Roadrunner’s Sheldon Bercovitch: Vision and success beyond eyesight.
Sheldon Bercovitch, seen in his office, sponsors the inaugural Simon Chang Difference Maker Award.
By Wendy Singer
You may not know of Sheldon Bercovitch, director of Roadrunner Apparel Inc., but you’ve probably seen one of Roadrunner’s 20 plus internationally recognized private labels and in-house brands like Suko Jeans, Urban Star and Organic Blue at large retail stores like Costco across Canada and the United States. One of Simon Chang’s licensee partners, this successful and innovative businessman is making affordable and trendy fashion easily accessible, especially now during the pandemic.
Inspirations is delighted to welcome Bercovitch as the sponsor of the inaugural Simon Chang Difference Maker Award. Like Chang, Bercovitch thrives on helping people and is honoured to work with the Simon Chang Foundation for Change to support difference makers Bradley Heaven and Dan O’Connor of All Access Life advance their goals and business plan. (see our articles for the full story).
Bercovitch offers our readers much inspiration. He is legally blind due to retinal artery occlusion, or mini eye strokes of the optic nerve, which occurred in 2004. “It’s like looking through plastic,” said Bercovitch, who was an avid hockey player and skier prior to the strokes. He has since become a strong swimmer.
This upbeat businessman has reaped much success in the highly visual fashion industry since he bought Roadrunner from his father nine years ago. “I’m one of the most determined and disciplined people you’re ever going to meet and always have been. I became even more driven to succeed when I lost my vision,” he said.
Bercovitch uses his sense of smell and touch to guide him with the wares he sells. He has surrounded himself with the right people. “If you want to run a good company, you need good people around you. I have my faith in other people’s hands,” he said. “You can do well in any line of business by abiding by the price, product, performance model.”
“Sheldon does not let his condition define him nor does it hold him back from doing the things that he is passionate about such as swimming and golf. He is truly an exceptional human being,” said Faye Swift, vice-president of the Simon Chang Foundation for Change.
Bercovitch communicates by telephone and in-person meetings. He has never sent an email on his own and is not bogged down by computer technology. He does not drive a car (he has a driver). This, he believes, has simplified his life. He encourages anyone with an impairment or who is unwell to not victimize themselves. “Move forward. You can’t take back life; you can only go forward. When you put your head to something, nothing can stop you.”
Bercovitch is touched by Chang’s Foundation work and sees parallels in their missions. “I spend money on food and helping people, not cars,” he shared. He knows how it feels to receive help when you need it the most and is eager to pay it forward.