Hiring and Promotions

IARA names Eric Janca as new Canada Committee co-chair


The International Automotive Remarketers Alliance announced this week a new Canada Committee co-chair.

Chosen for the IARA Canada position is Eric Janca, lease maturity and remarketing manager at SCI Lease Corp.

Janca was also a speaker at the earlier this week in Toronto, and offered analysis on insights and intel impacting the remarketing and pre-owned industry today.

Janca said of the IARA Canada news, “I am honoured to have the opportunity to serve as the Canadian Committee co-chair.  Remarketing has always been a passion that has inspired my career. I am looking forward to helping grow and support the IARA during my tenure.”

In this position, Janca will be taking the place of John Paonessa, vice president of remarketing solutions at GM Financial, as he steps down from his co-chair responsibilities.

IARA Canada shared that Paonessa will remain on the IARA board of directors.

“John has been in the co-chair seat for numerous years and has decided that it is now the right time to step back and hand over [the position] responsibilities of the Canadian co-chair lead to another consignor,” said Richard Pasta, national manager strategic accounts at CarProof.

Pasta also currently serves as a Canadian Committee co-chair, and will remain in the position for the foreseeable future.

“There have been a lot of changes that have happened with the IARA Canadian Committee and the subcommittee Leads. We’ve have also seen a restructuring and resurgence of the subcommittees with a lot of great talented people being engaged, and I am excited on the direction the IARA is heading in Canada,” said Paonessa.

In addition to the announcement of a new co-chair, the IARA Canadian Committee also shared that Lori Murtagh, chief risk officer at SCI Ltd.,  will take on the newly appointed second Canadian seat on the IARA board of directors.

Murtagh was also honored at the 2017 Women & Automotive Canada Leadership Forum as a Profiles in Leadership honoree. 


Kijiji Canada names new national head of auto sales


Kijiji Canada recently announced that it has appointed Darryl Hilton to serve as the national head of automotive sales.

Hilton brings 20 years of experience from both the supplier and retail sides of the automotive industry, and he has also specialized in the management of pre-owned programs, the company said.

Most recently, he served as national manager of pre-owned and fleet at Infiniti Canada, where he lead the development and implementation strategy for the launch of the new certified Infiniti program.

“When looking to select someone for this role and join my leadership team, Darryl stood out as an exemplary choice thanks to his industry reputation, passions for autos and years of proven expertise,” Kijiji head of automotive Leanne Kripp said in a news release announcing Hilton’s appointment. “We’re thrilled to have him lead our amazing sales team and have his energy and fresh thinking extend to Canadian dealers’ coast to coast. With his help, the Kijiji Autos team will be able to deliver on our commitment to strengthening connections with our dealers and their consumers better than ever through more integrated product, marketing and sales offerings, ultimately benefiting our greater Kijiji user base.”

In his new role, the company said Hilton will be instrumental in both the internal and external growth of the Kijiji autos team across Canada.

“I’m excited for the challenge this new role will bring, and the leadership focus it will allow me to take within the existing Kijiji Autos team,” Hilton said. “Together, we’ll help build simple but effective sales solutions to improve Kijiji’s business offering and the overall customer experience. I’m excited to work with such a strong and motivated team as we take Kijiji in this new direction, and continue to build meaningful, effective relationships with dealers and our partners,” he continued.

In addition to leading the development of the company’s expanding sales team, Hilton will also serve as a trusted partner to dealers by helping them gain market exposure, generate high-quality leads and deliver on strong returns on investments, according to Kijiji.

Kijiji, which is a sponsor at the upcoming , will be featured in a workshop at the event. Rachel Lee, head of B2B marketing for the company, and Jennifer Gausby of BrandSpark International are presenting a workshop on 

AMVIC announces new CEO


The Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council board of directors announced Wednesday that Malcolm Knox has been named as the organization’s chief executive officer, effective Jan. 29.  

AMVIC said Knox is both a highly organized strategic thinker and analytical problem solver with experience in the private and public sectors.

“Mr. Knox has extensive qualifications and executive experience, with a proven track record managing change in regulated business environments,” AMVIC board of directors chair Bill Burnett said in a news release announcing Knox’s appointment. “We are excited Malcolm has agreed to join us as AMVIC continues to emphasize consumer protection while implementing changes to the automotive industry through the Consumer Protection Act (formerly the Fair Trading Act) and associated regulations.”

Additionally, Knox brings strategic leadership, along with effective operation of administrative systems and structures that support AMVIC's mission, AMVIC said.

“AMVIC's priority is consumer protection and having experienced leadership allows AMVIC to focus on a fair and even playing field for Alberta's automotive industry. Malcolm's direction will further strengthen the organization by educating consumers on their rights,” added AMVIC’s interim CEO Doug Lagore.

