Family of entrepreneurs look to pay their success forward with the creation of the Markham Subaru Award for Women in Business.
In 1976, Carmen and Frank Vigliatore, two brothers who had immigrated to the Toronto area from southern Italy, decided to use $1,000 of their meagre savings to open an auto repair shop.
The family business flourished, eventually growing to include a licensed Subaru dealership in Markham, among other holdings.
Now the Vigliatore family, who still own and operate Markham Subaru, is making another bet on the future of its home community.
The family has committed $25,000 to York University for the creation of the Markham Subaru Award for Women in Business.
“We strive to make Markham a more vibrant community and a better place for our families to grow,” says Carlo Vigliatore, one of three second-generation Vigliatores currently working in the business. “We are proud to partner with York University in creating this new award to support the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators to help expand the vibrancy of our communities.”
The award will benefit women enrolled in the entrepreneurship stream of the Bachelor of Commerce program at York University’s Markham Campus, which will open in the fall of 2023. Successful applicants will have demonstrated a commitment to leadership and community service in their pursuit of business success.
“At Markham Subaru, we realize the importance of reinvesting in the city you work in,” Vigliatore says. “I have been a proud resident of Markham for most of my life. As I matured, I respected businesses that actively tried to make Markham a better place by thinking outside of their own balance sheets. Now that I have children of my own, it is my goal that Markham Subaru does whatever it can to continue the work of the many great companies that have come before us.”
Gordon Binsted, deputy provost, Markham, says the Vigliatores’ gift is emblematic of the spirit of community and diversity that will define the new Markham Campus.
“Collaborations, partnerships and support from the community are invaluable to the student experience at the Markham Campus,” Binsted says. “We are grateful to Markham Subaru and the Vigliatore Family for supporting this award and recognizing the next generation of women entrepreneurs.”
Starting in September, students will be able to apply for the Markham Campus’s new programs, which will emphasize flexible learning formats, small class sizes and opportunities for workplace experience.
Photo: Markham Subaru co-founders, Frank Vigliatore, left, and his brother, Carmen.