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1 (855) 928-SELL (7355)
Our Team – Canada
Over 25 years in the industry
The principal owners of Dealer Solutions North America also own the largest specialized automotive recruitment agency in Canada called Auto Careers Group. During these 25 years, they have developed strong relationships with a vast number of retail automotive dealers, manufacturers, automotive suppliers and other automotive related companies throughout Canada. Today, Dealer Solutions North America has become the largest volume dealership sales acquisition firm in Canada. The backbone of our company is to provide exceptional service to all of buyers, sellers and professional advisors resulting in smooth, successful and win-win transactions every time.
Farid Ahmad – President And Founder
Farid Ahmad is the C.E.O. & Founder of Dealer Solutions North America. A company that owns and operates three other companies which all provide different services to the automotive industry. These companies include; DEALER SOLUTIONS North America, Auto Careers Group and Right Fit Plus. After working in the automotive industry for the last 30 years in the U.K., the United States and Canada, Farid is considered an industry expert in recruitment and hiring and has been a guest speaker for Chrysler Canada, Porsche Canada as well as other automotive industry groups.
Farid and his team at Auto Careers Group have interviewed and placed over 1,000 candidates in the retail automotive industry over the past seven years.
Farid has developed many strong relationships with dealer principals and manufacturers. When he decided that he wanted to become involved with the Mergers & Acquisitions business for dealerships, he was able to combine his knowledge and experience of the industry and his contact base to grow DEALER SOLUTIONS NORTH AMERICA into the largest Mergers & Acquisitions Company in North America in just a few years. After having been involved in over 66 dealership transactions, Farid has his finger on the pulse of the automotive marketplace in North America.
Farid was educated in the U.K. and graduated from Brooklyn’s Technical College in 1981. After several years of various positions in the auto industry in England, he immigrated to Canada and joined a Honda store as a Sales Manager and eventually General Sales Manager. While there, he attended and graduated from the NADA Dealer Candidate Academy.
Arthur J. Madjarian – Chief Operating Officer
Born and raised in Toronto, Arthur began his automotive career in 1988 in the service department washing cars as a part time job after school. When given the opportunity he became a warranty clerk and service advisor at Saturn Saab Isuzu. It wasn’t long after on a Saturday morning he was asked to show a car to a prospect as the dealership’s sales team was tied up. Before he knew it he not only sold his first car but was bitten by the automotive bug.
Soon after Arthur took a position at a Volkswagen Audi dealership as a Service Advisor he worked his way up to Fixed Operations Manager. Shortly after he decided to take another swing at the sales department, working through the ranks until taking a position at a large BMW dealership. During his 15-year tenure at BMW he became the General Manager, Sales Operations. Guiding the store to become the largest volume BMW retailer in Canada for nine consecutive years.
Arthur has completed the NADA Dealer Candidate Program and brings extensive knowledge and experience to Dealer Solutions North America.
Outside of the office you can find Arthur enjoying the streets of downtown Toronto.
Maxime Theoret CPA – Chief Financial Officer
After successfully completing his Bachelor of Business Administration from HEC Montreal; Maxime obtained the CPA, Auditor CA designation.
He served as a Senior Audit Consultant at KPMG Enterprises, an accounting firm of international stature. There, he managed audit files, review missions and due diligence in various industries from private Canadian companies to larger publicly traded entities.
Subsequently, Maxime worked for a publicly traded consolidator in the transportation Industry. This company which oversaw more than 100 entities was the largest player in Canada and growing its US operations. During his employment, he was involved in multiple acquisitions and business divestures totalling over $1,5 billion in less than 3 years. Specializing in business valuations, valuation models and sales & acquisition, Maxime meets the highest standards in the industry. He is a true car enthusiast and is passionate about the automotive Industry.
Michael Edwards – Vice President, US Operations
Michael Edwards joins Dealer Solutions North America US operations with offices located in the Greater Boston Area.
A native to New England, Michael started his automotive career working for his families Toyota Franchise in Portsmouth, New Hampshire a business his father started in 1970. A graduate of Northwood University’s Automotive Marketing and Management program, he spent many years working in Fixed Operations as well as Sales, Finance and Management. Before selling the dealership in 1996, the dealership was proudly recognized by Toyota for several prestigious awards including Excellence in Used Car Management. Michael’s strong interest in used car operations and inventory management paved the way for his eventual decision to create his own company.
