Born in a small northern Ontario town in 1954, Bob Morin grew up in Winchester as part of a large family of 16 brothers and 4 sisters.
I can only imagine what it was like to grow up with that many siblings but I’m sure there are a lot of stories to tell there!
Bob moved to Sudbury in 1971 where he completed his high school years at Lasalle Secondary. After high school, Bob moved to Cornwall where he obtained his Truck and Coach and Automotive Service Technician certificates.
He worked for Canadian Tire in Cornwall as the service manager until 1979 after which he ran Rosemount Tire in Brockville. This is where he met his future wife Lori.
During a family outing at a brothers’ cottage in 1981, Bob had a diving accident where he shattered several vertebrae and severed nerves in his neck leaving him paralyzed. A life-altering event such as this did not keep him down.
Doctors were not optimistic, but Bob overcame the paralysis and although not able to continue work as a mechanic, he persevered and used his automotive experience and knowledge to take his career along a different path.
After his recovery, he moved back to Sudbury and began working for his brother, Roger, at Mobile Parts Inc. as an outside Salesman. At the time Mobile Parts Inc. was heavily concentrated in the truck parts field and operated out of a small location on Highway 69 in Val Caron. Gradual diversification into the mining industry helped the business grow substantially and Bob became the General Manager in 1990.
Bob has seen the ups and downs of the mining industry and has helped the company grow from about 10 employees to its current staff of over 60. MPI-Mobile Parts Inc. is now a full-blown Global Mining Parts Supplier serving customers in over 30 countries.
The manufacturing of underground special purpose vehicles is a major part of the business and one that Bob is very proud of. Quality and service is # 1 and nothing leaves the shop without thorough inspections and testing. Being ISO certified, MPI has always been quality driven, and Bob continually instills this in his employees. Service, Service, Service is something we hear at the office often!
During the recessions of 1990 and 2008, Bob saw opportunities to develop the business by expanding into the export market. He led his sales team and made contacts overseas and obtained new customers in several countries. He was also instrumental in obtaining new parts contracts from several Canadian mining companies.
Both initiatives helped increase sales and were part of the reason that MPI was able to survive and even thrive during the hard times.
Bob has definitely weathered the mining “storm” of recessions and good times and has been able to grow the company to what it is today through his dedication and perseverance.
He works all the time (so it seems), and a nine to five job is not in his vocabulary! He is an early riser – often at work before 7am, and I’ve often heard him tell me that he thought of this or that at 3 in the morning.
He works late and even when he is supposed to be on vacation, we get calls at the office from him, and he is never far from his laptop.
Since the dawn of cell phones, Bob has had one glued to his hips.
Rhonda, our purchasing manager remembers the large Motorola phone with the big antenna and the satellite bag phone that he used to carry around, thank goodness for the small iPhone he has now. Mind you, perhaps if he still had one of those large phones, maybe he wouldn’t have lost his iPhone…. twice last year!!!!!
Bob is an avid golfer, although he doesn’t get out as much as he should. He enjoys spending time with his family, wife of 24 years – Lori, three children David, Jentje and Korina and his 5 grandchildren (with one more on the way!)
Bob and Lori are Florida Snow-Birds and relish a bit of down-time in the sun during our cold winter months. As soon as Bob sees snow on the ground, he is itching to pack up the motor home and head out. Only a few more weeks to go Bob!
In closing, I am honoured to have been able to share a little insight into Bob’s life this morning with you all.
His hard work and dedication is inspiring and is an indication of what a small family business can achieve when you have persevering and tenacious people such as Bob at the helm!
CONGRATULATIONS ON THIS ACHIEVEMENT!