One the Rise: Whitney Moore
Office manager | G.L. Moore Tire & Automotive Inc. | Age: 35
What was your first job in the industry?
Office manager of my family's tire and automotive shop. Started as a file clerk and quickly took over all the office.
What attracted you to the industry?
My family's business and legacy. I aimed to keep the family business going. Also being a female in a predominantly male industry, I looked forward to the challenge of changing the mindset of those in the industry, as well as customers, that gender does not play a role in what is best for business, the industry and the customers’ needs.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
Being a female and starting in the industry at a time when many women were not in it, I faced challenges. I was also 19 – so young. In fact, one meeting I went to I was told I was in the wrong room as they didn't expect a young female to attend. The customers have been easier to address as a female, but the industry wasn't as accepting at times. However, our customers have appreciated having a female perspective and a family-owned, multi-generation business.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My father, Mark Moore, (owner) has had the biggest influence. Seeing the passion he has for the industry and even more, the passion he has for customer service, has helped shaped my persona in the business. Getting to help people every day is so rewarding. I have strived to show the importance and safety of what we do, as opposed to just selling products and services.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
I am serving on the national dealer council for Tire Pros. I serve the Midwest region, which is one of the largest represented in Tire Pros. This was presented to me due to my years of experience – 16-plus – as well as my engagement and interaction through many platforms. Again, being a female and being younger, I have worked to break the mold of what people think of when it comes to being a tire store owner. My dad is the current owner and will always be involved in the business, but we are transitioning me to more of an ownership role, so he can step away and enjoy some much-deserved retirement.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your workday?
It is usually easier to say what I don’t do! I really do it all, except for actually working on cars. I handle the accounting, human resources and other business needs, including marketing, business contracts, suppliers and vendors, customer relations, etc. My day usually starts with updating my daily in-house reports from the work the day before. I then receive inventory and help with our morning rush of customers. Throughout the day, I am handling inventory, customer invoices, accounting needs, HR needs, updates to our vendor needs, etc. Since it is a family business, I often do personal errands and arrangements for my father. I also serve on the national dealer council for Tire Pros so I am also engaging with the Tire Pros group as a whole, my region (Midwest) and the council with ongoing projects. I find it a high priority to stay informed so throughout the day, and during my off-time, I am reading industry publications, as well as general business information, to learn how to adapt and grow in this changing environment.
What did you do before you entered the tire industry?
I entered this industry when I was 19, so before this, there were typical jobs. I worked in a full-service restaurant and quickly worked my way up with the management staff and owners. They took me on and mentored me in the aspects of running and owning a business before I even thought about my role in our family’s business. After that, I wanted to be a bank teller, but was instead offered the job of financial services representative, where I assisted different departments in the credit union. From loans to customer service and occasionally filling in for tellers, I gained a lot of experience there. But I wanted to finish my degree, and my father offered me a job at our family’s shop so that I could attend school while working. The rest is history.
If a friend expressed an interest in joining the industry, what advice would you give them?
I would tell anyone joining the industry to be prepared! It is a fast-paced industry and there is never a dull moment. For those who like change and a non-monotonous work environment, this is the place! It’s interesting, ever-changing and challenging, but it’s an industry that has seen the need to adapt. Those who engage in this mindset can really thrive! As a female, I would encourage other females to join the industry. There is much more diversity in this industry from when I started, and I have only seen great things come from that.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
I expect to be running the shop and watching it succeed and grow. I hope to have a great supportive staff where I can focus on big-picture tasks to keep our business competitive and successful in an ever-changing climate. I hope to be preparing and setting up the business for the next generation to carry on.
Aside from the basics like health insurance, what’s the most important perk/benefit an employer should offer?
Personal development is something I think more employees are looking for now. The opportunity to grow professionally, whether through promotions or even just education, role changes, etc., I think is something that employees value. Most want to feel they are a part of the business, and that can be shown by allowing them to spread their wings and grow. As for financial benefits, I believe retirement is a crucial one. I have always felt it was important to educate younger people on the importance of retirement, and since that scope has changed in my lifetime, I feel it is even more important for employees to understand about preparing and planning for the future.
What’s the biggest issue facing the tire industry?
The biggest issue facing the tire industry right now is the different needs for each vehicle. With more vehicles and their recommendations, which can vary for tire needs even in the same product line, keeping enough inventory of tire options for customers when they need the tires is a challenge we see. I also feel that the change in customer purchasing is creating challenges. With customers becoming more comfortable buying items online, maintaining a competitive edge in this new marketplace can be a challenge for a brick-and-mortar store like ours. It is difficult to give that face-to-face recommendation and experience to customers when they are buying online, yet dealers have to recognize that this is a growing customer base. Adaptation is the key.
Tell us about your family.