In 1997 Michael formed MJE Automotive, LLC. A business model that specializes in improving a dealerships used car operations and profitability. The mission of this client focused business is to help dealers obtain and manage desired inventory levels by analyzing current market trends and conditions in order to keep profits and inventory turning at a healthy rate. By working closely with owners and management, Michael has earned the trust of many respected dealers by adding to their bottom line in used car operations.
Celebrating 30 years of working in the Automotive Industry, Michael’s big picture approach to business has always focused on what is best for the dealer and it is this quality we believe clients will appreciate most. His decision to join forces with Dealer Solutions was based on a longstanding relationship with the founders and the shared core belief that integrity is the key to developing long-term client relationships.
Russell R. Hill – Vice President, US Operations
Russell R. Hill is a career professional in the luxury car business.
Russ is the former head of sales and retail operations for Audi of America. During his 33 years with the luxury division of Volkswagen of America, Russ successfully completed senior executive positions in sales, marketing, and retail field operations for both Audi and Porsche. In his final ten years with Audi of America, Russ lead the Audi Comeback Team to record sales performance making North America the number one export market for Audi worldwide.
Following his career with Audi, Russ became a retailer in Northern California. As an Area Vice President, he lead the development of the first retail platform for Penske Automotive Group in Northern California. His seven dealership group included the fourth largest Honda store in the USA, the largest Audi Dealership in Northern California, the second largest Porsche store in the Bay area, in addition to two Acura stores in Silicon Valley and two more Honda stores in high income markets. Finally as Vice President of Retail Operations for the Penske Group, Russ directed the Smart Car dealer launch initiative.
Russ graduated from the University of Florida with a BSBA degree in Marketing/Management.
Lev Kowalsky – Mergers & Acquisitions, Canada
“The future of the automotive industry in Canada, United States and beyond is driven not only by manufacturers and governments. We have the ability to engage all the relevant stakeholders and establish valuable connections by offering an unparalleled level of intimate knowledge of the automotive industry and its key players… This is a truly exciting time to be part of one of the most significant verticals within the global economy.” Lev Kowalsky
As Director of Business Development, Lev brings nearly two decades of business development experience in the automotive and transportation industry, driving the company expansion in both Canada and United States.Prior to joining the Dealer Solutions Group, Lev successfully re-launched an out-of-province commercial truck body manufacturing brand in Ontario, expertly navigating a highly competitive environment and establishing a record-breaking level of sales and largest market share for the company since its beginning 40 years ago.
After starting his career in a retail automotive environment, Lev was a Regional Sales Manager and F&I Trainer for one of Canada’s premier F&I suppliers, where he successfully managed the Southwestern Ontario territory, resulting in increased sales year-over-year – achieving over 300% growth over the course of his tenure.
Lev’s reputation and successful track record in bringing new companies to new territories and his long-term vision of business growth and innovation make him the right person to help take the Dealer Solutions Group to the next level.
Amin Shamji – Mergers & Acquisitions, Canada
Amin Shamji comes to Dealer Solutions North America with 40 years of automotive experience under his belt. In 1996, Amin purchased his first of five new car dealerships. His brands included one Hyundai, two Volkswagen’s and two Mitsubishi dealerships. He has worked in every department of a dealership from a detailer, an apprentice technician to a fully licensed Tech. His first step into management was as a service manager/ fixed operations manager and then on to sales management.
Amin was educated in Ontario and did his Mechanical Engineering at the University of Waterloo and Lakehead University. However, Amin’s heart was always in the automotive field. Over the past 40 years Amin has built strong relationships with manufacturers, finance companies and dealers across Canada.
Amin is not only a team member but also a former client of Dealer Solutions North America. Dealer Solutions North America was instrumental in selling his two Mitsubishi dealerships. Amin was so impressed with the service provided by Farid and Arthur, he decided to join the Dealer Solutions North America team and now is one of our acquisition and merger specialists
Amin’s extensive automotive experience in the retail side of the business along with his ownership background, makes him a valuable asset when assisting anyone thinking of a merger or acquisition.
Away from business, family relations are very important to Amin and his lovely wife Shelina. Both of them work to help new immigrant families to settle into Canadian life as well both volunteer with various community charities and fundraisers. Amin loves all sports but has a passion for Golf!
