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MMDA moves into new office space

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Automotivators sales training seminar in new MMDA conference/training room.

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Automotivators sales training seminar in new MMDA conference/training room.

The Manitoba Motor Dealers Association (MMDA) has new digs.

As of mid-February, The MMDA's new office and conference/training room is now located in the office building attached to the Hilton Suites Hotel at 1800 Wellington Avenue at Century Street. The office suite number is 112. You can access it either by going in the first set of double doors beside the blue awnings immediately to the east of the main hotel entrance or turning left on entering the hotel, turn left again into the lobby where the skylights are and left a third time at the first turn off that lobby.

MMDA executive director Geoff Sine said the reason for the move is because the new location is more accessible than the previous office.

Workum returns to Birchwood BMW management team

Gord Workum has returned to Birchwood BMW as sales manager, the dealership where the former golf pro got his start in auto sales in August, 2011. He had moved to another of the Birchwood stores in 2012.

"I'm happy to be back here," Workum said. "The product is great."

Workum and the rest of the Birchwood BMW team are looking forward to moving into the new 12,000-square-foot standalone Birchwood BMW building which is in the final stages of construction. Construction began last spring on at the Pointe West AutoPark.

The new BMW store will have very high finishes, said Rene Nicholson, projects manager for the Birchwood Automotive Group, in an interview last spring. "There will be a real Wow! factor when we are done," he said.

The current BMW/Mini store is being converted into a standalone Mini dealership.

"At the existing store, we will be painting everything - the floors, paneling and ceiling -- black, because black is the colour the manufacturer wants," Nicholson said.

The Birchwood Auto Group is Winnipeg's largest, with 15 franchise stores under its umbrella in the city.

New sales reps at Birchwood Honda West

One of the Birchwood Auto Group's top sales reps is back where he began his sales career 11 years ago. Ted Debrowksi rejoined the Birchwood Honda West sales team at the beginning of January.

"I was offered a more flexible schedule here, and it's closer to home," said Debrowski, who was among the top five Birchwood sales reps last year. "I've always loved the Honda product."

Debrowksi is one of four new sales reps at the Honda store at the Pointe West Auto Park.

Brock Roteliuk started on the sales floor in mid-December. The former youth-care worker for the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba said he was encouraged to try auto sales by his brother, Ross, a sales manager at Birchwood Kia on Regent.

Jason Manzon was hired in November. Manzon had worked briefly in sales for Birchwood Honda on Regent a few years back.

"I didn't felt like I gave it my best shot," he said of his first foray into auto sales. "I have a different mindset now. I'm more committed, more goal-oriented So far, things are going great."

Nicole Filyk was previously employed in sales by an electrical distributor. "I welcomed the opportunity to come work for the Birchwood Group," she said. (She came to Birchwood Honda West in August.) "It's been a transition, but my sales have been increasing."

Steeltown Ford raises $30,000 for Children's Rehab

For the tenth year in a row, Steeltown Ford President Jason Sargent has mounted his snowmobile and gone out and raised money for children's rehabilitation in memory of his brother, Scott, whose life was tragically cut short in a snowmobile accident.

This year was a little different, however, in that the Selkirk Ford dealer changed the name of the annual event to "Ride for Scott" instead of "Ride for Rehab".

As well, this year Sargent was accompanied on his trek only by long-time friend and Steeltown Ford sales manager Troy Lesuk.

The duo set out on Thursday of last week from Lockport to the Whiteshell. They spent a night at a resort in the Whiteshell and came back by way of Lac Du Bonnet and Pine Falls. The twosome raised more than $30,000 for for Scott's Memorial Fund.

Sargent said the annual snowmobile run promotes a responsible and healthy sports image for snowmobilers while supporting the needs of Manitoba's children with disabilities living in rural districts.

"All donations I raise are donated to the Children's Rehabilitation Foundation in the memory of my late brother Scott and will be spent on children in need in the Birds Hill, Selkirk, St. Andrews and surrounding area," he said.

The Children's Rehabilitation Centre is Manitoba's main core service for more than 15,000 children with special needs and their families. The centre assists children with such issues such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, autism, amputations, spina bifida, scoliosis and FASD, as well as communication, neurological, feeding and bone disorders.

Sargent's ride is the Centre's biggest event, and the funds raised are used to purchase specialized equipment needed by these children so they can live with greater independence and ability. Some of the equipment purchased in the past included lightweight wheel chairs, wheelchair cushions, communication devices, computers with special access controls and special bikes that enable children to get out of their wheelchairs.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 28, 2014 F5

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