KBC Tools & Machinery is pleased to announce the appointment of the company’s first-ever Director of Canadian Operations. Karen Neath, Branch Manager at KBC’s Canadian headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario, was selected for the position earlier this month. Neath will continue her role as Branch Manager while expanding her mandate to include overseeing and coordinating activities among KBC’s Oldcastle, Ontario and Delta, B.C., branches.
Founded in Detroit in 1965, KBC expanded into Canada in the late 1980’s with its first Greater Toronto Area location. The Oldcastle and Delta branches were established in 1992 as a response to demand from across the country for the huge line of tools and machinery that the company offers. Continued growth has made the Director of Canadian Operations job a happy necessity for the metalworking supplier.
KBC President Paula Bass created the position to ensure that best practices amongst the three locations are adopted and amalgamated by all. Says Bass, “When we decided to take this step, it was immediately clear that Karen would be an ideal candidate for the job. In fact, you might say that the position was created with her in mind.” Neath has experience in every aspect of company operations; she managed the credit department as well as the warehouse prior to accepting the Branch Manager position a few years ago. “Karen has always demonstrated a keen ability to understand KBC’s system and find the root of a problem in order to solve it,” notes Bass.
Neath’s many accomplishments during her tenure at KBC include spearheading the effort to achieve ISO:9001 certification for the Mississauga branch, an internationally recognized standard for quality management. She has also had a habit of taking jobs and never giving them up: with each recent promotion she has simply added to her job description, a testament to how important her contribution has been to KBC’s Canadian development.
Neath recalls feeling that her career at KBC had long-term potential from the very beginning. “We’ve always had a great team of people working here, and the family atmosphere at our branches is very encouraging to new employees.” As Director of Canadian Operations, she will travel periodically to the other Canadian locations to train team members and trade methods which can be implemented company-wide. “I’m excited to get my feet wet in the new job, and I look forward to seeing where it leads.”
It will no doubt lead to some exciting places, given the potential for growth KBC has shown in its first 46 years. With eight stocking branches (five in the U.S. and three in Canada) and a Master Catalog 100,000 items strong (spanning cutting tools, carbide tooling, fluids, work holding, abrasives, measuring and inspection, toolroom accessories, hand tools, shop supplies, power/air tools, and machinery), KBC has positioned itself as a one-stop shop for the North American Maintenance, Repair, and Operations industry.
For more information about KBC Tools & Machinery, visit www.kbctools.com.