Gary Lambert

Gary Lambert

Director of Purchasing, Inventory and Information Technology | McCarthy Tire Service Co. Inc. | Age: 32

What was your first job in the industry?

While in high school and college, I worked in various departments each summer learning the business from the ground up. These departments included the warehouse, truck service, the retread plant, and commercial/retail sales. This model is how the two generations before the fourth gen learned the business and it was expected of us as well. After graduating college, I entered the manager trainee program before becoming a store manager.  This background has helped me understand each area of the business so when an employee is asked to handle something, I have the general knowledge of how it should be done.  It is also nice to be able to relate to an employee on that level, and share with them my own experiences, good or bad, when I was in their position.

What attracted you to the industry?

I have always had a passion for cars, so working in the retail bays was appealing and ended up being a lot of fun for me. When I was younger, my father would take me to work with him on Saturdays so I could “help” work the counter.  Having kids of my own now, I realize that it was probably more work for him, but it allowed me to see how things worked on a daily basis, so for that, I am grateful.  I was also drawn to the family aspect of the business, knowing that family run organizations are becoming more rare as time goes on. Working together and having day to day interactions with family members is something that I value a lot. It’s nice to sit in a meeting and be able to make real time decisions together as a team.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?

One of the biggest challenges I faced was learning how to interact with employees who had much more seniority than me in the company.  Whether it was related to a process or a technology, I couldn’t just walk into any situation and think that my way was the better way.  I believe in order to be most effective, it’s important to be able to articulate ideas without stepping on anyone’s toes in the process.  There is no textbook case study to teach that, it is learned through mentoring and real life experiences. 

Who has had the biggest influence on your career?

This, without a doubt, would have to be my grandfather, Jack McCarthy, who I spent a lot time with over the years. Whether is was a Saturday morning trip to Lowe’s, or going to the car dealership to look at the latest model cars, we always had a good time.  My grandfather suffered from a stroke the same year I got my driver’s license, so I became one of his ways to get around.  While driving around and conversing, we covered a wide range of topics, from business practices to where you could get the best fast food.  His favorites included Wendy’s chili, and a cheeseburger from McDonald’s, which he liked to call the “Golden Arches Supper Club”.  So while we discussed a lot of trivial things and had many laughs, we also talked about some more important things.  He taught me so many things related to the business, with his wisdom and guidance being the key.  He had many sayings, but the one that stands out the most to me is, “God gave you two ears and one mouth so you can listen twice as much as you speak.”  It took me a few years to fully understand and appreciate those words, but I now know exactly what he meant.

What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?

I would have to say my biggest accomplishment is streamlining our purchasing programs and inventory procedures.  The work we have done has helped us maximize our buying potential and has built relationships with some class A vendors.  Even with the use of e-mail and video chats, I still find it essential to meet with a vendor face to face, even if it is only every six months.   The key is to discuss the challenges on both sides of the fence; they need to understand ours needs as a dealer, and we need to understand their limitations as a supplier.  Once these issues are on the table, we look to see what can be done to make it work for both parties.  We also have to work to increase our inventory turns and product placement.  Sometimes a tire is in the wrong place at the wrong time, and having a strong vendor network allows us to handle these issues when an emergency arises.

How do you spend your workday?

I currently oversee purchasing, inventory and IT.  I have a strong team that works with me including some outside vendors to keep everything going.  Overseeing all three departments keeps me on my toes as each have their own challenges that arise.  I spend most days working with team members handling problems, streamlining processes, and reviewing sales trends for forecasting.

What did you do before you entered the tire industry?

I have always worked in the tire industry.

If a friend expressed an interest in joining the industry, what advice would you give them?

The tire business is very rewarding, but it requires hard work and putting in the time needed in order to reap the benefits and be successful.

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

That puts me at the age of 52, the company will be 113 years old and we will hopefully be celebrating $1 billion in sales.

Aside from the basics like health insurance, what’s the most important perk/benefit an employer should offer?

