What was your first job in the industry?
My first job in the industry was cleaning the tire shop. After I did that for awhile I graduated to apprentice tire technician.
What attracted you to the industry?
I would have to say that the industry chose me. It’s fair to say that it’s in my blood. My dad has been involved with the industry for my entire life. I remember going to the shop before and after school because my dad was busy running a business. I went to college and studied other careers, but always found myself coming back because I loved helping people and have always enjoyed working on cars and in a shop environment. I also really like the fast paced environment of the tire industry and knowing that everyday could be a new challenge for me to solve.
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
The biggest challenge that I have faced is trying to understand that I can't make everyone happy all the time. I'm getting better but still beat myself up when I don't get a 5 star rating.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My dad. I have learned so much from him. Without him I wouldn't be the person I am today.
What’s your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
I believe my biggest accomplishment in the industry is becoming my dad's business partner in our 2 locations. There aren't a lot of 30-35 year old owners out there. I had to work really hard to get there. And I suppose that if I had to choose something else, I would choose that I have earned the respect of fellow tire dealers and industry veterans as well. Tough question, haha.
How do you spend your work day?
In our business we have two retail locations and a warehouse. I could spend my day several different ways. I could be selling on the counter, I could be out representing our company at a community event. I could be cutting a radio or TV ad. I could be wiping down counters and vacuuming rugs. I may be picking up customers or delivering a customer’s vehicle. I help with our company goals and payroll. Heck, from time to time I’m even in the shop performing tire work or helping with other repairs or vehicle inspections. I guess my point is, I will do whatever it takes to make our business successful. I started at the bottom and have seen every aspect of the business so it’s easy for me to jump in and help wherever I need to. My job is to give our team the tools and help that they need to be successful.
What keeps you up at night?
Some people may say that I’m a little competitive. I want to be the best! While I’m lying in bed, I’m thinking of new ideas for our business trying to ensure that we are staying ahead of the curve. I’m thinking of solutions to issues we’ve had recently. I’m trying to make sure that we are doing enough for our employees to make sure they are happy. And, I’m making a list in my head of the tasks that I need to accomplish the next day.
Early bird or night owl?
I am a classic night owl! I love to watch movies late into the night. Although, I am becoming more of an early bird because the mornings are quiet and allow for high efficiency.
Messy or neat freak?
Messy. My desk looks like a bomb went off. But, I can assure you that I know where everything is!
Growing up, what was your dream job?
When I was in elementary school I wanted to become a professional basketball player. It probably stems from playing the game with my dad and watching the Chicago Bulls in their heyday. As I got older I fell in love with soccer and wanted to be a part of that sport. I even had some time in college that I studied film. I really wanted to edit major motion pictures, but ultimately decided that I didn’t want to live in L.A. or New York.
Tell us about your family.
My family is amazing! Probably the best one out there. My dad is a tire industry veteran who doesn’t know how not to work hard. His education came from the school of hard knocks and because of that he has become an ideal mentor for anyone in the tire industry. He is married to my step mom, Kay Kay. Kay Kay is the life of the party! Always making sure that everyone is having a good time! My mom is a very caring, hard working person. She has been a nurse in different variations for the past 30 years. She is also retired military, where she has been very successful. She is married to a retired colonel and veterinarian that is a major gear head. I have one extraordinary older sister whom I’ve looked up to for a long time. Everyone loves her! She is full of life, always willing to try something new. I don’t think her comfort zone has any limits. My beautiful bride is truly my better half. She is a world class archer and typically gets a couple of job offers every year because of her intelligence and work ethic. I have three children, Marlee,8, is my oldest daughter, Hayden, 5, is my younger daughter ,and my son, Beckett, 3, is my youngest. I can honestly say my children are the best thing that I have done in my life! Marlee loves to read and make different art projects. And obviously is the best behaved. Hayden, we use to call her “kick-punch” because she doesn’t take crap from anyone and has wanted to be a ninja ever since she could talk. Beckett never stops moving. He has no fear, which amazes me. Beckett loves figuring out how things work. He has a natural intuition for any sort of a car or machine. Last thing I will tell you about my family is that we all enjoy having dance parties and singing our hearts out in our kitchens.
Describe your first car and what you loved most about it.
My first car was a 1981 Chevy luv. A small, four-speed manual yellow truck with a topper, oversized tires and chrome wheels. I loved that truck! It wasn’t very fast, but it would go anywhere. It had a state-of-the-art sound system, so you could hear me coming from a mile away. I kept the topper on the truck, so it could house a twin mattress. My friends and I would camp often, so the mattress made it easy for me to camp at a moment’s notice.
What advice would you give your high school self?
I would tell my high school self that you don’t have to go to a four-year university right out of high school. You can still make a difference and have people’s respect working in the automotive industry. You don’t have to sit in a cubicle to be considered successful.
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Tough question. There are an endless number of people I would eat dinner with to learn from their success. But, at the end of the day I would just rather gather my closest friends and family and have a great big dinner together.
Best way to spend a Saturday night:
Both! Or all the above. I’m always up for a good adventure. But, sometimes Netflix is just too easy to binge watch all night long with a pizza in front of you.
What song do you crank up loud and always sing along to?
Ashes by Pepper
What habit do you wish you could break?
At times I care too much. If something is bothering me I can be in a funk, and I think it would be better if I could just let it go and live in the moment.
What’s your secret superpower?
Flight. There are soooo many amazing places around the world. I want to see them all!
What game show would you most likely win?
The Price is Right. That show is phenomenal!
If we gave you $1,000 and one hour, how would you spend the money?
I would take a couple friends/family to the Manchester derby. Which is a huge rivalry game in the EPL in England. It’s a soccer thing. Although, that would be 90 minutes. Close enough, right?
How should the tire industry attract and retain more young talent?
We need to do a better job of helping young people discover their talents. Once you can identify students who could flourish working on or around tires/vehicles then we need to put them in that environment, train them and show them how they can make a good living and live a great life doing what they enjoy. As a country, we need people to know that there are good wages in the trades job sector. And we need to stop forcing universities on people.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
Twenty years from now I will be overseeing my business, hopefully with additional locations. And, if any of my kids have an interest in the business then I can be a mentor to them, so I can help them be successful.
What’s the biggest issue facing the tire industry?
Attracting talent. There needs to be more programs and options for young people to explore the industry. We need to show how great this industry can be.
If you could spend a day supporting a charity, what would you do?
Oh man! I enjoy giving back in numerous ways. If I had to choose just one way it would be buying, wrapping and delivering gifts to children at Christmas. I love watching them unwrap the unsuspected! The smiles on their faces are just amazing. Kids are wonderful!
If you could start a new career tomorrow, what would it be?
It would be one of two things. I would like to learn how to brew craft beer and create a craft brewery with the best food for all to enjoy with my sister and a friend. Or, I would open an indoor soccer field in my hometown that would bring smiles year-round and would help soccer players train year-round so they could have better opportunities for athletic scholarships.