Devils Lake Auto DealerHonored By TIME and Goodyear
Renard Bergstrom, Devils Lake, was honored recently for his nomination for the 2009 TIME Magazine Dealer of the Year Award. Renard is President of Lake Toyota, Lake Motor Company (Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac, GMC, Cadillac) and Marketplace Motors (Ford, Lincoln Mercury), all of Devils Lake. He was one of a select group of dealers from across the country honored at the 92nd annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention and Exposition held recently in New Orleans.
The announcement was made by Don Fries, Publisher of TIME Magazine, and Johann Finkelmeier, VP and General Manager, Original Equipment Tires, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Renard is one of only 49 automobile dealers, from more than 19,500 nationwide, nominated for the 40th annual award.
The TIME Magazine Dealer of the Year Award is the automobile industry's most prestigious and highly coveted award for car dealers. Recipients must demonstrate a long-standing commitment to effective community service and be among the nation's most successful auto dealers. The award is sponsored by TIME in association with Goodyear, and in cooperation with NADA. A panel of faculty members from the University of Michigan Graduate School of Business Administration selects each finalist.
A third-generation dealer whose grandfather established Lake Chevrolet Motor Company, Devils Lake, in 1923, Renard says, "Our philosophy of taking good care of employees and customers has helped us stay successfully in business for over 80 years."
After graduating high school in 1981, Renard entered the United States Air Force Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree while majoring in physics. On active duty in the Air Force from 1985 to 1991, Renard piloted F-16s, and continued on as a distinguished pilot in the North Dakota National Guard until 1996.
"In 1991," said Renard, "I fulfilled my military active duty commitment and returned to the family business." Starting in finance and insurance, he worked throughout the dealership, became GM in 1996, and took charge of overall operations in 1999.
In addition to his success in the sky and on the lot, Renard has been deeply involved in various local civic, religious, and educational institutions. Whether as a coach of youth football, soccer, and basketball, or as the leader of a fund-raising drive for a new school bus, he has been putting community first for nearly two decades.
"My most meaningful civic achievement," he says, "has been founding and maintaining the Unsung Hero award." The Unsung Hero Award is a 12-year-old program and the brain-child of his parents, Bill and Anne-Marit Bergstrom, that recognizes individuals and groups doing good works across the community.
As a member of Angel Flight, Renard has also benefitted others with his piloting skills, using the company plane to provide transportation for area residents with medical needs on numerous occasions.
Still, he says, "The most rewarding event in my automotive career has been watching my people grow personally and prosper financially."
Nominated for the TIME Magazine Dealer of the Year Award by the Automobile Dealers Association of North Dakota, Renard resides in Devils Lake with his wife, Candace. The couple has two children: William and Benjamin.