On the Rise: Brandon Johnson
Chief Operating Officer | Eagle Tire Pros | Age: 24
What was your first job in the industry?
I started working in the industry handling our company's marketing while still in college.
What attracted you to the industry?
I'm a fourth generation tire guy. My great-grandfather retired after 20 years of building Uniroyal tires, and both my father and grandfather have been in the industry their whole lives. They joke that we are born with tires in our blood!
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
I'm not a mechanic by trade. I graduated with both undergraduate and graduate degrees in business, but there's a world of difference in forecasting sales and trying to explain to a customer how a ball joint works!
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My father's been both my inspiration and my greatest influence in the industry. He's always fought for a business that is honest, hardworking and hassle-free. He started Eagle Tire Pros when he was just 19. More than 20 years later, our business has grown to great heights. I'm so proud to be his son, and to learn from him on a daily basis.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
We have taken great leaps in our marketing. We have moved forward with not only Facebook, but Twitter and Instagram as well. This has helped us appeal to a younger market, and a new segment of customers. A year ago, we opened a brand new location that is the largest tire and automotive repair store in our local market. We were also just selected by Tire Pros to be the shoot location as of their new national commercial — an honor that was given to the model Tire Pros store. I'm proud of these milestones accomplished by our team!
How do you spend your work day?
I currently serve as chief operating officer of Eagle Tire Pros. I handle general management of day-to-day responsibilities, sales, solicitation of accounts, budget construction and forecasting, and human resources.
What keeps you up at night?
How can someone not like Country music???
Early bird or night owl?
As long as I get a full eight hours sleep, I’m not too picky!
Messy or neat freak?
Can I plead the fifth?
Growing up, what was your dream job?
For sure, a Jedi.
Tell us about your family.
My mother and father are separated, so I’m blessed with two sets of incredible parents. I have a large family that’s always been so incredibly supportive. I’m a proud fourth generation tire guy, which is also something really neat in this industry.
Describe your first car and what you loved most about it.
My 1996 Ford Explorer – dubbed the Exploder by everyone who rode in it. The doors wouldn’t open from the inside, so you had to roll down the window and let yourself out. That was a tad embarrassing on dates, but I loved that car.
What advice would you give your high school self?
Listen to your dad a lot more – he’s not always wrong.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, or Barry Goldwater.
Best way to spend a Saturday night: out on the town or home alone binge watching shows? (or something else)
That’s a tough question. I love to go to a fun dive bar, but I also know my way around Netflix.
What song do you crank up loud and always sing along to?
“Alexa – play the Dixie Chicks.”
What habit do you wish you could break?
I drink way too much Mountain Dew – maybe it’s an East Tennessee thing.
What’s your secret superpower?
I really like to stay busy. I work best with my plate completely full and when I am under lots of pressure.
What game show would you most likely win?
If we gave you $1,000 and one hour, how would you spend the money?
Lots and lots of wine.
How should the tire industry attract and retain more young talent?
We need to keep reinforcing that this industry is a wonderful one to be in. It’s full of innovation and opportunities to help someone. The trades are filled with the most honest, selfless employees on earth.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
No matter where life takes me, I hope to be working in a field that lets me help someone every single day.
What’s the biggest issue facing the tire industry?
Finding new talent. We are sending more students than ever to four-year universities, and not nearly enough students to the trades. We are going to find a major crisis when there aren’t enough mechanics to meet the demand.
If you could spend a day supporting a charity, what would you do?
I’m currently the District Governor of Lions Clubs in East Tennessee. That means I lead over 40 clubs and 1,000 Lions Club members. So I support them a lot, and love to help those in need. Where there’s a need – there’s a Lion!
If you could start a new career tomorrow, what would it be?
I wouldn’t change a thing. I love business, and helping folks. The tire industry is the perfect combination of that.