Seth Ten Broeke
Account manager | RHD Tire Inc. | Age: 35
What was your first job in the industry?
I worked as a commercial tire on-the-road service tech.
What attracted you to the industry?
At first, it was just a job, but then liked being the guy that kept people safe.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
The biggest challenge is always getting people at the service desk to care about tires as much as I do.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
It's definitely my dad. He taught me that nothing can replace hard work.
What’s your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
My biggest accomplishment was getting the account manager position. Once I was there, I just had to do the job.
How do you spend your work day?
Currently, I am on the road Monday through Friday every week. I am the face of the company for about 75 Ford, Chrysler and GM dealers. It is my responsibility to do anything in my power to grow their sales. I train their employees, make sure they are stocking the right tires, help with warranties and show them the latest and greatest tire technologies — basically, anything I can do to support them.
What keeps you up at night?
I am happy to say that not much keeps me up at night, I sleep like a rock.
Early bird or night owl?
I am definitely a night owl.
Messy or neat freak?
I am neat freak in a house full of messy girls.
Growing up, what was your dream job?
Growing up, I never really wanted to be an athlete, astronaut, or and anything grand like that. I wanted to travel the world. I just wanted to find a way to make that happen.
Tell us about your family.
I have an amazing wife and three beautiful, intelligent, strong daughters.
Carolyn, my wife, is an occupational therapy assistant, which means that she helps people gain back motor function. Usually, it takes a lot of coaxing, so she has a lot of patience, which comes in handy when being married to me.
Kayla is the socialite. She is 13 and has been acting like she was in high school since she was 10.
Jaymie is 9, and she is brilliant. She gets straight A’s and has no issues at school. She enjoys playing soccer on the weekends.
Sophy is 4, and she is the epitome of a youngest child. She is spoiled by her sisters, and maybe her parents at times. She gets way too much attention, and it shows. She can walk into my group of friends, and just hang out with the guys.
Describe your first car and what you loved most about it.
My first car was a 1989 Pontiac Grand Am, and I liked that it got me from point A to point B. I did not like that car, in case you couldn’t tell.
What advice would you give your high school self?
I would tell young me to focus on school more. I worked a lot in high school, and the money was good, but it probably cost me more money in the long run, by not qualifying for scholarships.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Without a doubt, it would be Teddy Roosevelt. He was a sickly child that grew up to lead the rough riders, become president, and then lead an excursion in the Amazon after he was president. He did so much for our country, lived an extraordinary life, and I think a couple of hours with him would be amazing!
Best way to spend a Saturday night:
I am the type of person that lives for new experiences, so my perfect Saturday night would be a night out in a town I’ve never been in before.
What song do you crank up loud and always sing along to?
My family and I love belting out Ed Sheeran, especially Supermarket Flowers.
What’s your secret superpower?
It would have to be my aim. I’m very good with a gun, and it’s not something I talk about a lot.
What game show would you most likely win?
It would be Family Fued. We even tried out for it at the Detroit auditions a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a call back.
If we gave you $1,000 and one hour, how would you spend the money?
I would go buy airline tickets for a future trip. Carolyn and I could fly anywhere in the continental United States for that amount of money.
How should the tire industry attract and retain more young talent?
I think that using some of the tricks from the new tech companies would work wonders at retaining talent. Some examples would be offering a sabbatical, allowing inside sales people to work from anywhere, and using company dollars to help employees grow professionally.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
I really love the type of work I do, and I hope to still be doing it. The one thing I hope for is to have a larger territory. For instance, maybe I would a regional manager.
What’s the biggest issue facing the tire industry?
The biggest issue I see currently is that with green technology becoming more popular, I’m not sure that we are green enough, yet. I know we are always improving, and I’m excited to see what’s coming up in the next few years.
If you could spend a day supporting a charity, what would you do?
I used to work on a Habitat for Humanity home once a year when I worked in the banking industry. I would love to spend a day doing that again.
If you could start a new career tomorrow, what would it be?
I would be a travel writer. I don’t really want to be on TV, but traveling and sharing my experiences would be an amazing career.