On the Rise: David Pulla

Nov. 1, 2021

David Pulla

Account Manager for the Consumer Business Unit | Yokohama Tire Canada | Age: 31

What was your first job in the industry? 

My career in the tire industry began on the shop floor, installing tires at a local independent tire dealer.

What attracted you to the industry?

The importance of tires is crucial for the safety of our daily travels. From a young age I was drawn to the tire industry with hopes of educating the end user of the value and benefits towards tire knowledge and safety.

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

Overcoming the doubt of customers, colleagues and industry professionals due to my age. I was able to conquer the doubt by focusing my time on developing a superior work ethic, continuously educating and of course, displaying my passion and knowledge surrounding tires!

Who has had the biggest influence on your career? 

Throughout my time in the tire and automotive industry, I've had numerous mentors who have helped guide, educate and develop as a professional. If I had to choose just one person, it would be my older sister, Diana Solda. She has always been there for me throughout my career. She's provided guidance, constructive criticism, but most of all, she's helped motivate me to always strive to be my best!

What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry? 

I have been involved in the automotive sector for the past 12 years in differing capacities. My career began as a tire installer, which lead to front counter sales at a large independent retailer in the Toronto area. During my studies at Georgian College's Automotive Business School of Canada, I joined Alta Nissan as a parts advisor, a service representative, and a new car sales consultant throughout my co-op programs. Upon graduating, my first full-time position was held with Canadian Tire Corp. I collaborated with vendors and assisted in managing the content and assortment for CTCs automotive catalogue. With Yokohama Tire Canada, I was recognized as the 2017 account manager of the year (this was the final year of the competition) and was promoted to be the first individual to manage the entire region of Ontario. All of which, I am proud of!

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

I currently lead the business rhythm for consumer tires across Ontario; including but not limited to direct and sub-retailers, national accounts and wholesale distributors. Serving as the account quarterback, I spend time working across the organization to help solve current issues, address pain points and implement growth initiatives for our customers. My day consists of meeting with customers, whether that be face-to-face, over the phone, and most recently via virtual solutions (MS Teams, Zoom, etc.). One of my key strengths is my ability to foster and manage excellent working relationships. I continuously aim to exceed expectations of our customer base.

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

How important time management is! With such a large territory and varying customer base, time management is crucial for success. Over the years I have been able to adapt and focus on driving efficiency. Make the most out of your day, each and everyday!

Tell us about your family.

I am proud to say I am married to my best friend, Samantha! We were blessed with a miracle baby, our son Matteo. Matteo was born prematurely, joining us over three months early, weighing just over one pound! Recently celebrating his second birthday, your mind  would be blown by the amount of pasta and pizza consumed by the little guy!

I was born and raised by a family of entrepreneurs. My father, mother and sister have each had a tremendous impact on my life. They provide my family and I with the utmost support in both our personal and professional lives. I am forever grateful for the values and life lessons each of them have instilled in me.

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

I was able to discover my adaptability. Like many others, I went from traveling far and wide to spending my days behind a computer. I spent hours on end utilizing the additional time in my day; I enrolled in online business courses, training seminars and read as much as possible.

Name a talent you wish you had.

If I could hand pick a talent, it would be the ability to learn and absorb information as easy as 1,2,3! The mind is a powerful tool and would be a pretty awesome talent!

How do you recover from a bad or stressful day?

Besides spending time with my family, I love to watch and engage in sports. Growing up in an athletic household, I am a die-hard Toronto Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Eagles fan. Also, adopting a new hobby can be life changing. Last year I decided to give cycling a try! Now a part of my daily routine, cycling has had a tremendous impact on my overall health and lifestyle.

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

I recently read the book ‘ The Great Transition’ by George Minakakis. The book focuses on the skills needed for unconventional leadership styles and how to be disruptive in any industry. I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge on how to challenge, compete and stand-out from the ‘norm’.

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

If I am not on the phone, I am listening to sports radio. Residing in Toronto, I typically tune into TSNs OverDrive. I also love to listen to The Joe Rogan show and Daymond John’s ‘Rise and Grind’.

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

If I won an Olympic gold medal, it would be making that last minute save in goal for the men’s Canadian hockey team!

What’s the biggest issue facing the industry today?

Though sales volume has recovered from the pandemic, the industry is still facing multiple crises: currency exchange rates; fast-rising energy, raw materials and logistics costs; new vehicle shortages (stemming from the pandemic and semiconductor shortages); and used vehicle supply shortages and huge price gains.

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

The best advice I can provide is to hire based on attitude and willingness! Attitude is the most important attribute in my eyes. Having a great attitude and maintaining positive working relationships with co-workers, business partners and customers is extremely important. The willingness to learn, adapt and of course, get the job done. The core skills and fundamentals can be taught.

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

In 20 years from now I hope to have had a positive impact on the tire industry. I expect to be providing guidance and leadership to the next generation of tire enthusiasts!