I think employers should offer education programs to teach employees how to budget and save for the future.

What’s the biggest issue facing the tire industry?

Attracting talented people who are willing to get dirty when they go to work.  Tires are not clean and also heavy depending on size. Finding people who are able and willing to do our type of work is sometimes challenging. 

Tell us about your family.

My wife, Tara, and I have been married for 7 years and have two daughters, Nora and Anna, who are four and two years old respectively.  My wife and I met while in college, after both having grown up in the greater Wilkes-Barre area. 

What’s the worst cliché or generalization made about your generation?

The worst thing I hear said about our generation is that we are lazy. 

Name a talent you wish you had.

The ability to be in two places at once; I would be able to cover twice as many locations as I do now. 

What’s your favorite childhood memory?

Spending summers at my grandparents’ lake house with all of my cousins.

If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

Henry Ford.  I love the idea of taking an existing concept like building cars and making it faster and simpler by adding the assembly line. 

Do you live by a mantra or motto? If so, what is it?

Be the change you wish to see in the world. 

Tell us something about yourself others might not know.

I had a weird obsession with Christmas lights.  As a kid, I would go around the neighborhood putting up everyone’s Christmas lights.  When I was in high school, it turned into a nice little business around the holidays, and I had friends help me decorate 40+ houses.  When I was younger, I always wondered why no one else enjoyed putting up their Christmas lights. Now, 15 years later, I wish there was a kid like me in my neighborhood to put up my Christmas lights.

What’s your go-to song for a road trip playlist?

Dave Matthews Band – Ants Marching

If tomorrow you could move into any other position in your company, what would you choose, and why?

I am happy with my current career path at this point, I have been able to be involved with several aspects of the business which has given me a better understanding of how it all comes together.  I guess if I had to work in another department it would have to be retreading/manufacturing.  I like how you can take a previously used tire and give it new live by putting a new tread on it.  It is also environmentally friendly and helps customers control costs by not purchasing new tires each time. 

What’s your favorite weekend activity?

Spending time at the beach with my family. 

Who’s your role model?

My grandfather, Jack McCarthy.

If we gave you $1,000 and one hour, how would you spend the money?

I would probably treat my team to a nice lunch/dinner. 

What advice would you give your high school self?

Always remember to be yourself and don’t let others influence what you believe in.

More Profiles

Trevor Adams

Trevor Adams

General Manager | Adams Tireworx LLC | Age: 25

Sid Attravanam

Sid Attravanam

Manager of Tire and Vehicle Dynamics | Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. | Age: 28

Sydney Boyd

Sydney Boyd

Vice President | Thompson Tire Co. Inc. | Age: 20

Justin Chalk

Justin Chalk

Vice President of Product Management for TireMaster GTX | ASA Automotive Systems Inc. | Age: 35

