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issue: April 2007 APPLIANCE Magazine

Tony Lui of CSA International

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A life-long love of music has given Tony Lui a skill that helps him succeed professionally. At eight years old he began learning to play the piano, discovering early on that success in musicianship meant developing acute listening skills. To perfect a piece of music, Lui acknowledges that, “I would not only have to listen to my own playing, I would have to listen to the teacher, different recordings and other pianists at competitions and at concerts.” As certification business development manager for HVAC and appliances at CSA International, Lui continues to champion the importance of listening. He stresses that in order for his clients to achieve success in a competitive, global environment, he must listen closely to their needs, discuss market trends and rely on the technical expertise of his colleagues around the world. This approach ensures that proper certification programs are developed and implemented, programs that help clients bring safer and more energy-efficient products to market in a timely manner.

Lui received a Bachelors of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto in 1974. He then, in 1975, began his career in the appliance industry, with Canadian General Electric, managing a network of independent service depots, and later moving onto sales and marketing positions within the company. In 1985 Lui earned a second degree, a Bachelors of Arts in Commerce and Economics from the University of Toronto, and began working for CSA International, initially as a certification engineer in the HVAC team. He progressed to team leader, business coordinator and then to his current position in 2001, in which he is charged with cultivating the certification business in both HVAC and electrical and gas appliances.

Lui prides himself in both his personal ethics and the benefits he observes CSA International bringing to society. To Lui, honesty and integrity are paramount qualities in both his personal and professional life. In business, this means working with integrity and closely with his colleagues to keep commitments to clients and manufacturers who count on CSA International certification marks to sell their products. Lui affirms that the existence of CSA International reduces fires, injuries and fatalities throughout North America, and tells APPLIANCE that, “I find it very gratifying and I take pride that the work we do at CSA helps promote safety and enhance the quality of life.”

A particular challenge, says Lui, is meeting customers’ needs in today’s global economy. One problem, for example, that Lui and CSA International encountered pertained to international certification marks. When a multinational manufacturer wants to issue a product internationally, the product may require approval marks respective to each country. In order to expedite the process, CSA International participates in the IEC CB Scheme, an international scheme intended to reduce unnecessary duplication of testing and redundant administrative work. In addition, CSA International expedites the certification process by collaborating with other reputable international testing and certification organizations to coordinate testing for compliance to international requirements. 

While devoted to his professional goal of expanding the recognition of the CSA mark on electrical products, Lui does his best to balance his professional and personal life, finding time to travel the world with his wife and daughter. Lui still enjoys listening to and playing music. And while he continues to play the piano, he now plays the drums and guitar, too, performing with his band.

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