It’s only natural for a real-life rock star to have his share of fans, and things are no different for Tim Winkeler, president and CEO of VIP Tires & Service. It just so happens that some of his biggest fans are the people who work alongside him every day – his bandmates, if you will.
You get the sense that working with Tim is just empowering. He’s not the kind of boss who sits behind the desk with a cigar in his mouth barking down orders to stack tires ever higher like some Jay Jonah Jamison of the tire industry. He’s in the trenches with the rest of his staff, talking to customers, answering phones, and familiarizing himself with the company’s newest employees.
Yes, VIP Tires & Service may have around 6 dozen stores, but Tim doesn’t let that dissuade him from making a real, genuine effort to know each and every associate by name. I saw it with my own eyes when we rolled up to the VIP store in Yarmouth, Maine. We were walking toward the door when Tim caught out of the corner of his eye a technician working in the garage he didn’t recognize. And be beelined for that technician to make a formal introduction.
“Hello, I’m Tim Winkeler. It’s great to meet you,” he said. I thought that was pretty special.