Jonathon Cole

Jonathon Cole

Product Manager for Atlas Equipment | Integrated Supply Network Inc. | Age: 34

Michael Devers

Michael Devers

Store Manager | Wilson Tire Co. | Age: 39

Colleen Horn Doyle

Colleen Horn Doyle

General Counsel | McCarthy Tire Service Co. Inc. | Age: 33

Steve Hamilton

Steve Hamilton

CEO | SD Wheel Corp. | Age: 35

Brady Hansen

Brady Hansen

Retail Sales and Marketing Manager | Commercial Tire Inc. | Age: 30

Mary Kate Henry

Mary Kate Henry

Human Resources Manager | McCarthy Tire Service Co. Inc. | Age: 29

Daniel Horn

Daniel Horn

Director of Sales | McCarthy Tire Service Co. Inc. | Age: 30

Tim Lambert

Tim Lambert

Senior Accountant | McCarthy Tire Service Co. Inc. | Age: 27

John McCarthy III

John McCarthy III

Regional Sales Manager | McCarthy Tire Service Co. Inc. | Age: 26

Phil Meade

Phil Meade

Senior Business Development Manager | Simple Tire LLC | Age: 27

Whitney Moore

Whitney Moore

Office manager | G.L. Moore Tire & Automotive Inc. | Age: 35

Ari Thielman

Ari Thielman

General manager | G.T. Silver City Tire Co. Inc. | Age: 33

Matthew Thornhill

Matthew Thornhill

General manager | McCarthy Tire Service Co. Inc. | Age: 27

Sarah Tolai

Sarah Tolai

Marketing Manager | East Bay Tire Co. | Age: 39

Neil Bockrath

Neil Bockrath

Master Black Belt | Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. | Age: 36

Justin Cogdill

Justin Cogdill

Managing Director | Border Tire LLC | Age: 30

Ron Cottrell

Ron Cottrell

Installation Coordinator | Simple Tire LLC | Age: 37

James Crouch

James Crouch

National Product Manager — Agriculture | Alliance Tire Group | Age: 31

Patrice Fitte

Patrice Fitte

Manager, Distribution & Operations Planning | Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. | Age: 36

Chuck Flannagan

Chuck Flannagan

Manager of Marketing and Events | Continental Tire the Americas LLC | Age: 37

Nick Fox

Nick Fox

Vice President | JMH Inc. dba Point S Capital City Tire & Auto Point S J&J Tire & Auto | Age: 32

Natalie Griffin

Natalie Griffin

President | Best-One Tire of Crossville Inc. | Age: 33

Richie Howard

Richie Howard

General Manager | Bruce's Tire Inc. | Age: 27

Jeremy James

Jeremy James

Owner | Tires to Your Spot | Age: 37

Brandon Johnson

Brandon Johnson

Chief Operating Officer | Eagle Tire Pros | Age: 24

Riley Kentfield

Riley Kentfield

Owner | Take Off Tire LLC | Age: 22

Jarret Kruse

Jarret Kruse

Vice President | Belle Tire Distributors Inc. | Age: 36

Dave Miller

Dave Miller

Director Of Sales | K&M Tire Inc. | Age: 37

Hayley Milne

Hayley Milne

Marketing Manager | American Kenda Rubber | Age: 27

Robert Pritchett

Robert Pritchett

Region General Manager Consumer Replacement Tire Sales | Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC | Age: 32

Laura Richards

Laura Richards

Category Manager — Tires | Icahn Automotive Group LLC — Pep Boys | Age: 30

Michael Shivers

Michael Shivers

Production Systems Manager | Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. | Age: 29

Boris Shtamm

Boris Shtamm

Vendor Specialist | Myers Tire Supply | Age: 30

Joshua Singer

Joshua Singer

Warehouse Manager | K&M Tire Inc. | Age: 33

Cari Solano

Cari Solano

Chief Operations Officer | Route 66 Tire and Rubber LLC | Age: 32

Andrew Svenson

Andrew Svenson

Chief Engineer Truck & Bus Tire Development | Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC | Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC

Mitch Tate

Mitch Tate

Director of Operations | Tate Boys Tire & Service LLC | Age: 26

Seth Ten Broeke

Seth Ten Broeke

Account manager | RHD Tire Inc. | Age: 35

Trula Womack

Trula Womack

Director of Marketing & Brand Excellence | Indy Tire Centers Inc. dba Best-One of Indy | Age: 39

Fausto Astudillo

Fausto Astudillo

Service Advisor | Lenharts Service Center | Age: 26

Jeremy Burt

Jeremy Burt

Operations & Marketing Manager | Burt Brothers Tire and Service | Age: 35

Steve Campanella

Steve Campanella

Director of Business Solutions | Alliance Tire Americas| Age: 28

Jason Cieslinski

Jason Cieslinski

Regional Retail Business Consultant | Tire Pros/American Tire Distributors Inc. | Age: 39

Braden Crockett

Braden Crockett

Director of Auto Service/ Partner | Matthews Real Estate Investment Services | Age: 24

