MTD Dealer Profile: John Marshall

Sept. 1, 2003

Full Name: John L. Marshall.

Family: Karen (wife).

My favorite childhood memory: boating on Lake Erie.

My favorite sport: skiing.

My favorite athlete: Mario Andretti, because of all the support he's given Grismer Tire Co. and the tire industry — and he's also a world champion!

My favorite books: "The Prince" by Machiavelli; "Paradise Lost" by Milton (the hardest book I've ever read but I was stunned by Milton's intellect and creativity); and anything by Dickens, Michener or Hemingway.

My favorite food: cheese fondue.

My favorite politicians: George Washington, Winston Churchill.

Am I a morning or night person? night.

My goals in life are: to go to Antarctica and ly myself around the world (personal); to continue the growth of Grismer Tire Co. and to provide an atmosphere of security and growh for our employees (business).

A perfect evening for me is: to come back after skiing all day for a nice bottle of wine and a fondue dinner.

The best advice my parents gave me: Don't follow the crowd and don't smoke. (It took me 35 years to follow the latter advice!)

The greatest thing about the tire industry today: What we sell, nobody wants to buy but they have to have it. I'd rather be in the tire and auto repair business than selling grand pianos. It's not glamorous, but it's dependable. And if you are willing to put in the effort, you can obtain a nice living.

My advice to a dealer who is just starting out: Make sure you really enjoy what you are doing, since you will be doing it for over one-third of your life; it has to give you pleasure. If it does, work hard, be as diligent on those parts of the business you like the least as you are on those that you like the most, and see my answer to the previous question.