Three men who were instrumental in creating and sustaining a dedicated business school for the automotive industry were recognized at a formal dinner at Georgian College in Barrie, Ont. last week. Ken Graydon, former President & CEO of the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association, and Dick Paterson and John Holland, two prominent car dealers and longtime board members for the program, were honoured and praised for their vision and dedication.
A veritable who’s who of the automotive retail industry were on hand for the event, and to offer words of praise and thanks for the efforts the three men had made over decades serving as board members.
Among the attendees were one former and the current President and CEO of the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association who delivered some remarks highlighting the contributions of the retiring board members.
Rick Gauthier, former CADA leader, had high praise for Ken Graydon, his predecessor, who was instrumental in leading the industry to support the creation of the Canadian Automotive Institute (which later became the ABSC) and to coming up with $4 million from the industry to help make the vision come to life.
Gauthier described his respect and reverence for Graydon, and his dogged determination to bring different forces in the industry together around a united cause.
Tim Reuss, current President and CEO of CADA also praised the contributions of all three men, and how their efforts had created a world-class educational facility for the auto retail sector, but also for the broader industry.
Also offering comments was Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes, President and CEO of Georgian College. She said when she first joined Georgian College she was surprised that the ABSC had its own board of directors, when other programs had advisory boards. After attending a few board meetings, she understood that the auto industry was deeply committed to supporting the program, and why keeping the board intact was a good idea.
After the brief speeches, ABSC Executive Director Jason Dale invited other attendees to come forward to offer any of their thoughts about the retirees. Several guests came forward such as CADA Laureate Mike Stollery, Chairman and Founder of the AutoIQ Group, David Adams, President and CEO of the Global Automakers of Canada, and Rick Koch, longtime board member from the Koch Automotive Group in Edmonton.
They all had praise for the retirees and the role they had played in helping shape their own careers and their involvement in the program over the years.