Five Canadian Tire Associate Dealers receive organization's top awards

    Canadian Tire Awards of Excellence recognizes retail leadership and
    commitment to store teams and customers;
    Community Involvement Award celebrates community leadership

TORONTO, Oct. 7 /CNW/ - Four Canadian Tire Associate Dealers with stores in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island have received the prestigious Canadian Tire Award of Excellence. In addition, Pat Higgins, Associate Dealer of the Canadian Tire store in Uxbridge, was honoured with the 2009 Community Involvement Award. The store owners and operators were recently recognized with the national awards at the company's annual convention in Toronto, among Canadian Tire's 475 Associate Dealers from across the country.

"The fact that Canadian Tire is one of the most recognized and trusted companies in Canadian business is a testament to the people that make up this organization," says Peter Kilty, president Canadian Tire Dealer Relations. "These five Dealers can be best described as best-in-class and we are proud of the amazing work that they do, each and every day."

The Canadian Tire Award of Excellence celebrates an outstanding focus on customer service, retail leadership, store team development and outreach in the community. The following Dealers received the 2009 Canadian Tire Award of Excellence:

Al Abbott, Associate Dealer, Nanaimo, B.C.

"Al is a leader who empowers his team to be the best they can be and the dedication of his longtime store employees speaks to the kind of man he is," says Kilty. "Al is equally dedicated to his community, actively supporting a number of great causes in Nanaimo."

Al Abbott started his Canadian Tire career in 1975 in Port Hope, Ontario. He moved to Grimsby the following year and then on to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1980. 14 years ago, Abbott and his family moved further west to B.C., settling into the Nanaimo community where they've been ever since.

David Urso, Associate Dealer, Bowmanville, ON

"David is a confident leader who is committed to his store team, encouraging them to bring forward new and innovative ideas to better serve Canadian Tire customers," says Kilty. "David is also passionate about giving back to his community through his support of the Youth Bocce Canada Award, the Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Tire Jumpstart and sponsorship of a number of local youth teams."

David Urso started his Canadian Tire career in 1996 as the Associate Dealer in Picton, Ontario. Soon after, Urso moved to take over the store in Woodbridge where he stayed for 10 years before moving to his present location in Bowmanville. He remains committed to staff learning and customer service excellence, resulting in his store earning Canadian Tire's e-Learning Gold Certification.

Raymond Gagné, Associate Dealer, Longueuil, QC

"Raymond is an energetic and generous businessman who shares his love of retailing with customers and employees alike," says Kilty. "Raymond is equally generous with the time that he gives to the community, serving on several boards and committees for a number of different charitable organizations."

Raymond Gagné started his Canadian Tire career in 1974 as a field representative for Eastern Canada, opening the first Dealer Relations office in Quebec. From there, he went on to become an Associate Dealer in Grand Falls, New Brunswick. In 1991, Gagné moved back to his native province, taking the store in St. Hubert, Quebec. Five years later, he moved to take over the store in Longueuil, where he remains today.

Raymond Gagné is actively involved with the Pierre Bouchard Hospital, Administration Council for Sports in Longueuil, La Fondation Bon départ de Canadian Tire du Quebec and Action-Nouvelle-Vie.

Ken MacEachern, Associate Dealer, Charlottetown, PEI

"One of Ken's trademarks is the outstanding merchandising in his store: well-stocked shelves is what his customers have come to know and love," says Kilty. "Generous, friendly, diplomatic and easygoing are words often used to describe Ken within Canadian Tire. Ken's generosity is also well known in the community through his work with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Ducks Unlimited, The Upper Room Food Bank and Canadian Tire Jumpstart."

Ken MacEachern started his Canadian Tire career in 1988. In his 21 years with the organization, Ken has headed up seven different Canadian Tire stores in communities from Saskatchewan to Newfoundland.

2009 Community Involvement Award

The Community Involvement Award recognizes an Associate Dealer's exemplary standards of performance and leadership, in addition to giving generously of their time to make a meaningful difference in their community. As part of the award, the recipient receives a cheque for $10,000 to direct as he/she sees fit, to continue making a difference in their local community.

"Pat Higgins' leadership and his commitment to others living in the community is an inspiration to all of us, and reflects our values and culture at Canadian Tire," says Kilty. "Pat is known for being compassionate, approachable and genuine. He is someone who has contributed greatly to the quality of life in his community through his work with kids and youth, local sports teams, health charities, business improvement projects and many other community initiatives."

Higgins is always on the move - whether it's volunteer work, community events or fundraisers. He helps run the local Canadian Tire Jumpstart chapter and plans a toy drive in his store every holiday season. Kids also look forward to the popular Huck Finn Youth Fishing Derby, a free event sponsored by Pat and attended by 2,000 kids and families. Pat serves on the Uxbridge Cottage Hospital Foundation and is an active participant in the Uxbridge Business Improvement Association. Other highlights of Pat's generosity include donating hockey pucks to more than 50 local teams every season, supplying sweaters for the men's hockey league and sponsoring local baseball teams.

Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSX: CTC, CTC.a), operates an inter-related network of businesses engaged in retail, financial services and petroleum. The Company operates more than 1,200 stores, gas bars and car washes, including the country's most-shopped general merchandise retailer. Canadian Tire Financial Services manages approximately 5 million Canadian Tire MasterCard accounts and markets related financial products and services for retail and petroleum customers. More than 57,000 Canadians work across Canadian Tire's organization from coast-to-coast in the enterprise's retail, financial services, and petroleum businesses.

SOURCE Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited

For further information: For further information: Lisa Gibson, Canadian Tire, (416) 544-7655

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