MEET YOUR BOARD

Now that the AADA board is complete, we asked our board members to take a little time out of their schedules to answer a few questions about what makes them tick – you’ll be surprised by their answers! So without further ado, introducing the team of experts driving the success of your Association…

 

Michael Claridge

Location: Adelaide
Occupation: Managing Director – Claridge Holden
Work History: I started in the family business 41 years ago as an apprentice motor mechanic. I’ve since worked as a Fixed Operations Manager and I’ve been a Dealer now for 26 years.
What have you discovered about yourself over the course of your career? To trust my instincts
Who would you like to sit next to when flying to an overseas destination? My wife of course!
Who or what inspires you? Richard Branson
Apple or Android? Apple
Your first car? A Vauxhall Wyvern – it was the same vintage as me
What’s the best thing about Australia’s auto industry? The ever-changing products – as someone once said, the auto industry is the next best thing to Hollywood.

 

Richard Wolfe (OAM)

Location: Canberra
Occupation: Dealer Principal, Audi Centre Canberra and Chair of the Audi Dealer Committee
Work History: I started my career in the motor industry as the Business Manager of Slaven Mazda and BMW in Canberra, prior to being appointed as Dealer Principal of Rolfe Mitsubishi. Later, I worked for myself as a wholesaler for seven years, before taking on the role of General Manager of Rolfe Classic BMW, until the opportunity of taking on the Audi franchise came up eight years ago.
What are you passionate about? Family
What are you looking forward to? After being awarded National Audi Dealer of the Year for five years in a row, I’m looking forward to number six!
Who would you like to sit next to when flying to an overseas destination? Whoever is calculating next year’s target…
Apple or Android? Apple
Your first car? A bright yellow Gemini
What’s the best thing about Australia’s auto industry? The competition, the comradery and the cars.

 

Paul Warren

Location: Sydney
Occupation: Executive Chairman, Peter Warren Automotive
Work History: I’ve spent the last 40 years working with the family business in various roles, and making my way to my current position as Executive Chairman.
What have you discovered about yourself over the course of your career? There is always something new to learn
What are you looking forward to? Spending more time with my family and friends as well as expanding the business.
Apple or Android? Android
How do you take your coffee? Black with two sugars
Your first car? An FC Holden in two-tone green
What’s the best thing about Australia’s auto industry? The people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and becoming friends with.

 

Terry Keating

Location: Tamworth, New South Wales

Occupation: Retired

Work History: I’m a qualified accountant and worked for four years in public practice.  I joined J T Fossey, a standalone Ford dealer in Tamworth in 1970 as the financial controller. By the end of 1976 I became Dealer Principal and I brought BMW, Nissan, Land Rover and a range of heavy truck franchises into the business over time. I retired in late 2009 and the business remains in the family under the stewardship of my son, Murray Keating. I was also the chairman of Ford’s National Dealer Council from 2000 to 2007 and was previously the BMW chair of their National Dealer Council in 1998 and 1999. I also served several years on the board of MTA NSW, including three years as president.

What have you discovered about yourself over the course of your career? That as a younger Dealer my life was made much easier because of the unselfish efforts of senior Dealers of that era representing all of us on state and federal bodies to make sure our collective voices were heard.

What are you passionate about? Amongst other things, that families who’ve invested financial and personal capital into the retail auto business, often for decades, are not subjected to unfair contracts or unfair conduct. I was a party to the NSW dealer group that had these very principles enshrined into legislation in NSW just on two years ago.

What are you looking forward to? Trying to stay active so that I can enjoy life after 50 years of 9 to 5, (or was it more like 8 to 8?)
Apple or Android? Apple

Your first car? A 1958 Hillman Minx. It was actually pretty ordinary, so I got an EH Holden – a ripper in its day!

What’s the best thing about Australia’s auto industry? It gives anyone who can tell the difference between temporary and permanent success, a chance to be in control of their own destiny.  And that applies not just to owners, but also employees. To survive long-term one needs to be astute, committed and ethical – be those things and the rewards will come.

 

Tony Salerno

Location: Perth

Current Occupation: Chief Operating Officer, AHG West Coast Automotive

Work History: I started work in the automotive industry at the age of 18 as a Parts Interpreter. From there, I moved into sales and then held a number of sales management. I moved to Perth in ‘94 and progressed to a dealership management position, before taking an equity position and a Dealer Principal role in 2002. After joining AHG as a Dealer Principal in 2007, I was appointed Western Australia Regional Manager in 2009 and was made General Manager in 2010, before my current appointment in 2014.

