Local family sets record

Nearly one-third of all VIP Mazda’s employees have been with the family for close to 10 years or longer.

Left to right: Jennifer Doern

Left to right: Jennifer Doern

Sponsored by VIP Mazda | Impress Branded Content

It could have been a lumber yard, a deli or a dry cleaner. Whatever it became, it was to be done with quality, passion and family in mind.

The passion as it turns out was quality cars and it is shared with family. In 1954, Abe Warkentin began a legacy. He opened a used car lot on a bustling street corner that became the ground work for a family affair.

Abe’s son Bill grew up on another street corner in a town that was not quite bustling just yet. He followed closely in his father’s footsteps, learning the value of quality, hard work and of course, nice cars. Twenty-eight years after Abe opened his doors, Bill began his own store in the town he grew up in – Abbotsford.

Bill’s professionalism and dedication to the car business led him to open Abbotsford Mazda Mart in 1981. Those same qualities helped the business to quickly outgrow its footprint and move into the Fraser Valley Auto Mall to become VIP Mazda. He brought with him a long and trusted friend, co-worker and right-hand man, Doug Friesen, and the intention to make it a full-on family affair.

Bill’s son Todd and his daughter Jennifer took quickly to the car business. Todd Warkentin married Crystal while Jennifer added another Todd (Doern) to the family. The four of them have become the cornerstones of this successful family and community-oriented store. Along with Doug, they have added Dave Frank, a 22 year veteran of the Mazda brand to the management team, an uncle and another brother-in-law. Nearly one-third of all VIP Mazda’s employees have been with the family for close to 10 years or longer. Today, VIP Mazda sets the record as the longest established Mazda franchise dealership in Canada. It truly has become a family affair.

It would seem the idea of going to work with your family, only to turn around and go home with your family, and then meet them for a regular Sunday dinner, would be quite daunting. Yet, the Warkentin family does so day after day, and their family unit, at home and at work, is more formidable for it!