderbird, the great protector who taught Squamish and Lil’wat nations to work together – a lesson that mirrored the ALL-IN theme.
Once formally welcomed, the Canadian National Sales Conference began in earnest with a special address from Bunzl North America CEO Jim McCool, who highlighted the success and strategies shared by Bunzl Canada and its North American colleagues.
McCool was followed by John Howlett, who mapped out Bunzl Canada’s strategic vision through 2026, and highlighted how data analytics, e-commerce and category management will be critical in supporting customers and achieving Bunzl Canada’s goals.
Jeff Zettler, Vice President of Category Management and Margo Hunnisett, Vice President of Marketing & Communications elaborated on these points of focus, energizing the Bunzl Canada team and reinforcing the importance of collaborative efforts.
The General Session culminated in a Keynote Address from Jeremiah Brown, “The Four-Year Olympian.” Brown inspired the Bunzl Canada team by describing his dream to win an Olympic medal and how he became a member of the Canadian men’s eight rowing team at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Brown used his personal story and humour to encourage Bunzl Canada staff to find the courage to reach their goals and overcome the psychological traps and emotional pitfalls that lie hidden along the way.
Check out the highlight reel from the event:
Later in the day, Bunzl Sales teams gathered for focused breakout sessions where customer success stories were shared and sales professionals from across the country could further align on best-in-class solutions that respond to customer challenges and prioritize sustainability.
Day 1 culminated in the Northern Lights Achievement Awards Gala Dinner where John Howlett and Jim McCool, CEO of Bunzl North America, presented both vendors and Bunzl salespeople with awards and recognitions. All attendees celebrated the achievements of their peers, colleagues, and friends.
Several recently retired former employees who made significant contributions to the success of Bunzl Canada were honoured during the event, including Dave Huck (Vice President, Bunzl Safety), Doug Phillips (Director, Category Management, Bunzl Canada), Brian Fox (General Manager, Bunzl Canada and R3 Redistribution) and Sue Creelman (Director, Purchasing Logistics, Bunzl Canada).
Some of the other notable honours handed out during the gala included Sunset Paper (Jean Jobin) being named Bunzl Canada’s Vendor of the Year, Chris Martin (Bunzl Industrial) winning the award for Sales Manager of the Year and Corene Willoughby claiming the Top Gun Award as Bunzl Canada’s top sales professional of 2022.
Following a night of celebrating success, it was time to explore the Vendor Showcase, which provided a unique opportunity for Bunzl’s salespeople to meet with vendors to discuss strategy, innovations, create new business relationships and learn from industry experts.
The conference ended on a high note with an all-attendee dinner, leaving everyone feeling motivated to put their newfound knowledge and connections into action. We want to thank everyone for participating in the first ever Canadian National Sales Conference and exhibiting why Bunzl Canada continues to stay at the forefront of creative solutions and innovations.
Check out images from the event:
About Bunzl Canada
Bunzl Canada Inc. (bunzlcanada.ca) provides the cleaning and hygiene products and equipment, food and retail packaging, safety products and industrial supplies which keep over 45,000 Canadian businesses running optimally, every day. The company brings its customers the advantage of global sourcing, product innovation and national scale combined with responsive local service and deep category expertise. Bunzl Canada Inc. is a division of Bunzl Distribution USA, LLC.
About Bunzl Distribution
Bunzl Distribution USA, LLC (bunzldistribution.com), headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., is the largest division of London-based Bunzl plc, an international distribution and outsourcing group. With more than 100 distribution centre throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, Bunzl supplies a wide range of products to food processors, supermarkets, retailers, convenience stores and other users.
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Bunzl Canada Inc.