Chris Julian – Mergers & Acquisitions, Canada
With 25+ years under his belt Chris has observed dramatic changes in the Canadian Automotive Industry from both the supplier and manufacturer side of the business. After graduating from Algonquin College in Business Administration, Chris began his automotive career with Michelin Tires in Sales followed by Marketing.
After 10 years with Michelin, Chris joined Nissan Canada’s Fleet Department before transitioning to field operations where he worked closely with dealers. In his role as Director, Nissan Dealer Operations, one of Chris’ notable achievements was the re-structuring and empowering of the Nissan field staff allowing decisions reflective of dealer needs to be made by the field staff.
Chris later joined Mitsubishi Motor Sales leading the Dealer Development Department where he was viewed as an interventionist in dealer buy/sells. Besides his extensive knowledge of the auto industry, Chris brings the manufacturer’s perspective to the table when analyzing the merits of a buy/sell.
Chris attributes his success to honesty, trustworthiness and understanding the importance of personal relationships.
In addition to the auto industry, Chris has a passion for running where he logs 50+ kilometers weekly. Chris and his wife Susan reside in wine country in the Niagara Peninsula.
Francois, a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) and member of the International Business Brokerage Association (IBBA) since 2009, is a graduate in Business; Major Finance. He possesses over 20 years of business experience in management and operations in the automotive industry. After acquiring expertise in Automotive Financial Services, Francois exited the position of Regional Manager – Eastern Canada to acquire experience at different manufacturers where he held Sales, Operations, Network development and Marketing management positions, responsible for the Quebec provincial territory. During his tenure, amongst other functions, he helped operators with the purchase of franchises, specialized mergers and acquisitions, as well as securing capital financing; he gained experience in assisting operators to assure their financial success in a very competitive industry.
His expertise and dedication to customer service allowed Francois to enter the retail operations where he successfully operated and managed automotive and recreational vehicle dealerships; he has also owned and operated franchised restaurants. This background provides Francois with a solid perspective on business operations, processes and efficiencies, and the ability to mentor and educate business buyers and sellers while providing best-in-class service. He is now concentrating on assisting automotive enthusiasts in reaching their financial goals through the purchase and sale of dealership businesses.
Paul Stern – Mergers & Acquisitions, Canada
Paul has over 40 years of business experience in Toronto. In 1980, Paul entered the automotive industry and never looked back. His automotive career started with him selling Ford and GM products. Three years later, Paul was put promoted to General Manager of a major GM Dealership in Toronto.
In 1985, Paul acquired a struggling Subaru Dealership and by the end of the year, it went from bottom-standing to top-performing nationally. Two years later, Chrysler offered Paul to spearhead an ambitious dealership start-up in the heart of downtown Toronto; Toronto Chrysler was born. In 1991, Paul acquired Parkwood Chevrolet Oldsmobile Cadillac.
Throughout his automotive career, Paul has been involved with Chrysler’s Dealer Councils, served as President of GMDA (General Motors Dealer Association), President of TADA (Toronto Automotive Dealer Association), and President of CIAS (Canadian International Auto Show), to mention a few.
Paul’s acumen for negotiations proved pivotal when TADA was involved in the formation of OMVIC (Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council). Paul served on many boards, and was a founding board member of the Ashkenaz Foundation, which gifts Toronto with an annual klezmer music festival.
Paul graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science in Organic Chemistry. His favourite pastime is grabbing Starbucks with younger people and believes that learning as much as you teach is one of life’s greatest gifts.
Kevin Leslie – Mergers & Acquisitions, Canada
Kevin, graduated in 1996 with an advanced diploma in advertising and marketing communications from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario. Soon after graduation, he relocated to Vancouver, BC where he was offered an automotive role and started a new adventure in his life with GMAC. Starting in the finance office he soon advanced and took over Vancouver Island as the local representative for GMAC, conducting wholesale and lease audits at various GM dealerships and managing the business remotely.
In 2001 Kevin relocated back to Toronto and started a new chapter with Nissan Canada Finance. After four years, Kevin transitioned into Sales and Operations with Nissan Canada and during his 9 years, he held the following two roles, Fixed Operations Manager and Dealer Operations Manager. Kevin was stationed in Atlantic Canada and was best known for supporting the Nissan Atlantic dealers with profitability and growth as a non-invested business partner. Kevin was also a significant player with increasing the foot print of dealerships with Nissan Canada, in Atlantic Canada, opening four stores in a two year period.
