Richard (Rick) Gauthier has become the 15th person in the history of Georgian College to be honoured with the Fellowship of Georgian College.
The prestigious designation was conferred on Gauthier by Georgian College Board of Governors Vice Chair Jim Bertram and President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes in a special ceremony at the Barrie Campus on Friday, June 3.
The Fellowship of Georgian College is an honour bestowed on individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to education or the general expansion of knowledge, most particularly in the central region of Ontario.
Fellowship implies a privilege of membership in the college community, and a lifetime association with Georgian.
The fellowship recognizes Gauthier’s longstanding guidance and partnership in supporting Georgian College’s Automotive Business School of Canada (ABSC) and the recognition of ABSC as the singular postsecondary academic school in Canada responsible for automotive marketing and management programs.
Gauthier’s roots in the automotive industry include management positions with General Motors (GMAC) and Chrysler Financial Services as well as owner operator of a retail dealership.
In 1997, he began his longstanding position of President and CEO of the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association of Canada (CADA). Under his leadership, CADA has grown significantly.
“Throughout his tenure at CADA, Mr. Gauthier has provided an invaluable level of support to the ABSC, serving as an ambassador for our automotive programs and as a mentor to faculty and students, providing support on a professional and personal level,” said West-Moynes.
Gauthier was instrumental in the development of an annual scholarship from CADA presented to an ABSC student who has completed a successful co-op placement in a new car or truck dealership, as well as two honourary memorial awards to students based on their own contributions to quality of life at the school.
Over the past two years, Gauthier gathered together all the provincial dealer associations to raise a contribution of $250,000 toward the renovation of the ABSC lobby into a dealer showroom at Georgian.
The large area, aptly named Federation Hall, was officially opened on the same day Gauthier was invested as Fellow.
Gauthier has also been an active advocate with the ABSC Board of Directors in supporting the development and implementation of a postsecondary graduate certificate for industry executives, with focus on Canadian-specific content for dealership management across the country.