On the Rise: Cameron Chernikow
National program manager for Tire Pros marketing and communications | American Tire Distributors Inc. | Age: 30
What was your first job in the industry?
I started at Tire Pros in June 2012 as a regional marketing coordinator, was promoted to national lead marketing coordinator within six months, and a year later I was promoted to a regional marketing manager. I accepted my current position in February 2015.
What attracted you to the industry?
The stability of working for a large company that is knocking on the door of being a Fortune 500 company, and the ability to climb the corporate ladder. I graduated right around the time the economy crashed, so I did a lot of field marketing contract work right out of college. Great pay, but very little stability and an even smaller window of opportunity to move up to a manager or director level position, which is where I knew I wanted to be one day down the road.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
Learning patience! I'm extremely passionate, and tenacious, and I've had to learn to slow down and remember that not everyone operates on the same level or speed I do. When I see opportunities for the franchise and our brand, I want to jump on them and get the ball rolling right now. But not everyone works at that speed, and that was a challenge for me to understand, or accept, up until a few years ago.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
Dave Crawford was the vice president of operations when I first started my career at Tire Pros. I was lucky to work under his leadership for a few years before he moved on to other opportunities. He was, and continues to be, a good friend and mentor to me.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
I'd have to say launching our inaugural national advertising campaign last year. It was something we knew we needed to do to take Tire Pros to the next level by bringing awareness to the Tire Pros brand in hopes of developing Tire Pros into a consumer-recognized brand, and of course driving traffic to our dealers’ stores. We're currently working on finalizing all contracts to continue our national advertising efforts this year. It's a very exciting time to be a part of Tire Pros!
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
Running the world … or at least the world I’m working in. Hopefully I’ll be in a place where I am helping to shape the company and industry I am working in.
Tell us about your family.
My husband and I celebrated our three-year wedding anniversary in September, just two days after the nine-year anniversary of our first date. We have a two-and-a-half year old son … he’s the four legged kind … our Golden Retriever, Kingston, who has us both wrapped around his paw and is frequently the topic of conversation and laughter in our household! We’re tossing around the idea of getting him a brother or sister, but right now all our time, love, attention and money goes to him!
What’s your favorite weekend activity?
Spending time with my husband and our 2-yr-old Golden Retriever, Kingston. We like checking out new restaurants and breweries around Charlotte … pretty much anywhere with a patio that allows dogs! We also enjoy shopping for furniture for our house (we’re in the middle of completely redecorating) and hanging out with other couples.
What keeps you up at night?
Thinking about the 15,146,156 things I have to do the next day, week, and month!
Tell us something about yourself others might not know.
I’m the Carolina Panthers’ No. 1 fan! My dad has been a personal seat license owner since day one; we go to every home game together!
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Oreos … an entire sleeve, or package on occasion!
Name a talent you wish you had.
Singing! I have the worst singing voice — just ask my dad or husband!
What’s your favorite food?
Besides the aforementioned Oreos, pork belly and watermelon tacos from Soul Gastro Lounge in Charlotte, N.C. They are sinful! I’m also a chicken salad connoisseur.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Joan Rivers. Her drive and ambition helped pave the path for women in the industry, and she was a hustler up until the day she passed away. And I’m pretty sure she’d have great taste in wine, too!
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?
You can keep it!