The Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) officially revealed the winners of the prestigious CADA Laureate Dealer Recognition Program for 2021.
The association, in conjunction with the program’s exclusive sponsor iA Dealer Services, made the announcement via a special video on June 28, following the unveiling of the 15 CADA Laureate finalists on June 7.
Mike Stollery of the Auto IQ Dealership Group (Barrie, Ont.) was named Ambassador Laureate, for extraordinary service to the community and the industry.
“Our responsibility is to solve each family’s needs, and that’s where the relationship with the community starts—one community member at a time,” said Stollery in an exclusive interview with Canadian auto dealer, adding that he wants to “encourage more dealer participation in our industry.”
The other finalists included Jean Sébastien Thibeault of Jean-Roch Thibeault Group in Quebec, Marc Bourassa of Bourassa Auto Group in Quebec, Mike Hacquard of Wolfe Auto Group in British Columbia, and Sonia Koller of Westboro Auto Group in Ontario.
Michael Rawluk of the AutoCanada Group (Edmonton, Alta.) was named Innovator Laureate, for initiatives that significantly enhance performance or broaden the scope of business.
“In terms of innovation, for us, data and information are everything!” said Rawluk. “We provide better information to our decision-makers, and in turn, they make better decisions.”
The other finalists include Frank Howard of the Capital Auto Group in Newfoundland, Jared Priestner of Go Auto Group in Alberta, John Kot of Kot Auto Group in British Columbia, and Peter Schoen of the Peter Schoen Group in Ontario.
Michelle Melendy of Western Kia (Corner Brook, NL) was named Retailer Laureate, having been recognized for her outstanding achievement within an individual dealership.
“Firing on all cylinders in a dealership can be challenging. Our team had a common vision, they worked hard and pulled together during the pandemic,” said Melendy, who has been praised for her dealership’s consistent growth in sales and profitability during the crisis.
Melendy also mentioned the importance of diversity in the automotive industry, as she received support from both male and female peers since entering the car business.
The other finalists include Hugues Carle of Carle Ford in Quebec, Jonathan Eltes of Mercedes-Benz Brampton in Ontario, and J.P. Kovac of Gyro Mazda in Ontario.
One winner is selected per category from the list of 15 finalists by the Ivey Business School of the University of Western Ontario, representing the most prestigious recognition an automotive retailer can receive over the course of their career.
More details and exclusive coverage of the 2021 CADA Laureates will be included in the July issue of Canadian auto dealer.