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On the Rise: Geoffrey Tolley

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Geoffrey Tolley

Senior category manager | Advance Auto Parts Inc. | Age: 39

What was your first job in the industry?

Inventory analyst.

What attracted you to the industry?

Consistent growth and opportunity. Plus it's all about cars!

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?

Continually finding an edge to be on top.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career?

Certain mentors in my career both at Advance and externally.

What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?

Specific category market share achievements.

What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?

CEO of an automotive corporation.

What’s the biggest issue facing the industry today?

Purchase rate of vehicles, self-driving cars, and parts proliferation.

What’s the one thing you wish someone would have told you before you entered the industry?

Jump around.

How do you encourage others to enter the industry?

I’m very vocal and passionate about the industry. Trade shows and college recruiting.

Tell us about your family.

I have a wife who stays at home with our two young boys.

What’s your favorite weekend activity?

Visiting the farmers’ market and taking my boys fishing or to car shows.

What keeps you up at night?

How do we serve our customers better?

Tell us something about yourself others might not know.

I played for an NCAA Division II Football National Championship. I was on the defensive line of the Carson-Newman University Eagles, Jefferson City, Tenn., from 1995 to 1998.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Brewing beer.

Name a talent you wish you had.

Photographic memory.

What’s your favorite food?

Thai food or my wife's lasagna. 

If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

My family, including my parents.

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?

Two days.

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