Considering Gerry Gordon's Irish roots, St. Patrick's Day was a most appropriate day for the long-time president of Gerry Gordon Mazda to officially unveil his new store at the Waverley Auto Mall.
More than 200 loyal customers, as well as top Mazda executives from head office in Japan, came out to celebrate the new store's grand opening. They were treated to food (catered by Rae and Jerry's) and wine, a cake from Benjamin's in Selkirk that was built in the image of the new facility and live music provided by sales rep Doug Wilson (Doug Wilson Direct).
Out-of-town guests included Akira Marumoto (Executive Vice President and Assistant to the President of Mazda Motor Corporation since last June), Yasuhiro Aoyama (the Mazda Motor Corporation's general manager), Mazda Canada executive vice-president Shusuke (Kory) Koreeda, David Klan (senior director, sales, marketing and regional operations), Scot Rasmussen (western regional manager) and Michael Labinowicz (district business manager).
Koreeda described the new Gerry Gordon Mazda facility as "breathtaking".
"This new building means a lot to us at Mazda Canada," he said. "It's good for the community. Gerry has always had just the right touch. This new building will allow Gerry and his team to enhance the great customer experience that they have always offered."
Marumoto praised Gordon for his many years of service to Winnipeggers.
"This new facility shows our and Gerry's continued commitment to the community," he said. "This was a significant investment which will provide exceptional value to the community for years to come."
In his remarks to the crowd, Gordon thanked wife and partner Patty, as well as his bankers, financial adviser and the architect, designer, and builder who contributed to making the new Gerry Gordon Mazda a reality. He also praised his own inner design team of comptroller Sandy Spence, fixed operations manager Doug Makichuk and his son, Rod Gordon, who is the store's used-car manager.
Gordon thanked all of his staff for sticking with him through the years, notably 25-year employees receptionist Sandy Gordon, lot manager Dominic Lau and master technicians Thian Lam and John Webb.
Gordon, Mazda Canada's longest-serving dealer principal, came to Winnipeg as a young man from Northern Ireland, where his father had been in the auto business. Originally a race-car driver and mechanic specializing in high-end European models, he signed on as a Mazda dealer 37 years ago. Gerry Gordon Mazda had been located on Pembina Highway near Confusion Corner ever since.
Gordon and his team broke ground on the Waverley Auto Mall site just over a year ago and moved into the new facility in late November. At 18,000 square feet, it is three times the size of the former location. The showroom has space for eight vehicles as compared to five before, and 12 service bays where the old building had eight. The new store will stock about 300 new vehicles.
"Business here has been great," said general manager Pat McAvoy. "Especially in service and parts, we have had a couple of record months. Our move here has been very positive."
Birchwood Kia sales manager making music
Ross Roteliuk, sales manager at Birchwood Kia on Regent, has just released his second single, "She Moves Mountains".
Originally from Portage la Prairie, Roteliuk has been making music for the past 14 years. He's been selling cars for four years, shortly after he moved to Winnipeg and our city's larger music scene.
Roteliuk won the Radio Star National Talent Search about two years ago, a national talent contest for aspiring songwriter/composers. About 18 months ago, he released his first recording.
"So far, my new single has been picked up by 12 country music stations," Roteliuk said. "This song has a summertime feel to it."
Roteliuk encourages readers to phone into country radio stations and request the song.
"You can also download it on iTunes," he added. "We hope it keeps climbing the charts."
He will also be on stage at Dauphin Country Fest this summer.