On the Rise: Loudan Hammersmith
Regional Sales Manager - Central USA | BKT USA Inc. | Age: 31
What was your first job in the industry?
I was a marketing analyst at Hercules Tire and Rubber Co. in Findlay, Ohio.
What attracted you to the industry?
After graduating college with a degree in accounting I was looking for a job in the accounting world. What I found at Hercules was a job that would keep me close to the numbers while also challenging me with an industry I knew nothing about. I soon became intrigued with the industry and all of the intricacies involved from wholesale down to the retail level.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
Transitioning from primarily wholesale passenger/light truck/TBR market analysis with Hercules to selling a complete off-highway tire solution with BKT. Learning the seemingly infinite applications and fitments for farm and OTR tires has, to this day, been an adventure to say the least.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
I have two tire industry veterans that have proven to be amazing leaders at BKT in Minoo Mehta and Brian Robinson. They have given me more support than I could ever have asked for along with the rest of the team here. Prior to my time at BKT, while at Hercules, Joshua Simpson was always willing to help me understand more about the industry and guided me in the early years as a college grad.
At BKT, we have a sales staff with an incredible amount of experience and each one of them has taken me under their wing to teach me everything from farm applications to what kind of tire I should recommend for a Cat 777.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
Coming from a competitive background has taught me to never be satisfied with my accomplishments; I would say one of my proudest moments has been the growth I experienced in my territory last year. Based on this growth I cannot wait to see what this year has in store!
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your work day?
I am the regional sales manager for BKT in the Central U.S. Every day out in the field is different and exciting. One day I may be visiting our associate dealer network and the next I am in the quarry tracking the performance of our OTR tires.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
On a tropical island somewhere drinking a mojito. No seriously, I hope to be managing a team of sales professionals.
What’s the biggest issue facing the industry today?
Clean technology. Much of the industry still has an issue with tire disposal in a way that does not impact our environment.
What’s the one thing you wish someone would have told you before you entered the industry?
Once you get in, you won’t be able to get out!
What’s the worst cliché or generalization made about your generation?
Millennials…..Where do I start?
Tell us about your family.
My family lives in a small college town in northwest Ohio. Both of my sisters work at the university and my mom is retired and the primary caretaker for my Doberman pinscher when I am on the road.
What’s your favorite weekend activity?
Going to my local gym when I am home from my travels.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Sweets: cookies, ice cream, cakes. I usually have something along those lines at least once a day.
What’s your favorite food?
Italian food! I could eat pizza and pasta every day.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
With the current impact he has had on social media, I would have to say Gary Vaynerchuk.
What’s your favorite childhood memory?
Spending summers traveling for basketball tournaments with the family.
If we took your cell phone away and said it would cost you $1,000 to get it back, how long would you survive until you paid the ransom?
If I am working I would probably pay it right away. It’s amazing how much cell phones have enabled us to do our jobs at an even higher level today.
Other than your cell phone, what’s a tool you must have to get through a work day?
I would say a GPS is essential for my job. I cover nine states in the Central USA and Ohio is probably the only one that I can navigate without getting lost.