In 2013 Kevin moved to the automotive retail environment to gain the necessary knowledge to allow him to have a complete understanding of both the OEM side as well as the dealerships perspective. For the past two years Kevin has been the Regional Manager for Belron (Speedy) Canada managing all the corporate stores in Newfoundland.
Kevin’s 20 yrs of success has been built on trust, respect and integrity and believes in a good solid hand shake. When not busy with work, he has his hands full with his two little boys and his own hobbies like playing hockey and coaching his sons.
Manon Messier – Mergers & Acquisitions, Canada
Manon was introduced to the world of the automotive industry by her father, incessant entrepreneur, in the automobile business, owning a Lincoln Mercury dealership. She learned the different aspects of the automotive industry as she worked many positions while studying marketing management at the HEC. She than migrated towards Volkswagen Credit and the banking world, joining Scotiabank, and initiated her career in servicing the automotive dealerships.
Passionate, a visionary leader and goal setter. Recognized by her peers, Manon brings 25 years of experience working for Scotiabank’s automotive segment as a Senior Relationship Manager and Retail Manager working in new and used floorplan financing as well as equipment, real estate and goodwill along with retail finance. Recognized often as a ‘Top Performer’ in Canada, for revenue growth and excellent client satisfaction.
Manon is well known in the industry. Throughout her years at Scotiabank, she was involved in many M&A transactions which contributed to her expertise in negotiation. She possesses the required experience to pool resources with dealership owners in solving complex situations, either be selling or buying a dealership, financing the transaction or dealership operation. Senior sales experience : distinguished for an excellent customer focus orientation, creative problem solving.
She brings the skills and ability to implement strategic plans in tactical initiatives to satisfy both sellers and buyers as well as solutions and advice to guide operators through banking decisions (floorplan or other) or complex matters concerning the business.
Manon is as passionate for golf as she is for the services she offers to her customers.
Rick Kingdon – Mergers & Acquisitions, Canada
Prior to joining the Dealer Solutions team Rick spent thirty years in the automotive industry where he developed a reputation as a respected, hands on business consultant.
Beginning in the industrial supply business, Rick transitioned to the automotive industry where he found his passion. Rick spent the first half of his career in Alberta before transferring to British Columbia. He received his education at UBC through the Sauder School of Business in Sales and Marketing Management.
Rick’s twenty four years with Nissan Canada included both fixed and sales operations. His sales, marketing and distribution contributions resulted in improved sales, profitability and customer satisfaction. Rick recruited and established new dealers identifying top performing retailers in manufacturer networks, developing business relationships and soliciting dealership sales and service agreements. Rick also had the opportunity to work in the retail automotive industry before he joined Subaru Canada. He was an integral part of the Western team in improving the region’s CADA standing to help Subaru Canada achieve and maintain the number one Dealer Satisfaction Index for three years running. Rick has garnered a reputation as a hard working professional earning the respect of his dealers and colleagues. Rick’s people skills, integrity and in-depth business knowledge coupled with his understanding of the Western Canada market make him a excellent partner in securing the right fit for automotive buyers and sellers.
Rick is the proud father of two adult daughters and he loves to travel with his wife and daughters any chance he gets. Rick enjoys the West Coast life style and relishes his sailing opportunities, be it a gentle sail on the bay or a day of winter racing.
Wendy Durward – Mergers & Acquisitions, Canada
With over 25 years of automotive experience, Wendy joins the Dealer Solutions North America team as a seasoned executive who has a history of successfully leading dynamic teams to achieve significant growth and market presence. It is her keen understanding of corporate vision, insight into marketplace opportunities, strengths in building teams and instilling dedication to team success that has made her so effective.
Wendy has enjoyed a lengthy career with progressive growth in responsibility and challenge at Nissan Canada with a reputation for marketing innovative and luxury vehicles and delivering exceptional service to clients. Very early in her career, Wendy was a member of the start-up finance arm of Nissan Canada providing strong leadership throughout rapid industry change and business growth with the introduction of leasing and the processes for customer and vehicle remarketing. After over 10 years with the Credit company, Wendy moved to the marketing side for Nissan Canada handling all brand efforts for both Nissan and Infiniti in Canada where her first project was the launch of the X-Trail. Most recently, Wendy led Infiniti Canada to record sales in Canada and an expanded exclusive retailer network.
Outside of work, Wendy enjoys seeing theatre productions, travel, and time with her family and their Portuguese Water dog in cottage country.
