D. Alex MacDonald driven to sell vehicles

Jim Day
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Automobile dealer among five people heading into JAPEI Business Hall of Fame

D. Alex MacDonald, left, Wes and Connie MacAleer, Earl Davidson and Dave Loggie (missing from photo) will be inducted into the Junior Achievement P.E.I. Business Hall of Fame for 2013. The 16th induction ceremony will be held on May 30 at the Delta.

D. Alex MacDonald always saw value in spending money to earn a customer's business.

When the native of Travellers Rest established a used car business in 1957, he didn't hesitate in upgrading the vehicles before selling them - a practice he believes few of his competing dealers followed at the time.

"Sometimes it's costly but it's worth it in the end,'' said MacDonald.

"They (customers) remain and you do the right thing besides.''

Not only was MacDonald successful in retaining customers after receiving a Ford franchise in 1961, he had the entrepreneurial spirit and determined approach that led motorists to beat a path to his lot.

He grew a business that started with four employees to one with upwards of 100 today, tallying $64 million in sales along the way.

"A lot of hard work,'' he said in summarizing the key to his success.

"If you want something bad enough, you can get it.''

Seven of MacDonald's and his wife Kathleen's 11 children work at the dealership. Three of his grandsons are also working at one of the dealerships that include D. Alex MacDonald Ltd., Hyundai in Summerside, and Fair Isle Ford in Charlottetown and Montague.

"I have a great family because...no matter what I put them into they were good at it,'' he said.

MacDonald's impressive run as an entrepreneur and leader in the automobile industry, along with strong community involvement, is earning him a spot in the Junior Achievement P.E.I. Business Hall of Fame.

He will be formally inducted on May 30 at a gala at the Delta Prince Edward along with the following:

n David Loggie, an entrepreneur and leader in the global potato industry. He spent 47 years with Canada Packers Shur-Gain division, climbing the corporate ladder from office clerk and accountant to vice-president of operations for Shur-Gain Atlantic. He owned Stevedoring for many years. He owns Kensington Truck and Tractor and most recently has owned and operated a residential and commercial real estate rental and development business in Summerside. He was president of Slemon Park Corp. from 2000 to 2002.

n Wes and Connie MacAleer are being inducted as entrepreneurs and humanitarians. In 1971, Wes formed Wesmac Agencies Ltd. With his wife Connie as a company director. The company, providing a variety of services including selling general insurance and operating a consulting and office services, thrived expanding to include Raven Resources Ltd. And Goga Cho Enterprises. Wes later became publisher of The Guardian and the former Evening Patriot before entering P.E.I. politics. He held several cabinet portfolios over the years under a Conservative government, including Attorney General and Minister of Economic Development and Tourism.

n Earl Davison is entering the JAPEI Business Hall of Fame as visionary entrepreneur and community benefactor. He is the man behind the iconic Rainbow Valley that provided years and years of fun to P.E.I. families and tourists. He also operated a successful boat building business and a construction company. Davison has served with numerous tourism and business organizations.

Organizations: Ford, Hyundai, Shur-Gain Atlantic Slemon Park Wesmac Agencies Raven Resources Goga Cho Enterprises

Geographic location: Travellers Rest, Summerside, Charlottetown P.E.I. Canada Rainbow Valley

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  • UPWESTER
    February 03, 2013 - 10:28

    Junior Achievement Award? They look more like Senior Achievement Award.Having said that, they are all fine winners. Congratulations to all.