When Gerry Kowalsky turned 35 in 1957, he decided to change careers. He’d worked in construction for 10 years and anticipated a slowdown in that industry. He answered an ad for an automotive salesperson at Kaye Ford in Kitchener and got the job.
Today, Kowalsky is Ontario’s oldest actively registered vehicle salesperson. On March 19, he celebrated his 100 birthday at Olympic Honda in Guelph, where he has worked for the past 36 years. He is still selling cars.
Kowalsky worked at Kaye Ford for 23 years, first in sales and later as a used car manager, before taking time off to care for his ailing wife (she died in 1992). When he returned to work, he was recruited by the Brewis family, which owned a Chevrolet Oldsmobile dealership in Paris, Ont., and sold cars there for two years. When that dealership was sold, he continued working there for a while before moving to the Brewis family’s Honda franchise in Guelph, which was opened by Charles Brewis in 1973. It is still family owned today.
At his birthday celebration, dozens of well-wishers were on hand to pay tribute to Kowalsky’s long career in the auto industry, including Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie and John Carmichael, CEO of the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council.
Hyundai fights homelessness
More than 40 Hyundai dealerships from across Canada answered the call to help address youth homelessness, donating more than $100,000 to 360ºkids in support of the organization’s ninth annual 360ºExperience fundraiser in Newmarket. During the March 3 event, participants spent a winter’s night outside to better understand some of the realities at-risk and homeless youth face.
This year’s 360ºExperience took place both virtually and in-person, with virtual participants each raising a minimum of $100 and in-person participants each raising a minimum of $2,000. Don Romano, president and CEO of Hyundai Canada, and Kirk Merrett, the company’s director of human resources, were among those who spent the night outdoors to support 360ºkids’ vision that every child should have access to a safe home.