Cody Diemer

Cody Diemer

Maintenance Scheduler | Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. | Age: 27

Thomas Dobson

Thomas Dobson

Owner | Woodstock Repair and Services LLC and Pomfret Tire | Age: 34

Nick Dougherty

Nick Dougherty

Regional Retail Business Consultant | Tire Pros/American Tire Distributors Inc. | Age: 32

Wade Eaves

Wade Eaves

Engineer | Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. | Age: 36

Erin Edminister

Erin Edminister

Assistant Marketing Manager | BKT USA Inc. | Age: 27

Alex Feliz

Alex Feliz

Service Advisor | Redwood General Tire Service Co. | Age: 29

Loudan Hammersmith

Loudan Hammersmith

Regional Sales Manager - Central USA | BKT USA Inc. | Age: 31

Vahe Michaelian

Vahe Michaelian

Warehouse Manager | 1-800EveryRim.com | Age:25

Josh Penfold

Josh Penfold

E-commerce Manager | Carlstar Group LLC | Age: 38

Roger Strider

Roger Strider

Automotive technician | Thomas Tire & Automotive | Age: 23

Kelly Sumner

Kelly Sumner

Northeast Marketing Manager | Tire Pros/American Tire Distributors Inc. | Age: 35

Dale Vaughn

Dale Vaughn

Quality Engineer | Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. | Age: 30

Brian Wright

Brian Wright

General manager | Tire Network Group | Age: 27

Josh Wright

Josh Wright

Owner and operator | The Tire Shop | Age: 31

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson

Sales manager and shop technician | Wilson’s Direct Inc. dba Wilson’s Direct Motors & Tires | Age: 31

Jennifer Wiens

Jennifer Wiens

Brand manager and safety coordinator | Ted Wiens Tire & Auto Service Centers | Age: 31

Brian Wheeler

Brian Wheeler

Corporate marketing and communications manager | Dayco Products LLC | Age: 33

Dan Trzeciak

Dan Trzeciak

Marketing and information technology manager | Levin Tire Center Inc. dba Levin Tire & Service Center | Age: 30

Geoffrey Tolley

Geoffrey Tolley

Senior category manager | Advance Auto Parts Inc.| Age: 39

Aaron Telle

Aaron Telle

CEO and president | Telle Tire & Auto Service Inc. | Age: 33

William Taulbee

William Taulbee

Owner and head technician | Brogan & Folz dba Brogan & Folz Firestone | Age: 38

Aaron Sweitz

Aaron Sweitz

Auto technician | Autco Inc. dba Autco Tire Pros | Age: 29

Jason Roth

Jason Roth

Sales account specialist | Myers Tire Supply Co. | Age: 35

Michael Rose

Michael Rose

Product manager | Bartec USA LLC | Age: 36

Kyle Roberts

Kyle Roberts

Director of marketing | Nexen Tire America Inc. | Age: 40

Carlos Ramirez

Carlos Ramirez

Manager | C & G Auto Center Inc. | Age: 29

Stephen Panzera

Stephen Panzera

Commercial sales representative | Service Tire Truck Centers Inc. | Age: 33

Luis Navarro

Luis Navarro

Vice president of operations and sales for Central Mexico | Tersa Corp. | Age: 33

Kyle Melvin

Kyle Melvin

Store manager | Palumbo's Car Care Center Inc. | Age: 27

Roy Littlefield IV

Roy Littlefield IV

Director of government affairs | Tire Industry Association | Age: 25

Christine Linder

Christine Linder

Manufacturing Services Manager for Tire Assembly | Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.| Age: 34

Christy Lewis

Christy Lewis

Outside account manager | American Tire Distributors Inc. | Age: 30

Nick Lenhart

Nick Lenhart

Owner and partner | Lenhart's Service Center Tire Pros LLC | Age: 32

Zeb Lee

Zeb Lee

Store manager | Purcell Tire and Rubber Co. dba Purcell Tire and Service Centers | Age: 37

