In the fourth part of our series celebrating Sonepar’s associates around the world, we're talking to six more members of our global team about their experiences being part of the Sonepar family.
José Mendoza is a Sales Manager at the Sonepar brand Dirome, in Peru.
What has been your favorite moment while working at Dirome / Sonepar? "My favorite moment was being part of the transition to Sonepar Peru. It was an opportunity to be part of the strategic team, who managed to change the core business from ‘selling products’ to a 'solution partner’. The approach of our team to the real needs of the customers and the market, allowed us to create a different and stronger commercial relationship. This is the real customer-centric vision, that makes me really proud.”
Tell us one thing you love about working here. “I love all the possibilities Sonepar gives to me; from training to tools. The main point I would highlight from all these years of experience is that during our Yearly Kick Off Meeting I have the responsibility of presenting the evolution of the results, year-on-year, and the strategy for the current year. This is always an amazing experience and a fantastic opportunity to connect with all the teams in the different OpCos.”
Tell us something that feels different about working here. “Our people. Sharing knowledge to become better every day is the most important feeling at the end of the day. It also makes our team stronger and more successful.”
Pascal Cordeau was a Branch manager at CGED / Sonepar up until summer this year. He has just retired after more than 40 years with the company.
What has been your favorite moment while working at CGED / Sonepar? "I joined the Group in October 1978 as a representative at Franco-Belge in Viry Chatillon. I have spent my entire professional career with Sonepar, where I have held many positions allowing me to evolve and reinforce my skills over the years."
Tell us one thing you love about working here. "I would like to thank Sonepar for the trust it has placed in me, enabling me to participate in the development of the Sonepar Régions network and now in CGED."
Tell us something that feels different about working here. "I have enjoyed working in this ever-changing world where every day is different and instructive – thanks to, or because of our customers, our manufacturers, our partners and our colleagues."
Bianca Trotta has recently joined the Marketing & Digital department of Sonepar Italia.
What has been your favorite moment so far while working at Sonepar? "I've been working at Sonepar for only four months and I love every single day here. The best moment was when I realized that I found an interesting and innovative work environment with fantastic people to work with."
Tell us one thing you love about working here. "Sonepar is a fast-changing company and I like it. There are new challenges to face every day; this allows everyone to develop professionally, to learn and to put themselves to the test."
Tell us something that feels different about working here. "Sonepar's atmosphere was a surprise for me. I found an international and innovative environment with wonderful people. Our top management trusts and encourages us to develop new ideas and to realize them. This is not something to be taken for granted."
Michael Lakusta is a National Account Manager at Vallen in Edmonton, Canada. He's been with the firm for more than 25 years.
What has been your favorite moment while working at Sonepar / Vallen in all that time? "It would be hard to single out a favorite moment. Executing on a plan and being able to deliver on client expectations – then having a customer recognize our value and commitment. Those are always great moments.
Tell us one thing you love about working at here. "At Vallen, we have a lot of long-term associates. I am fortunate to be part of this great team! The knowledge and experience we deliver to our customers is exceptional."
Tell us something that feels different about working here. "At Vallen, we really get to know our customers and their business. What we provide are the solutions that improve safety, productivity and value."
Hanne Pettersen works as the administration secretary at Otra's main office in Drammen, Norway, and is the right-hand woman for Otra’s CEO, Lars Hamborg.
Twenty years with the company – a grand achievement. What does an average day look like? “It could be anything, from a kick-off meeting (one of my favorite jobs), booking travel, specialized courses, and the more fun stuff like keeping a calendar of everyone’s birthdays, weddings, anniversaries etc. Thanks to the role I play in the company, I know absolutely everyone in the entire Otra organization in Norway, in one way or another.”
What is the best part about working for Otra and Sonepar? “It’s the people, without a doubt. Everyone who works for Otra – we’re like one big family. We have a special connection and the atmosphere is always good, despite being far apart, geographically. There are no huge divides between levels of responsibility and the atmosphere is always pleasant and informal both in Otra and Sonepar.
Can you think of your favorite moment with the Group? "When Marie-Christine Coisne-Roquette came for a visit. We had a really nice, long chat – in French, actually. I’ve studied and worked in France. I have to admit that for us ladies in Otra, it’s extra special to have a woman in charge of a worldwide corporation with 46,000 employees. Plus, she’s so talented and nice. Even though the company is recruiting more and more women, it’s still a male dominated industry.”
Anna Yan is the Mergers & Acquisitions Director at Sonepar China. She's been with the Group for 11 years.
What has been your favorite moment while working at Sonepar? "When I first visited Technische Unie in 2011 and saw their automated warehouse system, I knew this would be the next step for China; and I could be part of this innovation and creation of that future. I am proud of Sonepar and proud to be one of the team.
Tell us one thing you love about working at Sonepar. "The respect for diversity. To develop and manage businesses globally is a very challenging topic, even for our suppliers who develop their own products. As distributors, every day we have to face a complex world with different customer types, suppliers and product categories; we have to make complex proposals or solutions tailored to customers’ needs; and we even have to face cultural differences in all the different countries in which we operate. Sonepar respects and accepts diversity and differences across its many businesses, in OpCos and in countries. Diversity allows us to grow successfully at Sonepar."
Tell us something that feels different about working at Sonepar. "The people. In the Sonepar culture, respect for people and enabling them to grow is absolutely key. Sonepar celebrates its people and helps them to learn and share across the whole organization."