On the Rise: Ron Cottrell
Installation Coordinator | Simple Tire LLC | Age: 37
What was your first job in the industry?
My first job in the industry was in 2012 working at a Midas in Roxborough, Pa., as an assistant manager. My day-to-day duties included hiring and training new employees, managing the mechanics, and ordering parts such as brakes, oil filters, wiper blades and of course tires. A ‘people person’ by nature, I enjoyed my daily interactions with both customers and staff. One of my greatest achievements there was more than doubling store sales. Dedication and hard work earned me a promotion after my first six months to store manager of Midas in Bryn Mawr, Pa.
What attracted you to the industry?
I grew up in New Jersey and have several close friends and family in the industry. With years of sales experience combined with a sociology degree, I have always felt that I would serve this industry well due to the high interaction with customers and demand for tires.
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
My biggest challenge was as a Simple Tire sales representative. I didn’t realize there were so many different tires and brands used for so many distinct reasons. I was challenged with not only learning about each tire but also about each customer’s needs and driving styles. I took full advantage of each and every training (and there were plenty) Simple Tire offered, as well as completing online courses to aid in advancing my tire knowledge.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
The biggest influence on my career was my mentor, the late Gary Stanford who was the vice president of Hewlett-Packard. He taught me the importance of developing excellent communication skills and how they can catapult my career in any industry. Additionally, I would consider Andy (CEO) and Josh (COO) Chalofsky of Simple Tire awesome mentors. They have given me the opportunity to take on various roles within the company in a very short period of time. Their words of wisdom and great passion for the industry inspire me to overcome any challenge I face. I’ve learned that there is a solution to every obstacle.
What’s your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
Being appointed as Simple Tire’s installation coordinator to assist customers and train various companies in the industry on how to use Simple Tire’s installer portal has to be one of my biggest accomplishments yet. Playing an integral role in catapulting Simple Tire’s new initiative is very rewarding.
How do you spend your work day?
I act as the Installation Coordinator at Simple Tire. My day-to-day duties include scheduling customer installation appointments with the service centers as well as onboarding new Installers to our network.
What keeps you up at night?
Early bird or night owl?
Messy or neat freak?
Growing up, what was your dream job?
I love basketball and growing up I dreamed of playing in the NBA.
Tell us about your family.
My mom has always been very supportive in everything I’ve done, especially in reaching my goals. She’s played a vital role in my life and has helped me get to where I am today and shaped me into who I am. She’s a strong woman with one of the strongest work ethics, which I like to think she bestowed on me. I also have three older brothers who are all very intelligent. So, growing up I always felt like I had to stay motivated and driven to keep up.
Describe your first car and what you loved most about it.
My first car was a 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera. I loved that car because I saved my money all summer working at a water park to buy that car. It was extremely rewarding to have bought it with my hard-earned money.
What advice would you give your high school self?
Just stay focused and don’t mind what other people say, because at the end of the day the only thing that matters is what you think.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Best way to spend a Saturday night: out on the town or home alone binge watching shows? (or something else)
Going to the casino to have a great meal and top it off with some dancing.
What song do you crank up loud and always sing along to?
I like all music. So, if it's a bad day I’ll listen to "Bounce Back" by Juvenile or if I’m feeling low, I like to play “You’re the Man" by NAS. In the summer when I’m driving to the beach, I may listen to "Summertime" by Sublime.
What habit do you wish you could break?
I wish I had more patience.
What’s your secret superpower?
My secret superpower is the ability to converse and connect with people.
What game show would you most likely win?
Wheel of Fortune
If we gave you $1,000 and one hour, how would you spend the money?
I would use that money to take my son to Disney World.
How should the tire industry attract and retain more young talent?
I believe the tire industry should reach out to top sales people in any industry because this business needs more innovators and fresh new ideas for this billion dollar industry.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
I plan to still be in the tire industry.
What’s the biggest issue facing the tire industry?
The tire industry is 10 years behind other industries in innovation.
If you could spend a day supporting a charity, what would you do?
I would spend a day with Habitat for Humanity and help build houses.
If you could start a new career tomorrow, what would it be?
I would be in advertising allowing my ideas to flourish.