Remembering Nick Jerch

“I usually sit down in the New Year to think about what I would like to accomplish going forward. This year is no exception except that I began thinking less about what I would like to do and more about who I would like to be. That got me thinking about people who have made a difference to me because of who they were. One of the persons I thought about was Nick Jerch, the founder of Bell Lifestyle Products (“Bell”). Nick had never planned on selling natural products. He had established a business wholesaling sporting goods, when he became disabled with arthritis. Nothing prescribed by his doctors worked. He came across shark cartilage which cured him. He was so transformed that he felt he had to sell shark cartilage to help others. If any of you wondered why his shark cartilage was first sold in sporting goods stores instead of health food stores, now you know.

I met Nick when Bell was having a difficulty with Health Canada over a product. As a lawyer my focus was on sorting through the legislation and regulations. For Nick, the issue was that he was helping people. He had difficulty appreciating that Health Canada was concerned solely with enforcing the law, not with helping people. I always found Nick refreshing. His focus was to genuinely help people who were suffering. I recall him speaking about dropping a product, not because sales were low, but because he was not getting enough positive feed-back from customers. His attention was on making a positive difference.

What I will remember most about Nick is his passion for wanting to help others. He set an example that I will try to follow. Nick passed away in October 2017, but he is in my thoughts this New Year.” – Shawn Buckley