Vancouver Island Front Line Staff

We are sharing stories from some of our Vancouver Island frontline staff. These are the ABC team members who are showing up every day and connecting face-to-face with our customers. Our frontline team members have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to helping keep our company in motion.

Shirley Watkins

Shirley is our scale operator and administrative assistant at the Campbell River Yard and has been employed in this position since July 11, 2005. Her duties cover, but are not limited to: answering and directing phone calls and walk-ins; completing monthly inspections and entering them into the DAT program; and processing monthly customer payments.

“I have not had any issues during this time as a frontline worker. The company has installed a sneeze guard in the office, which makes customers feel a little safer. I am thankful that my employment has not been affected at this time. I feel the company has done an excellent job in responding to the changes needed at this time and supplied us with items to keep us healthy and safe.”


Barb Nielsen

Barb takes care of our office administration and all the steel sales at our Campbell River location.

“Our office is small and so it has been a challenge to keep everyone safe. But for the most part, I think everyone is doing a great job!”


Shane Kraus

Shane has been with the ABC Campbell River team for 4.5 years. He began employment as a machine operator and for the past year moved into the retail sales division.

“I enjoy the interactions with the customers and how they leave pleased with our service. Retail sales have been very busy during this time. I guess everyone is home doing their projects. The company has put into place systems that will keep us all safe and healthy. We haven’t missed a beat here in Campbell River.”


Deb Kalau

Deb is the office manager in Nanaimo. She covers the scale daily for breaks or if Dani is on vacation, as well as dealing with retail sales customers.

“Working during this pandemic has forced me to look at how to perform regular duties in a different way. I try to remember that everyone is finding their way in this “new normal” which means that patience is one thing that I am trying to make a priority. I’ve had good feedback from customers regarding our new COVID protocols as generally they appreciate the fact, we are trying to keep them safe. With each transaction taking a little longer than it used to, we have time to create stronger relationships which I think will be beneficial when the market makes a comeback.”


Dani Gaucher

Dani Gaucher is the administrative assistant/scale operator for ABC in Nanaimo. She is the first point of contact for many customers, whether it be by phone or face-to-face as they walk through the door or roll on the scale. Essentially, she guides the beginning stages for a customer at our facility and works with both the individual and her coworkers to make the customer experience as smooth and positive as is possible. She also works side-by-side with the Office Manager, and communicates with the Operations Manager, Regional Manager, and Business Development people regularly to ensure that the discussed or expected process for a customer or procedure is followed.

“In the beginning of this pandemic, I bowed out of work for a week as I was triggered by having been sick a lot when I was younger. I have fought several respiratory infections and almost died from one.  Thankfully, I didn’t stay in that place for long. Essentially this pandemic has created changes in daily routine in our office workspace, not unlike anywhere we go these days. The most curious thing to me is just our individual quirks as human beings, and how we react and/or respond to what happens around us. When a pandemic occurs, it elicits both fear and powerlessness and this makes some individuals noticeably more uncomfortable than others. I have listened a few extra minutes here and there to customers that just need to talk, and I have also used my voice to ask customers to take another step back when needed – reminding them it is not meant as a personal attack, but that there is a bigger picture and it is important to keep safe. I have thanked customers for their patience, just like I normally would. We have adapted our space here the best we can for social distancing, and for the most part, customers are now used to the distancing measures still being practiced today.”

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