L2 Manager | Chapel Hill Tire | Hillsborough, N.C. | Age: 37
What was your first job in the industry?
Service advisor at Sears Auto Center in Durham, N.C.
What attracted you to the industry?
I had friends that worked at the store location where I was hired, and I always enjoyed talking to them about the industry and what was involved in their workday.
What is the biggest challenge you've faced in your career?
The biggest challenge was establishing myself as a credible manager at my age with Virginia Tire and Auto in northern Virginia. I learned so much working with people that had been in the industry much longer than myself, but it was also hard because I needed to earn the respect of my team, lead by example in every scenario, and show I could manage effectively.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
Marc Pons, the owner of Chapel Hill Tire. Marc is the type of leader that gives you the tools to succeed and sets you free to manage with your own style. He enabled me to use my creativity in an organization that was well established and allowed me to try new things with my teams. That ultimately led to a lot of success at the store locations I have managed. Marc has supported me in every endeavor I have pursued with Chapel Hill Tire from managing a store location, to managing multiple locations, to starting a training department for the company and expanding its role in the company.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
Achieving the level of L2 Manager for Chapel Hill Tire and being responsible for multiple store locations, as well as our training department, has been my biggest accomplishment. I now have the ability to enrich the lives of so many people within our organization.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your workday?
I oversee two Chapel Hill Tire locations and oversee all training for the organization. I have a manager at both locations that I check in with regularly and strategize with to grow sales, increase efficiencies and facilitate employee growth and development. I do all the new hire training for service advisors in the company. I also have a training director who reports to me that I meet with weekly to organize a continuing training program for the company’s technicians. He conducts all of our new hire training for technicians and organizes regular training with current employees from basic auto repair to advanced diagnostics and automotive theory.
What's been the biggest surprise of your current job?
The biggest surprise has been the how much really goes into establishing an effective training program, and the amount of work it takes to get employees in an organization of our size to want to invest in their careers through training and taking advantage of opportunities for growth. We are making great progress and feel great about the different ways we are supporting and encouraging employees throughout Chapel Hill Tire.
Tell us about your family.
I have been married to my wife, Geena, for 13 years. Geena is an amazing cook and takes care of our home and our two children while I am working. I have a 7-year-old daughter named Vienna who is in the second grade and a 2-year-old son named Beckham. My family is my life and I spend every moment I can with them.
If you could wake up tomorrow with one new skill, what would you choose?
I would choose to be a survival expert. I have always loved the shows where people go into the wilderness and show you how to manage with minimal resources. I have always wanted to have the skills that our military special forces possess and the ability to know what the best course of action would be in any situation.
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?
Navy Seal, for the same reason I described above. To be able to know the best course of action in any scenario.
What's the biggest issue facing the tire industry?
For the tire industry I would say it is a lack of resources needed to continue to produce tires. For the automotive repair industry in general, I would say it is the development of electric cars. This includes a lot of maintenance that we do today going away, self-driving or adaptive camera systems that require advanced technical knowledge to repair, and the growing need for technicians to be electrically savvy to work in the industry.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a train conductor. I always thought it would be cool to take the scenic routes on which train tracks are built across the country.
What goal did you set for yourself this year? Are you on track to reach it?
I am currently doing an online Masters in Business Administration program through UNC-Wilmington in addition to working full-time. My goal is to get straight As in all of my classes in the program. This year I am on track to reach it and have gotten an A in my first four classes in the program with two more to go this year.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
I expect to be retiring and spending time with my wife and kids and traveling wherever we want to go. I will be spending time reflecting on the impact I made in the lives of the people I have worked with over the years and on my family. I want to build a home and live on a piece of land that I can call my own.