Fountain Tire CEO Brent Hesje was awarded the Northern Lights Award of Distinction last month, in recognition of his outstanding corporate, community and industry leadership. The award was presented in the hometown of Fountain Tire’s corporate office, Edmonton, Alta., by the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce.
Each year, the Northern Lights Award is granted to an individual or organization that has made a positive and lasting difference in the community. This year’s honour recognized Fountain Tire’s commitment to the community, its unique partnership model, and Hesje’s dedicated leadership.
“Connecting with the community has always been integral to my business philosophy,” Hesje said. “Whether supporting local organizations or representing the aftermarket automotive industry in Ottawa, I believe relationships are the key to business success.”
Hesje became CEO of Fountain Tire in 2005 and has since led the company through a period of signiﬁcant growth. Partnerships have been a long-time factor in the company’s success – Goodyear Canada has a minority ownership position in the company and most store managers have 50 per cent ownership of their stores – and Hesje’s passion to advance the partnership model has been a key driver of its expansion.
“A strong collaborative approach has been integral to the growth of our network to 160 stores,” says Hesje. “It has also allowed us to give back in meaningful ways to the communities where we live and work.”
The company has a long history of supporting the United Way, Junior Achievement and local development initiatives in Edmonton. Fountain Tire store owners across the country choose the local charities they want to support.
Last spring, Hesje was appointed chair of the Automotive Industries Association of Canada. Along with his role as a board member of Fountain Tire Ltd., he is involved with several Canadian corporate brands. He is the former chair of the boards of directors of the YPO Alberta Saskatchewan Chapter, the Western Canada Tire Dealers and The Support Network. Hesje also served three terms as chair of the Board of Governors of Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), where he led the largest fundraising campaign in the institution’s history, which raised more than $120 million to develop campus learning spaces.
Fountain Tire has twice been named among Alberta’s Top Employers and has maintained Platinum Club member status of Canada’s Best Managed Companies since it ﬁrst received the award in 1994.
Established in 1956, Fountain Tire is one of Canada’s premier tire and automotive service networks with 160 locations spanning Central and Western Canada from Vaughan, north of Toronto, to Victoria, British Columbia. The company is also a leading provider of tires and tire-related services to commercial truck fleets and off-road vehicles used in the agriculture, oil and gas, mining, and construction sectors. The majority of Fountain Tire managers own equity in their stores. This partnership-based business model combines community-invested store management with corporate intelligence to provide service that truly puts the customer first. The company’s shared ownership business model has enabled it to be named among Canada’s “Best Managed Companies” every year since 1994.