Saskatchewan dealer Trevor Boquist named 80th CADA Chairman
November 9th, 2020
Trevor Boquist, President and CEO of Driving Change Automotive Group, officially became the 80th Chairman of CADA on October 28 during a virtual Board of Directors meeting.
His previous role of First-Vice Chair will now go to Second Vice-Chairman Peter Heppner, while Mike Stollery steps into the role of Immediate Past Chairman for the 2020-2021 period. In an interview with CADA Newsline, Boquist said it was a privilege to be able to serve the association that has helped create a viable industry for himself and others.
“I am very humbled to follow in the footsteps of many icons of this industry that I have come to hear about and know over the years,” said Boquist. “I only hope I can play a small part in helping shape the future working together with a really talented group of people that are committed to the success of our industry.”
Boquist is a second generation dealer. He considers his father, John Boquist who owned a dealership in Kindersley, Sask., to be an exceptional role model and mentor in the auto retail business, having helped him learn first-hand the value of putting people first and building life-long relationships.
His father offered him jobs around the dealership when Boquist was 12, encouraging him to work his way up and prove himself. Boquist worked in the Toronto area for eight and a half years before returning to Saskatchewan with his own store in Regina. Boquist said he is proud to be an auto dealer at heart and contribute to making a difference in the sector.
“To be the Chair of CADA is a great honour, one that I will cherish as a highlight in my career,” said Boquist.
Asked what dealers should expect from him as new CADA Chairman, Boquist tied his answer to the association’s efforts in supporting dealers across Canada during the pandemic.
“CADA’s leadership team was front and centre when the current pandemic hit, with the federal government, OEMs, and provincial associations, to ensure our industry was supported in the best possible way,” said Boquist. “That is from being at the table to help shape CEWS (Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy), providing direction to provincial associations to support essential services classification (to allow dealerships to stay open), and being the catalyst for OEMs to have a common focus for their business and the dealer body.”
He said there is a real opportunity for CADA and the provincial associations to move to a new level of cooperation, alignment, and support to explore the best way forward for the future of auto retailers in Canada.
“We will face other crisis situations in the not-too-distant future with our industry and we will only prevail with an efficient and unified plan that supports and advocates for our dealers,” said Boquist.
Doing this, he said, will involve fulfilling the vision of the previous CADA Chairman, Mike Stollery, which was stalled due to COVID-19. His vision was to invest significantly in the industry through the Automotive Business School of Canada (ABSC) in Barrie, Ont., as well as in provincial technical/trade schools, and in recruitment tools.
“We have the opportunity to make sure we play a big part in our futures and CADA is our clear advantage,” said Boquist.
Boquist has a degree in Business Administration and Marketing from Northwood College in Midland, Michigan, and has completed the NADA Academy for Automotive Dealership Management. His dealership group was named as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2013 and re-qualified for the Gold Standard in 2017 and then Platinum in 2019.
Boquist has also been awarded the CADA Laureate Award, and has been inducted into the Saskatchewan Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame.