Who We Are

We are not just about predicting the future — we’re about creating it.

Welcome to taq. We’re a company on a mission to completely reimagine and transform the way cars are bought and sold. In fact, our goal is to flip the whole automotive industry upside down in order to deliver a better customer experience.

At taq, we believe change makes new ideas possible, and that change should never stop. We’re all about continuous improvement. We have the vision to see what’s needed and the drive to build it. We think differently, actively pursuing new ideas that will provide our clients with better experiences.

We will win where others have tried and failed because we see the big picture, we listen, and we’re committed to collaborating as true partners with our clients. We bring the thought leadership and the technology they need to succeed today and into the future.
It’s a smarter way to sell cars. At taq, we call this Automotive Intelligence.

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Where it all began

Strategic Connections (which later evolved into SCI) launched in 1996. Leveraging the power of the internet, the company developed a technology software to process lead information. Working at first with Mercedes Benz, it soon won a lucrative contract with General Motors US. As other lead management systems entered the market, SCI needed to revitalize in order to stand out. Enter Alan Bird.

A visionary

In 2010, Alan Bird was appointed President and Chief Executive Leader of SCI. Alan held the firm belief that data was key, and that using it to provide an optimal customer experience was the way of the future. Now focused on training dealers in how to engage with digital customers, SCI would later develop and launch a successful Digital Performance Training program.

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A game changer

In 2015, the company introduced a new division, SCI Lease Corp. This initiative opened up opportunities to branch out into a whole new area of the automotive industry - the leasing market. While initially focused on developing a credit portal to allow dealers to process leasing applications online, SCI soon realized it was well positioned to consolidate all of its systems into a platform that spanned the entire car-buying process. This was a game changer.

A dream realized

Today, we have unified platforms that offer core services for dealers, including lead management, a credit portal, training for dealers and OEMs, and true digital retail. Still, we continue to search for ways to create even better dealer experiences and industry innovation as we look down the road.

Poised to change the landscape of the Canadian marketplace, a new company name and a new mission were in order. We’re now called taq. Short for tachometer, our new name suggests power and acceleration – fitting, since we are on a mission to use our Automotive Intelligence to accelerate the industry into the future. Welcome to a new vision of automotive retail.

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The taq team

Area Sales Managers

Our Area Sales Managers are committed to your Dealership’s success. Your business is their business. They are passionate. They provide the guidance and expertise you need to help you sell more cars.

Jerry Chinner

VP, Dealer Sales

Kristin Laswick

ASM

Sara Golizadeh

ASM

Jerry Chinner

VP, Dealer Sales

As VP, Dealer Sales, Jerome (Jerry) Chinner is driven by a passion to help others achieve both professional and personal goals.  His 14+ years in the Auto Industry working with Dealers, OEMs, Lenders and Vendor partners has given him a keen understanding about the complexities and unique nuances that are inherent to our industry and positions him well to expand taq’s footprint in the marketplace. 

Kristin Laswick

ASM

With over 17 years of experience in the automotive industry, Kristin demonstrates the highest level of integrity and commitment with her customers and sets out to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction. With a true passion for the industry, Kristin aims to find the best solutions for her customers through a consultative approach to help them achieve optimal results. She looks forward to connecting with dealers and discussing customer engagement solutions and best practices.

Sara Golizadeh

ASM

Sara Golizadeh is passionate about the automotive industry and has dedicated her 17+ year career to consulting with dealerships on how to use technology to engage with customers and sell more vehicles. She uses her in-depth knowledge of in store initiatives and digital marketing campaigns to help dealers navigate this space.  Sharing insights and working with stores to achieve their goals in a dynamic marketplace will continue to be her focus as she works to share the value brought forward through taq.

Executive Leadership Team

With an unparalleled level of knowledge and experience in the automotive industry, our Executive Leadership Team leads our organization with a steadfast belief in the principles of authenticity, creativity, transparency, fun and a passion for innovation.

Alan Bird

Chief Executive Officer
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John Currado (JC)

President

Matt Gielow

Chief Marketing Officer

Des Reynolds

Chief Financial Officer

Lori Murtagh

Chief Risk Officer

Adam MacDonald

Senior Vice President, Data Strategy

Ali Akbar

VP, Finance

Joanne Peddle

VP, Product and Design

Lisa Chin-A-Loy

VP, Corporate Accounts

Ryan Ramasra

VP, Development

Alan Bird

Chief Executive Officer

Alan Bird is an unwavering optimist, an out of the box strategist who works tirelessly to build and nurture relationships with colleagues and business partners. His over 30 year career as an entrepreneurial leader in the automotive marketplace has solidified him as a key advocate and trailblazer of our industry. As Chief Executive Officer of taq Automotive Intelligence, Alan’s focus is to bring innovative technology and competitive leasing programs to the Canadian marketplace. Prior to taq (formally SCI), Alan launched Curomax in 2001, Canada’s first multi-asset finance portal, which came to revolutionize the way credit applications were processed in North America. As a dedicated member of the board at the Automotive Business School of Canada and chair of their Marketing Advisory Committee, Alan believes that the future of our industry is in the hands of the students and works tirelessly to champion them. Alan is a die-hard Leafs fan, an avid golfer and most recently, a top fundraiser for the 2020 Movember cause.

