Maritime Auto Parts
Ed MacDonald had no experience in the auto-recycling field in 1987, but he had developed an admiration for the industry, in part because of his friendship with Alan Aumont and Alvan Aumont, co-owners of Arnprior / Ottawa Auto Parts (A-OAutoParts.com) in Arnprior, Ontario. So when word got out that Basil MacKay was considering selling his auto recycling facility, Maritime Auto Parts, MacDonald promptly offered to buy it.
"I was captivated by the industry," said MacDonald. "I didn't even know it existed before [meeting the Aumonts]. But I realized it was becoming a focal point for the environment."
MacDonald and his wife, Lana MacDonald, secured ownership of Maritime Auto Parts - located in Debert, Nova Scotia - in 1988. Quickly developing a passion for the business, they began modifying it, computerizing the existing inventory and adding an environmentally-safe dismantling area.
MacDonald established a strong individual presence in the auto recycling industry as well. He is a founding board member and chairperson of Automotive Recyclers of Canada (ARC) and as of this past October, he is first vice president of ARA (A-R-A.org). Holding leadership roles in auto recycling associations in both Canada and the United States allows MacDonald to acquire different perspectives regarding the industry.
ARC (AutoRecyclers.ca) members enjoy access to the nation's legislators due to proximity - there are 11 jurisdictions in Canada, compared to 50 in the United States - while ARA members benefit from constant development in the industry due to the association's advanced-training programs, he said. But the primary goals of ARA and ARC are similar, he added.
"Everyone is working toward the same philosophy of acquiring the best quality products and making the public fully aware that auto recyclers are the environmental advantage," he said.
MacDonald is scheduled to take on additional responsibilities in the United States in a couple years, as he is slated to assume the ARA presidency in 2013.
"I'll have to learn allegiance to the flag, and all of that stuff," he joked.
By The Sea
Maintaining international ties has been beneficial for Maritime Auto Parts (MaritimeAuto.com). Nova Scotia is almost completely surrounded by the sea; no community in the province is more than 60 kilometers (37 miles) from saltwater. But because the business is now globally connected, its surrounding environment is not a hindrance, MacDonald said, noting that sales have doubled since he took ownership.The business will continue to reach out to multiple outlets in the auto recycling industry, he added.
"We want to make sure the industry improves," he said. "Every day we get new ideas."
MacDonald invoked a unique idea for a prostate cancer awareness campaign last month. ARC sponsored a Movember challenge during which participants grew moustaches to raise funds for men's health. Typically, on November 1 of every year, men register at Movember.com with clean-shaven faces. For the rest of the month, they grow their moustaches while they raise funds. MacDonald has sported a moustache for 42 years, however, and announced that he would have it shaved at a local barbershop if the campaign raised $25,000. As it turns out, MacDonald's heart is much bigger than his moustache. On November 30, after raising $14,000, MacDonald shaved off his moustache.
"It took me three or four years to grow it in college," said MacDonald. "I don't even remember myself without it, but it's pretty exciting."
Owners: Ed & Lana MacDonald
Location: Debert, Nova Scotia
Years In Business: 79