How Pinoy car dealer worked his way up in Canada

Posted at 05/09/2014 9:55 AM

EDMONTON – A Filipino worked his way up from the lot to owning one of the biggest car dealerships in the city.

Joe Medina seems like the friendly next-door neighbor. But he is more than that. He is president of Auto Canada, also known as Crosstown Centre, with more than 200 employees under his leadership.

A native of Silang, Cavite, Medina also manages the Crosstown Centre in Edmonton, a far cry from his humble beginning when he arrived in Canada during the 70's.

"I started here in 1978. I started as a lot person. I was the guy who was actually moving cars all over the place. Then I figured out that selling cars, it's not really that tough. When I was making $3.50 per hour back then in 1978 compared to what I made when I first sold a car and earned $300 that took me 2 hours," he said.

Medina worked as a lot attendant for four years before becoming a car salesman. He was promoted as finance manager and then sales manager and became vice president for operations.

With Medina on the realm, the dealership became number one in Canada.

"People will knock you down. If you are doing good they will bring you down. There's jealousy in this business. Back then there was racism but it is up to you to overcome it. To me, being a good person is everything," he said.

In 2006, the company transitioned into a publicly traded company where Medina had the opportunity to become a shareholder.

In 2013, he received the prestigious Canadian Auto Dealers Association Laureate in the category of Retail Operations.

"Joe is one of the most generous people I have ever known. Even with all his successes he still has the heart of the Filipino. Mabait siya sa kapwa niya. Matulungin. Anyone can go straight to his office. He has always been open to suggestions and helping us out personally. This is why I love the man. He is a very nice person in and out," said Tony Surtida of The Filipino Connection.

Chester Tiongson added, "Joe Medina is very competitive. I play basketball with him. He treats us like family at work. That's why he is very successful."

His success is shared, especially to those in need. Auto Canada/Crosstown thru Medina contributed over $100,000 to the victims of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

A sports lover, Medina also supports various sports activities across Alberta.

"It's not easy. We always seem to forget the values of Filipinos. It is being humble. It's not about being materialistic. It's about family. When you get here you got overwhelmed by so many choices. If you are going to search for money it will drain you. In order to be successful I think loyalty is huge and you can't have fear. There are no limits. I look back to where I came from," Medina said.