Dennis King has deep roots in the tire industry at Dunlap & Kyle Tire Company. His dad, Denny, started out at Dunlap & Kyle in Jackson, Mississippi, working in distribution for Hesselbein Tire.
When Dennis finished his computer science degree at Ole Miss in 1990, he planned to work in IT for the federal court system, yet the universe had other plans. His dad urged him to talk to Bob Dunlap, founder of Dunlap & Kyle and his dad’s friend.
“I went into talk Bob, and he said, ‘Why don’t you do something in the tire business?’” Dennis said, recalling Dunlop’s persuasive speech around the steadiness of the industry. “Then, 15 minutes later, I had a job starting out in the adjustments department.”
From then on, Dennis was hooked and would go on to make a career in the tire business. Over the years, he worked his way up from the adjustments department to vice president of operations to president of Dunlap & Kyle, overseeing the company’s 19 distribution warehouses in Arkansas, Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee, and 41 retail stores, under the Gateway Tire & Service brand across those states as well as Oklahoma and Alabama.
In this episode of Johnny g & Friends, Dennis shares:
- How he started in the tire business with Dunlop & Kyle (1:28);
- The greatest lessons he has learned from Bobby Dunlap and his dad over the years (4:07);
- Two concerns Dennis has about tire distribution and retail (6:07);
- Why his outlook is positive when it comes to the future of the tire industry (9:34);
- How Dunlap & Kyle created a vision statement with eight core values and the significance of them for employees (12:08);
- Advice for the next generation of tire industry professionals (16:07);
- Best memories from tire industry trips and the people that made them great (19:13);
- New ways D&K is communicating with its employees and adapting to digitally (23:29);
- Rapid Fire Questions (25:07).
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