John Maslack, who led Maslack Supply from a three person, 760 square foot operation in Sudbury, Ont. , to a 13 location fixture throughout Northern Ontario, will be remembered as both a successful entrepreneur and a committed member of the communities that Maslack served.
John Maslack passed away August 12 at the age of 95.
A private family service was held in Sudbury, Ont. on Tuesday August 17.
In an interview published in Jobber Nation, John Maslack, had one vision for his life’s passion; to take the customer experience to a higher level. He believed that the customer should be the most important element of any business. It is with that vision and determination that Maslack Supply opened for business in 1959.
John Maslack started the business in Sudbury, Ontario, with a 760 square foot facility on Barrydowne Road, with three employees.
The Maslack group of companies has since grown to include 13 locations across Ontario, with a 70,000 square foot warehouse and modern training centre on Falconbridge Road, with over 200 employees.
“When I was younger, I never pictured becoming an entrepreneur. I worked in a variety of positions in the industry, from truck driver, to timekeeper and eventually General Manager of a local supply company. I saw a lot of potential for growth in the industry and I wanted to take that on independently. I wanted to work for myself. That’s when I decided to start Maslack Supply.”
Remembering the early days, he recalled how one order made all the difference.
“When we were starting out and still struggling, we landed a sale with National Steel, a mining company north of Capreol. Back then we sold tires, and it was a big order for us. We made a good profit from that tire order. That capital gave us the opportunity to get in the game and grow as a company. With that money we were able to grow our inventory and grow our sales and it was a domino effect from there. If it wasn’t for that order, who knows how much longer we would have been struggling for.”
The hard work paid off too, and after opening its second store in Elliot Lake, the growth kept coming.
In 2017 he was named to the Automotive Industries Association of Canada’s Distinguished Service Award, the highest honour of the organization in recognition of his success in business, service to the industry, and to the communities Maslack serves.
Beyond the business John Maslack developed a reputation for being able to rally people around a worthy cause.
He pioneered the Sudbury Memorial Hospital Foundation and served on the Sudbury Memorial Hospital Board of Governors. The recipient of numerous honours and awards, he has been recognized with Sudbury’s Sports Celebrity Hall of Fame award in recognition of his support of local youth teams; the Paul Harris Fellow Recognition for being an outstanding contributor to improving the community and quality of life; the 2012 Bell Business Excellence Award.
On a smaller scale, perhaps, John Maslack was also generous with his time more. When he heard that a local hockey player, now a local doctor, was a huge Toronto Maple Leaf fan, an envelope arrived with four tickets to six Toronto home games. That kind of generosity gets remembered.
But above all, John Maslack will be fondly remembered as one the Canadian automotive aftermarket’s most dedicated members, and with an enduring message to young entrepreneurs.
“You have to love the business. You need to love what you’re doing and the hard work that comes with it. It helps to have some experience in the industry. You also need to dream about being successful. You need to have a vision and a goal in mind, and never stop working towards it.”
With files from Brianne Conlon, Maslack.