One Lucky Winner: Durham Kubota

Beverly Written by Beverly Leavitt January 31, 2022 Member Updates

In 2021, we promised to give a 2022 CEEDA membership to one lucky dealer who shared our logo on their website and in their ads.

On January 2, 2022, we drew a name from those who submitted their companies. 

We are beyond pleased to announce Walter Steffler of Durham Kubota, a long-time CEEDA member, the winner! 

See how Walter feels about the win.

A Valued Member

“I was surprised to get the winning email!” says Walter. 

He adds, “I took over the membership ten years ago [when I bought the dealership] from the old owner.” 

Previously spending 16 years on the manufacturer side, Walter left corporate Kubota to run his own dealership. His division was moving to the US, and Walter heard that the owner of the Oshawa location was retiring, so he thought he would try his hand. 

“I wasn’t sure what this was all about, but Bev made sure that I got talking to the other dealers from the other colours at the meetings,” shares Walter. 

From the sounds of it, it was a big learning curve but nothing Walter couldn’t handle! He transitioned from working with distributors directly to dealing with individual customers, managing a staff, and ordering parts. 

In that time, he has grown his staff to ten and his sales to the point that they’re currently building a new dealership to meet their needs! 

Unusual Delays 

Like many of our dealers, Walter has felt the effects of the pandemic. 

From building delays to parts, there are new hurdles that he jumps each day. 

“I used to order 4-5 months out. Now I’m ordering for 2024. In between now and 2024, the product could change. You could order one item, and they change the design, so now you’re into a different model,” which of course needs parts to match for service. 

The past two years have thrown a lot of challenges at them, but Walter says, “CEEDA has been my bible. As soon as the government comes out with new regulations, Bev sends it out to us, and I go by that. I’m not guessing.

I can send her questions and she replies. And when my employees come to me with questions, we can answer them right away without trying to decipher the government’s website.”

Looking to the Future

Before looking forward, Walter looks back and credits his success to his supervisor at corporate headquarters. "John Baxter taught me a lot about how to handle customers, and I think about him a lot when I’m coaching my staff."

John left a pretty big hole when he retired; Walter left shortly after to take over Durham Kubota. 

But having been on both sides of the fence, Walter offers up some advice for dealers that haven’t merged. “We have a dealer committee that goes to the manufacturer on our behalf. Kubota doesn’t want every dealer phoning to voice their opinion, so our issues go to this committee. Each territory has a rep, and they share our questions and concerns.”

At the end of the day, there’s strength in numbers. Walter’s found that in his team, his Kubota committee, and in CEEDA. 

Because no matter what these past two years (or future years) throw at us, we’re all in this together. 

Have you reached out to a fellow dealer lately?