A former Red Deer pastor has bought a pair of Central Alberta auto dealerships.
Del Bouck and his wife Charlene assumed ownership of Ponoka Ford and Rimbey Ford effective March 16.
They purchased the businesses from longtime owners Jody and Brenda Wiese.
The couple also own Legacy Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram in Fort McMurray, but their roots are in Central Alberta, said Bouck. Charlene grew up in Red Deer and has family in Ponoka, while he spent his childhood in Camrose and Stettler.
Bouck also served as a pastor at Red Deer Alliance Church from 1980 to 1983, before returning to school to earn a masters degree in education.
He spent 16 years in the Edmonton public school system, working as a teacher, vice-principal and principal.
With a doctorate degree in leadership and administration, Bouck was recruited into the automotive industry, where he spent 10 years working with a couple of major auto groups.
He and Charlene made the jump to ownership in Fort McMurray 18 months ago.
“I love it,” said Bouck.
Changes are already occurring at their new dealerships, including adoption of the names Legacy Ford Ponoka and Legacy Ford Rimbey.
The number of vehicles at the dealerships has also increased.
“We’ve already brought in a few truckloads of pre-owned vehicles and we have increased our manufacturer’s allocation, so there will be a lot more new vehicles on the lots.”
Bouck said he also plans to offer more accessories, such as packages for trucks, and wants to ensure a high level of customer service and community involvement.
“For me, business is all about honesty and integrity.”
He and Charlene plan to buy a house in Central Alberta, making it easier to spend time here.
“We will definitely be planted there for a good part of our time each week.”
Bouck said they discussed the purchase with the Wieses for some time, and became friends. In fact, he added, Jody will continue to buy used vehicles for the dealerships.
Ponoka’s and Rimbey’s Ford dealerships go back many years, said Bouck, with the Wieses on the scene for about a decade and a half.