Peter MacDonald knows Islanders waste little time building up – or shooting down – the reputation of a local business.
“Everybody knows everybody, and if you are not looking after your customers, (word) will soon spread throughout the Island,’’ says MacDonald, a successful automobile dealer.
“So, we have to make sure that our service is a top-notch service department, and I feel that we have provided that through all of our dealerships.’’
MacDonald’s success as an entrepreneur is earning him the renowned recognition of being named to the P.E.I. Business Hall of Fame.
He will be formally inducted, along with Dan MacIsaac and Liam Dolan, on May 20 at a gala dinner in Charlottetown.
Here is a quick look at the three new additions to the P.E.I. Business Hall of Fame to be formally inducted May 20 at a special gala dinner at the Delta Hotels by Marriot Prince Edward in Charlottetown.
PETER MACDONALD - Bought D. Alex MacDonald Ford dealership in 1984 in his hometown of Summerside, purchased the Ford dealerships in Charlottetown and Montague in 2006 and later opened the Summerside Hyundai with his brother. A partner in Island Capital Partners - a venture capital fund supporting P.E.I. start-ups, he has also served as chairman of the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association and past president of the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce. An a ccomplished curler, he has represented P.E.I. five times at the Brier.
DAN MACISAAC - He bought the majority interest in Petro-Canada's P.E.I. business in 1986. Over the next 34 years, he expanded his interests by focusing on staff, local customer sevice and acquisitions. Today, Kenmac Energy and partner companies sell 160 million litres of oil and propane a year and deliver another 110 million litres for other gasoline companies. MacIsaac has built up 11 gas outlets and convenience stores branded as Mel's on P.E.I. and Nova Scotia. MacIsaac's business interests employ about 300 people. He gives regularly to charitable organizations including the QEH Foundation.
LIAM DOLAN - Opened the Claddagh Oyster House in 1983 and the Olde Dublin Pub in 1985 and became a partner of Peakes Quay in 1994. He established the annual International Shellfish Festival in 1996, helping to grow it into one of the largest food festivals in the country. He has been a member of the Restaurant Canada board of directors since 2001 and in 2014 was chosen to lead the 30,000-strong organization.
MacDonald is quick to share credit with family members, notably brothers Rob and Neil, for getting the “wonderful honour’’ of being added to an illustrious list of P.E.I. business people that continues to grow since the Junior Achievement of P.E.I. established the Business Hall of Fame in 1998.
“You don’t get here without a whole lot of support,’’ says MacDonald.
In addition to working with his family and finding good employees, he cites being innovative as a key to his success.
“We try to stay current and see what changes are coming to stay ahead of it,’’ he says.
MacIsaac, the owner and president of Kenmac Energy, has long been – and continues to be – fueled by growing his businesses.
His hunger is never fully sated.
“Once you have good staff and they can handle what you used to handle, then you can focus on development,’’ he says.
“That’s what I like to do now…if you’re an entrepreneur, you just have to keep going.’’
Dolan, heralded by the Junior Achievement of P.E.I. as a visionary chef and restaurant entrepreneur, says he has succeeded, in part, through his accessibility to key players in helping him grow his businesses.
He says fellow entrepreneurs in other provinces shake their head when he explains how he can get a meeting with the premier of P.E.I. simply by picking up the phone.
“They don’t understand,'' he says.
Dolan says Islanders have been very supportive of his business, but he is quick to note that he treats both locals and tourists the same – that is, as good as possible.
“You have to give them a good service, good food … and have that atmosphere that they are happy with,’’ he says.
“No, I don’t define them (as either tourists or locals). I try to treat them both the same.’’