Bolt Employee Spotlight
October 26, 2023

At the beginning of every month we will be featuring one of our many amazing employees in an 'Employee Spotlight' to showcase the hard-working people who make up The Bolt family. These spotlights will give you an inside look at who our employees are, as well as provide you the opportunity to learn a little bit about each individual.

We invite you to join us every month as we shine a spotlight on our incredible Bolt family members to celebrate the people who make The Bolt Supply House special.

2024 Spotlights

July Employee Spotlight
Yolanda Gumpal - Accounts Payable

As a young girl, Yolanda Gumpal would stare up into the skies at the airplanes passing by her home in the Philippines and dream about one day being on one herself. The grown-up Yolanda took it a step further and she left home to explore the world, first working in Singapore and then heading to the West in 2005 with her husband and two young boys in tow to build their new life here.

“My husband had a nice job in Singapore but it’s a very expensive place. He said ‘why not move to Canada—the education there is so good for the kids,’ so we moved. And luckily I was able to find a great company to give me an opportunity to work,” she says.

The former elementary teacher and executive secretary has been with Bolt Supply for 18 years, starting out in reception before making the move to Accounts Payable. She was welcomed warmly into the Bolt family, and she can’t imagine having better people to work with or a more fulfilling, enjoyable job to do.

When she’s not at work, Yolanda and her family enjoy camping, biking and fishing and they can be found at twice-weekly church services and volunteering at church activities. They support various organizations dedicated to helping those in need, from food banks to putting together care packages for unhoused Calgarians to supporting developing countries.

Yolanda also hasn’t lost her passion for travel and she and her husband of 28 years take at least one trip a year. Being so far from home is hard, especially as aging relatives pass, and she’s looking forward to travelling back to the Philippines in December to pay respects to those they’ve lost and reconnect with family.

“It’s important for the kids to stay in touch with relatives so they will not forget their roots,” she says.

While those ancestral roots run deep, Yolanda Gumpal is thankful to have grown strong Calgary roots with Bolt Supply House, too.

June Employee Spotlight
Colby Van Den Bussche - Inside Sales

When Colby Van Den Bussche started with Bolt Supply House, he wasn’t looking for a career; it was a good summer job while he studied engineering at SAIT. But the more time he spent at school, the more he came to realize that engineering wasn’t for him and that the atmosphere at Bolt was. He left school and worked his way up the company, taking on warehouse and shipping and receiving roles and ultimately found his home at the counter. Inside Sales satisfies his engineer’s problem-solving inclination while allowing him to interact with incredible colleagues and clients.

“My favourite part of the job is dealing with the customers, the relationships you build and everything you get with that,” Colby says.

While he takes his job seriously, he has a lot of fun at work too. Colby always has a groan-worthy Dad joke at the ready and is known to spontaneously break into song right there at the counter. He has a lot of fun outside of work too, whether that is exploring the world as a traveller or becoming immersed in the virtual world of gaming.

“I’m a huge gamer—I’m big on your first-person shooter video games. I’m not a big partier but I like to spend time with my friends,” he says.

When it comes to games, it’s not all Call of Duty and Halo on the couch for Colby and his buddies. They love going to Activate, an active gaming facility that features rooms that offer different interactive challenges. As is the case with work, Colby doesn’t do anything half-way and he ruptured his Achilles as he gave it his all to win a challenge last year. Now that he’s healed up, the King of Dad Jokes is excited to get back to gaming with his friends.

May Employee Spotlight
Mbusa Hundi - Warehouse Associate

Mbusa Hundi is an explorer at heart, always looking for new experiences and adventures. One of his biggest adventures was to leave his home in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa and relocate to Canada.

“I came to Canada in 2007 and I lived in BC and then in Alberta,” Mbusa says. He misses his family and especially misses the weather back home, but he was able to ease into his new home’s potentially harsh weather when he moved. “Winter wasn’t that bad to start because in BC it’s a bit milder compared to Calgary.”

But now he’s an Albertan through and through, enjoying nature as he camps with his family and continuing to explore the city and province he calls home in search of interesting places and people. He loves spending time with his wife and two children, aged 8 and 10, who keep him busy when he’s not at work.

For the past 8 years, Mbusa has worked as a warehouse associate performing shipping and receiving duties in Bolt’s distribution centre. He worked in the industry for four years before getting hired on at Bolt, and he has found a home of like-minded people where he can make a difference.

“When you serve people and they are happy about what you do for them, it makes me feel good. That’s what I like most about the job,” he says. “I also really like the people who work with me. They are really cooperative, and they do everything they can to make the job easier for all of us.”

It’s a great team and Mbusa really enjoys being part of it.

April Employee Spotlight
Silvana Elliott - Supply Chain Optimization Manager

From an early age Silvana Elliott had an eye for business. While other kids were playing “house”, Silvana and her younger sister would often play “store”, which gave her a glimpse into the world of Supply Chain. This interest only grew, and she pursued a Business Administration degree in Brazil before working for one of the biggest seafood exporters in the area. The work was rewarding, and she was passionate about it, but she struggled with English when dealing with American customers. To grow her skillset, she decided to leave her job and come to Canada as an exchange student in 2006 to study the language.

