On the Rise: Judd Shader
CEO/Board of Directors | Leeds West Groups | Age: 34
What was your first job in the industry?
Owning two Midas shops while being a 20-year-old junior at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
What attracted you to the industry?
The unique opportunity to create synergies and scale via family office capital investment strategies of long term money placement, while using franchise national name brands across the United States.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
The biggest challenge I have faced is knowing when and how to execute the necessary changes within the company to push us to the next growth trajectory and objective. Being a young CEO growing an aftermarket automotive company from the ground level to today has granted me the opportunity to grow alongside the company. I have also faced unique challenges of effectively building out my senior management team from the ground level. It has required me setting and building overall corporate guidelines and long term structured processes required from scratch, which are needed for building a long term, sustainable company in automotive aftermarket .
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
The chairman of our board of directors Joshua Weinreich, and my father, Mark Shader.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
Creating and growing the largest aftermarket automotive franchise repair and tire collective grouping of franchise locations in the United States with over 1,000 employees within 10 years.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your work day?
I am the founder and CEO of Leeds West Groups. I spend the majority of my work day working with my senior leadership team on company objectives. I think it is important to allow your team to do the job that you hired them to do. Thus, I aim to work with them and not around them.
What did you do before you entered the tire industry?
I was a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Aside from the basics like health insurance, what’s the most important perk/benefit you’d want from your employer?
I would want my employer to create an environment that allows me to continue to grow within that same organization's walls to the next level. I feel it is important to be a part of an organization that is robust with upward mobility and opportunities available for growth.
What’s the biggest issue facing the tire industry?
I feel there are a multitude of issues, highlighted by data connectivity and data sharing.
Tell us about your family.
I have a son who is three years old.
It’s report card time. What grade would you give yourself for how you’ve handled 2020?
I will give myself a passing grade, while giving my management team an A. Our team not only handled 2020 in an excellent manner, we also grew store count during the pandemic by 7 units.
What’s been your biggest challenge this year?
Managing in a changing retail environment and through different regions throughout the US that were created from Covid challenges.
What song do you crank up loud and always sing along to?
“Son of a Son of a Sailor” by Jimmy Buffett.
Tell us something about yourself others might not know.
I am fluent in American Sign Language.
In a single word, how would your friends describe you?