Motor Dealers’ Association of Alberta (MDA) Announces the 2017 Alberta Dealer of Excellence Winners:
Calgary’s Paul Williams and Lethbridge’s Gary and Randy Dunlop
The MDA extends congratulations from dealers across the province to our 2017 Alberta Dealer of Excellence award winners, Paul Williams, Centaur Subaru in Calgary, and Gary and Randy Dunlop, Dunlop Ford Sales and Dunlop Western Star Truck in Lethbridge.
The 2017 winners all come from a line of car dealer families stretching back over 50 years in Alberta, businesses started by fathers and mothers, and still run by the families, including mom and dad and brothers who continue to work along side one another, like they did growing up.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do what I’ve done in this business at all without my mom and dad who started everything, and the values they gave me these past 40 plus years,” says Paul Williams, VP and General Manager of Calgary’s Centaur Subaru. “Thinking back, and it’s just a fact,” he says chuckling, and recollecting, “I’ve done every job in the dealership at one time or another.”
“We’re lucky,” he continues. “We work really well together, and really I’ve been working with dad and mom from a teenager, until eventually they allowed me to run things… but it was always dad’s philosophy that we learn how to do everything well. I remember him telling me as a kid that the auto industry is like a big family. And, you know, it’s so true. I’ve been mentored by guys all the way along; and even today if I don’t have an answer to something, I can call another dealer and we work together."
“I guess it’s also why I grew up to love the people in this business and the customers so much. From a very young age I got used to thinking we had a first impression, and that’s always stuck with me. My dad taught me everything in this business. I’ll never forget when he told me: ‘you can make your money from a handful of people, or you can be fair to everyone.’ That’s how he ran things from the start and it’s what he instilled in us all along.”
“To be honest, I was shocked and humbled to win this year, but I really feel it’s an award for everyone around me because if it wasn’t for my dad, my mom, my family, my company family and the dealer family, we wouldn’t be successful. If these people didn’t care we would not have a business. It’s hard to describe how lucky I feel to have had the education I got in the business of treating people.”
Randy Dunlop of Dunlop Ford Sales also voiced surprise and honour for being recognized by his peers this year.
“I’m deeply honoured to be recognized by my industry, Randy says. “ I love the car business. It’s always been a part of my life. Part of the reason I love it is because every day is different, and I’ve seen so much change since we started. There is one thing that will never change, no matter where technology takes us. The car and truck business has always been and will always be a people business. Loyalties are very common. You buy from people you can trust. So, that’s really what we do is deliver trust. My dad and my mom started our dealership in 1964, and we have generations of families coming back because we invest in relationships. We concentrate on service, so whatever the model is, we adapt to deal with needs of our customers first.”
Gary Dunlop agrees. “We are delighted to win this important award. Our dad, Doug, actually won the same award in 1982. At that time it was called The Time Quality Dealer Award and we are humbled to follow in those footsteps. This business is challenging with all the new technologies and rapid changes. It really helps to have a foundation that remains constant, we still operate our businesses on the same principles our dad taught us. Dunlop Ford is a family business that takes pride in doing the right thing for our customers, our people, our community and our company. We are committed to continually improving on everything we do and providing outstanding service. None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the contributions of the people we work with and the people in our community that support us. I also have to say it’s great to have a brother to work with, we really complement each other’s strengths, which has made us a stronger business.”
For presentation photos and comment:
Denis Ducharme, MDA President: 780-465-8850
About the MDA:
The MDA awards the Dealer of Excellence annually to one metro dealer from Calgary or Edmonton and one non-metro winner from the rest of the province. The award criteria are business acumen, community involvement and association/industry involvement. The award candidates are nominated by their peers and the applications are examined by a panel of past award recipients, who select the winners.
Profiles of individual award winners follow.
2017 Alberta Dealer of Excellence (Metro):
Paul Williams, Centaur Subaru - Calgary
Paul Williams grew up in the car industry, like our other 2017 winners, having been mentored in the business by his dad. Paul took over to lead the main operation of the family business in the 1990s and continues to run it with his brother, father and mother. Today the family-run business employs over 38 people in Calgary.
2017 Alberta Dealer of Excellence (Non-Metro):
Gary & Randy Dunlop, Dunlop Ford Sales & Dunlop Western Star Truck
Gary and Randy Dunlop credit family values for the rise of their family dealership over 50 years. “We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for mom and dad and the values they instilled in us, said Gary. “It’s absolutely the case that we were founded on the values we have today. We feel very blessed for having those values instilled in us.” Today the Dunlop’s employ over 140 people across four businesses.