Horace J Pratt Vendor of the Year – ProMax (Auto Parts Depot): Jeff Van de Sande; Doug Curliss; Manuela Vani; Jina Polus; Sam Yako; Faten Kaadan; Ramzi Yako; Douglas Squires; Andy Murphy
Members and vendors gathered in Toronto in late March for Bestbuy Distributors’ annual general meeting. The group is celebrating its 65th anniversary, and once again honoured milestones and top achievers at its two-day event that included a warehouse tradeshow.
More than 200 Bestbuy members and vendors packed the Westin Hotel near Toronto’s airport as they watched peers receive recognition for reaching milestone anniversaries with the group and those suppliers who support Bestbuy the best.
“At Bestbuy, we have great respect and admiration for the relationship we have with our vendors. We believe our vendors are a fundamental component of our success,” said Douglas Squires, Bestbuy chairman, at the evening event.
“This relationship is exemplified in the open and honest sharing of ideas and feedback and the willingness to work together to towards goal attainment. Bestbuy members look at one another as an extended family, maybe a bit dysfunctional at times but a family nonetheless, and we consider our vendors to be an integral part of this family.”
To show this admiration, the group introduced three new awards last year, and those same awards were back again – the Marketing Partner Award, the Rising Star Partner Award and the Cornerstone Award –with another added this year.
The Horace J. Pratt Award for Vendor of the Year saw familiar faces return to the front of the room to accept the award. ProMax (Auto Parts Depot) took home the recognition for the third straight year with Doug Curliss, Ramzi Yako and Sam Yako accepting the award.
“This vendor has strong category management support, great product assortments, is always introducing new applications, works tirelessly towards furthering the sales of the members and consistently exhibits hard work and dedication,” said Squires.
Bestbuy donated $25,000 to the Hospital for Sick Children. From left, Jeff Van de Sande (President); Rob Dow (Director); Scott Anderson (Director); Andre Dimopoulos (Director); Gary Thibault (Treasurer); Doug Wilson (Director); Dr. Robert Hamilton; Brad Nahorney (Vice Chairman); Dr. Mike Seed; Douglas Squires (Chairman); Dale Devlin (Past Chairman). Missing from photo is Gino Morelli (Director).
The Bestbuy Partner Award was the new award handed out. As determined by Bestbuy management, the recognition went to Spectra Premium with Kerry Best Jr. and Jeff Lee on hand for the award.
The Marketing Partner Award goes to a vendor that shows support for Bestbuy and its members in marketing and promotion.
“In addition, the knowledge and experience of their field reps is one of the best in the market. They think outside the box to achieve desired results and are very satisfaction driven when dealing with installers.,” Squires said. “Specific to Bestbuy, this vendor has been a very co-operative partner to get the product on our warehouse shelves and ‘do what it takes to make the same thing happen at the store level.’”
Mevotech took home this award, with Scott Stone, Ezer Mevorach and Derek Chinn there to receive it.
The Rising Star Partner Award recognizes business partners that show leadership in the aftermarket and commitment to Bestbuy and its members, Squires said. The winner was Baldwin Filters as Chris Endicott accepted the award.
“The vendor chosen to receive this award is a strong supporter of members and the distribution centre, is a key vendor and is one with whom we have enjoyed sales growth of close to 40 per cent in 2017,” he added.
The Cornerstone Award went to Dorman Products, led by A.J. Alvares.
“The cornerstone in construction is the first stone set in the foundation, it is the most important as all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the strength of the entire structure,” Squires said.
“I believe this vendor has taken a pro-distribution stance and it is important other vendors act in a similar manner and minimize the circumventing of program distribution which is undermining the aftermarket industry,” he added. “I encourage all members to ask vendors what steps they as a vendor are taking in regards to companies who are eroding the price of their products and brand equity. I would further suggest that members support those vendors who value the integrity of our distribution model in North America.”
But that wasn’t it – Squires announced a special award for the company. The William Elton Outstanding Support Award is open to members, individuals and vendors in recognition of dedicated support, loyalty and contribution and friendship. The award was presented jointly to Brad Shaddick and Federal-Mogul Motorparts.
The Painchaud family provided entertainment for the evening, playing songs around the room and then performing on stage to close out the night.
Service Recognition Awards were handed to a number of members: Heimpel Automotive, 50 years; Raco Auto Supply, 30 years; Distribution Mobus, 25 years; Ramez Faizan Enterprises (VAP), 25 years; Distribution De Pièces D’Autos Rive-Sud, 25 years; Pièces D’Auto Charron, 20 years; Les Pièces GR, 20 years; Gregg Distributors, 20 years; Pièces D’Auto Guy, 20 years; and Patterson’s Parts Supply, 10 years.
Bestbuy also continued its annual contribution to the SickKids Family Heart Centre with another $25,000 presented to Dr. Robert Hamilton and Dr. Mike Seed. More than $800,000 has been donated to date.
Attendees were then treated to a musical performance by the Painchaud family, a group that wowed the crowd with its ability to play multiple instruments – even on fire at one point – and songs from multiple generations.
The festivities wrapped up the next day at Bestbuy’s warehouse where members took in the latest from more than 90 vendors who showed off new offerings.
Bestbuy Meeting of Shareholders – 65th Anniversary