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Don Sudbay Jr.
Sudbay Chevrolet Buick Cadillac GMC Inc.
“I am proud to do what I can to help make a better life for the people that we serve.”
“It is a huge responsibility that we automobile dealers have to help maintain the quality of life for our employees and their families,” nominee Sudbay said. “The local automobile dealer is a very important part of every community in our country, and I am proud to do what I can to help make a better life for the people that we serve.”
Sudbay is a 1970 graduate of St. Peter's Boys High School in Gloucester. In 1974, he graduated cum laude from the University of Vermont in Burlington, where he majored in economics and pre-med and was a member of the Sigma Phi Society, a fraternity that he led as vice president in 1973.
Following college, Sudbay had plans to join General Motors (GM) but due to the 1973 oil crisis, the company was laying off workers. After a Pontiac district manager suggested he speak with his father, Don Sudbay Sr., about working at the store his father founded in 1965, he decided to attend GM’s school for children of dealers in Flint, Michigan. He came back to the dealership in 1974 and started his career.
“The month I spent at the GM school was invaluable to me,” Sudbay said. “I learned how to read a dealer financial statement and was given a great overview of how a dealership should be managed. I was very fortunate to have many older dealer friends of my father, along with my father, mentor me during my early years in the business.”
Sudbay’s brother, David, and two sons, Bradlee and Timothy, share ownership of the auto group which also includes Sudbay Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Gloucester. His daughter Christine Sullivan is also a member of the team. “The main reason I have had success in the business is because of the people who have worked for our dealership over the years,” he said. “They have made the difference.”
A lifelong resident of the Gloucester area, Sudbay is deeply connected to the community. He has been a member of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, having served as the chamber’s president and chairman of its business/education collaborative. He has also participated in the Rockport (Massachusetts) Council on Aging, which creates, promotes and implements programs for senior citizens.
To help preserve the quality of life in Cape Ann, Sudbay was instrumental in saving an iconic bowling alley in 2003. “My wife, Jeannie, and I could not see this wonderful community resource and meeting place vanish forever,” he said. “We invested several hundred thousand dollars into the revitalization, and my wife and I were recognized by the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce for our efforts.” Today, Cape Ann Lanes is flourishing and remains an important recreational center for the community.
A member of the Rotary Club of Gloucester, Sudbay and was named a Paul Harris Fellow in 2009 in recognition of his philanthropic contributions. He has also raised funds for the North Shore United Way, and his dealership matches all contributions made by its employees to the organization in support of its mission to give back to charities in his region. Don has also served on the NADA Board as well as the Mass State Dealer Association.
Sudbay was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Robert O'Koniewski, executive vice president of the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Jeannie, have five children.