A Self-Made Philanthropist Driving Excellence in Business
When The Scene Magazine profiled Brent Marshall, they called him the Canadian Stark. This Marvel metaphor is apt for someone who not only races supercars and owns jetpacks but also does many philanthropic works benefitting children and the community. Born in the sleepy commuter town of Hope in Canada, Mr. Marshall has made his mark on many industries, including auto, aviation, real estate, film production, construction, health and many more. However, his philanthropic work benefitting children and the community is his most fulfilling endeavour. Mr. Marshall’s story is indeed an inspiring one.
Raised by a stay-at-home mom and a miner/ butcher father, Mr. Marshall grew up watching his parents courageously shoulder the burden of 16-hour days to improve their lives. Following their example, Brent learned to hold down employment even as he juggled meal prep and chores in the trailer park, all while serving up a smorgasbord of scholastic achievement. Mr. Marshall was working full-time at age 15, and by 18, those long hours yielded one of his first big scores, a Mustang GT Cobra that he fastidiously enhanced with modifications, all in a bid to feed his need for speed.
When everything was going well came a devastating motor vehicle accident in the waning days of the university that left Mr. Marshall in rehabilitation for nearly two years. However, the fighter in Mr. Marshall knew how to get back to the life he always dreamt about. The crash that almost took his life set Brent on a track that offered the perfect synergy between his love of automobiles and his passion for helping people. “My Engineering Degree and then a near-death auto accident sent me on a different path, which includes owning more than 45 companies in many different industries and charitable giving from each company, resulting in millions of dollars donated to charities,” says Mr. Marshall.
The Best Auto Dealer in Town
After the accident, Mr. Marshall started his career in car sales and quickly became the #1 Salesperson in British Columbia for General Motors. That set the stage for helming a dealership in a remote town as sales manager and GM, where he transformed the business into the #1 truck dealer in Canada. Mr. Marshall then asked to helm a dealership in Prince George. Within 60 days, the Prince George dealership would become BC’s largest volume dealership and remain so for nearly a decade under his stewardship. It would also develop into the largest volume truck dealership in Canada.
“My background as an Engineer, being the #1 Salesperson in Canada when young, and then creating the #1 Volume Dealerships in Canada for several Brands, have helped me tremendously when creating the only true omnichannel dealership solutions company in Canada. Omni.auto’s vision is to provide a true omnichannel retail solution, providing our Dealers with the best possible digital and marketing solutions, all working seamlessly together to create an incredible consumer experience while being far easier to manage than the current situation.” shares Mr. Marshall. Recognized as Canada’s #1 Automotive website, omni.auto brings everything under one roof. Mr. Marshall adds, “Currently, Dealerships have more than 20 different suppliers, with none working closely together, and the time consumed trying to manage these is overwhelming.”
Auto dealers today deal with several separate service providers, from digital marketing and CRM to lead generation and software developers. Integrating all those channels enables them to work seamlessly in what is termed Omni Channel retailing. It offers a high-quality customer experience by uniting all sales and marketing messages into one cooperative wave. “This results in exponential growth and reaches while cutting expenses. Our Canadian and US stores have witnessed double-digit growth within 90 days and continue to increase their volume and profits. Our omni channel systems also provide your ROI on spend, which other suppliers do not,” says Mr. Marshall.
Omni.auto has won several awards this past year as the highest-ranking website in Canada and has developed more than 25 unique solutions for Dealers to improve their performance. “Our only real challenge is getting this new way of doing business in front of as many Dealers as possible with so much noise in this space. We love the challenge of creating the greatest possible solutions for our Dealers in a very quickly changing digital environment,” shares Mr. Marshall.
The Other Side of Mr. Marshall
With a disruptive approach to marketing and mastery of process efficiencies, Mr. Marshall has made an indelible mark on the automobile industry. But ultimately, it’s his drive to leave the world a better place and his four wonderful children that keep his engine revving. Mr. Marshall says, “My day starts at 7:00 am with several meetings throughout the day for my 14 current companies, then time with my 4 children, then more work at night. I consider working my hobby. To unplug, I participate in extreme sports, car racing, snowmobiles, Trophy Trucks, etc.”
As an entrepreneur, Mr. Marshal trusts his ability to delegate and multi-task. He says, “I do not waste a moment of my day, no TV, News or Social Media, just focused on work and helping others.” Mr. Marshall has been named the #1 Volume Dealer for different Brands. However, significant Philanthropic milestones like Children’s Wing on the UNBC hospital, an outdoor patio for a pediatric ward, a Cancer Lodge Family Room, an outdoor all-wheels park for kids, and large donations to over 30 other charities complete his quest for fulfillment. In the past 15 years, Mr. Marshall has orchestrated the donation of nearly CAD 5 million to charities, earning him the title of “The Face of Philanthropy.”
Besides philanthropic activities, Mr. Marshall is now focused on the five new startups he launched last year: Canada’s Highest Elevation Brewery, World Award-winning Distillery, Advanced Life Support Patient Transfer Ambulances, Water Company and CarbonTek Hydrogen engine cleaning system. “We all have one thing in common, the amount of time in a day. Don’t allow others or negative influences to steal any of this time. It is invaluable,” concludes Mr. Marshall.
Written by CXO Outlook