On the Rise: Josh Chalofsky
Chief operating officer | Simple Tire LLC | Age: 33
What was your first job in the industry?
My first job in the industry was working in my uncle's retail store doing odd jobs. Most of the time I spent was loading and unloading trucks. It gave me a great understanding of all the different types of tires out there.
What attracted you to the industry?
My family has always been in the tire business, but at first I wanted nothing to do with it. I went into the television production business and quickly learned that I was unhappy there. As I began speaking with my family again about the opportunities in the tire industry I noticed there was immense opportunity to bring some of the technology I learned about in the media field to the tire business. I saw this as a chance to bring a somewhat outdated business into the 21st century.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
I would say the biggest challenge I face is that many people in the industry think we are being disruptive. While that may be the case in some situations, we look at it as taking an outdated industry and modernizing it. Think of Uber and Kayak, they all found a problem people were facing and came up with a solution. That is what we are trying to accomplish with buying tires.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My brother Andy has had the biggest influence in my career. He started with me in the tire industry and when I choose to leave he continued to stay. He has always pushed me to join him and help him grow our family’s businesses. He shared the same vision as I did and felt that we needed to figure out a way to change the way people purchase tires.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
I would say my biggest accomplishment was gaining the respect of some of the larger manufacturers in our industry. I’ve received a call from a few of them over the years acknowledging our success and offering their support. While there are still a few out there who don’t feel the same way, getting the respect of even one of them means that I made the right decision to be part of this industry.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
I hope to still be in the tire business in some capacity and am excited to see how it has changed, considering the major changes in just the last five years!
What’s the biggest issue facing the industry today?
Dealers adapting to the changing environment and landscape of how tires are purchased.
What’s the one thing you wish someone would have told you before you entered the industry?
This is a very fast-moving industry and changes seem to be around every corner.
How do you encourage others to enter the industry?
The best way I encourage people is that I tell them to look outside and see all the cars out there on the road: everyone needs tires!
Tell us about your family.
I have a wife and a daughter. I also have a brother, uncle, and cousin in the business as well. Other than that, the rest of my family is doing other things.
What’s your favorite weekend activity?
Fishing and boating.
What keeps you up at night?
How we can connect with more suppliers to purchase tires.
Tell us something about yourself others might not know.
I wasn’t always interested in the tire business. I wanted to be a veterinarian.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I am a huge fan of mango — dried, fresh, etc.
Name a talent you wish you had.
I always wanted to be able to spin a basketball on my finger. I could never figure it out.
What’s your favorite food?
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
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?