Meet the new editor!

Some of you might have seen a news story in our e-news announcing that Stephanie MacDonald was named the new editor of Canadian auto dealer. 

I was really touched when the head of one of Canada’s largest dealer groups reached out to me after that announcement to see if I was doing ok and still with the magazine. Yes, I am, thanks for asking!

Stephanie replaces outgoing Managing Editor Carina Ockedahl, who had been doing many of the day-to-day editorial tasks on the magazine for several years. Carina stepped aside, but will still write for us on a freelance basis going forward. For those that had the chance to work with her, in either French or English, you will have been no doubt impressed with her professionalism, and curiosity about this industry and its many varied players. 

I’d like to take a moment to thank Carina for the fantastic job she did on the magazine, and in particular tackling the many cover stories and feature stories over the years. 

Now, on to Stephanie. 

Stephanie is a veteran business-to-business editor with a great track record at producing print and digital content for a host of publications. She will be based out of Vancouver, and will give us another set of feet on the ground to cover dealer and industry news in western Canada. In her first week on the job, she already met with Blair Qualey, the head of the New Car Dealers Association of BC, to help get in touch with the issues impacting dealers. 

In the coming weeks and months you’ll start to hear more from Stephanie, you’ll meet her at industry events, and will see her fingerprints on the magazine. Already, she’s been nudging me for some improvements to the magazine and our online presence and coverage. Stephanie: That’s why we hired you! 

Stephanie is also working closely with another new solid member of our editorial team, Perry Lefko. Perry has been writing about the automotive industry for many years, including a stint with one of our competitors, and has been like a dog on a bone chasing down news stories, with a particular focus on telling interesting dealer stories. 

In my first couple of weeks on the job as editor of Canadian auto dealer, ok, maybe about a decade or so ago now, I remember doing video interviews with about a dozen CADA Laureates in a small hotel meeting room in Ottawa. Then CADA President and CEO Rick Gauthier had assembled them for a gathering celebrating their achievements. 

One common thread that almost all the Laureates I talked with that day shared was the same: build a great team, surround yourself with good people, empower them to make decisions, and get out of their way. 

It’s taken me a while to really follow that advice, but it’s really sage wisdom. The reality is that this new team is the strongest one we’ve had, and they are ready to get at it. 

So, if you have news to share, or know an interesting story you think we should cover, please reach out to us: more specifically to Stephanie.
I look forward to seeing our magazine continue to evolve and improve and always welcome your feedback!

About Todd Phillips

Todd Phillips is the editorial director of Universus Media Group Inc. and the editor of Canadian auto dealer magazine. Todd can be reached at

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