On the Rise: Mitch Tate
Director of Operations | Tate Boys Tire & Service LLC | Age: 26
What was your first job in the industry?
My first official job in the industry was a manager in training with Tate Boys. I have grown up in the industry and remember helping out in the warehouse and tire lanes as a kid.
What attracted you to the industry?
The opportunity to help people is why I am in this industry. Working on customers’ vehicles gives us a great way to impact someone’s life and help make someone's stressful situation a little less painful.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
The biggest challenge is continuing to grow the culture that my father, uncle and grandfather have created in our organization. It is an honor that I do not hold lightly and understand it is the most important aspect of my job.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
The biggest influence on both my life and career is my father, Craig Tate. He was the one who brought me to the shops when I was a kid and to this day I seek his input and coaching on the various activities or situations that we have going on in our store operations.
What’s your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
My record month in April of this year is the accomplishment that I am most proud of. We had a stretch goal for the company gross profit and exceeded it by over 2%. My biggest personal accomplishment is making the football team at the University of Oklahoma.
How do you spend your work day?
As the director of operations at Tate Boys Tire & Service, I oversee the operations at our six (soon to be seven locations), as well as our warehouse. The majority of my day is spent in the stores interacting with customers, coaching our store managers, driving business results, and ensuring the Tate Boys standard is upheld at all of our locations.
What keeps you up at night?
The thought of customers going to other auto centers and not getting to experience the service that our team could be delivering to them.
Early bird or night owl?
Early bird! Most days I wake up at 4am and hit the ground running.
Messy or neat freak?
I like to think I’m a neat freak but that might only be because my wife follows behind me picking up my mess.
Growing up, what was your dream job?
I am a huge football fan and growing up my dream job was to play defensive end for the San Francisco 49ers.
Tell us about your family.
I have a beautiful wife, Te’Angela, a 3 year old son Elijah, and a baby boy due in November.
Describe your first car and what you loved most about it.
A 2002 Dodge 1500. It had 4 doors and a lift with mud tires which was perfect for me when I was 16 as it took me and my friends on many hunting and fishing trips.
What advice would you give your high school self?
Slow down and enjoy the little things.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
I would love to grab a hot dog at ball game with my grandpa and talk about the early days of the business and make sure he sees the impact of the legacy he created.
Best way to spend a Saturday night:
Sitting around a campfire with my family and hunting friends preparing for the big hunt in the morning.
What song do you crank up loud and always sing along to?
Africa by Toto. I am a big fan of yacht rock music.
What habit do you wish you could break?
I have a bit of a sweet tooth and the bad habit I wish I could break is getting second and third helpings of desserts.
What’s your secret superpower?
I consider my supreme hunting skills to be a superpower, although all my hunting buddies would disagree and take credit.
What game show would you most likely win?
Family Feud. Tate Boys is a family owned and operated company, my grandpa started it, my father and uncle bought it from him, and now the third generation (my sister, cousins, and brother in law) is working in the family business. We are all very passionate about our company and this had led to many memorable experiences and arguments over who is correct.
If we gave you $1,000 and one hour, how would you spend the money?
I would drive to the nearest Bass Pro Shops and buy more duck hunting gear that I do not need.
How should the tire industry attract and retain more young talent?
Focus on promoting the professional image of the industry and your company. Breaking the stereotype of a dirty, messy tire shop helps attract the new generation of talent.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
Helping develop and guide the next generation of tire industry leaders.
What’s the biggest issue facing the tire industry?
Traditional, negative stereotypes are the biggest issue that we must overcome on a daily basis in this industry.
If you could spend a day supporting a charity, what would you do?
I would spend the whole day at the Boys and Girls Club playing football and basketball with the kids. The program was great for me when I was younger and would love to have that type of an impact on the kids.
If you could start a new career tomorrow, what would it be?
Without hesitation, I would be a high school football coach. The impact a coach can have on a younger person’s life can help guide them through the rest of their life.