What was your first job in the industry?
An internship in the purchasing department at Myers Tire Supply
What attracted you to the industry?
I have a passion for the automotive industry. I started reading car magazines in second grade and still do.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
Learning the industry. Since my onboarding to the company I’ve worked with people who have spent 10, 20, or even 30 years in the industry. Closing this knowledge and language gap was the biggest challenge for me.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My manager, most of the knowledge I have today I learned from him.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
I had opportunity to visit multiple businesses in the industry, learning on what is right and wrong, experiencing it myself. Today, I use this knowledge and experience to train people on how to do it right. I believe it will have a positive impact on our industry.
How do you spend your workday?
I am a product manager for the equipment and wheel weights categories at Myers Tire Supply. I spend the majority of my day maintaining relationships with suppliers, creating new promotional programs, and evaluating prices and market positions.
What keeps you up at night?
Knowing that the industry is changing every day and I have to develop myself to be in line with the progress.
Early bird or night owl?
I would consider myself an early bird. I like to complete the most important tasks first thing in the morning.
Messy or neat freak?
Definitely a neat freak. I like to be organized, regardless what it is: work or personal life. It helps me focus on what needs to be accomplished.
Growing up, what was your dream job?
Surprisingly, my dream job was a race car driver. I always liked cars and motorsports and wanted to be part of it.
Tell us about your family.
My family is small and they live in Kazakhstan, where I am from.
Describe your first car and what you loved most about it.
My first car was a 1999 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. I loved that it was a combination of rear wheel drive with a powerful engine. My winter driving style changed significantly towards drifting rather than driving straight. I have good memories of those days.
What advice would you give your high school self?
Learn as much as you can while you have time. I wish I knew it back then. It would have saved me a lot of time today.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
I would like to have dinner with Einstein. I’d like to pick his brain over some good food and drink.
Best way to spend a Saturday night:
I love the outdoors. An ideal Saturday would be spent in a state/national park, where you can sit around the fire with your family and friends and talk about the adventure you had that day.
What song do you crank up loud and always sing along to?
Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone featured in Top Gun. Regardless what mood I am at the moment, this song provides a lot of energy.
What habit do you wish you could break?
My habit which I’m certain most people don’t like is telling people how to do things better. If I see an opportunity to improve a process, I always share with another person who owns or is involved in the process. Sometimes, they take it as a critique instead of helpful advice.
What’s your secret superpower?
My superpower is the ability to manage multiple projects at the same time. I like to be busy, when I have multiple projects, using principles of 80/20 give me a chance to evaluate what is important and prioritize based on it.
What game show would you most likely win?
Growing up, I like the game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” If I would most likely win in any game show, that would be it.
If we gave you $1,000 and one hour, how would you spend the money?
I would rent a sports car, such as Ferrari or McLaren and take it to the race track. It would be a pure enjoyment driving them at high speed and understanding the engineering behind them.
How should the tire industry attract and retain more young talent?
In my opinion technology will be the answer. More technology advancement in our industry will attract young talents. It will be a different perception of work for them. The traditional perception of screwdriver and wrench will be replaced by tire diagnostic tools and service equipment. It is happening today: TPMS and diagnostic tools are everyday necessities at the shop. A few tire changers on the market are capable of changing tires almost fully autonomous, leaving a young generation to interface with a display, rather than a pry bar.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
I would like to continue with the industry, learning as much as possible and gaining experience. In 20 years I’d like to be the person to influence the industry and take it to next level with new young leaders.
What’s the biggest issue facing the tire industry?
Lack of young employees joining our industry and knowledge transfer. A very limited amount of experience is being transferred today from people working 20, 30, 40 years in the industry to new millennials joining the industry.
If you could spend a day supporting a charity, what would you do?
Feed the people and working with local food bank. This is very important for me. People can’t do much until they are fed.
If you could start a new career tomorrow, what would it be?
I would still choose a product management. The career in product management provides a unique approach to learn the entire process/organization, from raw materials to final consumers and all processes that take place in the middle. It allows a person to see a bigger picture of the business.