As a junior hockey player with the London Knights, Mark Guy had a reputation for sticking up for his teammates on the ice. He loved the camaraderie that he found in hockey and sought that in his professional life. Instead of moving back to Mississauga when hockey ended, he jumped at the chance to continue his education and attend the University of Western Ontario. “I had a great opportunity to study at the business school there, so I stayed in London.” After completing an undergraduate degree in geography, Mark graduated with an honors business degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business. Immediately after graduation, he worked for Colgate Palmolive, but soon joined Newport Sports Management, where he worked for the next 24 years. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Mark, who spent most of his time working on the road, suddenly found himself homebound. A friend, Ryan Finch, who lived near him in Grand Bend, reached out and asked if he was interested in a career change. As the owner of eight car dealerships, Ryan wanted to know if Mark would run one with him. Initially, Mark declined, but as the pandemic wore on, he had a change of heart. “I realized I didn’t want to travel anymore and I wanted to partner with Ryan,” Mark says. “I started out in Georgetown and then this amazing opportunity came up in Sarnia to buy a Ford dealership, so I partnered with him and I haven’t looked back.” Together they purchased Finch Ford Lincoln. 

Today, Mark is delighted with the change of careers, even if it hasn’t always been easy. “I wanted the challenge of being an owner and running my own business,” Mark says. “It’s a difficult business and we have had to deal with the challenges of COVID and inventory issues, but overall, it has been a really good experience.” From the outset, Ryan and Mark wanted to maintain the quality and service that Ford is known for. Today, Finch Ford Lincoln continues to specialize in elite-level customer service, high quality staff and training, and a strong tradition of charitable endeavors in the communities in which they operate. 

Finch Ford Lincoln’s investment in Sarnia-Lambton is well known. At Ryan’s insistence, it is and always has been a high priority. “Ryan’s philosophy from Day one is that you get involved and give back to the community that helped make your dealership successful,” Mark says. “We ran a promotion last year called Match My Donation where we put up $20,000 a month for two months and matched any donations people made to a good cause, even if it wasn’t a registered charity. We ended up raising $56,000 for local charities and good causes.” Finch Ford Lincoln also supports Noelle’s Gift to Children’s Car Raffle, the local food bank, Sarnia & District Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity Sarnia-Lambton, and the Bluewater Health Foundation. 

One of their biggest challenges is finding enough people to staff the dealership. “Regardless of the pandemic or inventory, people still need new vehicles or repairs to be completed and we need the right people to make that happen. We are always on the lookout for good people.”