• Brampton Board of Trade Announces 2020 Business Person of the Year

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    Brampton, ON, September 5, 2019  - The Brampton Board of Trade is delighted to announce that William E. Johnston, Founder and President of Bramgate Automotive Inc.  has been awarded the honour of 2020 Brampton Business Person of the Year.
    The Business Person of the Year is awarded to an individual that has demonstrated leadership and excellence in Brampton, contributing to the city both through their business and personal endeavours. 
    Bill Johnston Sr.
    William Johnston's career in the auto industry started in 1953, joining Ford Motor Company in their Ontario District Sales Office as a trainee in their District Manager training program. This training program included retail marketing, business management and customer relations.
    In 1959, Bill joined Volkswagen Canada Inc. in their Toronto head office's Retail Sales Division. He transferred two years later to their Marketing Department to head a new Pre-Owned Vehicle Sales Division.
    Following his long held goal to get into the retail side of the auto business, Bill acquired the VW Brampton dealership franchise in March 1967. Bramgate Volkswagen opened for business in a small temporary facility at Main Street and Vodden Street in central Brampton with only two employees. Cramped quarters and limited staff during the first year of Bramgate's new endeavour restricted immediate growth, but a search for larger facilities was successful in acquiring a former auto dealership on Brampton's Queen Street East "Auto Row" which became their new home.
    In the 1972, Volkswagen Canada brought the upscale Audi lineup of luxury vehicles to Canada. Bramgate was awarded the Audi franchise for Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon. Both brands were sold from Bramgate VW's Queen Street East location until 2005 when Bramgate Automotive opened Audi Mississauga - an exclusive Audi dealership in the high traffic area of Hwy. 401 and Mavis Road in Mississauga.
    The next five year period saw both Volkswagen and Audi sales flourish in Brampton and Mississauga, resulting in VW and Audi facility developments in both markets: In 2015, Bramgate Volkswagen moved from their longtime Queen Street East location to the new 410-Mayfield Auto Mall and more than doubled their Sales and Service capacity, with their Queen Street facility now operating as Bramgate Pre-Owned Centre and Collision Centre. In 2017, Bramgate Automotive opened their second Audi dealership, Audi Brampton, adjacent to Bramgate VW in the 410-Mayfield Auto Mall. And this fall, Bramgate Automotive will open a new Audi Mississauga dealership in the recently developed Pearson Auto Mall located at Hwy. 401 and Dixie Road.
    The expansion of Bramgate Automotive Inc. over the years has only been possible through Bramgate's community participation in Brampton and the surrounding areas' charitable programs, and in large part to its excellent employees. In 2018, Bramgate Automotive partnered with the William Osler Health System Foundation in Brampton, and the Trillium Health Partners Foundation in Mississauga to assist in raising the crucial funds required to address the highest priority needs of their community hospitals. To date, Bramgate has raised over $200,000 of their $750,000 commitment for these critically needed programs and services.
    Another key priority at Bramgate over the years has been the development of an effective and happy group of employees. In each of the last two years, Automotive News Canada, the automotive industry's largest trade publication, has awarded Bramgate's dealerships with their annual "Best Dealership To Work For" award. Bramgate Volkswagen was the first to receive this honour in 2018, with Audi Brampton sharing this distinction with them in 2019. Only 25 out of Canada's 3,500 auto dealers receive this award each year, and Bramgate Automotive Inc. is extremely proud of this recognition.
    Johnston will receive the 2020 Business Person of The Year award at the Brampton Board of Trade Business Excellence Awards Gala on May 7, 2020 at Pearson Convention Centre in Brampton.
    Purchase tickets at bramptonbot.com
    Serving the community for over 130 years, Brampton Board of Trade is the go to organization where businesses of all sectors, convene, collaborate and create solutions to boost regional economic prosperity. The Brampton Board of Trade's 2400 voting members employ over 45,000 in our city. Together, members provide solutions to the toughest problems businesses face every day including overcoming barriers to growth, attracting and retaining talent and making the right connections.
    Kristi MacGibbon
    905-451-1122 x207
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