What was your first job in the industry?
What attracted you to the industry?
To be honest, I had no real intention of working in the automotive industry. However, after some thought, there isn’t much out there that isn’t dependent on tires, which made me reconsider!
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
It’s been both the biggest challenge, but also the biggest opportunity: consistently changing positions within the company every time I seemingly got comfortable with the last one. It’s given me insight into a lot of different aspects of our business.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
I have had no less than five supervisors since joining Commercial Tire, so I don’t feel it would be fair to name any single one. With that said, a combination of those supervisors, plus my parents being the definition of blue-collar and always working for everything they had, would be my biggest influencers.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
Moving across the country for the job and not being familiar with the industry, I would say my biggest accomplishment is earning the respect of my peers at various levels.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your workday?
My current position is retail sales and marketing manager. I wear a few hats, including, but not limited to, managing our online presence, leading our monthly employee retail committee meetings, organizing quarterly campaigns, managing sponsorship requests, and facilitating company-attended events.
What did you do before you entered the tire industry?
I actually entered the industry straight out of college. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and moved to Meridian, Idaho, for the job opportunity with Commercial Tire.
If a friend expressed an interest in joining the industry, what advice would you give them?
Give it a chance! Tires may not seem all that exciting, but you’d be surprised how much technology is involved.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
I don’t know. I prefer to grind my way up the ladder, so I guess I would say I hope to be leading people just like me now.
Aside from the basics like health insurance, what’s the most important perk/benefit an employer should offer?
Commercial Tire offers outstanding benefits, but as an industry, I think PTO is as valued as anything. Getting the chance to get away from all the hustle and bustle of work has personal and professional benefits.
What’s the biggest issue facing the tire industry?
Most of the issues are just things that force us to be more competitive, such as online prices. In addition, the more shops that pop up and drive prices down, the more we need to become more efficient in our processes.
Tell us about your family.
My family consists of my dad, my mom, and my sister. As cliché as it sounds, they are some of the best role models a person could ask for. They are hardworking, grounded, genuine people whom I know I can always count on.
What’s the worst cliché or generalization made about your generation?
Being a millennial, it has to be that we don’t work hard. We work different. We are motivated differently. Just because we complete a task quickly doesn’t mean we didn’t do quality work. It just means we have an efficient tool at our disposal.
Name a talent you wish you had.
Singing? Considering that’s the thing I’m worst at in the world, I’ll go with that.
What’s your favorite childhood memory?
Fourth of Julys with the whole family. Each 4th of July, we would head north in Wisconsin and spend a stretch of days with the entire family, which happens to be huge. Just quality fun, food, and camaraderie!
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
I’m a sports guy, and a “cheesehead” at that, so I would have to opt for Vince Lombardi. Maybe he could motivate me to be the next big thing!
Do you live by a mantra or motto? If so, what is it?
I’m not a big guy --- never have been, never will be --- so I’ve always related to “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” Corny or not, I like being the underdog.
Tell us something about yourself others might not know.
I like to think I’m a pretty open person, but maybe they don’t know that I’m a passionate fantasy football player. I wasn’t blessed with the physical stature necessary to be on the field, so instead I’m a Pro Bowl-caliber armchair quarterback.
What’s your go-to song for a road trip playlist?
Country. If it’s country music, I’m in.
If tomorrow you could move into any other position in your company, what would you choose, and why?
One of the unique things about my career at Commercial Tire is that I have had the opportunity to work in the stores, customer service, purchasing, marketing, and sales. All in all, I think I have had enough experience in each that I don’t feel the need to switch again.
What’s your favorite weekend activity?
Sports. Playing them, watching them, bantering about them – you get the idea.
If we gave you $1,000 and one hour, how would you spend the money?
Well, it looks like I’m adding to my home surround sound system!
What advice would you give your high school self?
Live it up. Don’t stress about what’s to come as it’s going to happen one way or another. Go out. Meet people. Make memories.