Frontier Management Group
Frontier Toyota is one in a group of companies that together comprise a family-owned enterprise of Marcel & Valerie Thompson of St. Boniface.
Marcel grew up in Lorette, Manitoba and at 963 Dawson Road in his early years. His father Dave operated Dave Thompson Equipment and Supply, and was a blacksmith who started in Neepawa over 100 years ago. Following in his father’s footsteps, Marcel finished grade nine and decided it was time to earn a living. A natural-born salesperson, he began selling scrap metal, industrial cleaning supplies, water pumps (following the installation of hydro lines), auto detailing, and eventually selling used cars (his passion). He then became the General Manager of Renault Canada, and followed that by becoming the General Manager of Transcona Datsun. Deciding to go on his own, he opened Four Seasons Equipment on St. Mary’s Road, selling John Deere consumer products for ten years. In 1975 he opened Frontier Toyota in a ROCO gas station on Regent Avenue, then expanded by building a new dealership on the lot beside it.
Valerie Dawson met Marcel at his used car lot in 1963, and they were married in 1964. Val graduated from the University of Manitoba School of Social Work and began her career at The Children’s Society of Eastern Manitoba. After three years at the Children’s Home of Winnipeg, she became director of Family Therapy. Twelve years later, she became supervisor of services for The Canadian Paraplegic Association. Valerie taught at the University of Manitoba School of Social Work before she entered the retail business world as President of Pioneer Jeep Eagle. In 1995, Val decided to reopen Thompson City Centre Collision; having outgrown the downtown facility in 1999, she changed locations and renamed it Frontier Autobody. Valerie held the office of President of the Better Business Bureau and Vice-President of The National Council of the Better Business Bureau. Recognized for her outstanding and exemplary contributions to the community, Valerie Thompson was nominated for the Woman of Distinction Award and was the recipient of The Queen’s Jubilee Award.
Throughout the years, Marcel & Val have made significant contributions to the community, whether it is with their time or their generosity, because they have always believed in giving back. Over the years, they have made significant donations to the St. Amant Centre, St. Boniface Hospital & Research Foundation, the Winnipeg Foundation, Leaf Manitoba and the Salvation Army. Marcel and Val have two children, Denise and Greg, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Valerie never did purchase a car back in 1963, but Marcel did manage to sell her on a lifetime partnership!