John MacDonald of Ideal Supply is presented with the Automotive Industries Association of Canada’s Distinguished Service Award. From left, Susan Hitchon, Jason Best, Brent Hesje, John MacDonald, Dave Fifield, and Jean Francois Champagne.
Twenty-four years after the late John H. MacDonald received the Canadian automotive aftermarket’s highest award, his son, John MacDonald Jr., has been given the same honour.
The Automotive Industries Association of Canada presented its prestigious Distinguished Service Award to John MacDonald at its annual general meeting in Mississauga, Ont. on May 8.
“For me to be listed on the same sheet of paper as my father is something that I’ll cherish for a lifetime,” he said.
MacDonald served for 35 years at Ideal Supply Company, the Listowel, Ont.-based company that his father purchased in 1968 and turned into a regional jobber network.
The AIA Distinguished Service Award recognizes outstanding service and leadership, which contributes to the growth and development of Canada’s automotive aftermarket industry. It is the highest award presented by AIA Canada to an individual member.
MacDonald said he enjoyed the time he spent working with AIA over the years, traveling the country and working with manufacturing and distribution members.
“I’ve met some terrific individuals over the years, many of whom became good friends and helped me in my job with Ideal Supply,” he said.
He also gained a true appreciation of the value of networking when he served as chairman of the association’s executive committee and got an inside view of the association’s work.
“As one, we truly are stronger in a market that is so vast. When we work together, we get things done,” he said. “AIA allowed a company in Listowel, Ont. to have a unified voice to make real change. I expect would not be the company we are today, in many ways, if we weren’t engaged with this association.
From left, Brad Cochrane, Paul Prochilo, Shannon Spano.
Also at the annual general meeting, Paul Prochilo, CEO of Simplicity Car Care, received the Young Leader of the Year Award, presented by the Young Professionals in the Aftermarket (YPA) committee
“This is an exceptional honour on a number of different counts,” he said. “But I will say, firstly, that to still be considered young is probably the biggest component.”
He described the entire AIA staff as “an asset to the aftermarket space,” providing resources for the advancement of young leaders in the aftermarket.
“Leadership is not a one-time event,” he said. “It is demonstration of consistently putting others in front of oneself. I may be here today as the recipient, but everyone in the aftermarket can be a force for change and advancement.”
AIA Canada also recognized those that have made outstanding contributions to the AIA High Fives for Kids Foundation. Awards were given out to the individual, company and AIA division that demonstrated an exceptional commitment to fulling the Foundation’s mission of bringing positive change and improvements to the quality of life for children and youth in their local communities.
The recipients of the recognition awards were:
Individual – Ken Coulter, President, Specialty Sales and Marketing
Company – Vast Auto
Division – AIA Canada Ontario Division
High Five for Kids award recipients, from left, Ken Coulter, Tony Del Vasto (receiving the award from Ray Proulx on behalf of Vast Auto) and Joe Mercanti (receiving the award from Ray Proulx on behalf of the AIA Ontario Division).