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After graduating from St. Francis Xavier University with a Bachelor of Science degree and an Engineering Diploma, I went to work for my father in his Ford auto dealership in Moncton NB. While there my wife Rosemary and I purchased a small convenience store which had gas pumps.  It was a business that started early in the morning and we both worked late. That was our first business venture.  

From there we moved back to Amherst and bought a restaurant called the Scottish Mariner which was located on the Trans-Canada Highway. I ran the restaurant and Rosemary ran the gift shop.  We operated that for several years and then decided to build a second restaurant in Springhill called the Outside Inn.   

We sold the restaurants and in 1975 we bought Cumberland Equipment, the local Pontiac Buick dealership in Amherst.   In 1983 I changed franchises, and the business became Bill Casey Ford Mercury Lincoln Sales Limited.   We operated mainly from the Amherst facility, but we also had branch operations in Springhill and Sackville, NB.  

In those days, Time Magazine worked with Queens University Business Department and the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations to identify car dealers that maintained high standards of customer service and quality operation.  Each year, one dealer from each province was recognized for high standards.  From the provincial winners, one dealer was chosen as the winner for the country.  In 1987 Bill Casey Ford Mercury Lincoln won the “Time Quality Dealer Award” for Nova Scotia and then went on to win the “National Time Quality Dealer Award” for the country.   Coming from a family of car dealers, this award was very gratifying.     

In 1983, the opportunity came up to take over a closed modular house factory in Amherst called General Homes. My brother Dan, friends Betty Nelson and Bill Hickey and I took over the factory and with the cooperation of the union, we ran the factory for several years.  We manufactured mini homes and developed a line of light weight travel trailers.   Eventually we sold the business to a buyer from Ontario.  

I then entered politics in 1988.  In 1993 I was defeated and became the manager of the Merrill Lynch Investment Office in Amherst.  I enjoyed being in the investment business, but it was short lived as I went back into politics in 1997 and won the next six elections.  

My business career gave me a great perspective on all aspects of business from human relations, marketing, financing, investing, manufacturing, franchising, labour, et cetera.  This was good training for a political career. 

I can say that I have enjoyed every career that I have had.   I am very fortunate that Rosemary went along with all of the twists and turns.   

Time quality Dealer Award Province Cropp
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