How CDW Coworkers Balance Life in the Canadian Armed Forces and Their Careers


In honor of Remembrance Day on November 11, 2017 we wanted to say thank you to the brave men and women that have served and sacrificed for our Country.

Additionally, we’d like to highlight a few of our Coworkers currently active in the Canadian Armed Forces and hear more about how their military training contributes to their success at CDW Canada.

Steven Boychyn
Lieutenant Colonel
CDW Canada Solutions Manager



Stephen Shum,
CDW Canada Healthcare Sales Manager



Adam Zimmerman,
Second Lieutenant
CDW Canada Security Field Solution Architect



What is your role at CDW, and how long have you been a coworker?

SB: I am a Solutions Manager and I’ve been with CDW for just over a month

SS: I am currently the Healthcare Sales Manager and I have been with CDW for 11 years.

AZ: My current role resides within our Strategic Solutions & Services practice as a Security Architect, where I’ve been for 7 months. I work closely with our solutions & services teams to deliver security-driven infrastructure design to our customers. Specializing in offensive security, I have the innate ability to find and target vulnerable entities within an organization. Building a strong cyber defensive infrastructure is the first step on the road to cyber resilience, and my task is to offer that capability to our customers.

What attracted you to working at CDW Canada?

SB: The culture of providing value to the customer through the realization of the coworker being one of our best assets.

SS: I found the job posting on a website and was instantly drawn by it being an industry leading company with strong values and a clear vision.

AZ: I always saw CDW as a great organization to be a part of, I like the innovation and resource the company had as well as the global presence. This ultimately attracted me to the company, as well as the capability to contribute to a growing security team.

Remembrance Day is coming up – can you tell us a bit about your experience as a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) working at CDW?

SB: It is great to belong to an organization that recognizes and values mutually beneficial activities that it’s coworkers undertake. Having the ability to openly discuss CAF opportunities that compliment CDW, whether directly or indirectly, is refreshing. Plus, knowing that if possible CDW will accommodate these opportunities even if the benefits are intangible.

SS: CDW has been supportive and allowed me to take the necessary time to complete my Infantry training. For the past two years, I have been serving in the Primary Reserves with the Royal Regiment of Canada on evenings and weekends.

AZ: CDW has been very receptive and accepting of my service to Canada as an army reservist. I’ve reached out to other personnel within the organization that also serve in the military, and surprisingly there is a great community (corporate-wide) of service men and women.

What skills did you pick up in your time with the military that have helped you succeed in your role at CDW Canada?

SB: Leadership and process management. Like any organization the Canadian Armed Forces has its own set of processes, our ability to utilize those processes and make changes to them provides a perspective on all things and how they can be better. But also, recognizing the benefits of a common goal has been instrumental. As for leadership, the core training provided by the Canadian Armed Forces, is leadership. It is not enough that our members follow, they need to be skilled in leadership to recognize opportunities and capitalize on taking a lead to get things done.

SS: The military has developed my skills in team work, stress management, leadership and communication.

AZ: The military has taught me several important skills that help me in my professional life. The Army breeds a very select group of individuals that excel in stressful and difficult situations while remaining operationally effective. I have been tested on several occasions and often you learn a lot about what you can do (both mentally and physically) while still accomplishing a tremendous feat.

What does your life outside of the office look like?

SB: As the Commanding Officer of 32 Combat Engineer Regiment, I spend every Tuesday and Friday evening and 1 weekend a month at the Regiment. We conduct planning and execution phases of operations from 1900 to 2230, ensuring that the right set of skills are being applied and challenged for the tasks that may be required. As a regiment we have recently deployed soldiers overseas to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo, Ukraine and historically to Korea, Europe and North Africa as part of WWI and WWII. Domestically we have assisted with Hurricane Hazel, the Ice Storm, Flooding in Easter Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba, and Shovel Toronto of 1999. We are also engaged in a number of community activities including Veterans Week speakers at local elementary and secondary schools, Trans-Canada trail projects, as well as diverse assistance to local communities such as bridge removal for the Township of Port Hope. I have participated in every domestic operation since joining the regiment in 1997 and have deployed overseas to Kosovo in 2013 in support of NATO and the UN. As a Combat Engineer we are responsible for building roadways, bridges, and camp construction, as well as demining and removing unexploded ordinance, and demolition operations.

SS: When I’m not working at CDW, I am usually training with the Army or spending time with friends and family.

AZ: When I’m not at the office, I’m probably on base or out training with my Regiment somewhere in the province. I currently serve as a Combat Engineer Officer with 32 Combat Engineer Regiment. I’m a Squadron Second in Command [2IC] of 47 Squadron within the Regiment. I’m responsible for the professional development and overall training objectives of the troops under my command and take my role very seriously while upholding military principles and creating a cohesive environment. I’m usually on base two nights a week, and we go away 1-2 weekends per month for continuous on-the-job training. Combat Engineers are responsible for providing allies the ability to live move and fight, while denying the enemy these same elements.