CALGARY – The Motor Dealers Association of Alberta (MDA) announced the recipients of the 2016 Alberta Dealer of Excellence awards: Perry Itzcovitch (Mercedes-Benz Downtown, Calgary) and Mike, Luke and Tim Davis (Davis Auto Group, Lethbridge) in the metro and non-metro categories respectively.
While the paths they followed to the winners’ circle were not alike – the Davis brothers were born into the business, while Itzcovitch started selling and repairing cars to pay his way through university—all the winners share a passion for the business and its people and built successful multi-dealership operations.
And all were driven to excel.
“Perry, Mike, Luke and Tim have achieved success while demonstrating exceptional commitment to their customers, staff, industry and communities in which they do business. They are fine examples of the many excellent auto dealers we are fortunate to have as members,” says Denis Ducharme, MDA president.
Along with his brother and partner Steven, Itzcovitch started a used vehicle business over 30 years ago, eventually developing the Hyatt Automotive Group, which grew to 10 new-car dealerships.
In 2014, the brothers sold seven of their stores to Auto Canada – at the time, the largest deal in the industry.
Today, they continue to operate their Mercedes-Benz dealership as well as Northwest Acura in Calgary and have expanded their business interests into commercial real estate.
Perry Itzcovitch became the face of the operation, dealing with front-end staff and serving on a plethora of factory, community and auto industry committees and boards.
He is currently the secretary-treasurer of the Canadian Auto Dealers Association, the first of a five-year commitment as a member of its executive committee.
“I have always felt we need to be involved and make a difference,” says Itzcovitch.
Mike, Tim and Luke Davis all started in different departments – accounting, sales and service, respectively – at Davis GMC Buick in Lethbridge. Each sibling eventually went on to become general manager of one of the other dealerships owned by their father, John Davis.
They continue to hold those positions today in addition to their responsibilities of overseeing the now 10-dealership strong Davis Auto Group.
Since taking the reins, the Davis brothers have added two new dealerships and established a 30-person head office that provides centralized human resources, digital marketing, customer care, safety and IT services for each of the group’s locations.
Though Davis Auto Group has evolved into a sophisticated operation, the Davis brothers have not strayed from their father’s Golden Rule: “Treat employees and customers the way we were taught to treat other people—with respect, compassion and understanding,” explains Mike Davis.
The MDA awards the Dealer of Excellence annually to one metro dealer from Calgary or Edmonton and one non-metro winner from the rest of the province.
The award criteria are business acumen, community involvement and association/industry involvement. The award candidates are nominated by their peers and the applications are examined by a panel of past award recipients who select the winners.
“I was proud and honored to have been chosen. I have a lot of respect for the MDA and the important things the executive members and staff have done, and continue to do, on a daily basis,” says Itzcovitch.
“It is great to be recognized together and a great honour to join the company of dealers who are on the list of past winners—people we look up to, like our dad,” says Mike Davis.
John Davis was the 2010 MDA dealer of excellence. “It took all three of us to add up to him.”