“My plan was to stay in Canada for six months and go back home. That never happened,” Silvana says.

 It wasn’t supposed to be a permanent move—especially after experiencing Calgary winters—but she fell in love with the country (and her now-husband) and after 18 years, Silvana hasn’t looked back. She started at Bolt as a buyer in 2011 and has been involved in purchasing, procurement, importing, logistics and freight and is now the Supply Chain Optimization Manager helping identify savings and performance improvement opportunities.

“I love what I do. Each day is different and there are always new challenges and new projects to work on,” she says. “I’ve gotten to meet and work with so many incredible people along the journey here over the last 12 years.”That journey has led to an amazing life in Canada. She got her motorcycle license and she and her husband explored her new home from behind the handlebars of their bikes. She loved the freedom and excitement of it, but she gave up her motorcycle for motherhood. Now Silvana and her husband are kept busy chasing after their 6-year-old daughter and their newest addition, their adorable Pomsky puppy.

March Employee Spotlight
Russell Bechtold - Distribution Centre Manager

Sometimes it takes leaving to appreciate where you were. Russell Bechtold started working in Bolt Supply House’s Manchester warehouse in 2006 and then moved to inside sales before leaving to pursue other opportunities in 2011. He tried out different jobs and companies, but nothing measured up to the positive, friendly atmosphere he experienced at Bolt Supply.

“I really liked the people I worked with the first time around with Bolt Supply. It always felt different. When I left, the company I went to didn’t have the same family feeling,” says Russell.

When the chance to return to Bolt Supply came up in 2018, he jumped at the opportunity to rejoin the team. Working in the warehouse is a perfect job for him—it’s challenging without being stressful and he is surrounded by great people. He puts in a hardworking 8 hours before heading home to his wife and his 11-year-old daughter and a 17-month-old baby girl.

His life revolves around his girls and when he’s not running around with them or for them, the huge hockey fan loves to cheer on the Calgary Flames. He lives a simple life at home but since his family honeymoon trip to Disneyworld almost five years ago, he has been bitten by the travel bug; he’d like to visit places like Seattle and San Diego along with taking some beach holidays in Mexico in the coming years.

Russell is so glad that he found his way back to Bolt Supply House and has no plans to ever leave again. He plans to continue working here, with the dream end result being a small acreage hobby farm with goats.

“I really enjoy Bolt Supply. I could definitely see myself retiring here in another 20 years,” he says, and the Distribution Centre is happy to have him for the long haul.

February Spotlight
Lily Trinh - Office Administrator

As the Office Administrator, Lily Trinh is the steady engine behind the scenes. She keeps the company organized and running smoothly, and she has a great time doing it.

“I’ve worked in many different industries and companies, but Bolt Supply is one of the companies where everybody is serious about what they do but at the same time are very casual and easygoing. It makes work that much more fun,” Lily says.

It’s a good thing that she finds organization so much fun because she fills a similar role after hours too. She is part of a community of likeminded people that come together to spread kindness through personal and spiritual growth, and Lily organizes the children’s activities and events so they can then take all they learn back to their schools and communities to make them better.

It’s an amazing way to create a better world and Lily is proud to raise her children with this priority. She spends a lot of time with her 7-year-old daughter, 12-year-old son and husband of 17 years and wears many hats throughout the day; she’s the event planner, chauffeur, tutor, cheerleader, and music class sidekick. The former yoga instructor even finds time to maintain her yoga practice at home or with others in studios. She and her family love to experience life to the fullest and their favourite way to do that is through travel.

“It’s really important for the children to see the world. They learn when they see a different country, a different lifestyle, different cultures,” she says.

Lily and her extended family try to take a big annual trip somewhere new, and Lily is in charge of planning these getaways. While Japan has been her favourite place to visit so far, Turkey tops the list of future destinations that could take its place.

Family is the most important thing to Lily, and she is grateful for the wonderful people in her Bolt Supply family who make her job so much fun every day.

January Employee Spotlight
Joe Batiuk - Assistant Branch Manager

Joe Batiuk has a long history with tools and the mechanics of using them. Even as a kid who was drawn to the magic of space travel, he would research and draw pictures of the rocket engines that would one day get him to space. While he didn’t become an astronaut, he did continue to work with tools.

He started out at Winnipeg Tools and Fasteners not long after graduating high school and spent 13 years in the business. When the owner decided to close the business and retire, Joe tried a few other jobs before looking up his former co-worker, Dean Hart, who had moved to a management position with The Bolt Supply House. It was perfect timing. Dean was hiring and brought Joe into the fold and now, 9 years later, Joe is the Assistant Branch Manager in Winnipeg. It was a perfect fit, and Joe enjoys the easy atmosphere where everyone at work gets along like family.

