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Tim Van Dyke celebrates 25 years!

Pre-Owned Sales Manager Tim Van Dyke looks back on 25 years in the business with Brian Jessel and opens up about his mentor, Bernie Jessel.

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Story by Tim Van Dyke

Q: You’ve been with Brian Jessel BMW for 25 years now— that’s an amazing length of time. How old were you when you started?

A: Believe it or not, I was 17 when I started to work here, back in 1982. I was really just a kid!

Q: Was working with cars your dream at that age?

A: To be honest, I had no idea what I wanted from life at that point. I suppose I had thought I could have gone into trucking or construction; who knew I would eventually build my entire career here?

Q: So, how did they put that kid to work on his first day?

A: Well, the Service Manager of Brian’s Toyota dealership was the person who interviewed me and gave me the job. He put me to work as a Lot Boy, detailing cars, putting on undercoating and rusttreatment. You could truly say I started in this business right on the ground floor.

Q: What role did Bernie Jessel play in your career, as you grew up in the business?

A: Bernie Jessel really was like a granddad to me. He took me under his wing, so to speak, from 1986 to 1988, teaching me about the world of automotive wholesaling. I learned so much from him, and it was one of the best times of my life.

Q: From Bernie to Brian—how would you best describe Brian Jessel? If he wasn’t listening, of course!

A: I can honestly say that Brian’s an amazing individual; his drive to be the number one BMW dealer in Canada, year after year, is what keeps all of us going at such an intense pace. Brian is always thinking: whether it’s about adding property or new positions to the dealership, you just never know what he’s going to come up with. He truly is someone whose lead you want to follow.

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Q: How has the industry changed, since you first started in the business?

A: It really has changed in more ways than you can imagine. Cars today are so technologically advanced, you simply can’t toss the owner the keys and say “enjoyyour BMW!” Today a good salesperson really needs to spend two to three hours with the customer on delivery, so they feel knowledgeable and comfortable with the sophisticated vehicle they have just purchased.

Nowadays too, salespeople have to take a course and be licensed to sell vehicles; that is something we never had in the past. What hasn’t changed is that our business remains about customer service. Ourfocus is still on keeping customers happy and maintaining a long, happy relationship with them.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?

A: I really enjoy the everyday dealings I have with new and long-term customers. Going to work is more like going to my second home; we have a great time every day, and I think that’s key.

Q: So how would you describe your stress level, then?

A: Well, on a scale of one to five, with five being the highest, I’m a definite “one.” I think stress is something we bring on ourselves, really. Sure, sometimes we all get overloaded or overwhelmed; that’s when you know to call timeout, take a breather and regroup. Then you review the situation and carry on. My philosophy is that everything can be worked out, it just takes time.

Q: How do you think your staff would best describe your personality?

A: Well, I guess this is an opportunityto toot my own horn! I would hope they see me as an easygoing guy, one who laughs alot, gets along with people, makes the right decisions and is always there for them.

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Q: Tell us about your family. Any kids?

A: My family is awesome: my wife Lisa and I have been married for twentyyears. There have been manytimes when I didn’tthink we could do certain things, financially and otherwise; and like a great partner she would say, “Yes we can!” I wouldn’t dare say no to her, and things always worked out. I look back at the support Lisa had given me and I’m truly thankful.

We have two kids: Steven is sixteen and just started driving—my grey hair should come in alot faster now and Brittany is twelve and loves shopping, especially when Mom and Dad are paying. They are both great kids. I guess you could say I have the million dollar family.

Q: In your spare time, where can we find you?

A: Well, I love the outdoor life. Hunting, fishing, camping, even yard work, I love being outdoors.

Q: What was the last book you read?

A: Honestly, the last book I read seriously would be the Canadian Black Book which is my wholesale guidebook. I read it every day: I like staying focused on my work.

Q: And if someone was to cook you your favourite meal, you’d order…?”

A: Even though my stomach tries to tell me not to, I love spicy food. I can’t seem to get enough!

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