Client stories

Ever since she was a little girl, Shannon was determined and driven. Growing up in a family of car dealers, she knew she wanted to be in a fast paced and successful business. She was eager to learn and thought about joining her father in the family business, however, initially her path took a hard turn in the opposite direction.

“I graduated from Dalhousie University, wrote my LSATs for law school, and then did a complete 180,” she says. “I began working for the Halifax Mooseheads Hockey Club as their Fan and Community Development Manager.”

It was an experience that paved the way for her future as an entrepreneur, teaching her a great deal about the importance of community involvement and relationship building. 

In 2010, after years of living in hockey-mad Halifax, she felt the pull of the Ottawa Valley and returned home to her family. It was there that she got her start at her father’s Hyundai dealership. Though the business was family-run, she had to rise up the ranks just like everyone else.

“My father always said it was important to earn your stripes,” she continues. “I started in Finance and then worked in every area of the dealership.”

After eight years of hard work and dedication, she became the General Manager. It was the start of an unprecedented run of success for the dealership. During that time, they completed their image program, were awarded three Presidents Awards of Merit. They also became Signature certified, and then received their Platinum certification. Shannon was voted by her peers to represent them on the National Dealers Advisory Council for Hyundai. 

In 2020, she was promoted to Dealer Principal, becoming one of only a handful of women in the country to hold that position. Though she was heavily outnumbered in a male-dominated industry, she was not alone. 

“Scotiabank has been with me since the beginning,” she says. “When I came into the business, our commercial representative took me under her wing and showed me the ins and outs”

In addition to explaining how commercial banking worked, Shannon’s commercial representative invited her to Scotiabank networking events so she could meet peers both inside and outside her industry.

“Scotiabank is very progressive,” she adds. “They really make an effort to have resources and support systems available for women in automotive, like me. Hyundai Canada is also a huge supporter of diversity – President & CEO Don Romano is a great leader; he really focuses on inclusivity.’

Last April, Shannon was asked by Scotiabank to participate in the Women in Auto Accelerator Program— two sessions over the course of a year that brought women from Scotiabank’s automotive client base in Ontario and Atlantic Canada  together for concentrated coaching and peer mentoring. The Women in Auto Accelerator is rooted in The Scotiabank Women Initiative®. According to Shannon, it was an experience that was not only valuable to her but for the mentee she was paired up with as well. 

“I even invited her up to our dealership,” Shannon says of her mentee with a smile. “She spent a week in my house with myself and my family, learning my processes and how we implement them at the dealership. It was just incredible.”

Through the Women in Auto Accelerator Program, Shannon also had the opportunity to meet with an economist and other experts from Scotiabank who were able to help her better understand her market and elevate her business. But for her, it’s more than just financial support—it’s support from other women.

“When women see other women in leadership positions, it becomes less intimidating and more attainable. I feel that Scotiabank has done an amazing job bringing women to the forefront of the automotive industry.”

So, what does the road ahead look like for Shannon and her dealership?

“Continued success and growth!” she replies quickly.

With the support of an incredible network of women experts and entrepreneurs, she’s already on the fast track to achieving her goals.