On the Rise: TJ White
Store Manager | Tire Source | Age: 27
What was your first job in the industry?
Doing general service -- oil changes, tires, etc.
What attracted you to the industry?
Our family business owned by my father, Tom White
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
Coming in as a manager straight out of college at 23 years old.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
Tom White -- the owner of Tire Source and my father.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
Growing sales and car count consistently year after year. Managing associates and customer retention.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your work day?
I am the manager at our Montrose, Ohio, location. Some days consist of writing service and interviewing potential employees, but every day consists of customer service, counting/observing inventory, scanning the web for updates and suggestions in the automotive industry, managing associates, and always bringing in and retaining customers.
What did you do before you entered the tire industry?
I have been in the automotive industry since I was about 16 years old, which is when I first learned how to change oil and tires.
Aside from the basics like health insurance, what’s the most important perk/benefit you’d want from your employer?
Flexibility and a good retirement plan.
What’s the biggest issue facing the tire industry?
Keeping up with technology with the ever-changing vehicles and the tools and equipment needed to repair them.
Tell us about your family.
I am newly married to my long-time girlfriend, Mary. We have a 3-year-old goldendoodle named Mila.
What’s your favorite childhood memory?
Ocean fishing with my grandpa on his boat in Stuart, Fla.
It’s report card time. What grade would you give yourself for how you’ve handled 2020?
I'd give myself an A, even though my work and personal life both took drastic turns this year. The changing health and safety guidelines for COVID-19 have sometimes been a challenge, making sure we're in compliance in every aspect at work. And 10/10 I would not recommend getting married during a pandemic, although it turned out to be more fun than our original plans.
What’s been your biggest challenge this year?
Keeping up morale for myself and the associates during March and April at the early stages of COVID-19. It just seemed as if new information was coming out everyday and the unknown was sometimes hard to navigate
Did you pick up any new hobbies or habits during the pandemic? Good or bad, tell us about them.
I attempted to complete a few puzzles and also may have learned a few new cocktail recipes.
What song do you crank up loud and always sing along to?
“Drops of Jupiter” by Train.
Tell us something about yourself others might not know.
I played one year of college soccer.
If you could wake up tomorrow with one new skill, what would it be?
What keeps you up at night?
Depending on the season, staffing and scheduling.
In a single word, how would your friends describe you?
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
I expect to be a father hopefully teaching my kids the ropes of the family business.