Jeff Renaud – Mergers & Acquisitions, Canada
Prior to joining Dealer Solutions North America, Jeff has spent over 10 years working in the automotive industry in Western Canada. Known for being a hard-working, dynamic consultant and manager that brings value to every conversation.
After graduating Georgian College with a Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Automotive Management, Jeff began his career with General Motors as a District Sales Manager in Saskatoon, SK. Jeff continued to work for GM for several years holding retail and manufacturing roles. Jeff has also worked for Toyota Canada and had the opportunity to rebuild a struggling Kia dealership.
The success Jeff has experienced throughout his career, can be attributed to his tireless work ethic, his willingness to adapt to any situation, and the ability to efficiently analyze a situation and identify opportunities for growth and improvement.
Outside of work, Jeff enjoys living an outdoor lifestyle including skiing, mountain biking, surfing, golfing and camping with his girlfriend and dog. Jeff is “car guy at heart” and has built a number of fast cars.
Mike Davenport – Mergers & Acquisitions, Canada
My automotive career began in 1980 in the small village of Stirling Ontario. After a year working as a salesman I knew this was going to be my career choice and packed up our family and headed out west to Calgary to increase my opportunities. Soon after I landed a job in Lloydminister, Alberta managing a small Toyota dealership. After a few years we decided to move our family back to Ontario and continued to manage two Toyota dealerships landing us in Orillia. In 1995 I quit my job to put everything on the line to open a small used car dealership which became Davenport Subaru a few short years later.
In 2012 we decided to expand our business with the introduction of Davenport Kia of Orillia. After many successful years I decided it was time to cash in and sell the stores and see what the next chapter of my life holds.
I was so impressed with the team at Dealer Solutions by the way they handled our transaction with very hard work and integrity I decided to join their team when the opportunity was offered.
I learned a lot selling my stores and I truly believe I can be a asset assisting anyone interested in selling or buying a dealership.
Carmen Martin – Office Manager
Carmen Martin is joining the Dealer Solutions North America group as the newest member. She is a migrant of Calgary that fell into the industry and has been hooked ever since.
Carmen got her start in the automotive industry in 2002 when she relocated from Calgary to Toronto. She has worked within various positions within the dealership setting from her early start as a receptionist to accounting, business office, executive assistant to the GM, lease retention coordinator, and facility training administrator.
Away from business, Carmen spends her time indulging in her favourite pastime of reading and shoe shopping.
Anastasia Demine – Financial Support Analyst
Anastasia graduated in 2016 with a Bachelors of Commerce degree from Ryerson University in Toronto. Participating in various property valuation projects over the four years, Anastasia acquired strong analytical and organizational skills. Prior to working at Dealer Solutions North America, Anastasia held various positions in sales, human resources, and marketing. Anastasia has conducted various financial market studies for companies including Salad King, Contiki Tours, and Shakers Tap and Grill. Raised in a home where family members love and work in the automotive industry, it’s no surprise Anastasia is passionate about cars.
Sylvia Fu – Financial Support Analyst
Sylvia has more than 14 years of work experience in professional accounting firms such as Deloitte and PwC. She specializes in financial due diligence services to both strategic buyers and private equity investors in domestic and international transactions. Her expertise covers both financial analysis and business valuation. Sylvia served in the M&A Transaction Team of Deloitte China for 10 years. Prior to that, she worked as a senior audit consultant in PwC China for 4 years.
Sylvia is a registered member of CPA Ontario and a member of CPA Australia. She holds a bachelor’s degree from University of International Business and Economics.
Charles Saleh – Financial Support Analyst
Charles has spent the last 9 years, navigating his way through various industries, performing a breadth of functions across both the financial and operational facets of organizations. Prior to joining Dealer Solutions North America, Charles sharpened his financial acumen during his time in multiple positions including; Operations Manager with Trans-Ontario Express; Accounting Manager with Link Products Ltd.; and Corporate Accountant with The Miller Group. Most recently, Charles served as a Senior Financial Consultant (Tax), at BeneFACT Consulting Group, providing over 150 organizations with tax consultancy & compliance services.
Charles had begun his path towards attaining the CPA (US) designation, upon completion of a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accounting, from Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. His extensive knowledge of US GAAP, in addition to his love for the automobile industry, have helped ensure a congruent fit for Charles within Dealer Solutions North America.