On the Rise: Jason Seltzer
Road Sales Associate | Allen Rubber Co. Inc. dba ARW/ITW | Age: 38
What was your first job in the industry?
I started in parts (brakes, filters, etc.), and moved to a dealership where I was more involved with tires. Then I saw how fast they moved tires and wanted to be a part of that so I joined ARW/ITW.
What attracted you to the industry?
The fast pace and the fact that everyone needs tires, so the demand is always there.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
Learning all the tires that come and go through our warehouse, one minute they’re here -- the next, they’re gone!
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
Clive White and Phil McConnon both have taught me a ton and have believed in me to better myself.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
Being nominated by my teammates at ARW/ITW for On The Rise is by far my biggest accomplishment. Knowing they see my potential, appreciate my ideas and value my hard work -- it’s an honor that they believe in me.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your work day?
I am pretty much a do it all. Need someone to answer the phone? Boom. Got it. Need someone to help pull tires? I'm there. Need someone to load a driver or make a delivery? I'm your man. I handle the road hazards we have as well, I prefer to stay as busy as possible to help time zoom by.
What did you do before you entered the tire industry?
I have been in auto parts for about 14 years. Starting from parts at Carquest for four-plus years, to working parts at a local car dealer. Out of school I was helping my dad with his carpet cleaning business until I joined Carquest. Parts sales and delivery aren’t nearly as demanding as tires, that's for sure.
Aside from the basics like health insurance, what’s the most important perk/benefit you’d want from your employer?
That's tricky, but I guess a bonus or incentive program would be my choice. It shows the company what you accomplished.
What’s the biggest issue facing the tire industry?
I think we are facing it right now with COVID-19. It shut down plants, derailed businesses, suppliers and even our own company. With tires being on back order and dealers needing specific tires for program or just people who use a specific brand, it really hindered how we worked and functioned daily. Even though things are trending upwards it's still not where you would like it to be to feel comfortable.
Tell us about your family.
I am an only child. My dad owned his own business for a good part of 35 to 40 years. He loved golf, fishing and hunting. Watching or playing softball is something we did together for many years. My mom worked as a senior secretary for a bank for about 18 years, then went into the Chester Country courthouse for 23 years as an administrative assistant to the commissioners and county chief clerk. My mom is very artsy and craftsy; you'll always find her doing something creative.
What’s your favorite childhood memory?
Greatest childhood memory would have to be family beach vacations, from relaxing to fishing to just the ride there, it was always fun. We didn't go often but we made the best of the time when we did.
It’s report card time. What grade would you give yourself for how you’ve handled 2020?
I think if anyone gives themselves anything higher than a C they’re lying! But I think a C is fair. So many ups and so many downs it is fair to say I have handled it about par for the course. You take it day to day and just roll with it and make the best of the moments you have.
What’s been your biggest challenge this year?
Consistency for sure. You had no idea what the next day would bring, or what places shutting down would do to business or our daily lives. It was tough because there was always that unknown.
Did you pick up any new hobbies or habits during the pandemic? Good or bad, tell us about them.
Other than eating more? I went camping more than I have in past years and went to the beach more, but no new hobbies.
What song do you crank up loud and always sing along to?
Most of my music doesn't have words. I listen to EDM mostly and pretty much any of them can get me going, but "The Boy Who Shattered Time” by League of Legends featuring Mitis is my go-to right now.
Tell us something about yourself others might not know.
Before I took a few years off from bowling I had eight 300 games. It took me 12 years to get my first. I started bowling at 14 years old.
If you could wake up tomorrow with one new skill, what would it be?
I think being able to weld would be the skill I'd want. There are so many things you can create and build with metal; it would be fun to experiment.
What keeps you up at night?
It’s usually something so stupid, like did I forget to do something, or turn something off? So I'm sitting there thinking about it and next thing you know it's 2 a.m.
In a single word, how would your friends describe you?
Hysterical. I'll get you to laugh one way or another, just gimme a minute.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
Riding around in my autonomous Elon Musk mobile, flying to work because I won't have anything to retire on. Seriously, I would love to be doing something in the tire industry, settled into a career and just living life with family and friends.