On the Rise: Brian Wright
General Manager | Tire Network Group | Age: 27
What was your first job in the industry?
My first job in the industry was with Kumho as marketing event coordinator. At that time Kumho sponsored multiple NBA, NFL, U.S. Soccer, and college teams, I managed dealer and consumer events across the country, often associated with a sporting event. It was a dream job for a recent college grad and sports fan.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
My age has been the biggest challenge in my career. Leading teams of all ages and overseeing salesmen with years of experience sometimes greater than my age has been a challenge, but it is also one of the most rewarding parts of my job.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
One of my first bosses, Rick Brennan, has had the biggest influence on my career. Rick hired me at Kumho and gave me a crash course in tire education. Rick was always accessible and interested in the personal growth of all his employees.
What is the biggest issue facing the industry today?
I think one of the biggest issues facing the industry today is size proliferation. With the massive amount of unique size offerings, wholesale, and retail inventories are increasingly more difficult to stock.
How do you encourage others to enter the industry?
I like to tell others how close-knit the tire industry is and how tire knowledge can translate into multiple career paths within the industry. This industry is one of the few remaining where independent dealers or "mom and pops" are still a dominant force, which is a testament to the opportunity that still exists through hard work and dedication in the tire industry.