John Currado (JC)

President

John Currado is a passionate and innovative professional, focused on earning trust, building relationships, and creating win-win situations for all his clients. His over 25 years of experience in the financial lending business, along with his knowledge of the automotive space positions John as an industry expert with a unique and intimate understanding of interdependencies of the two industries. In his role as President of taq Automotive Intelligence, John delivers on taq’s technology strategies. Prior to taq (formally SCI), John held various positions at Dealertrack from 2007 through 2013, eventually serving as the General Manager for the Canadian Operation.

Matt Gielow

Chief Marketing Officer

Matt’s philosophy is that fostering teamwork and pursuing a better way of doing things is what makes good organizations great. He has cultivated this belief over a 25-year career in product, marketing, and IT Operations. For the past decade, Matt has served as the Executive Leader, Product Development and Marketing for taq with energy and enthusiasm and is an invested stakeholder in the organization. Before joining taq, Matt held senior managerial positions at General Motors US and EDS. A proud member of the United States Navy, Matt is specially trained in Anti-Submarine warfare and Anti-Air warfare. A native of Detroit, Matt supports his alma mater’s team, the Michigan Wolverines as well as the Detroit Lions.

Des Reynolds

Chief Financial Officer

Des is a financial strategist with an impressively sharp business acumen whose over 25 years’ experience in the automotive industry has solidified him as pragmatic visionary. Des has served as taq’s Chief Financial Officer Automotive Intelligence for over a decade and, as part owner, also serves as a board member. Before joining taq, he served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Curomax Corporation, a company he and his partners founded in 2000 then subsequently sold to DealerTrack in 2007. Prior to Curomax, Desmond was the Vice President of Finance for FinanciaLinx a division of CIT Group/Newcourt Credit and the Bank of Montreal. He earned his Chartered Accountancy designation while at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, specializing in Corporate Taxation and Entrepreneurial Business Services. Des hails from Burlington, Ontario, is an enthusiastic cyclist and he’s one Tough Mudder.

Lori Murtagh

Chief Risk Officer

Lori is a true pioneer in the Canadian automotive space as one of the few Executive Level females in a predominantly male dominated industry. With a career that has spanned over 30 years, Lori has gained extensive knowledge of the industry positioning her as a trusted expert in many fields. As one of taq’s stakeholders, Lori is able to draw on her extensive expertise in the areas of risk mitigation, legal compliance, strategic operations and human resources. Prior to joining taq in 2015, Lori held senior positions at GM Financial in Operations and HR. Lori is a strong advocate for mentorship programs for young women as well as recipient of the 2019 IARA Remarketer of the Year and a 2017 Women and Automotive Profile in Leadership honoree.

Adam MacDonald

Senior Vice President, Data Strategy

Ali Akbar

VP, Finance

Ali Akbar, VP Finance is a lifelong learner with many credentials in the field of finance, accounting, tax and law. With over 20 years experience in long term financial planning in automotive, energy and public sectors, Ali’s strategic thinking is aimed at determining the true value of assets/projects and focusing resources on high value ventures that will positively impact growth.

Joanne Peddle

VP, Product and Design

Joanne Peddle is a graduate of the Automotive Business School of Canada and has 15 years experience in the Auto Industry. Joanne has a passion for building products that people love, and a firm resolve to change the automotive industry to deliver a better experience. She enjoys learning and evolving and surrounds herself with awesome people! Joanne was named Automotive News’ Canadians to Watch in 2018 and was a Women & Automotive Profile in Leadership honoree in 2019.

Lisa Chin-A-Loy

VP, Corporate Accounts

As VP, Corporate Accounts, Lisa Chin-A-Loy’s mandate is to build and nurture relationships with our corporate customers.  With over 30 years of experience working in the Finance, Leasing and Technology sectors of automotive, Lisa has amassed a depth of knowledge that positions her well to deliver excellence to our corporate clients.

Ryan Ramasra

VP, Development

Are you someone who likes to challenge the status quo? Push the boundaries of what’s possible?