Nicholas Larose

Nicholas Larose

Supply chain planning director | Nokian Tyres Inc. | Age: 37

DareRick Krufchinski

DareRick Krufchinski

New York regional sales manager | McCarthy Tire Service Inc. | Age: 31

Matthew King

Matthew King

Operations manager | RNR Tire Express and Custom Wheel | Age: 33

Jacquie Hower

Jacquie Hower

Director of operations | Zimmerman's Automotive Service Inc. | Age: 30

Justin Hayes

Justin Hayes

Consumer tire product manager | Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC | Age: 33

Brian Harris

Brian Harris

Location manager | McCarthy Tire Service Inc. | Age: 37

Erin Halicki

Erin Halicki

Southeast regional account manager | GreatAmerica Financial Services Corp. | Age: 27

Nick Gutierrez

Nick Gutierrez

Western region sales manager | Sentury Tire Americas | Age: 33

Matt Glauber

Matt Glauber

President and chief operating officer | Meridian Rack & Pinion Inc., dba Buyautoparts.com | Age: 35

Chris Gaudioso

Chris Gaudioso

Owner and technician | Driven Automotive Service | Age: 39

Christian Garcia

Christian Garcia

Manager | Freedom Tire Distributing Inc. | Age: 29

Colin Gallagher

Colin Gallagher

Regional sales director | American Tire Distributors Inc. (ATD) | Age: 34

Darryl Fraley

Darryl Fraley

Service writer, technician, and sales and marketing representative | Golden Rule Auto Care and Autotext.Me | Age: 21

Brian Finkelstein

Brian Finkelstein

Vice president of sales | Max Finkelstein Inc. | Age: 28

Melissa Fairman

Melissa Fairman

Senior manager human resources | Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels | Age: 35

Justin Crosby

Justin Crosby

Northwest product service manager | Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. | Age: 33

Joel Clark

Joel Clark

Store manager | Clark Tire Co. Inc. | Age: 36

Carter Clark

Carter Clark

Mobile tire tech | Clark Tire Center Inc. dba Clark Tire Pros | Age: 20

Taryn Chmielowicz

Taryn Chmielowicz

Director of marketing | Myers Tire Supply Co. | Age: 38

Cameron Chernikow

Cameron Chernikow

National program manager for Tire Pros marketing and communications | American Tire Distributors Inc. | Age: 30

Jeff Cheek

Jeff Cheek

Owner and manager | Countryside Tire and Auto Service Inc. | Age: 37

Quick Chadwick

Quick Chadwick

Director of marketing for Tire Pros | American Tire Distributors Inc. (ATD) | Age: 40

Brandon Burns

Brandon Burns

Store manager | Firestone Complete Auto Care | Age: 28

Marshall Bullard

Marshall Bullard

Wholesale and wheel specialist | BTS Tire & Wheel Distributors, a division of Black’s Tire Service Inc. | Age: 36

Steve Bourassa

Steve Bourassa

Director of products and pricing | Nokian Tyres Inc. | Age: 37

Marisa Blank

Marisa Blank

Director of OE account management | Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC | Age: 38

Linda Bassitt

Linda Bassitt

President | Latin Expo Group LLC | Age: 30

Heather Barnes

Heather Barnes

Strategic Marketing Manager for the Automotive Group | GreatAmerica Financial Services Corp | Age: 27

Raymond Turner Jr.

Raymond Turner Jr.

Advantage One Tire Network | Distribution Center Manager | Age: 33

Jill Richter

Jill Richter

RHD Tire Inc. | Auto Dealer Account Manager | Age: 33

Tom Eisenberg

Tom Eisenberg

West Coast Tire and Service | General Manager | Age: 26

Josh Chalofsky

Josh Chalofsky

Simple Tire LLC | Chief Operating Officer | Age: 33

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from MTD delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the tire industry and don't miss a thing!