 AMVIC named Lagore interim CEO back in December of 2016.

The organization said Lagore would serve as CEO and director of fair trading until AMVIC appointed a registrar.

The organization hired for the positions of registrar, human resources manager and legal counsel in October, following recommendations outlined in the commissioned by Service Alberta.

Brenda Chomey was appointed to the newly created position of AMVIC registrar.

Mercedes-Benz Canada appoints Muller to oversee all Toronto, Vancouver stores


Mercedes-Benz Canada announced Wednesday that this year each of its 11 corporate stores will now report to the newly appointed vice president of corporate retail — Robert Muller.

Previously, the company’s seven Toronto Retail Group (TRG) and four Vancouver Retail Group (VRG) locations were managed separately.

In December, Mercedes-Benz Canada announced that Muller would succeed Philipp von Witzendorff as TRG vice president, but under the company’s new leadership structure his responsibilities have expanded to overseeing VRG as well.

The company said Muller will be based in Toronto but will travel to Vancouver frequently in his new role.

The company structure change follows a comprehensive review of Mercedes-Benz Canada, which examined the organizational structure of its retail stores.

“We take pride in being proactive in all areas of our business — whether anticipating our customers' needs or identifying new opportunities where we can excel,” Mercedes-Benz Canada president and chief executive officer Brian Fulton said in a news release. “We are committed to driving organizational change from a position of strength, which is why this was an excellent time for us to take this next step toward making an already strong retail organization even better.”

In addition to streamlining processes, the company’s new leadership structure will also foster a more consistent overall customer experience across its two key markets, according to Mercedes-Benz Canada.

“I look forward to working closely with our Canadian own retail management team in Toronto and Vancouver. Together, we'll identify opportunities to maintain our leadership position, engage our staff and, most importantly, continue to exceed our customers' expectations,” said Muller. “It is exciting to be leading this new chapter for Mercedes-Benz Canada's corporate stores. I am confident that the new structure will make our own retail organization even stronger.”

Muller joined Mercedes-Benz Canada in 2006 when he was brought in to serve as a service manager at the Mercedes-Benz Maple dealership.

New Audi Canada president comes aboard in January

AJAX, Ontario - 

When 2018 begins, a new leader will be at the helm of Audi Canada.

The automaker announced on Tuesday that Giorgio Delucchi will be joining Audi Canada as president on Jan. 8, succeeding Daniel Weissland, who has been promoted to managing director of Volkswagen Group Canada. Delucchi is presently the sales director for Latin America and based in Ingolstadt, Germany.

Audi highlighted that Delucchi has held increasingly progressive roles in service, aftersales and sales for the company.

Presently Delucchi has been serving as the sales director for Latin America since June 2014. He has been accountable for the overall performance of 30 markets in Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean and Mexico.

In his second year, Audi Latin America achieved 15-percent sales growth, reaching the premium No. 1 position in the region with respect to sales, as well as customer and dealer satisfaction for the first time ever. 

Policaro Automotive Family names Francesco Policaro CEO

OAKVILLE, Ontario - 

The Policaro Automotive Family announced the appointment of Francesco Policaro as the company's new chief executive officer Wednesday.

Francesco brings over 20 years of experience with the company to his new role.

Francesco began his career as a part-time vehicle detailer at the age of 11 and has since held positions such as parts adviser, service adviser, parts delivery driver, pre-owned sales consultant and new-vehicle sales consultant, according to the Policaro Automotive Family.

“It is truly an honour for me to be entrusted with our family business,” Francesco said in a news release announcing his appointment. “Our new structure will allow for our organization to move forward with renewed purpose. It is an exciting time for our company with new dealership openings, construction projects and imminent launches of new and diversified businesses. I look forward to the challenge ahead.”

In 2002, Francesco transitioned to Northwest Lexus to serve as general sales manager where he oversaw the design and construction of the new retail operation and its launch.

After completing the NADA Dealer Succession Program, Francesco was named general manager of Northwest Lexus in 2005. While there, he led the dealership to its first of three consecutive Award of Excellence designations.

In 2011, Francesco left to open Porsche Centre Oakville, where he was once again responsible for the construction and organization of the new dealership.

The Policaro Automotive Family currently operates seven franchises carrying seven brands including Acura; BMW; Harley-Davidson; Honda; Lexus; Porsche and Toyota.

ADESA Canada promotes 2 to VP roles

CARMEL, Ind. - 

ADESA announced Monday that it has promoted Eddy Cusan to vice president of commercial sales and Wesley Kent to the newly created position of vice president of programs and operations for ADESA Canada.

