BELLEVILLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CELEBRATES 159th PRESIDENT’S DINNER
For the sixth year in a row, the theme of the evening was Celebrate! in roaring twenties style. Presenting sponsor OLG along with Elexicon Energy and Meta Employment Services helped set an incredible stage for the 159th President’s Dinner for the Belleville Chamber of Commerce held at Loyalist College. Speakeasy style and choose your century fashion were the bee’s knees and enjoyed by over 200 members of Belleville’s business community.
In addition to the recognition of the service of retiring Board members, the Belleville Chamber of Commerce announced the recipients of the sixth edition of the Cornerstone Awards, featuring the people behind some of the businesses in our community.
2023 Cornerstone CITIZENSHIP Award presented to GREG SUDDS
The hardest part of being a philanthropist for Greg Sudds appears to be being recognized for being a philanthropist.
The Belleville Chamber of Commerce Cornerstone Award for Citizenship recognizes a member who has given back to the community in a substantial way through time, talent, resources and/or money. Greg Sudds is the recipient for 2023 and accepted with some reluctance – “I am not a big ‘limelight’ kind of guy,” he said. “I was probably the last person I would think of for this. This isn’t me. I would not set out on a path to obtain recognition. That is not my motivation at all. It’s just organic that it has happened that way.”
But he has also realized sharing one’s commitment to the community can help to inspire others to do the same.
While Greg has been quietly active many organizations and causes for years, it was his recent role as chair of the Humane Society of Hastings Prince Edward capital campaign and his inspirational matching grant campaign that thrust him into the public eye perhaps more than he would like.
Greg describes his childhood as the youngest of four as one filled with compassion, and as the son of an OPP officer father and a mother in the medical profession, he learned at an early age to always be helpful and kind. “They were just good people who laid the foundation,” he said. “They taught me, if nothing else – be kind. I think that was always there growing up.” They also moved around a lot which forced him into developing the talent for getting to know people.
He saw those same attributes in his teen years when, at 17, he went to work at a local car dealership in Strathroy. The owner was affable, part of the community who was modestly successful and gave back. He says he remembered thinking at the time if he ever followed a career in the car business, “this would be the role model for me.”
He also recalls his job washing cars with the last name of Sudds didn’t go unnoticed by his co-workers. It’s this kind of insight that helps describe the person Greg is – humble with the ability to laugh at himself – quick to help to neighbor or even pick up a shovel to help at the Log Cabin.
He decided to pursue a career in the car industry, and started with the Automotive Marketing program from Georgian and then transferring the diploma to complete a Business Administration degree through the Northwood Institute in West Palm Beach, Fla. He was on a placement through Desrosiers Auto Research with Toyota Canada in Toronto where he met his future wife, Christine, who was there for a co-op placement the same time. His first visit to Belleville (for Waterfront Festival no less), was when she announced she was coming back to Belleville, where her father owned West City Honda.
They were engaged a year later, bought a house and were married a year after that as Greg joined the family business in a sales position in 1993 and Christine remained involved but by 1998, with 3 children under 3 she stepped into the full-time role of motherhood and Greg was appointed to General Manager in 1999.
Greg first joined Quinte Sunshine Rotary and Belleville Sales & Ad Clubs but as the father of three young children – Kyle, Spencer and Emily – he managed his volunteer engagement for a while but as they got older, continued to get more involved and served as president of Belleville Sales & Ad in 2014-15. He came onto the Board of the Belleville Chamber of Commerce in 2016 and then, he recalls being approached by the Humane Society Hastings Prince Edward (HPE) the year he was preparing to become president of the Chamber in the midst of the pandemic.
“With the Humane Society, the timing was right,” he said. “Our family has always had an affinity toward animals. I have always raised animals and cared for animals and it was just a natural fit. And it was a real eye-opener learning the needs of the local humane society.
“From my experience advocating with the Chamber and the different skill sets that you learn from different organizations, it was similar but different. Instead of advocating for the business community you are advocating for animal welfare which is especially inspiring given they can’t advocate for themselves.”
The $6 million capital campaign spearheaded the development of a new 16,000 square foot facility which opened its doors at 34 Wallbridge-Loyalist Road officially on Oct. 4, 2022. The Humane Society HPE houses some 2,200 animals a year.
Greg challenged others through the West City Honda Corporate Challenge, which provided matching contributions up to $100,000 to the Humane Society HPE’s It Takes Heart Capital Campaign.
The Corporate Challenge provided a big boost to the campaign, raising in excess of $250,000 and inspired the Belleville Chamber of Commerce Charity Challenge in 2022 that showcased 6 “challenges” and supported an additional five non-profit members and their causes.
Greg says he struggled with whether to go public with his support– he had just made a $50,000 donation to Hospice Quinte to honour his father-in-law – and wasn’t sure he wanted to be in the limelight even for a cause he believed in as strongly as the Humane Society HPE.
