The 2021 CADA Laureates

Celebrating the best in the business in 2021

The Canadian Automobile Dealers Association (CADA), and its exclusive program sponsor — iA Dealer Services — have bestowed the Laureate award on three outstanding dealers per year since 2006.

Each year, 3,000-plus industry members are invited to nominate dealers for a Laureate award. Self-nomination is not accepted. The nominators include association member dealers, manufacturing company staff, supplier company staff, and association executives.

The Laureate program is distinguished by a three-phase selection process that is administered by a third party. Each of the winning CADA Laureates is selected by independent judges from the Ivey Business School at Western University.

Canadian auto dealer congratulates this year’s winners and finalists!

For more information about the CADA Laureate award program visit:


For extraordinary service to the community and the industry

Mike Stollery

Auto IQ Dealership Group, Ontario and Quebec
Brands represented: Ford, Lincoln, FCA, General Motors, BMW/Mini, Hyundai, Toyota, Western Star and Freightliner heavy trucks
Years in business: 33 years (as a dealer)
Number of employees: 1,300

I’m totally humbled. I was so excited when I got the call. I have so much respect for the Laureates, who are legends in our industry. It sets the path for us to be ambassadors and to do things for our industry, our community and the country. Our entire dealership network deserves this recognition for always giving back. We just love our communities. 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. Part of what I want to do is encourage more dealer participation in our industry—there’s never been a more important time, with the advent of electric vehicles, Gen Z customers, and digital transformation all converging at the same time. I’m very excited to receive the CADA Laureate jacket, and will be even more excited to wear it at events where I can promote involvement in our industry.

Among five outstanding finalists, Mike Stollery of the AutoIQ group is exceptional. Mike chaired CADA during the difficult year of 2020, helping dealers across Canada deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. His equity partnership model has allowed talented young businesspeople to become dealers, which in turn has contributed to the growth of the group. Mike’s commitment to diversity and gender equality is also evident, and 38 per cent of senior executives at AutoIQ group are female. — (Ivey Business School)

At Mike Stollery’s AutoIQ group, community involvement is more than just words on paper, it’s one of their core values, and it affects daily operations. They believe in a responsibility to share their good fortune and expertise for the betterment of all. Mike Stollery leads by example, through his philanthropy, his work with the Automotive Business School of Canada, and his equity partnerships in the local dealerships. — (Alnoor Jiwani)


For initiatives that significantly enhance performance or broaden the scope of business for new car and truck dealers

Michael Rawluk

Auto Canada Group, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia
Brands represented: Alfa Romeo, Hyundai, Nissan, Volkswagen, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Audi, BMW/Mini, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Subaru, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda, Ford, Fiat
Years in business: 15 years
Number of employees: 4,200

I’m excited for the team. Although the award is in my name, it really belongs to all 4,200 AutoCanada team members. We are all excited and grateful to be recognized by our peers—especially after such an unprecedented year. We must express our sincere gratitude to the Home Office Team, our Dealer Partners, our OEMs, and our strategic business partners and vendors who have shared the same vision of operational excellence and advancing the business forward. The CADA Laureate jacket is symbolic of our commitment to operational excellence, teamwork, and GRIT, and validates the efforts and accomplishments of our team. In terms of innovation, for us, data and information are everything! We provide better information to our decision-makers, and in turn, they make better decisions. This approach, coupled with a winning culture, drives operational excellence.

All finalists in this category are outstanding business leaders, who invest in their employees and help them achieve personal and professional goals. But as the industry has changed, and technology and data analysis have become more important, the innovations from Michael Rawluk have been exceptional. AutoCanada’s enterprise data warehouse enables them to leverage data at a whole new level. Their digital marketing group creates and sustains fully integrated campaigns that monitor the customer’s experience through every stage of their journey. — (Ivey Business School)

Michael Rawluk led the development of AutoCanada’s Playbook, which is their blueprint for operational excellence and acquisition evaluations. Supported by a data warehouse, the Playbook drives innovation in all areas of the business – online sales, fixed operations, analytics, F&I, digital marketing …
the list goes on. With their mantra being, ‘Feelings aren’t facts—show me the data,’ AutoCanada has increased same-store sales, reduced expenses, and enjoyed great success with recent acquisitions. — (Alnoor Jiwani)


For outstanding achievement within an individual dealership

Michelle Melendy

Western Kida, Newfoundland
Brands represented: Toyota, Mazda, Kia
Years in business: 20 years
Number of employees: 170

When I got the call that I was the CADA Laureate, I was surprised. The magnitude of it hits you. I’m very humbled to be singled out, there are so many other strong dealers that do a great job. Although it is a male-dominated industry, I’ve had so much support from both male and female peers. Things have come a long way, but there’s still room for more diversity in automotive. I started in the car business with my father. Since his passing it has been important for me to carry on his legacy. His grandson is the GM of our KIA Dealership, so this has come full circle. My thanks goes to the entire team, I can’t wait to tell them. 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. The Laureate jacket is such an important symbol, but I hope they don’t just give me a men’s small and say good luck!

Amidst a struggling economy in western Newfoundland, Michelle’s dealership has delivered consistent growth in sales and profitability. Their strong results continued during the turbulence created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Of particular note at Western Kia are their marketing strategies and tactics. Their initiatives are unique and effective, and they demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the customer journey. The dealership prides itself on very high employee engagement, a sense of family among the entire team, and tremendous team-building initiatives. — (Ivey Business School)

Whether you benchmark Western Kia locally, regionally, or nationally, the results are impressive. Michelle and her team also shine on the intangibles. Employee morale is high, and Michelle views her employees as her customers. The dealership is at the forefront in using the latest tools and technologies, including in-house video production. The management team has been developed internally, and Western Kia is well-positioned for the future. — (François Blais)

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