On the Rise: Drew Mortensen

Nov. 1, 2021

Drew Mortensen

Manager | Ralph's Tire Pros | Age: 28

What was your first job in the industry? 

My first job in the industry was here at Ralph's Tire Pros as a lube and tire tech.

What attracted you to the industry?

My dad owned the business and I wanted to be like him so I just naturally gravitated toward working here; I always knew this was where I belonged.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career? 

The biggest challenge I have faced in my career, probably has to be working with and recognizing multiple personality types. Learning how people operate and the best way to communicate effectively, especially with my employees, and finding out what drives them to work and how they receive information.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career? 

My father definitely was the biggest influence for me in my career. I wanted to be just like him growing up and every day I strive to continue his legacy and be the best I can be day in and day out.

What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry? 

My biggest accomplishment would have to be becoming the store manager. Every day I wake up and try to be the best manager, co-worker, son, husband, father, brother, uncle, coach, employee that I possibly can. Every day is a new beginning!

Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your work day?

My current job responsibilities include, staffing — hiring, screening, training, keeping track of working hours, workplace efficiency and the jobs completed and hours on the clock. I handle inventory — everything from tires to nuts, bolts and electrical connectors — and keep track of what goes out the door, from which vendor and make sure that the invoiced price is accurate. I run the day-to-day operations in the front office: greeting customers, answering phones, writing up repair orders, phoning customers with estimates for diagnostic repairs, and cashing the customers out. I do it all. I also am responsible for making sure the office and workplace grounds are clean and professional looking at all times.

What’s one thing you wish someone would have told you before you took your current job?

One thing I wish someone told me before I took this job is that it is OK to say no, and that it is impossible to please every client. I learned that one the hard way.

Tell us about your family.

I am happily married to the love of my life and high school sweetheart and we have two beautiful children together, one boy and one girl. I am the youngest of four children and the only boy. My oldest sister Danyelle works with me as my assistant manager and helps keep me sane on the stressful days. My other two sisters, Jamie and Tenaya, don't work in the store but we all live in the same town and are very close.

What did you learn about yourself in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic?

I learned that I can't stress over things that I cannot control. The virus never bothered me personally at all because I believe that everything happens for a reason and it’s out of my control anyway, so I took the proper precautions and just lived my life.

Name a talent you wish you had.

I wish that i was capable of speaking Spanish. My dad spoke Spanish and could communicate with our customers that only spoke Spanish, but now that he is retired, I struggle with that at times.

How do you recover from a bad or stressful day?

I put on my headphones and listen to music or a podcast and clean something. I own a detailing company and love to clean cars and buff/wax boats and RVs. It's mindless and helps me work off the stress that I built up. and then after that i like to go home and hug my two kiddos.

What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

The best book I have read lately is called Emotional Intelligence 2.0. It has really helped me understand my emotions and how to not let them take over my actions, especially in the workplace.

What’s your favorite, can’t-miss podcast?

My favorite podcast for sure is one called Focus on the Family.

If you won an Olympic gold medal, how would you have earned it? (You can make up a sport.)

It would probably be for the largest amount of stored useless information in the brain! I remember the most odd details that wouldn't matter to the average person but I never forget.

What’s the biggest issue facing the industry today?

By far the biggest issue I struggle with the most is staffing (broken record, i know.) But good, trustworthy, willing help is almost impossible to find.

What advice would you give to tire dealers who are desperate to find good employees?

One piece of advice I can give is to take care of the employees that you do have. Make them feel wanted and appreciated because new help is hard to find and it may take a few people to cycle through one position to get the right fit.

What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?

Twenty years from now I hope to be traveling and getting outdoors to do as much hunting and fishing as I can. I love to be outdoors.