On the Rise: Toby Williams

Oct. 31, 2023

Toby Williams

Co-owner | Pelc Tire & Service | Saraland, Ala. | Age: 34

What was your first job in the industry?

I began my professional journey by joining Trax Tires, where I initially worked as a tire changer.

What attracted you to the industry?

Fresh out of high school, I initially approached my role at Trax Tires as simply a job that could possibly turn into more. However, it didn't take long for me to realize that I had a natural talent for the work and that it held the potential to become a fulfilling and successful long-term career with the possibility of achieving great heights.

What is the biggest challenge you've faced in your career?

In every job, hardships are bound to arise. It's through overcoming adversity that work becomes truly satisfying and transformative, leading to personal and professional growth. That being said, the only thing that comes to mind was being so young when going through the ranks. As I progressed to higher positions within the organization, I encountered a unique challenge at times of earning respect, particularly because I was often younger than those I was leading. It wasn't always easy to establish my credibility and authority in these situations. However, I approached this obstacle with determination and focused on showcasing my knowledge, skills, and commitment to my role. Through open communication, leading by example, and building strong relationships with my team, I was able to gain the respect of my peers and successfully navigate these dynamics.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career?

I owe a great deal of my success today to my previous two bosses, both the owner of the company, Shane Adams, where I began my career and the operations manager, Chuck Fuqua. They served as true leaders who led by example and consistently demonstrated excellence in all that they did. Their mentorship and guidance imparted invaluable knowledge that has shaped my professional journey.

Additionally, I must acknowledge the significant influence of my dad, Toby Williams Sr. While he may not have been familiar with the tire business, his sound advice and unwavering support have been instrumental in helping me make wise decisions and navigate the challenges along the way. I am truly grateful for his guidance and infinite wisdom, as I firmly believe that I would not have achieved the level of success I have reached today without him.

What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?

When my partner and I embarked on this journey in August 2018, we started with just one retail location. However, through strategic hiring and fostering a positive work environment, we have been able to expand and now proudly operate four highly successful locations.

It is the dedication, skills, and hard work of our team members that have propelled us forward. Their commitment to excellence, customer service, and teamwork has been instrumental in our growth and achievements thus far. We are truly grateful for their contributions and look forward to continuing our journey of success together.

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

I primarily focus on administrative work, but it often requires me to wear multiple hats and handle a diverse range of tasks. On most days, I never quite know what challenges or projects I'll be faced with until I arrive at the office. However, having an exceptional operations manager like Chuck Fuqua, who excels at handling the day-to-day operations, has been instrumental in our success.

Chuck's phenomenal work and expertise in managing the operational aspects of our business have allowed me to shift my focus towards working on the business as a whole, rather than being caught up in the day-to-day operations. This shift has greatly contributed to the tremendous success we have achieved.

I must admit, before taking on this role, I never fully realized the extent of the behind-the-scenes work required to drive the company forward and secure its future. It has been an eye-opening experience to see the depth of responsibilities that come with working towards the betterment of the company.

What's been the biggest surprise of your current job?

The most significant surprise in my career has been the realization of where I am today, reflecting on the journey I've undertaken. It's amazing to see how far I've come and the accomplishments I've achieved that were once beyond my imagination. Looking back, I now understand that there is no secret formula or magical shortcut to success. Instead, it is the unwavering dedication to hard work, coupled with the perseverance to overcome challenges.

Tell us about your family.

I have been married to my wonderful wife, Victoria, for almost 13 years, and together we have been blessed with four amazing children — two boys and two girls —Caroline, Paisley, Brooks and Walker. Our household is always bustling with activity and can be quite busy, but we find joy in the chaos and embrace the love and laughter that our children bring to our lives. They are our world, and we are incredibly grateful for the beautiful family we have created together.

If you could wake up tomorrow with one new skill, what would you choose?

Carpentry. As a licensed home builder, my expertise lies in overseeing and collaborating rather than executing hands-on carpentry work. While I may not possess the natural talent for physically building structures like my father, who has the remarkable ability to construct just about anything, I've found my ability doesn't go beyond coordinating the work.

In a single word, how would your friends describe you?


If you could switch jobs for a day, what job/who would you choose to swap with, and why?

Anything to do with real estate. Real estate has always been a passion of mine, and I find myself drawn to various aspects of the industry. Whether it's flipping houses, constructing new houses, or facilitating real estate transactions, I have always been deeply interested in the world of real estate. This passion has led me to obtain my real estate license, allowing me to actively engage in the buying and selling of properties.

What's the biggest issue facing the tire industry?

Staffing, as it directly impacts our ability to maintain a desirable bottom line. As wages continue to rise, it becomes increasingly important to strike a balance between attracting and retaining quality employees while managing costs. Finding the right staffing levels and implementing effective strategies to combat turnover remain ongoing challenges, yet they are vital for sustaining our success while meeting the rising demands of the workforce. We are committed to maintaining a strong and motivated team whose dedication contributes to our overall growth and bottom line.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I don't recall.

What goal did you set for yourself this year? Are you on track to reach it?

To identify talent and promote from within our company. To invest in our people and have an unwavering commitment to training to create a win-win for the company and our team.

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

Hopefully enjoying grandkids and maybe still have some ties to the tire business.