Jobber News is pleased to announce that Groupe Maska Inc., Saint-Hyacinthe, Que. has been named the 2013 Jobber News Jobber of the Year.
President Roger Letendre says it is an unexpected honour. “I was surprised because you never expect to be recognized like this. It’s great that people recognize what you’re doing.”
The Jobber of the Year Award is formally named The E.J. and A.E. Wadham memorial award. Named in memory of the founders of Jobber News more than 80 years ago, the “Jobber of the Year Award” recognizes those auto parts wholesalers who epitomize the values held by the aftermarket. Throughout the years, each recipient has demonstrated the highest level of achievement in business, been key participants in the industry, and showed commitment to the type of community involvement that has become an integral part of this industry’s role within the Canadian social fabric.
Groupe Maska is the 30th recipient of this award.
“This award is very prestigious,” says Richard Roy of Groupe Maska. “We are very proud of this business and of our employees. We contribute to our community in many ways. It is quite an award and quite an achievement.”
It is also quite a story.
The Uni-Select shareholder and ACDelco distributor was founded by M. Aurel Letendre in 1950 on the banks of the Yamaska River in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., Maska Auto Electric grew rapidly from an auto electric outlet—after five short years of working for the local GM-Cadillac dealer, and with a new baby at home, and a big challenge ahead.
Operating out of a tight 1,144 square foot building, a $10,000 loan for equipment, and a $900 surplus Jeep as a delivery truck, the founder displayed a certainty of success that few would have thought possible with a new family, Roger Letendre was born just a month prior to the business being opened, and a significant financial burden.
As it turns out his optimism was well placed and it was only one year before the business outgrew its original location and began expanding with multiple locations within three.
With locations added in Granby in 1965, Sorel-Tracy in 1969 and Drummondville in 1970, and diversification into industrial and diesel truck business areas continuing, the business officially became Groupe Maska Inc. in 1977 as it continued to expand operations.
A big move was made in 1990 with the construction of an 11,000 square foot rebuild facility and in 1998 the construction of an additional 12 service bays for diesel trucks was undertaken. And in 2001, a branch was added in Cowansville.
And just this week, the official grand opening of the Boucherville branch store takes place.
Today Groupe Maska Inc. is a mark of success through the vision of its founder and the continuing growth through diversification.
With expert attention in the heavy truck, industrial, auto parts and auto paint areas, the business has been successfully transitioned to a third generation of Letendre family, with Aurel Letendre still attending the business every day, Roger Letendre at the helm, and sons Simon Letendre and Martin Letendre recently taking increasingly important roles, just having been appointed to vice-president positions within the organization.
“This is really quite a story,” says Jobber News publisher and editor Andrew Ross. “And it very timely with how important the issue of succession is in the industry. This is one company that has done it right and it’s quite a privilege to tell their story.”
A full profile of Groupe Maska, Jobber News Jobber of the Year, will appear in the July issue of Jobber News Magazine.