Staff engineering manager | Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. | Fayetteville, N.C. | Age: 27
What was your first job in the industry?
CAD/CAM Engineer for Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.’s Tall Timbers Mold Operations facility.
What attracted you to the industry?
The ability to positively affect global consumers by way of producing a product which is integral to their day-to-day lives. Also, the fast-paced environment that comes with the manufacturing field and tire industry as a whole.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
The largest challenge I have faced in my career so far is when I moved from Tall Timbers, Ohio, to Fayetteville, N.C. after Goodyear acquired Cooper Tire. The opportunity arose in Fayetteville to move into the project management side of engineering, and I saw it as a challenge to continue to learn and grow within the company and industry. Not only was I moving states away, but I was also stepping into a different environment and role that I had little experience in. With the help of my manager and peers I was able to learn the role quickly, build strong and lasting relationships and expand my reach within the plant. Although this challenge came with some high and low points, I have enjoyed every day of the journey from Ohio to North Carolina.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
There are two people who have had the biggest influence on my career, and they are my parents. They instilled in me the work ethic needed to succeed in any position I have had the pleasure of being in. They also taught me many invaluable lessons in what it means to lead a group of others toward a common goal, how to care for and provide the necessary tools for those around me and how to reflect internally and externally to ensure growth, both personally and professionally, never ceases.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
My greatest accomplishment in the industry so far is twofold. First is my involvement in the installation and commissioning of the newest addition to Fayetteville, the SAR machine for foam-in-tire. The experience of assisting from the plant side through troubleshooting and startup has allowed me to advance my robotics and programmable logic controller knowledge while ensuring the machine and its secondary components are functioning to the capabilities needed in order to provide our customer with the highest quality tires. Through this, as well as my other project work, I have been able to grow to the point that I recently received a promotion to staff engineering manager. Now I can facilitate the growth of others in their careers while also overseeing all capital projects, managing engineers and personnel and driving reliability excellence across the board.
These two accomplishments, along with other projects, allowed me to see my capabilities and gave me the drive to continue to push for advancement, not only for myself, but for those around me to ensure the Fayetteville plant can move forward together.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your workday?
In my current role I manage and oversee the engineers within the plant ensuring they have the tools needed to succeed and perform their daily functions successfully. I also oversee all capital projects and improvements within our plant focusing on advancing technologies and machine/facility improvements.
What's been the biggest surprise of your current job?
The biggest surprise I have found within my current role is the range of size of projects that can be completed within our field. Ranging from thousands to millions of dollars, none is any less important than the other and the job I task my team with is ensuring that all projects, no matter the size or budget, are completed within the timeline and provide the plant with the desired benefits.
Tell us about your family.
I recently married my wife this past September and with our three fur babies our house is truly a home in Fayetteville. I'm originally from Pennsylvania where my parents still live. My mom deservedly retired from Johnson and Johnson last year. My older sister is currently a major in the Army and teaching at West Point while my older brother lives close in Wilmington and is a manager at the local Whole Foods. In the marriage I have also gained five younger siblings, so family get togethers are loud and never dull.
If you could wake up tomorrow with one new skill, what would you choose?
If I could wake up tomorrow with one new skill, I would want to wake up with the ability to understand and speak any language I come in contact with. This way I would never have a language barrier and could converse with anyone across the world in their native language.
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?
I would switch jobs and be a sportscaster for a day because I have a strong passion for sports. I played soccer through college, and I always thought it would be enjoyable to be immersed in the sports world in any way possible.
What's the biggest issue facing the tire industry?
Right now, the biggest issue I see facing the tire industry (manufacturing specifically) is staffing. From global to plant level and everywhere in between there is a shortage felt across the industry. Our jobs as managers and leaders are to maintain production and quality while trying to find the right people to fill any open roles to continue producing the high-quality products we are known for.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be one of two things, a professional soccer player or a Disney Imagineer working on new ride design and implementation.
What goal did you set for yourself this year? Are you on track to reach it?
This year I set the goal to advance in my career and continue growing within the plant while maintaining my high standards of work. I was able to achieve this back in July when I received my promotion to staff engineering manager and continue to strive for more.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
Twenty years from now I hope to be managing a larger team of engineers who manage global improvement projects for the company while striving to implement new technologies so that Goodyear can remain at the forefront of the tire industry.