“When you are not someone who wants that kind of recognition, how do you put it out there?” he reflected. “That was probably my biggest struggle” but by going public, he had a fellow business person say ‘You inspired me to donate. When you donated, you made me think I can do more.’
“At the end of the day, it’s our community,” he said. “I look at it as the community has been supportive of us — the family business — for decades; it’s only right that we continue to give back.”
“I think that was probably the greatest satisfaction to know I made the right decision to go public with it because it inspired other people to give as well. That and when my daughter said she was proud of me for what I had done– that was very important to me.”
Greg notes he hopes he is passing the lessons he learned from his parents along to Kyle, Spencer and Emily to be a good person and to be kind. He says it is good advice for everyone and he urges people to do what they can do to make the community better.
“Do what you can do and don’t be afraid to get involved,” he said. “At the end of the day it’s our community so we all benefit by helping whether it’s time or financial… There are so many ways to give and make a difference. It’s easy to say no because you are busy. But say yes instead. I have been blessed in many respects with family and those types of things so it is important to give back. I am fortunate to be able to give back.”
“We are not an island. We are all in it together.”
In 2023, West City Honda was recognized by Honda Canada for achieving GOLD status by reducing our carbon footprint by over 30%
Being a responsible company has been a mandate for Honda since the advent of our “Blue
Skies for our Children” philosophy. As part of our ongoing effort in the area of environmental
sustainment activities, we are pleased to announce the highlights of the Honda Canada Green
Dealer Recognition Program to reduce our carbon footprint, waste and water usage.
The main objective of this program is to provide a roadmap for dealers to quantifiably reduce
their energy consumption. This unique resource provides a step-by-step detailed guidance to
implement systems and technologies that help dealers achieve their environmental goals and
gain recognition as leaders in the local community.
The overall environmental result is significant. Since 2012, Honda Green Dealers in America have
collectively reduced their CO2 output by approximately 58,000 metric tons. This is not the only
impressive “green” stat: the same dealers have cumulatively saved $12.7 million USD in energy
As Honda Green Dealers in America have demonstrated, reducing energy and water use are
achievable goals that can save money, address climate change, and inspire others to make a
difference for the future of our planet. Please join us to reduce our impact to the environment
by taking part in this initiative. Your customers will thank you!
From left to right the Sales Team at West City Honda, Paul Laframboise, Kris Larrimore, Pat Hegarty, Shane Lee, Joel Shea, Ted Stratas, Trish Dickinson and Scott Hunter
4th Annual Cars for Community Breaks 100k in Cumulative Giving
JANUARY 20, 2023
The 2022 Cars for Community has raised $29,450 following a 3-month fundraiser involving 26 participating dealerships from across Hastings & Prince Edward counties.
Since its inception in 2019, the annual Cars for Community initiative has raised a cumulative $111,000 for our community, thanks to the incredible generosity of our local automotive sector.
During the months of September, October and November each dealership generously donated $10 per vehicle sold over that period.
100% of proceeds go towards United Way HPE’s 2022 UNITED Fundraising campaign, supporting local agencies and programs that are helping to meet the immediate needs of 1 in 3 people in our community.
“With rising costs we’re seeing people who have never needed help before needing it right now more than ever. These funds will have a lasting impact for many people in our community. We can’t thank the local dealerships in our community enough,” says Brandi Hodge, Executive Director, United Way HPE. “For the last 4 years the automotive sector has continued to step-up in remarkable ways. Their outstanding support will help ensure agencies and programs receive the funding they rely upon this year. Thank you!”
United Way Hastings & Prince Edward—United Way Hastings & Prince Edward supports 52 agencies and 74 programs in HPE, and collaborates with local organizations, the business community, health sector and individuals to increase the capacity of our community to respond to human needs. We support 1 in 4 people in our local community.
On Tuesday, Staff at West City Honda in Belleville celebrate the matching of their $100,000 donation made in March to Humane Society Hastings Prince Edward’s ‘It Takes Heart Capital Campaign’ by local businesses. (From left to right: Peter Malone, HSHPE Corporate Capital Campaign Committee; West City Honda team members, Penny Whyte-Hudson, Shane Lee, Spencer Sudds, Bob Burley, Kris Larrimore, Scott Hunter, Shawn deBoer, Ted Stratas, Stephanie Elder, Emily Sudds, Bill Dudgeon, and Greg Sudds, President, West City Honda.)
Support for Humane Society Hastings Prince Edward’s new home continues to grow.
The organization’s ‘It Takes Heart’ Capital Campaign received a huge boost from local businesses, after it was announced on Tuesday that a challenge made by West City Honda in Belleville in March to match a $100,000 donation was successfully met.
More information is provided below from a press release issued by Humane Society Hastings Prince Edward on Tuesday:
MEDIA RELEASE – August 30, 2022
HSHPE’s It Takes Heart Corporate Challenge raises $263,800
Belleville – Local businesses have responded generously to a challenge put out by West City Honda to match its $100,000 donation to the It Takes Heart Capital Campaign to help build the new HSHPE Animal Care and Community Adoption Centre.
