On the Rise: Damin Oman
Director of Operations | K&M Tire Inc. | Age: 31
What was your first job in the industry?
I started in the tire industry working in a reclass position for Cooper Tire & Rubber co. in Findlay, Ohio.
What attracted you to the industry?
Lineage. My family has around 150 combined years in the tire industry. I look back fondly on memories of being young and getting to come into my mother’s office and look around at all the tire memorabilia on the walls. Most people outside of the industry don’t put a lot of thought into tires but ever since I was little it was obvious that it was something that was important to us. For three generations, tires alone have put a roof over my family's head and food on our table. I'm extremely proud to carry on that tradition.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
Our company’s growth trajectory is steep. It’s extremely exciting to be part of a business that is never satisfied with staying stagnant. Growth and change inherently presents a challenge but our culture is what allows us to be aggressive and confront those challenges head on.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
It wouldn’t be fair for me to choose just one person as I’ve had so many great mentors in my career. That being said, the three people who have had the biggest impact on my career have been my father, Dave Oman; my father-in-law, Joe Faine; and my late grandfather, Ron Lee, who all retired from the tire industry and really helped mold me into the person that I am today. They are my “Mount Rushmore” of men I aspire to be both personally and professionally.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
My biggest accomplishment in the industry is being able to wake up every day and come to work with an amazing team of people. I love what I do and I love the industry as a whole, all of that is due to the incredible group of people I get to work with day in and day out as well as our incredible family of customers.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your work day?
I currently work as a director of operations for K&M Tire and am coming up on my eighth year with the company. I spend most of my day working with my team of the regional manager, support managers, safety manager, and team of warehouse managers and associates. I spend the lion’s share of my time in the office working on data tracking, planning and managing programs. However, from time to time I am able to get out on the road and spend time at our facilities.
Tell us about your family.
I am married to my beautiful wife of seven years and we have three awesome kids, a boy and two girls.
What did you learn about yourself in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic?
It was a challenging year but our team as a whole learned to embrace managing with limited in-person interaction.
Name a talent you wish you had.
Eidetic memory, I am someone who needs to take notes and have reminders.
How do you recover from a bad or stressful day?
Wrestling around with my kids is my typical stress reliever, I am also an avid outdoorsman so being outdoors and staying active helps as well.
What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink.
What’s your favorite, can’t-miss podcast?
In the Dark.
What’s the biggest issue facing the industry today?
Fulfilment has been a hurdle recently — having enough of the correct product where we need it.
What advice would you give to tire dealers who are desperate to find good employees?
Good employees are out there but they have options with the current climate of hiring so the best advice I have is to be aggressive and not let applicants wait. The quicker you can bring them in to sit down and talk and the quicker you can get an offer into their hands, the better.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
Hopefully working in a similar capacity to what I am now, I really enjoy the tire industry and don’t see myself ever getting away from it.