Joe appreciates the family focus at Bolt Supply and as he gets older, he values family connections more. He and his siblings recently reconnected with his father’s family in Ukraine after 30 years of separation, bringing together generations of his family. His rediscovered relatives tell them all about what’s going on in Ukraine today.

“My sister wrote a letter that actually got to them and then with Facebook, they’ve all made contact. They are very thankful that they have family across the world thinking of them,” Joe says.

He cherishes family and enjoys spending time with his wife of almost 30 years and his son, who is attending college. His wife got him hooked on running and he has done more than 20 half-marathons and one full marathon. Although Joe was sidelined a few years ago with a back issue, he hopes to get back to training again. Until then, the self-proclaimed homebody likes to work with his hands and enjoys tackling various DIY repair projects from fixing broken-down cars to building patios.

Whether he’s working the counter or building one, Joe takes pride in all he does and is proud to be part of The Bolt Supply House team.

2023 Spotlights

December Employee Spotlight
Sean Genaille - Branch Manager

Sean stumbled into a career at The Bolt Supply House quite by accident in 2008. His high school friend, whose father is Bolt’s purchaser, had a summer job at the company and was looking for a friend to work with him. Sean needed work so he agreed to come on board. He was invited back the following summer and he accepted, eager to earn some money before heading to university. His dream of becoming a professional hockey player didn’t come true, but after a semester in university to become a Phys Ed teacher, Sean received an offer that changed the direction of his life.

“Bolt offered me something I couldn’t turn down, so I quit school and started working here full-time. And here we are,” he says.

He started out in the warehouse, worked his way up to the counter and in 2022 was promoted to Branch Manager in Regina. As Bolt is a place people spend their careers, the low turnover means the familiar faces become like family and there is sure to be someone with the knowledge you need to offer clients a solution.

“The people here are great, and it’s a positive, supportive environment to work in. And we get to know the customers that come in quite well too, and Bolt is like a small family. Everyone always asks how we’re doing and how the kids are,” Sean says.

He’s happy to report that his wife and kids are amazing. His fearless 3-year-old and his artistic 8-year-old daughters keep him on his toes, and he was just fine trading his hockey and slow pitch schedules to become his daughters’ biggest fan at their sports and activities. At work and at play, Sean is surrounded by family.

November Employee Spotlight
Rafael Luzini - Territory Manager

It didn’t take long for Rafael to realize that his new home country of Canada had seasons that would take some getting used to. The dry, hot summers which are so different from Brazil’s tropical climate were a surprise, but the biggest shock was the winters.

Rafael and his family arrived in Lethbridge in October of 2021 from Brazil and started working as an inside sales representative behind the counter at The Bolt Supply House in December. In November 2022, he was promoted to Territory Manager, responsible for 135 accounts in Southern Alberta. He’s thankful for the great people he gets to work with every day and all the support he’s received from head office that has empowered him to do whatever it takes to make his clients happy. It has been an amazing initiation to Canada, and he feels quite at home at work.

Outside, though, was another matter. He didn’t know what to expect from Canadian winters and was surprised at how seamlessly native Albertans transitioned to and coped with the at-times bitter temperatures.

“People just go to school and work. It’s impressive actually,” he says. “When I started at Bolt, everyone was laughing at me when I came in the front door completely covered with a coat, toque, mask and just my eyes uncovered to see where I was going.”

In the few short years that the Luzini family has been here, they have actually started enjoying these crazy weather conditions. Rafael loves to take his 4 and 7-year-old sons out fishing and exploring the Alberta attractions, from Banff to Waterton Lakes. Both the kids and their parents are proud of mastering the language along with the cold, and the Luzini’s all love their new home.

October Employee Spotlight
Mary Loucks - Senior Information Systems Manager

The world of technology has changed significantly since the 1980s and Mary Loucks has been at Bolt every step of the way. While she considered using her strong math and science skills to become a veterinarian, she instead ventured into the great unknown to become one of the first women to go through the computer science program at SAIT. And Bolt is happy she did: she has been an integral part of the IT department for about as long as there has been IT at the company.

“When I first started, we didn’t even have computers in the branches – it was a data entry department,” she says.

With 38 years working for Bolt under her belt, Mary has become the go-to for anything tech in the company, and she enjoys the fast pace and the constant change. No two days are the same and that keeps things exciting at the office.

Mary is often the person her colleagues call when there’s an IT issue or crisis so there isn’t always time for small talk and socializing in her interactions. That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have a good time with her coworkers.

“There’s lots of fun and connections. It’s never boring,” she says.

Her off-hours life is never boring either. She is busy with her ladies’ golf league and gardening, camping with her husband and walking her beautiful Rottweiler, Xena (the Warrior Princess). The strong management skills she has honed over nearly four decades of working at Bolt transfer to her home life as well. Mary is her extended family’s organizer for everything from summer camping trips to big Christmas dinners, a job she happily takes on as the family grows and they add a new generation to the festivities.

Whether she’s coordinating camping dates for her family or problem-solving tech issues, Mary Loucks has it handled.