|Chris Stathonikos of CMD CARSTAR Group was honoured recently with the Matthew Orhnstein Lifetime Achievement Award at the CARSTAR Conference in Ottawa. From left: Chris and Matthew Stathonikos, Larry Jefferies, Sam Mercanti, Michael Macaluso, Lisa Mercanti-Ladd and Karen Rush. Mercanti was similarly honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the same event.|
Hamilton, Ontario — August 29, 2014 — Entrepreneur Chris Stathonikos started Arrow Autobody Limited in Calgary, Alberta in 1974. Today he owns and operates five CARSTAR collision centres and has built a $14 million business with CARSTAR CMD Group.
Stathonikos was recently honoured with the Matthew Orhnstein Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2014 CARSTAR Industry Conference. This award acknowledges his entrepreneurship, his business leadership and his dedication to the industry over the past 40 years. Stathonikos received the award on stage among his peers, including President and CEO of CARSTAR Canada, Sam Mercanti, who also received the Matthew Orhnstein Lifetime Achievement Award that night.
Stathonikos immigrated to Canada from Greece in 1966. While in Greece, he worked during the day as an auto body technician at a collision shop while attending school in the evening.
Over the past four decades, Stathonikos has learned many lessons including the importance of a business plan.
â€œThere were times in business that were very difficult,â€ he says. â€œYou have to continue to forge ahead, keep calm and work hard to get back on track.â€
In 1988, when the real estate market collapsed, Stathonikos had to start over and rebuild his business. He says that one of the most pivotal moves he made was joining the CARSTAR network in 1999.
Stathonikos says he saw that the industry was going to change, and knew his business would thrive by joining the CARSTAR network. After nearly selling his location at the time, he is thankful today that he decided to persevere, as their operation is currently growing and profitable.
â€œWith CARSTAR there were added resources to help us grow, build new locations and take advantage of the growing market in Alberta,â€ says Stathonikos.
Chris is now partnered with his son Matthew Stathonikos and Dave Stretz. Matthew has worked in the business since 1998 and Dave joined the group in 2004 when the three of them formed The CMD CARSTAR Group. This partnership has been instrumental in the growth and expansion of their locations. They are now working on succession planning and are taking necessary steps to ensure that their success sustains over the long-term.
â€œWorking with my son has great rewards,â€ says Stathonikos. â€œI can mentor him along the way and know that he has a vested interest and concern in the wellbeing of the business.â€
The CMD CARSTAR Group owns five locations in the Calgary market: CARSTAR Calgary Downtown, CARSTAR Calgary Inglewood, CARSTAR Calgary Sunridge, CARSTAR Calgary East Lake and CARSTAR Calgary Meridian and CMD Glass.