What have you discovered about yourself over the course of your career? If you can get the right people consistently using the right processes, you give yourself every chance of success.

What are you passionate about? From a work perspective, I am very passionate about the automotive industry. I look forward to sharing my thoughts with the team and influencing positive behavior and outcomes. I also love to spend time with my family, including my two boys.

What are you looking forward to? I’m looking forward to attending the NADA Convention in January 2015!

Who would you like to sit next to when flying to an overseas destination? Elle Macpherson – I’d like to talk to her about the challenges she has faced in her business, fashion and film industry career.

Who or what inspires you? My father! He arrived from Italy in the 50s and was faced with many challenges, but he adapted well to a new country learning the language, the Aussie culture and working hard every day whilst bringing up a family.

What’s the best thing about Australia’s auto industry? If I had to sum it up in one word, I would say opportunity. I really enjoy the chance to discuss any new automotive initiative and review the potential opportunities that can be gained to enhance our competitive edge in the market.

 

Hillar Puvi

Location: Adelaide

Current Occupation: Managing Director, Formula Motor Group

What have you discovered about yourself over the course of your career? Constantly plan and evaluate the direction you’re heading in and never give up.

What are you passionate about? Ensuring a great family succession plan for the business.

What are you looking forward to? The revitalised AADA effectively representing new car franchises in Australia.

Who would you like to sit next to when flying to an overseas destination? My wife

Who or what inspires you? Setting ambitious goals

Apple or Android? Apple

Your first car? A Ford Escort Ghia

What’s the best thing about Australia’s auto industry? Australia’s auto industry is highly competitive and there’s no shortage of world class dealerships owned and managed by good businessmen. It’s an exciting place to operate.

 

Chad Andrew Davies

Location: Sydney

Current Occupation:  COO AHG East Coast Auto

Work History: I started out as a trainee in sales directly after finishing high school. I spent time over the past 18 years in both small and large privately-owned businesses (Delforce Motor Group, McGrath Lander Group, Summit Investments Australia) and now with AHG since 2006.

What have you discovered about yourself over the course of your career? That it’s impossible to do everything yourself – delegation and staff empowerment are the keys to success.

What are you passionate about? Providing the best possible life and environment for my family and putting in 100% commitment to everything I do. I genuinely love working with people and seeing them develop, whilst still learning and soaking up knowledge myself along the way.

What are you looking forward to? Continued good health and seeing my kids grow up to lead happy and successful lives.

Who would you like to sit next to when flying to an overseas destination? Jamie Oliver. I’ve always wanted to meet him and really admire what he has achieved over the years. It would be great to chat with him to better understand what makes him tick.

Who or what inspires you? People who are ‘self-made’ and were prepared to risk it all to get established.

Your first car? A horrible, brown 1985 Nissan Pulsar Sedan that blew that much smoke that you could hardly see the car when it was running!

What’s the best thing about Australia’s auto industry? Opportunities aren’t restricted by age or experience and people who are prepared to have a go and commit 100% can forge an amazing and rewarding career. Some of the most successful people I have met over the years in this business have built it all from scratch, which I find really exciting and motivating.

 

Geoff Pickering

Location: Noosa

Current Occupation: Managing Director, Pickerings

Work History: I’ve worked at CBC bank, as a structural engineer and now the retail car industry.

What have you learned about yourself over the course of your career? Only worry about what you can fix

What are you passionate about? Family, the vehicle motor industry and off-road racing

Who would you like to sit next to when flying to an overseas destination? One of my grandchildren\

Who or what inspires you? The challenges of life

How do you take your coffee? Strong flat white

Your first car? A 1948 Morris Minor

What’s the best thing about Australia’s auto industry? The constant challenges and always striving to succeed in what is the most competitive industry in the world!

 

Martin Ward

Location: Brisbane

Current Occupation: Chief Executive Officer AP Eagers (2005-)

Work History: Previous Chief Executive officer of Ford Sydney Retail Joint Venture (2000-2005), Previous Managing Director of Inchcape Motors Australia (1996-2000)

What have you discovered about yourself over the course of your career? I’ve learnt to always hire the best people available

Who would you like to sit next to when flying to an overseas destination? No one, this is my only private down time; time to watch the movies I’ve missed in the last year!

Who or what inspires you? Enthusiastic  and talented people of any age

Your first car? Vauxhall Viva

Footy, golf or cricket? Footy

What’s the best thing about Australia’s auto industry? The people!

