As a longtime supporter of Special Olympics and Vice Chairman of the New Car Dealers Association of B.C., John Chesman has been moved by the stories and abilities of Special Olympics BC athletes.
“I can’t imagine listening to any other speaker who would be more moving than those people are. They’re just incredible,” Chesman says.
Chesman, the General Manager of MCL Motor Cars before retiring after 21 years, is a long-standing and generous member of the New Car Dealers Foundation of B.C./Special Olympics BC Auction Committee. He provides unstinting support with his committee work, generous donations and bids on items, and willingness to encourage others to get involved.
In addition to his efforts with the auction, Chesman is a genuine supporter of Special Olympics athletes who constantly looks for new ways to help SOBC. He frequently proposes new ideas and partnerships, connects SOBC with his contacts, and energizes others to help the cause, all for the benefit of Special Olympics athletes and programs. The creation of the MCL Motor Cars Rally for Champions fundraiser for SOBC is one example of many ideas and initiatives Chesman has championed over the years to help Special Olympics.
Having seen SOBC athletes speak at events and impress significant crowds, Chesman has been impressed by their courage and notes the confidence and pride they gain with Special Olympics.
“It’s huge. You give [the athletes] an opportunity, No. 1, and through sports, you can get an awful lot of confidence and camaraderie and start to feel good about themselves,” he says.
Chesman points out the important benefits derived by all who participate in team sports; when hiring staff, he says, he always looked for people who have been involved in team sports because they learn to sacrifice for teammates and put the group ahead of themselves.
After serving as a Vice President for the Vancouver Canucks for many years, Chesman stepped into the New Car Dealer community by joining Jim Pattison Automotive in 1989 and moved to MCL Motor Cars in 1992.
Chesman and MCL Motor Cars are very involved in the community, generously supporting causes ranging from Special Olympics to the arts. Chesman says his aim was to stage events that would involve existing customers and attract new ones while helping charities.
“I think it’s an unbelievably good organization,” Chesman says of Special Olympics.
This article originally appeared in the New Car Dealers Association of B.C. publication Signals. With this series, SOBC is turning the spotlight on individual dealers who so generously support our athletes and our organization.