Julie and Mike Holmes didn’t set out with dreams of working in the tire business. Julie was a successful attorney. Mike was an accountant and financial analyst working in the greater DC area. However, their passion for business and continuing on the legacy that Julie’s parents started with Virginia Tire & Auto drew them both in. Now as co-CEOs of the business, Julie and Mike have grown the dealership from 10 to 18 locations with the goal of ushering in a new era for the business that involves taking advantage of technology, creating solid processes and fine-tuning the customer experience.
Located in the Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C., Virginia Tire was founded in 1976 by Myron and Carole Boncarosky. The two laid the foundation for the business’s high standards of customer service and employees-as-family mindset. Today, Myron’s daughter, Julie, and her husband, Mike Holmes, run the business as co-CEOs with a focus on continuous improvement.
In this episode of Johnny g & Friends, sponsored by Firestone, Johnny g sits down with Myron, Julie and Mike to discuss keys to the business’s success over the years and how it has evolved to meet customer expectations time and time again.
- Julie, a successful attorney before joining the family business, describes how her father’s positive attitude toward the business influenced her decision to come back to the family business and follow her passion. (2:00)
- Mike, an accountant and financial analyst, shares how Myron served as a mentor to him and the events that led up to him joining the family business in 2007. (3:37)
- Stories from Julie’s childhood and how “the kitchen table was the board room” growing up in the Boncaroksy household. (6:35)
- Myron describes what he learned from being a sales rep for Texaco and how he applied that to starting Virginia Tire & Auto. (9:06)
- Characteristics Myron has seen over the years in successful dealers and employees. (13:15)
- The importance of “making winners out of your people” and why Myron believes the best insights on your business come from your employees. (16:32)
- Myron describes why “new blood” is important in the business. (17:34)
- Julie describes Virginia Tire’s rebranding process, in which she and Mike defined the company’s values and how those values influence every aspect of the business. (21:17)
- Mike shares his view on the complexity of the tire business and how the company is simplifying today’s customer experience to “take the stress out of car care,” as Virginia Tire’s mission statement says. (23:34)
- The way Mike and Julie view their competition and how it has influenced Virginia Tire’s customer experience (25:55)
- After opening four stores in 2019, Julie and Mike share how the coronavirus pandemic affected their business and their focus for the future (28:47)