 

Keith Thornton

Location Brisbane

Current Occupation: General Manager QNT, AP Eagers Ltd (2005-)

Work History: DP Austral Volkswagen and Honda (2004-2005), DP at Southside Honda and Land Rover (2002-2004) previous roles with Toyota Motor Company Australia, Honda Australia and Audi Australia

What have you discovered about yourself over the course of your career? That never being completely satisfied can actually be a positive…

What are you passionate about? Harnessing the incredible talent and ideas amongst the people I work with to do something new and better.

Who would like to sit next to when flying to an overseas destination? I am usually in economy, so an empty seat is what I pray for!

Who or what inspires you? The many talented people I get the privilege of working with every day. Seeing their passion to do things better is very motivating.

Apple or Android? Apple

How do you take your coffee? Milk, sugar and far too often.

Your first car? Holden Commodore – great car!

What’s the best thing about Australia’s auto industry? That it still has so far to go…

 

Leigh Smith

Location: Melbourne

Current Occupation: Dealer Principal GWS

Work History: Aside from some previous experience working with an accounting firm, my career has centred around the automotive Industry

What have you discovered about yourself over the course of your career? Be determined and keep looking forward.

What are you passionate about? Family

Who would you like to sit next to when flying to an overseas destination? Ross Perot – ex director of GM and EDS Computers. He also ran to be President of the USA.

Who or what inspires you? Og Mandino (inspirational speaker) and Neil Armstrong

Apple or Android? Apple

Your first car? Holden Torana

Footy, golf or cricket? Footy

What’s the best thing about Australia’s auto industry? It rewards those who work hard and it always stays interesting

 

Marcus John Birrell

Location: Melbourne

Current Occupation: Chairman at Birrell Motors Group

Work History: I worked for nine years at Ford Motor Company and Ford Motor Credit, then seven years at City Ford and for the past 20 years I’ve been at Birrell Motors.

What have you discovered about yourself over the course of your career? That I work best in situations where I hire good people and delegate authority

Who would you like to sit next to when flying to an overseas destination? My wife

Who or what inspires you? Unselfish people

Apple or Android? Apple

How do you take your coffee? Black

Your first car? A 1960 Ford Falcon

What’s the best thing about Australia’s auto industry? The never-ending challenge that it presents.

 

Anthony Altomonte

Location: Sydney

Current Occupation: Managing Director – Alto Group

Work History: Working in motor dealerships has made up the past 30 years of my career.

What are you passionate about? Burning Fuel!

Who would you like to sit next to when flying to an overseas destination? Dick Smith

Apple or Android? Apple

How do you take your coffee? Very strong and white

Your first car? A bright orange old stock Ford Meteor L 4 speed with vinyl seats…

Footy, golf or cricket? Rugby!

What’s the best thing about Australia’s auto industry? No two days are ever the same…

 

David Russell

Location: Darwin

Current Occupation: General Sales Manager, Bridge Toyota & Lexus

Work History: I’ve spent 30 years in the motor industry in most roles from a salesperson to general manager.

What have you discovered about yourself over the course of your career? Persistence beats resistance and there is usually a better way.

What are you passionate about? Recruitment and development of young professionals into the motor industry

What are you looking forward to? The next five years, which I believe will be the most challenging (and also exciting) for our industry

Who would you like to sit next to when flying to an overseas destination? My wife

Who or what inspires you? Real stories about people who have survived and succeeded against incredible odds and that demonstrate the strength of the human spirit… one example is the story of Joe Simpson in Touching the Void – a great read!

Apple or Android? Apple

Your first car? HT Holden

Footy, golf or cricket? Golf

What’s the best thing about Australia’s auto industry? It’s a constantly changing and challenging environment with the opportunity for any person or business to succeed – especially when focusing on the fundamentals of customer satisfaction.

2 comments

  1. Darren Robertson

    I am writing this to express the frustration and disappointment I have experienced in dealing with the service department of JT Fosseys. I recently had dealings with the service manager Barry there and to be perfectly honest I cannot believe how I was belittled, spoken down to and threatened by this man. The frustration of having paid a substantial amount of money for a car that has its Air conditioner fail in under a year and not being given any warranty or goodwill pails into insignificance when I reflect on the treatment I have received from this man. He is the soul reason why A loyal Nissan customer for over 30 years will never buy another one.

  2. bass

    Dealerships like this thrive on customers like you. Name the Nissan cars you have had for the last 30 years? what is that 2? 2 cars? they dont owe you a thing, and you’ll come back again…P.S threatened by Barry? FFS that is so funny.

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