When you walk through the doors of Suburban Tire Auto Repair Centers in Glendale, Heights, Illinois, you’re walking into one of the cleanest and most organized tire dealerships on the east coast. “I could eat off the floors,” says Johnny g about the tire store this month’s guest has made into a superstore in the suburbs of Chicago.
In this episode of Johnny g & Friends, presented by Firestone, meet Gordon Leffler, owner of Suburban Tire’s Glendale Heights store. Attention to detail and an unwavering commitment to strive for excellence define how Gordon has run his business ever since going off on his own in 2012. The floors are immaculate, each tire and part is meticulously put back into its place and expectations of the staff and their professionalism are communicated and carried out each day.
Gordon cut his teeth in the tire business working with his father, Duke, who founded the first Suburban Tire store in the Chicagoland area. Growing up, Gordon and his brothers, Steve and John, busted tires, swept floors and learned all of the aspects of managing a tire shop. Gordon then went off to college, but when Duke was diagnosed with cancer in the late 80s, he came back to help manage the family business. He eventually took over Suburban Tire with his brothers and mother in 1990. Over the years, the business has grown. Today, Gordon has designed his location of Suburban Tire to run at maximum efficiency while still keeping true to the lessons his father taught him about the tire business.
Listen to the episode below or watch the video version on our YouTube channel, where you can catch this season’s episodes of Johnny g & Friends. You can also subscribe to Johnny g & Friends on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.
- How Johnny g met Gordon and his brother, Steve (1:19)
- The start of Suburban Tire, Gordon’s early memories of the family business and what he learned from his father, Duke, about the tire business (3:13)
- How Gordon, his brothers and mother were thrust into management at an early age after his father’s death and the changes they made to streamline operations (8:16)
- Gordon’s mentors in the tire industry and what he has learned from them (13:45)
- The meticulous organization at Gordon’s story and how he has baked in attention to detail and cleanliness into the culture of his store (18:03)
- The hardest thing to teach new employees entering the tire business (21:30)
- The step-by-step hiring and onboarding process for new employees – both technicians and service advisors—at Gordon’s store (23:32)
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