Dealer Profile: Tom Raben

Sept. 1, 2002

Full name: Thomas Michael Raben

Age: 56

Family: Wife, Clara: daughter, Schelly, and son-in-law, Mark (grandson Nolan); son, Brian, and daughter-in-law, Gretchen (granchildren Tyler, Emma, Elizabeth and Lauren); son, Kevin, and daughter-in-law, Angie (grandchildren Abbey, Anna, and Audrey); sons, Nick and Chad.

I'm most proud of: my family - my wife, children, their spouses, granchildren, my parents, my siblings, etc.

My favorite childhood memory: There are 13 children in my family, and we would all pile into the family station wagon for a drive or dad and mom would take us out for ice cream. Waiting at a stoplight you could see the peope in the car next to us doing a mental head count. To save them time, I would always hold up my fingers to show many were in the vehicle. Good thing they didn't have seat belt laws back then.

My biggest regret is: the loss of my father at such an early age. He was too young to die and I was too young to lose my father.

My favorite sport is: golf, but I really appreciate collegiate-style wrestling. Wrestling teaches you that when you work hard and have given your best, even if you lose you win.

My favorite athlete is: Michael Jordan, not just because he was a great basketball player, but because he had the guts to leave a sport where he was always at the top of his game to follow a dream and try something new. Having the courage to leave his security zone told me more about the man than his slam dunk.

My favorite book: "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss.

My favorite food: anything my father-in-law and mother-in-law prepared. They were both chefs and one of my favorites was their steak salad. 

My favorite politician: Ronald Reagan.

Am I a morning or night person? I wake up ready to go so I guess that makes me a morning person.

If I could change one thing about myself I would: have a better short game.

My most humbling experience: In my senior year of high school, we rotated each week as captain of the football team. It was my week in the limelight and I had gone out on the field for a coin toss. I won the toss and elected to kick.

My goals in life are: to be a good husband, father and grandfather and to be a good provider. I also strive to be an honest and successful business man.

A perfect evening for me is to: finish a round of golf at dusk, have an adult beverage while collecting my winnings and have Clara join me for dinner.

Smartest thing I've ever done: not investing in Enron.

Best advice my parents gave me: My father was a man who trusted in the goodness of other people and didn't take himself too seriously. He managed to find humor in nearly every situation. These traits that defined him were passed along to his children. He taught us to work hard, be open-minded and always maintain our integrity.

My advice to my children: Look for the good in all things. Don't keep the bad on subtotal.

The greatest thing about the tire industry today is: it remains a challenging, entrepreneurial business. For the most part, it works pretty well when you do.

My advice to a dealer who is starting out: Surround yourself with good people. Be a man or woman of your word and know your financial limitations.