In 2007, Cusan started as a program director at the Internet-based business-to-business automotive remarketing company OPENLANE, which KAR Auction Services acquired in 2011. He was responsible for leading several North American private label programs and transitioned into an executive sales role for ADESA following the acquisition.

Since 2015, Cusan has taken on additional responsibilities concerning sales team leadership and the comprehensive sales strategy for KAR entities in Canada.

In his new role, Cusan will oversee the executive sales team that manages ADESA Canada commercial client relationships and sales efforts.

“As the automotive industry evolves, we are focused on delivering broader benefits to our client base,” ADESA Canada chief operating officer Trevor Henderson said in a news release. “Eddy has a proven track record of working with our clients to identify and implement end-to-end remarketing solutions using our entire suite of advanced products and offerings while elevating the customer experience with superior analytics and service.

“Wesley led the team responsible for launching DealerBlock and LiveBlock and bringing upstream private label platforms to market for ADESA commercial clients. Their leadership will be invaluable as ADESA Canada continues to improve the customer experience,” he went on to say.

Kent started at ADESA Halifax where he served as an online coordinator in 1999. He moved to the ADESA Canada corporate office in 2001 to join its eBusiness team.

In 2012, he was promoted to senior director of online operations to oversee ADESA Canada’s internet remarketing initiatives, which included the integration of OPENLANE.

As ADESA Canada vice president of programs and operations, Kent is responsible for enhancing the customer experience across the ADESA Canada platform with technology and service improvements, according to ADESA.

Element Fleet promotes Gittens to president of Canadian operations

SPARKS, Md. - 

Element Fleet Management has promoted Chris Gittens to serve as president of Canadian operations, the company announced Wednesday.

Gittens succeeds Sebastien Blondin, who has taken on a strategic business development role with the Element Fleet Management corporate team.

“Since 2012, the Canadian leadership team has built a strong foundation and driven a singular customer experience that has made customers’ fleets safer, smarter and more productive,” Element Fleet Management, North America president and chief executive officer Kristi Webb said in a news release. “We’re excited for Chris to use his industry expertise to continue to grow our Canadian operations.”

Gittens joined the company in 2013 as chief commercial officer for Canada, where he worked closely with most of its largest accounts throughout North America, according to Element Fleet Management.

“Element has a strong history and bright future in Canada,” Gittens said. “My focus will be on ensuring operational excellence in everything we do, so that our customers in Canada can take advantage of new services and data-driven insights to improve their fleets.”

J.D. Power appoints 2 new execs in Canada, Latin America


J.D. Power announced Wednesday that it has both appointed Tim Braley to replace recently promoted Darren Slind as senior director of Canada and Latin America and chosen J.D. Ney to serve as Canada’s new country manager.

Slind has been appointed vice president of Singapore Operations to oversee the expansion of J.D. Power consulting services across Southeast Asia, India, Taiwan and Australia.

Braley most recently served as senior director of strategy within the global automotive division.

In his new role, Braley will collaborate with country managers Fabio Braga of Brazil and Gerardo Gomez of Mexico to drive growth in Latin America and Canada, according to J.D. Power.

Meanwhile, Ney joined J.D. Power in 2011 and most recently served as senior manager of Canadian automotive practice, prior to his new role.

As country manager of Canada, J.D. Power said he will lead the design and delivery of the company’s syndicated, proprietary and consulting solutions for Canadian automotive clients.

“We are putting the right people in the right places in order to better serve our clients and grow our business,” J.D. Power global automotive division senior vice president Doug Betts said in a news release.

“These leadership changes will undoubtedly be effective, and I have great confidence that Darren, Tim and J.D. will quickly have a positive effect on the clients and companies they serve.”

Safe-Guard Canada brings on new national account manager

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario  - 

Safe-Guard Canada recently announced it has appointed Richard Comrie as national account manager to oversee client relationship management and business development.

Comrie most recently served as the director of new business development for LGM Financial Services.

Comrie has spent more than 25 years in the finance and insurance industry, with a focus on business development, customer relations management and daily operations, according to Safe-Guard Canada.

"I am proud to welcome Richard to the Safe-Guard team as National Account Manager," Safe-Guard Canada general manager Scott Ashby said in a news release.

"Our clients and their dealers continue to see business grow across Canada. Richard is coming on board at just the right time and will help take our clients and their dealers to the next level. As we continue to integrate with our clients and drive sales with our field teams, Richard's deep F&I experience and client leadership are vital in supporting our client's growth and development," he continued.

Additionally, prior to joining LGM, Comrie held several roles within business operations, national sales and credit management.

"I am excited to join a very progressive, client-centric organization like Safe-Guard,” added Comrie.

“I look forward to building upon the strong relationships we have with our current OEM partners and their dealers, and I am committed to leading our partners and driving business development for each of the brands that Safe-Guard Canada supports."