On the Rise: Alex Airulla
Regional Manager of the Ohio Valley | Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC | Age: 37
What was your first job in the industry?
My first job in the tire industry was with Bridgestone as a commercial sales manager covering central Illinois. In that role, I was responsible for growing sales within our fleet and dealer customer base.
What attracted you to the industry?
Growing up around Akron, Ohio, I realized that transportation affects everything. The industry itself and the people within the industry attracted me to Bridgestone. Trucks move more than 70% of all goods transported around the United States, and commercial truck tires – like those from Bridgestone – help to make that possible. I wanted to work in an industry that positively affected the world, and with increased influence, could become more efficient through the use of technology. Lastly, people do business with people, and our industry has a very diverse group of customers that I enjoy communicating with on behalf of Bridgestone. Our customers range from the owner/operators wearing multiple hats, to the presidents of multi-state dealer and fleet organizations, all of which are passionate about their business and servicing our shared customers to their fullest ability.
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
Continuous adaptation. Whether I am transitioning into a new role, or learning about one of Bridgestone’s new solutions, or adapting to ever-changing equipment and technology; new information and understanding is needed to be successful in this industry. Couple this with only eight years of experience, and I have had to adapt and learn on the fly. Luckily, our organization makes learning a priority and my customers have helped along the way.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
Hands down, my wife. Without her support, life would be less fun. She has relocated with me four times during my work history and provides the support that is needed for work travel.
What’s your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
My contribution to help new dealers and Bridgestone team members enter the industry and build a base of knowledge to be successful is my greatest accomplishment. Through management and mentorship, my happiest days are seeing team members develop and use their new skills to help our shared customer base.