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Leader Profile: Listen to Learn

Autosphere » Mechanical » Leader Profile: Listen to Learn

Parents Janis and Lube taught Matt that to be successful you need to surround yourself with people that know more than you do. The world is full of many great minds to learn from!

Matt was exposed to the Aftermarket at a young age. He spent many summers working in the Matthew Scott warehouse. When Matt was 16, he aspired to get into sales and accepted a job at Bell World. For the balance of high school and while attending Wilfred Laurier University he developed his “salesmanship” skills.

Matt returned to Matthew Scott in the summer after his second year of University. “That’s when Dad really shifted from being a father to being a friend and a mentor. I saw how he managed his team, got to know his creative side and got exposure to the financial and legal aspects of business. Mom taught me the HR and Admin side of things. My parents have been a huge influence on my life.”

On to new spheres

Matt’s father passed away in his last semester of university. After graduating, Koval worked at Matthew Scott. When the business was sold it was time to move on. John Vanstone offered him work at SS&M and he accepted. “I am very grateful for John. He is an amazing friend and a mentor both personally and professionally,” Matt says.

Koval was with SS&M for three and a half years when a position opened at Modern Sales Co-op for a Marketing Manager. “I put my name in the hat and got the job!”

Two and a half years ago he was promoted to National Sales & Marketing Manager. In January 2017, he became Director of Sales, Marketing, Product and Pricing.

“The team mentality is an underpinning of the working environment at Modern. We show up every day with the goal of creating stronger partnerships with our Member and Vendor community. Our management team is constantly encouraged to challenge each other so we can be exceptional. Reid, our current President and Don, our former President, have been incredible mentors… two people with two very different styles, but without them I would not be where I am today.”

Learn, question, challenge

“I try to appreciate people and learn from their stories. You can learn so much from people. You don’t always have to agree with what they say, but if you can understand where they are coming from you gain perspective.

“I’m not afraid to question and challenge something if it doesn’t make sense. It’s hard to make a difference if you don’t stick your neck out and take a chance. I’m just lucky that I’ve had bosses that are OK with it!” Matt states.

Koval is a member of the AIA YES Committee and actively involved with the Automotive School of Business. “Whenever I have a chance to speak with students I talk to the fact that there are opportunities for them at all levels of the Aftermarket.

“We all need to do our part to attract young minds to the industry. The aftermarket is changing due to a number of factors. Those that embrace the change will find opportunity and their future will be bright.”

Matt Koval sounds like a young leader on his way up!

Categories : Mechanical

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