McCarthy Tire Service Celebrates and Invests in Employees

April 3, 2024

For the first time in about a decade, McCarthy Tire Service Co. Inc. brought its full leadership and commercial sales team together for a three-day event. And that’s quite a task in 2024, as President John McCarthy Jr. acknowledged the tire dealership is much larger than it was 10 years ago.

But recognizing that growth was also one of the points of the leadership summit, which the company hosted in its hometown of Wilkes-Barre, Pa. With operations in eight states along the East Coast, McCarthy said some team members had never been to the company’s headquarters or met face-to-face with internal department leaders.

“We’re a much different company from a size standpoint now,” he said. McCarthy Tire Service has expanded greatly in the last decade via acquisitions. In just the last couple of years the company has completed six such deals.

So McCarthy, his sister Katie Lambert, who serves as chief financial officer, and the six family members who represent the fourth generation of McCarthys at work in the business planned the details for about 275 attendees.

“It was important to us to do it ourselves, the family along with the executive team,” Lambert said. “The goal was to celebrate our team, celebrate our leaders,” and she said feedback has indicated that team members “felt the personal touches that we put into it.”

Designed for the regional operations and sales teams, the commercial sales force and entire management team, McCarthy Tire Service also invited representatives from its key vendors to attend.

There were discussions on sales and leadership techniques. There was time for networking.

A vendor fair allowed the company’s suppliers to show products and meet one-on-one with the McCarthy sales force who pitches those products — and regularly hears feedback — from end users.

The event included an internal vendor fair of sorts, too. The corporate expo featured the leaders from each of McCarthy’s 15 departments — from human resources to facilities — on hand to answer employee questions.

Human Resource Manager Mary Kate Henry — another member of the fourth generation — said the company also presented a session on stress management. The 45-minute session offered “techniques that our team could use day-to-day to relieve stress.” Some were quick one-minute methods, while others offered help in preparing for a difficult conversation.

McCarthy said the event allowed the company to reinforce its culture.

“You don’t build a culture just by talking about culture. It’s something we do every day. We coach it. We want a good work-life balance. When you’re talking (to people and show) you’re concerned about their family, and you’re concerned about issues they have in the workplace.

“People have less tolerance for not being treated the right way, less tolerance for not being paid the right way, less tolerance for too many hours and not having that work-life balance. So you’ve got to ask questions and you’ve got to listen.

“If we’re going to retain good, solid teammates you need to make sure you hear them,” and take their recommendations seriously, McCarthy said.

The company also wanted to present its leaders with information and tools to help them in their daily roles.

McCarthy’s son, John McCarthy III, talked about how the company has reinvested into equipment and tools. The capital investments have included $10 million spent on the company’s fleet of vehicles and another $2.6 million on retread equipment.

He also presented data showing some of the outside forces at play in the industry — everything from truck utilization and truck loadings to changes in the Chinese tire market and how that could affect the demand for retreaded tires.

McCarthy III also covered how the company’s customer relationship management (CRM) tool is a piece of “the future of the industry” and that it and other software tools are designed “to help us prospect” customers and be better organized during the process.

As one of the largest independent commercial tire dealers in the country, McCarthy Tire Service is well acquainted with the demands for fast, dependable service for its customers. Gary Lambert Jr., vice president of purchasing, and another member of the family’s fourth generation, said “We react better, quicker, faster with those tools.”

His mother Katie Lambert said the tools help the McCarthy sales team demonstrate to the customer “we know what their needs are. We know what we can do to offer them the product that they need, the service that they need, when they need it.”

She said, “The sales team can go in being better prepared (and) not wasting the customer’s time.”

And that, she said will help the McCarthy Tire Service team continue the legacy that her late father John “Jack” McCarthy instilled in the business so many decades ago: “Service, service, service.”

As the company gears up for its centennial in 2026, it has continued to look back on the lessons the elder McCarthy imparted on his family members and team. This year, that legacy took the form of the top award for a company employee — to recognize “someone who just emulates everything of what McCarthy Tire Service is about.” It was one of 11 awards presented to team members at the event.

About the Author

Joy Kopcha | Managing Editor

After more than a dozen years working as a newspaper reporter in Kansas, Indiana, and Pennsylvania, Joy Kopcha joined Modern Tire Dealer as senior editor in 2014. She has covered murder trials, a prison riot and more city council, county commission, and school board meetings than she cares to remember.