I come from a big family. Specifically, it was my great-uncle, Gary Moore, who started our shop. Always intrigued by and involved in the automotive world, he opened the shop we have today back in 1971. Later, in 1996, my father, Mark Moore, came to work for him with plans to take over in the future. Mark quickly jumped in and helped facilitate a lot of growth. Purchasing the final portion from his aunt and uncle in 2003, Mark has always been 110% hands-on in the business. My mother, Jackie Moore, who is also an owner, was an HR Director for another company. Her incredible insight into that aspect of business helped fill in the gaps. She has since retired and looks forward to my father being able to take some time away from the shop so they can enjoy retirement, although Mark will never truly retire as he loves the business too much. It is truly a passion for him. He looks forward to being at the shop and loves the engagement from the customers.
What’s the worst cliché or generalization made about your generation?
The work ethic is what I hear a lot and this could not be further from the truth. I feel my work ethic is the same as the generation before me. I have always said, though, that each generation feels they are superior, and those after them have a lot of issues, so this is nothing new. Technology, although handy, is sometimes a major bane of my existence, so another cliché I think is incorrect is our obsession with and reliance on technology. I grew up without internet, cell phones, etc., so although I find them very convenient, I also think fondly to a time without them.
Name a talent you wish you had.
I wish I was artistic. I can doodle with the best of them, but seeing artists (painting, drawing, etc.) is something I find fascinating. I have also loved photography and wish I had the “eye” for it like some. Writing is about the closest I can get to artistic abilities, but to draw, paint, sculpt or photograph something in a skillful, talented way is something I wish I could do.
What’s your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory is a conglomeration of summers spent at the lake. With having a family business, spending time together can be tough. We had a boat and a wave runner and were fortunate to spend weekends in the summer at the lake, as we are closed on the weekends. In my younger years, I also spent most of my time with my family at the softball fields. My dad was very competitive in softball and growing up, I was always at the ball fields for leagues and tournaments. I made a ton of friends and have many honorary “uncles & aunts” in his teammates and their families. We were all more than just friends. We truly were a family.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead. it would probably be Pat Summit. I was fortunate to watch her coach in one of her many NCAA championship games. I think her insight as a success, a coach, a leader and a woman in a male-dominated industry would be invaluable.
Do you live by a mantra or motto? If so, what is it?
My motto is “No regrets.” That doesn’t mean mistakes don’t happen, but those mistakes, those bumps in the road, and those detours sometimes put us on a path that we actually needed but never would have found if we didn’t fall. It’s important not to dwell on the past and mistakes, but still important to learn from them. Finally, as a certified personal trainer in fitness, on the side, I also like to use “One day or day one,” meaning you can make promises and excuses, but sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and start it. Change is naturally scary to humans. We are naturally resistant to it. But it is necessary for growth.
Tell us something about yourself others might not know.
When I started college, before I came into the business, I was going to school for a criminal justice degree. My dream was to be a U.S. marshal. However, after looking into the personal sacrifices I would have to make and then being given the opportunity to work in my family’s business, I could not pass up that opportunity. I am still fascinated by the human mind and what drives us, so I am always watching crime documentaries.
What’s your go-to song for a road trip playlist?
That’s a tough one! I love all kinds of music, so that is hard to say. I literally listen to everything from old country to heavy metal. I was always a fan of ‘70’s rock and that’s usually a good era for everyone to enjoy. But if it’s just my girlfriends and I car-jamming, I have been known to whip out some old-school rap.
If tomorrow you could move into any other position in your company, what would you choose, and why?
If I could move into any other position, I don’t think I would. I enjoy my role in the company as it covers so many different aspects that I never get bored. I can go from helping customers to focusing on bookkeeping, then looking into vendor contracts, in a matter of minutes, so it’s always changing. I also learn a lot about business, the industry, etc. from having so many different aspects of my job, so honestly, I wouldn’t trade it for any other position. Although I have joked that a job swap day might be fun for everyone to get a better perspective on how much work these positions entail, but that would never work here!
What’s your favorite weekend activity?
My favorite weekend activity depends on the season and around here, we get all four! I love to scuba dive and have spent many hours diving as I have well over 100 dives in my logs. I am also passionate about fitness and work out every day, so my weekends are spent following that schedule. But it does allow me time for trail running, which is a fun weekend activity. Then there’s binging on Netflix at times, especially after a long week. I love the outdoors, so anything outside like camping, floating, hiking, swimming, diving, etc. are great ways to spend a weekend.
Who’s your role model?
My role models range from professional to personal, but if I was to give a non-celebrity, personal role model that would easily be my dad. Seeing what he has done for our business is remarkable. No one works harder or has more passion than he does. He is usually the first one in and the last one to leave. My dad truly cares about everyone he comes in contact with, from customers to employees. He has also earned the respect of the customers, employees and community through his hard work and dedication. I hope to continue that mentality and philosophy to allow him time to enjoy some relaxation.
If we gave you $1,000 and one hour, how would you spend the money?
I would probably head to Reebok to get workout gear! My closet is full, yet I always find myself buying more when I go there. I just love the shoes and clothes, and considering most of my time spent outside of work is in my gym or running the trails, I could easily spend that money!
What advice would you give your high school self?
I would tell myself to not dwell on the little things and to focus on growing. I would prepare myself that developments in my personality and mindset would continue. I do think I had a pretty good head on my shoulders back then about making pretty reasonable decisions, but just like most teenage girls, I had my focus on things that would eventually not matter.