Graham Jeffrey, Vice President – Automotive Merchandising at Canadian Tire Corporation, was presented with of the Young Leader of the Year Award by AIA Canada president JF Champagne.
The Automotive Industries Association of Canada kicked off it’s Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting in Toronto with the presentation of the Young Leader of the Year Award and a look at the future of mobility.
Graham Jeffrey, Vice President – Automotive Merchandising at Canadian Tire Corporation, was named the recipient of the Young Leader of the Year Award at a Tuesday evening reception that ahead of the more formal Annual General Meeting proceedings and association board meetings on Wednesday May 11.
Jeffrey joked that a very short stint in the automotive world led to his hiring at Canadian Tire in 2005.
“This guy’s gotta be in auto parts,” he joked. “So that was a start, and 17 years later they haven’t really let me leave much. But you really do get an appreciation for how immensely talented this industry is and how dynamic and complex and challenging it can be to forge your career in it.
“So, it’s been fantastic. I do want to thank a few folks. First and foremost, I want to thank Micheline Davies (Senior Vice President Automotive) for nominating me for the award. So thank you so much. You’ve always provided me tremendous counsel, great collaboration. And I think I can sincerely say I’ve been a better leader for working with you, even though it’s only been about a year or so that we’ve been working super closely.
“I want to thank Andrew Davies (formerly VP Automotive). Andrew was my manager three separate times at Canadian Tire. So, I said the second and third is his fault,” laughed Jeffrey. “But Andrew did a phenomenal job of continuing to put me in a position to stretch my leadership and find and tackle new challenges. I certainly wouldn’t be here without him.
“I want to thank my team, a number of whom actually went out of their way to be here tonight. Thank you for coming. You guys are tremendous leaders in your own right, and make me better every day. And lastly, I’d be remiss to not thank my wife who is my biggest supporter and advisor, and certainly whom without whom I would definitely not be here or anywhere close to here today.
“Thanks again. This is amazing.”
Following the Young Leader of the Year presentation, attendees at the reception were treated to a forward looking “fireside chat” style conversation on the ‘Disruption and the Future of Mobility” between association president JF Champagne and Ted Graham, Strategist | Bestselling Author, The Uber of Everything: How the Freed Market Economy is Disrupting and Delighting.
The wide-ranging discussion covered a broad range of topics on mobility, electric vehicles, autonomous technologies and the connected car.
Before sitting down with Champagne, Graham provided a sense of the trajectory of future mobility in looking at the priorities of tomorrow’s drivers.
“When we asked 16 year olds in 2016, would they rather give up their driver’s license or wifi– I hear some laughter because I think some of you know– 16 year olds would never give up wifi. Which is so ridiculous to me, having grown up in Nova Scotia, where turning 16 and getting your driver’s license was such an important part of life.
“But that connectivity is driving so many of the decisions and having Apple CarPlay or Android Auto in our cars has become a real differentiator for some of these people making choices for the first time in terms of what do they want and how do they want to interact with mobility.”
The AIA’s AGM and board meetings continue Wednesday May 11.