Started in March 2022, the Challenge has now surpassed it goal, with $163,800 being donated by local businesses. Combined with the $100,000 from West City Honda, the total raised in the It Takes Heart Corporate Challenge is $263,800.
Local members of the corporate community in the region who contributed to this Challenge are: Best Buy Belleville, Devries Site Services, Free-Flow Petroleum, Hewitt & Sons Masonry, Impacto Protective Products, McDougall Insurance & Financial, Ontario Trust & Wall, Quinte & District
Association of Realtors, Royal Bank of Canada, Reid’s Dairy, Taskforce Engineering Inc. and Tasmount Plumbing, Heating & Air.
“A big thank you to the amazing generosity of Greg Sudds and his team at West City Honda for initiating this Corporate Challenge. The new Centre will have a huge impact on the welfare of animals in need within our communities. This wonderful project would not be possible without the leadership and generous support of local businesses,” commented Peter Malone, member of the It Takes Heart Capital Campaign Committee.
Malone also thanked the Belleville Chamber of Commerce for their support in promoting the Challenge as part of their Charity Challenge.
The It Takes Heart Capital Campaign has raised $4.8 of the $6 million needed to fund the building of the new HSHPE Centre. Learn more and/or support the new Centre by visiting ItTakesHeart.ca or contacting Campaign Manager J-C D’Amours at 613-813-1917.
It Takes Heart Committee members (l-r) Wendy McCoy, Peter Malone and Kelly McCaw; Campaign Chair and President/General Manager of West City Honda Greg Sudds; and It Takes Heart Committee member Marlene Letourneau met at West City Honda on Dundas Street West to launch the #ITHCorporateChallenge which will match corporate donations up to $100,000 in the coming months. Absent from photo: It Takes Heart Committee members Leslie Roseblade and Lloyd McCoy.
MARCH 17, 2022 – Humane Society Hastings Prince Edward’s It Takes Heart Capital Campaign is launching a major corporate challenge thanks to support from West City Honda, which has pledged to match corporate donations made in the next several months up to a total of $100,000.
“It’s an absolute pleasure for our team at West City Honda to back this corporate challenge with our matching donation,” commented Greg Sudds, President and General Manager at West City Honda. Sudds, who is also Chair of the It Takes Heart Capital Campaign, added, “We are all animal lovers here and we consider it an honour to support the building of what will be an important community asset.”
Peter Malone, one of the It Takes Heart Campaign committee members on hand at West City Honda to launch the It Takes Heart Corporate Challenge (#ITCCorporateChallenge), said he and fellow committee members will be reaching out to local business owners over the next weeks to let them know that now is the time to lend their support.
“I take this opportunity to thank Greg and his team at West City Honda for this very generous corporate gift challenge,” said Malone. “I invite our corporate community to rise to the challenge and embrace this new forever home for our Humane Society”.
“Please don’t wait to be asked, your support now will double in value thanks to West City Honda,” added Malone.
To pledge your support, visit ItTakesHeart.caor contact Campaign Manager J-C D’Amours at 613-813-1917.
West City Honda gives Hospice Quinte a $50,000 boost
Published Aug 25, 2021 – A generous donation made by West City Honda will go a long way toward driving the future of hospice palliative care in Quinte. A gift of $50,000 was made by the dealership to Hospice Quinte’s Heart & Home Building Campaign this past April in support of the soon-to-open Hospice Quinte Care Centre.
“Our friends at West City Honda have delighted us with this generous gift to the capital campaign,” said Hospice Quinte Executive Director, Jennifer May-Anderson. “We thank them for stepping up with this amazing contribution during the third wave of the pandemic this past spring, and we are very pleased to formally recognize them now for this outstanding contribution.”
“It gives us great pleasure to contribute to fostering the future of hospice palliative care in Quinte,” said West City Honda President/GM, Greg Sudds. “Services at the new Hospice Quinte Care Centre will enable individuals and families from across our region to focus on what matters most, during particularly difficult times, and we are extremely proud to support this important work.”
To further acknowledge West City Honda’s monumental gift, two highly visible donor walls are being installed in the main foyer of the new centre and will be named after the dealership in honour of its founder Alfons Micke and his wife Gerlinde.Construction of the future Hospice Quinte Care Centre, located on Old Highway 2 across from Bayside Secondary School, is well underway with opening slated for this coming fall. To learn more about the Hospice Quinte Care Centre and how you can help ‘Make It Happen’ please visit HospiceQuinte.ca.Hospice Quinte provides individuals, their families, and caregivers with compassionate end of life care, by attending to their physical, psychosocial, and practical needs, and offering empathetic care to those who are grieving through visiting hospice services and support groups. All Hospice Quinte programs and services are provided by compassionate, well-trained volunteers and staff at no charge to the individual or their family.Hospice Quinte serves a population of over 102,000 in Quinte West, Belleville, Deseronto, Tyendinaga Township and the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. To learn more visit HospiceQuinte.ca.