Region grade manager | Liberty Tire Recycling LLC | Age: 34
What was your first job in the industry?
My first job in the industry was in 2004. I started in the tire recycling business working for a company called GreenMan Technologies. I would come into work after high school and run a rim crusher.
What attracted you to the industry?
My family got into the tire business in 1988, the year I was born. Growing up, all I ever wanted to do was work in the tire recycling business. As a child, it came natural for me to want to spend time at the business.
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
The biggest challenge I face is being as good as the people who mentored me and those who continue to mentor me. There are so many great and successful people in this company; I hope one day I can be as good as they are.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
There have been a few great people throughout my career who have helped me get to the position I am at. Hands-down, my father, Mark Maust, has been the greatest influence. Mark has always challenged me to do my best and to treat people how I would like to be treated. Because of him, I push myself every day to do my best and do it with integrity. For this, I pray, we have many more safe years together in the tire industry.
What’s your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
I feel my biggest accomplishment in this industry is being a part of such a great company that truly takes pride in doing what is right. Liberty Tire Recycling is always trying to find better ways to reclaim, recycle, and reuse scrap tires.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your day?
At Liberty Tire Recycling, I help with selling used tires. Most days are spent working at the Savage, Minn., plant; and though not as frequent, I also work at a few other locations in the Upper Midwest. I help by taking customer orders and making sure they get the product they need. I enjoy spending time on the floor working with the guys and teaching them what is expected. I am hands-on, so while working alongside our employees, I can lead by example. This interaction means a lot. I think in the career I am in, the key to success is being visible.
What’s one thing you wish someone would have told you before you took your current job?
I can honestly say I knew what I was signing up for, but some of the most difficult things are trying to make everyone happy. When product is scarce, it is challenging to keep customers happy, especially when customer satisfaction is our goal.
Tell us about your family.
I grew up in a household with two loving parents and three older siblings. I currently do not have a family of my own, but I do love spending time with my parents and siblings. I am blessed to have two beautiful nieces and a nephew. I really enjoy spending time with them and being a part of their lives.
How do I recover from a bad and stressful day?
I can’t say I have too many bad days. I look at them as an opportunity to fix what made them not-so-great the following day. At the end of the day, I like unwinding by working around the house and making things look nice. No matter what kind of day you’ve had, when you get home and everything looks great, it reminds you that hard work pays off.
Name one thing you wish the average American better understood about the tire industry.
I wish all people understood the importance of properly recycling their scrap tires. There are hundreds of millions of scrap tires generated each year and it’s so important to properly recycle these tires while we still have time to make a difference. Here at Liberty Tire Recycling, we strive to make this world a cleaner place by reclaiming, recycling and reusing tires.
If you could have lunch with a celebrity, who would it be, and why?
If I could have lunch with one celebrity, it would probably be Denzel Washington. Overall, I think he is a talented actor! I love all his movies. Acting aside, he is an amazing motivational speaker.
Name a talent you wish you had.
This question was probably easier as a child, but as an adult, I believe everyone has been gifted with their own talents and that is what makes people different from each other; therefore, I am content and happy with the talents I have.
What’s the biggest issue facing the industry today?
I would say the biggest issue we face today is finding good, hard, reliable workers. Our industry requires a lot of physical labor and not a lot of people are willing to do that anymore. So, when you find an individual that is trustworthy and works hard, compensate them well, because if you don’t, someone else will.
Tell us your biggest pet peeve.
Honestly, I would say my biggest pet peeve is unorganized people. Whether it’s in the workplace or at home, I’ve never understood it. In the workplace, individuals who are less organized are not as prepared for their upcoming tasks. In addition, I believe organization makes for a safer workplace.
What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
I wouldn’t necessarily say I’ve read a book lately, but the last book I have read was, “Extreme Ownership,” by Kinko Willink and Leif Babin. It is a great book to recommend to all employees in the workplace who want to grow. This book was written by veterans, and they have great examples of what they’re trying to teach.
If a tire dealer asked you for advice to find good employees, what would you suggest?
I would simply say it’s one of our most challenging issues and we face it every day. Finding good, quality workers is in high demand for all industries right now. And let’s face it, our industry is dirty and requires a lot of physical work. This makes it challenging to be competitive in our community. Something I would recommend is a referral bonus. A lot of our good employees come from existing employees referring them. Not to mention, it makes it a bit easier when people know some background information on the individuals before hiring them.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
Twenty years from now I hope to still be working for Liberty Tire Recycling. If the opportunity presents itself, I would love to retire with them.