If someone had told me when I was growing up North Red Deer that I would own four dealerships, one of which is located in the area where I used to deliver newspapers on horseback, I would have said they were crazy". Says Red Deer's Gary Moe. "It has been an amazing experience and in looking back even through the rough times I can appreciate how fortunate we have been".
Moe's working career began early at time when his North Red Deer neighbourhood was its own enclave across the river from the city of the same name. "It was a good place to grow up" he says. "Lots of freedom and plenty of room to roam. I can remember delivering the local paper on horseback and riding in spur-of-the-moment gymkhanas and rodeos not far from today's Hyundai Dealership."
His introduction to the world outside Red Deer came early, when at 15 he left for the logging camps of Prince George, B.C. After spending 12 years in the rough and ready world of a logger, Moe worked for a series of dealerships, beginning his career in New Westminster, B.C., Calgary and then Kipp Scott Pontiac in Red Deer, before opening Gary Moe Motors on Red Deer's Southhill. In 1988 Gary and his wife Susan opened the General Motors Franchise called Passport International Automobiles. Susan joined Gary, bringing her 20 years of experience in the banking industry. She was a natural fit in the Business Office and wore many hats in growing their business. Then in 1991 when General Motors launched Saturn, they got in on the ground floor as the only Saturn dealership in central Alberta. In July 2002 the Gary Moe Auto Group opened Gary Moe Mazda in Red Deer's Gasoline Alley. And then in October 2003 added Gary Moe Hyundai. In July 2008 Gary Moe Volkswagen was added to the group. In December 2015 Gary Moe Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram was added to the group. In 2019, the Gary Moe Group expanded their operations with the acquisition Milestone Mazda in Lethbridge.
As proud as they are though, of the Gary Moe Auto Group Moe is prouder of his family the he has, with his loving wife Susan at his side, two sons Dean and Eric. Dean and Eric are a strong part of the Auto group and have joined him in the management of the company. Both men come by the automotive gene honestly. They both have attended Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario each earning a Bachelor of Applied Business-Automotive Marketing and both graduated from National Automobile Dealers Academy in Washington, D. C.
The Moe family and Gary Moe Auto Group are an integral part of the Central Alberta business community and have and continue to give back to the community that has meant so much to their success. They are strong supporters of the Red Deer Food Bank, SPCA, local sporting events and teams among many other Red Deer organizations. "It's important to appreciate how fortunate we are to be able to live where we do and be able to do what we do, says Moe. And with that success comes a responsibility to give back"
We think that it is crucial when it comes supporting local and buying local. Through out the years we have seen many small businesses go under during these economic hardships, families that have worked so hard and put money back into our community, fail.
We have noticed the last couple years there has been a trend in supporting local, and we could not be more appreciative of this. Not only in growing our name, but other businesses thriving as well, some companies have been fortunate others have struggled to keep their doors open. Though at times we struggle, there are times that we do very well, and it is all thanks to our loyal customers.
Mazda may be a franchise, but what many people may not know is that the owner of Gary Moe Mazda is from Red Deer. He and his two sons live locally and pay taxes that go to our community, unlike many dealerships in town where they don't grow our community spending.
Not only is Gary Moe local, he is adamant on spending money locally in Red Deer and it's surrounding communities. It's not something that is widely talked about, but when building a new building, Gary will always go with a local company, even when companies from bigger cities are willing to provide a better rate, he would rather have the money go locally.
The Moe family is always eager to donate, focusing on children and animals. Supporting sports activities are so important to Gary Moe, you might see a couple billboards around the rinks within Innisfail, Blackfalds, Clive and Red Deer just to name a few. As an avid runner Gary believes that keeping active is so important and holds an even more important roll for children. The Humane Society is another association that the Moe's hold high in regard. Often animals get over looked, but they feel so strongly toward. The Red Deer food bank is another place they like to donate, every year around Christmas, the whole auto group donates $2000 that's $500 per store worth of food & supplies, along with other donations through out the year.