Cam Lawrence, president of BDI Canada Inc., Mississauga, ON, officially retired in January and has passed the reins over to Brian Dyke, who moves into the top role from his former position as vice-president of sales for Ontario.
Lawrence has been president of the company since May 1994.
A special retirement dinner was held for Lawrence in January that was attended by key company staff from across Canada, as well as Carl James, chairman, managing director and CEO of parent company Bearing Distributors Inc. (BDI), Cleveland, OH. Also in attendance were Jerilyn Church, executive director of the Bearing Specialists Association, various industry suppliers and members of the Lawrence family.
A total of nine individuals spoke at the event about Lawrence, yet there was a consistency in their comments. Oft-repeated words were: “integrity and honesty,” “cool and calm,” “trusting and supportive,” “one of the good guys,” “polite,” “passionate,” “loyal and devoted,” “unwavering dedication,” “thoughtful,” “always helpful,” “deep knowledge and understanding of the business,” “wisdom,” “honour,” “courage” … well, you get the idea; it was a full-on love-in for Lawrence, and well-deserved.
Church presented Lawrence with a plaque from the BSA board of directors awarding him an honorary membership in recognition of his significant contributions to the association over many years. “It’s a significant honour,” she acknowledged.
James spoke about Lawrence’s 17-year career as president of the Canadian operation, where he guided it from a small, regional distributor to a coast-to-coast leader in industrial distribution. During this time, said James, Lawrence “nurtured and developed a company culture of talent, innovation and creativity that not only set the standard of the future for our company, but also for industrial distribution across Canada and around the world.”
Lawrence spoke just as considerately about the support of his staff, family and suppliers. “Today, I feel like I’m on the pinnacle of a mountain,” he said. “There’s some euphoria here tonight, and I don’t feel like I deserve it. It’s the people and the company that do.”
Lawrence said he is remaining with BDI Canada to help the company grow its presence in western Canada.