John Zuk, owner of Automotive Trade Supply, based in Kitchener, Ont., has been named the 2002 Jobber News Jobber of the Year.
“John is proof that you don’t have to be big to be good,” said Jobber News editor Andrew Ross in making the presentation at the Canadian International Automotive Show (CIAS).
“His commitment to his customers, particularly in the area of training, shows that it is sometimes the size of your heart that matters, not just how large your resources are.”
Zuk, a Uni-Select member who operates a store in Kitchener and a depot in Waterloo, has invested in the CARS Interactive Distance Learning system that provides satellite-based, live remote training for technicians. He has also organized E.K. Williams business training courses for many of his customers.
In addition, Zuk has formed an association of garages in his area to improve communications among garage owners and technicians. “The guys think that the shop down the street is their competitor. It’s not true,” says Zuk. “There is very little intermingling of their customers. Their competition is the dealer and the chains.”
The Jobber News Jobber of the Year Award is formally called the E.J. and A.E. Wadham Memorial Award, in memory of the founders of Jobber News 70 years ago. It is a lifetime achievement based on nominations from industry, recognizing those auto parts wholesalers who epitomize the values held by the aftermarket.
Throughout the years, each recipient has demonstrated success in business, been a key participant 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.
“This year’s recipient is no different,” said Ross. “He has demonstrated much commitment to the community and the industry as well as epitomizing the role of the jobber as a partner with his customers. We all talk about the importance of training. This man has done more than talk about it; he has made investments to get his customers access to training without hesitation. He is, through these actions, the kind of jobber we need to see more of in the future.”
“I believe that training is the way we need to drive this industry,” says Zuk. “A lot of the problems that we have are the result of a lack of training. I believe it’s our future.”
More show and convention coverage starting on page 32
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