The remarketing world and auto industry at large is in mourning with word that Kathy Ward lost her multi-year battle with cancer on Christmas Eve.
The former president and CEO of Canadian Black Book was just 60 years old.
“Kathy was responsible for delivering Canadian Black Book into the digital age,” says Brad Rome, president of Canadian Black Book.
“Kathy and the Ward family have given so much to the auto industry in Canada. We are going to remember that, build on it and we will miss her dearly.”
Ward had retired from Canadian Black Book in September of 2016 after 36 years in the industry.
Under her leadership Canadian Black Book evolved through the emergence of mass technological advancement, an uncertain Canadian auto industry during the recession and solidified its position as Canada’s trusted provider of vehicle values.
“As the business evolved from predominantly a publishing house into a provider of data electronically, Kathy began to emerge as the driver. Her father and company founder, Bill Ward, became comfortable in the backseat, knowing she was better suited to bring the company into the age of technology,” the company wrote in a release this week.
Data and the demand for residual values began to surge in the banking and insurance worlds as she took the reigns of the family business.
She was named president and CEO in 2006.
The company was sold to its current U.S. parent company – Hearst Business Media – in March 2015. Ward stayed on for another year after the sale and was part of the group of CBB employees who won a $60-million Lotto Max jackpot in October 2015.
Ward will also be fondly remembered for her strong support of the Tim Horton’s Children’s Foundation. She was the driving force behind an annual auto industry golf tournament that has raised over $350,000 over the last 20 years. That money has helped send thousands of deserving kids to camp.
“Above all, the accomplishment that Ward always held highest was her ability to prosper as a female at the helm of an automotive company,” the company noted.
“Her legacy in the industry will serve to demonstrate that women need not fear entering this space. Things have changed since her early days going from dealer to dealer selling, yet Kathy always believed the industry has an abundance of room for more women to grow in automotive and succeed as she did.”
Details regarding a Celebration of Kathy’s Life will be announced at a later date.