Posted by Rob D on May 22, 2018
Member Justin Nesbitt gave us a who-am-I presentation.
Justin has been a member of the club for the past 15 years and unfortunately due to a career opportunity this time will come to a close in June. Over the time he has been in Rotary much in his life has changed. On the career front, he has gone from managing one automotive dealership to the role of Chief Operating Officer overseeing a group of many dealerships that has included Vic Star Mercedes, Kitchener Nissan, two Kia dealerships, Cambridge VW and Apex Cycle Sports (that fuels his love of motorcycling). On the family front, he and his wife Christa are lucky to have two girls Shannon (15 years old in grade 9) and Sarah (9) who have learned from their parents to be independent from a young age. Justin’s wife Christa, who suffered several serious concussions 5 years ago, continues to move forward on the path to recovery dealing with some continued health impacts.

On July 1, Justin and his family are relocating to Switzerland where he will open a new Mercedes dealership October 1st. This new challenge is unique as the manufacturer is bringing in the Canadian run dealer to shake things up in Switzerland. As he has worked thru the process of opening this dealership, Justin has seen some significant differences between Canada and the Swiss. The Swiss life is about respect for the environment and spending much time outdoors, the entire country is mapped and there is no Sunday shopping as people are spending their free time in the mountains. Career progression is very structured as at the age of 15 you chose your apprenticeship and career path and follow that path thru their entire career progressing thru detailed training and retraining as they change roles in progression. The resulting mastery of jobs from the intense training and focus means that the average wage is higher in Europe than in Canada.
There are some odd things in Switzerland, like lots of rules (make sure you use the correct font when labeling your mailbox), ethnic nationalism (there are Swiss and then there is everybody else), rules against walking kindergarteners to school (perhaps we coddle our kids too much?) and other nice things like great cheese and chocolate and other not so great things like it taking months to successfully find an apartment (Justin just landed one last week after writing an application letter) but overall the prospect of the move is exciting for the entire family.
Over his time with our club, Justin has been very involved in many aspects most notably as a board member, with Camp Enterprise and as Event Chair for many Mudpuppy Chase's. In fact, the Mudpuppy has changed his life as after the first year when he served as photographer he was inspired and took up running for health and happiness. Justin remarked that as he begins this new chapter he has mixed emotions of sadness and excitement but will look back fondly on his time with our club and take these experiences with him as he joins a Rotary Club in his new geography.
Congratulations and farewell to Justin!!!