Throughout David Sudbury’s distinguished 30-year career at Honda Canada, he held several executive roles that supported Honda Canada’s growth to be a major automotive manufacturer and distributor in Canada.
Now, in retirement, David is using his business talents for the betterment of Community Care Durham (CCD) as its new board president. He was elected to the position at last June’s Annual General Meeting after long-time President Wendy Marks retired.
A relatively new board member, David joined the board in 2020 after CEO James Meloche called him to ask if he knew of anybody who would want to join the CCD board of directors. The two friends met while David was a board member at the Central East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) several years ago.
David said he thought about it for a couple of days and then he called James back and said he had the perfect person for the board – “Me.”
“I have a great deal of respect for James and his work and his approach and how he leads. I felt I could contribute and help him a bit and at the same time, give back in a small way,” David said.
Another part about what attracted David to CCD’s board was lived experience. His mother is 101 years old living in a retirement condominium in Cobourg so he appreciates the help the home and community care sector agencies provide residents.
“She requires a lot of services and support, so I see the important work,” he said.
David’s career at Honda Canada spanned 30 years before he retired. He started as the company’s first HR manager. That led to him helping create Honda Canada Finance, then he was made Chief Financial Officer. Later he ran the company’s parts and services business before heading its sales and marketing division. He returned to Honda Canada Finance as its Chief Operating Officer before retiring at 63.
“The only thing I didn’t do was IT,” he laughed.
It was through Honda Canada that David was introduced to board work.
“Honda encouraged its executives to be on community boards,” he said.
That encouragement led to him joining the Central East LHIN board of directors. He served for two, three-year terms, ending as the board’s vice chair. Today, in addition to being CCD’s President, he chairs CCD’s Finance, Audit and Risk Committee of the Board. David also serves on the board of directors at Community Living and is a retired member of the Institute of Corporate Directors and the Financial Executives Institute.
“I’m comfortably busy,” he said. “That’s the point. You want to keep busy and give something back to the community. That’s the aim anyhow. It’s been fun.”
David said he loves the composition of the CCD board. They’re comfortable and willing to give their viewpoints and opinions, he said.
“This board is great. We’ve got a great mix of talents, a great mix of different skillsets and backgrounds and we’ve got a good diversity too,” he said.
David also enjoys the hands-on aspect of his board duties. He recently attended the CCD Holiday Party with fellow board member Jennifer Cree and he’s also pitched in helping deliver Community Food Boxes, most recently the Festive Food Box on Dec. 17. He said it’s rewarding meeting clients and seeing how they appreciate all the help they’re given.
“The work that is done here is so important for people who are aging and want to live at home,” he said.
Another part of his life that keeps David busy is his two grandchildren, a four-year-old granddaughter and two-year-old grandson.
“They’re the top priority now, these two,” he said, adding he loves babysitting for his daughter and taking the kids on trips to the zoo and other places.
When the weather is warmer another of David’s passions is golf. He loves to play at least three rounds a week, whether it be with his wife Joanne, his friends, men’s leagues, tournaments, or with his son.
“I always have my golf clubs in the back of the vehicle ready to go, just in case,” he said.
He’s also a big football fan. He recently won a Grey Cup bet with a friend when the Blue Bombers won the championship game over the Ticats in overtime. U.S. College Football is also a passion. His family has a proud history of cheering for Notre Dame.
“My dad was a Notre Dame fan, so we always have to cheer for the Fighting Irish,” he said.