How Grand River Power Sports rallies their team.
Maichina Veri, January 09, 2023 // Brantford, OntarioHilary Marcotte, owner-operator of Grand River Power Sports. Photo credit Sarah Evans.
When Hilary Marcotte was a young girl, her father would line up her and her sister and proclaim, “Repeat after me: I am somebody and I can do anything!” The idea of not being able to do something was not on Hilary’s radar. Now Hilary, along with her husband Graham Marcotte, owns and operates her father’s business, Grand River Power Sports, and has created a workplace environment where others can thrive and be empowered.
Hilary, who was a dental hygienist for 12 years, and Graham, who was a machinist and millwright, took over Grand River Power Sports about six years ago. Though more women are getting involved in all factions of powersports, the industry is still male-dominated, but that has never been a hurdle for Hilary. “I think it’s easy for us because we have created an environment where it’s easy for us,” says Hilary, “Overall, it’s not a huge factor.”
Hard at work in the Grand River Power Sports shop. Photo credit Sarah Evans.
Graham and Hilary have made a workplace where their employees can succeed. Whether it’s through apprenticeships or helping people achieve motorcycle tickets, Hilary says, “We believe in really getting to know our employees and their strengths and providing them with avenues for professional development based on their strengths and interests. We support anyone in our business to grow, and to have new opportunities within our business where they can utilize their strengths.”
Hilary cares a lot about her staff and it’s important to her that employees feel good showing up to work. Hilary and Graham understand that employees have a life outside of work and recognize that sometimes more of an employee’s day is spent at work than with family. Before they were business owners, both Hilary and Graham experienced a variety of work environments. “We know what a difference it makes when you feel valued, supported and encouraged in the workplace. We’ve applied these things to operating our own business,” Hilary explains. The couple have worked to construct a positive and strong team at Grand River Power Sports. Part of building a strong team is getting to know employees, accommodating life situations and working alongside staff.
Around the showroom of Grand River Power Sports. Photo credit Sarah Evans.
With such a focus on and care for Grand River Power Sports employees, it’s no wonder that Hilary says it’s the employees that make the shop unique. “When you treat your employees well, they in turn treat your customers well,” she says. This explains why Hilary believes everyone feels welcome when they come through their doors. What also makes their business stand out is the level of service Grand River Power Sports provides. “It’s not just about the initial purchase. It’s the support after purchase,” Hilary emphasizes, “We are here.” She goes on to say that the atmosphere at Grand River Power Sports also deviates from strictly feeling like a place for adrenaline junkies, which sometimes carries an egotistical feel. “That’s not who we are. And I think that translates to our customers’ experience,” Hilary says.
Hilary and Graham have developed a successful business where are all welcome and people can grow, flourish and triumph. Hilary credits her father for her business sense and the notion that she should be able to achieve anything. “He’s really proud of us,” Hilary says of her father and his opinion on the business, “My dad’s really proud.”
The Grand River Power Sports team. Photo credit Sarah Evans.
Grand River Power Sports is located at 1264 Colborne St. E. in Brantford. You can visit them in shop Monday through Saturday.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maichina Veri is a writer based in Brantford, Ontario. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Montreal’s Concordia University and has a background in Journalism – Print from Niagara College.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER
Born on a frigid winter's night, Sarah Evans knew early on that the only way to warm her soul was through art. During her time studying Film and Video Production at York U, Sarah discovered her love for photography and has been shooting ever since. Other things Sarah has done is worked on film and television sets, painted a terrible mural in high school, opened a floral business and bitten into a paintball (it wasn't a chocolate covered blueberry!).