Maple Ridge entrepreneur and philanthropist tells his story

Ron Jones writes about business, the Lions and life

Ron Jones autobiography ‘Wheels and Deals’ (Special to The News)

Ron Jones autobiography ‘Wheels and Deals’ (Special to The News)

Maple Ridge entrepreneur Ron Jones has some engaging stories to tell,about his life in business and in sports, and they have come together in an autobiography entitled Wheels and Deals to be published early in the new year.

Jones is best known locally as the man behind the West Coast Auto Group and the Founder’s Cup Charity Golf Tournament, but he’s done so much more. For instance, Jones was also the president of the B.C. Lions for three years and helped guide the organization as a community-owned pro sports team that won a Grey Cup.

He felt he wanted to tell his story. Jones explained he was stricken by the death of his good friend Bob Ackles, who had done every off-field job in the B.C. Lions organization, from waterboy to General Manager. More recently, another friend and CFL legend in Norm Fieldgate, a former Lions team captain and BC Sports Hall of Famer, passed away last year. These losses made Jones want to relate his life, as a legacy for his grandchildren, and anyone else who cared to read it.

“I wanted to capture my life and experiences, and share them, and to have a family record,” he said.

He got an accomplished professional writer to help tell his story in Gary Ross, who was the author of the book Stung, which became the movie Owning Mahoney, and was the former editor of Vancouver Magazine.

Ross is originally from Toronto, and the two men put their heads together for the autobiography. They spent about 70 hours discussing Jones’ past and the book, and Ross interviewed key people in Jone’s life.

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“I wanted to capture my relationships with those people,” said Jones, and Ross of course had the freedom to write about Jones however they said – warts and all. “I wanted everyone to be totally honest.”

They must have had good things to say, because Jones is really happy with how the book turned out.

Wheels and Deals shares his business success, work in the automotive industry, sports stories and more. Jones was a past chairman of the BC Sports Hall of Fame, helped create a pension fund for car dealership employees across Canada, was chairman of the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association. He had the privilege of celebrating a CFL championship with the likes of Swervin’ Mervyn Fernandez, Lui Passaglia, Roy Dewalt and the rest of the 1985.

“I couldn’t stay busy enough, because I loved all the things I was involved in,” said Jones.

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His father Ted bought West Coast Ford Lincoln in 1963, and Ron joined the management of the company in 1968, seeing it grow into an organization with multiple dealerships selling more than 6,000 vehicles per year – one of the largest groups in the province.

“Alma and I have had a wonderful life, doing a lot of neat things, and there were a lot of things I wanted to capture and share for future generations,” said Jones.

“I’ve enjoyed the book, and I’ve enjoyed my life. Everything in my life – including the ups and downs.”

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