Music inspired success for Distinguished Citizen< More Stories
Prior to receiving an Honorary Bachelor of Applied Business Degree at the ceremony, Ulmer congratulated the Class of 2016 and shared his “lessons from a trombone player.”
“By getting a degree or diploma, you’re not part of the majority anymore; you have made the decision to excel and you have done what only one in three Canadians does in getting advanced education. Congratulations and well done,” he said.
“When you start working, you are playing a concert every single day of your life. Make sure that you set your standards of performance; make sure you work well with others; make sure you don’t practice on your customers; and with all of your knowledge, personality and your vision to thrill your audience, thrill the customer. The reward is the thrill you give yourself.”
Growing up in North Battleford, Sask., Ulmer watched his father Joe work his way from the parts department to dealer at Boyd Brothers, a Chevrolet dealership. His community involvement was an inspiration to Ulmer.
Before working in automotives, Ulmer studied music professionally obtaining a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Following two years with the RCMP Band in Ottawa, Ulmer joined the family business. After working as a service manager at Ulmer Chev, Ulmer became a partner with his brother Doug and father in 1984. By the time they expanded their business to Lloydminster in 1987, they had three dealerships.
“I’ve learned that being part of someone else’s growth is one of the most exciting activities you can do. My desire to be a part of others’ success has stood our business well. My job became that of producing managers, then producing individuals who can general manage a dealership and then coaching general managers to excel. It’s a big reason why we grew from one dealership to 14,” says Ulmer.
“What has made me succeed from music? Number one, I have high standards. I always want the job to be done better than average. How will you perform? Choose excellence.”
An ardent commitment to customer service and community has garnered Ulmer Auto Group a number of accolades including a CADA Laureate Award, Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year, Mayor’s Award for Sustained Support of the Arts, Motor Dealer Association of Alberta – Rural Dealer of the Year, and four-time winner of the GM Triple Crown award.
However, the accomplishments that are most meaningful to Ulmer include his marriage of close to 40 years and his three incredible daughters, current and former business partners, and his community contributions.
Known for his community involvement, Ulmer has been an instrumental supporter of numerous organizations including the Lloydminster Regional Theatre Foundation, local Rotary Clubs, Lloydminster Region Health Foundation, Lakeland College and First Baptist Church, among many others.
“It’s a paradox of life that I have never figured out, but the more you give, the more you get.”
Photos: President Alice Wainwright-Stewart and Board of Governors Chair Darrel Howell presented Ross Ulmer with an honorary degree during the Lloydminster campus convocation ceremony on May 27.