Jason Lightbody starts his day before most people wake up. As vice president of tire and oil operations at Houska Automotive, Lightbody is up at 5 a.m. checking emails and in the office by 6:30 a.m. By 7 a.m., things start to get busy – wholesale deliveries begin to get processed and retail and commercial customers are calling for tires, service appointments or diesel emissions tests.
Kim Taylor and husband, Andrew Taylor, are entrepreneurs at heart. With no real automotive service experience, together the pair purchased Titan Auto & Tire in 2004. The business has since grown in size to two locations, with a third location being explored.
Pro Puller Tires is a one-man show. This means owner Aaron Docter has to do lot of heavy lifting, and not just when it comes to moving six-foot-wide tractor tires. “I go to a lot of tractor pulls throughout the U.S. to promote my brand, so I have a pretty full summer,” says Docter.
Jeff Wallick is living his dream. All he ever really wanted to do was sell tires and talk to tire dealers, and now he gets to do both every day. Wallick has been around the tire industry his whole life. He said that from the day he was born all his family talked about at home was football and tires.
Josh Chalofsky took a break from the family tire business with a stint in television, running operations for both the Discovery Channel and NFL, before making his return to the tire industry.
Chris King has played a large role in growing Tire Town from one established tire shop to eight locations, all in less than 10 years. With little to no retail or tire experience, having previously worked in real estate, King worked with Tire Town owner Lanier Alford to integrate a stronger structure within his existing business in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Thinking outside the box is something many people wish their company would encourage. Fortunately for Stan Chen, senior manager of events and sponsorships of Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp., he has the ability to get creative every day.
Gary Eavers initially opted out of the family business, instead choosing a career as internal auditor. It wasn’t until three years ago that he joined his family’s business. Today, he’s director of operations the nearly 60 year-old company.
Robby Cutchins was always interested in working in the automotive industry. “My father started in the automotive business in 1982 in a small two-bay service station and eventually got in to the tire business in the late 1980s. Being around the business for all of the years growing up gave me the interest to pursue a career in the field as I got older,” Cutchins says.
The best piece of advice Vahe Michaelian ever received was that “life’s not a race, it’s a marathon.” And, if you make improvements every day, the goal will be reached. Michaelian has done just that, but he’s been running pretty fast. In his short career, Michaelian has been extremely involved in the tire industry through evolving roles at 1-800EveryRim.
When Cory Brown was 25 years old, he made a gamble to buy his first Redline Automotive store. Years later, now president of the company, it’s safe to say the investment paid off.
James Crouch is a self-proclaimed farm boy. Agriculture is his passion, and he always knew he wanted to do something related to that industry. A friend shared a job selling ag tires that led him to his first gig in the tire industry at Michelin North America nearly seven years ago.