Modern Tire Dealer

NOV 2018

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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Page 26 of 111

How do you spend your work day? I am responsible for maintaining our agriculture product portfolio. is comes with several different responsibilities, some of which are training (both internal and external), tire testing and field survey, pricing, product releases and defining the future product strategy. Our product offering in ag tires is very extensive and we bring new products to market at an incredible rate so most of my day is spent making that process as smooth of a sequence as possible. e rest of my time is spent more on the strategic side of the ball, planning for new products and coordinating with our engineering teams and manufacturing teams. I spend well over 75% of my time in the field. I try to get as close to the farmer and retail tire dealer as possible. It's completely impossible to know what is needed and will be needed in the market if I'm not physically in it. e connection with the farmer is also critical. I have made some very good friends over the last several years by visiting farms and ensuring they're set up properly or working to resolve an issue. e farming community is inherently fraternal and farmers trust one another. Being the tire guy that's top-of-mind to the ultimate end user guarantees repeat business and brand stability. Messy or neat freak? I'm a clean freak to a fault. I'm pretty sure you could eat off of any surface in my house, office or truck. What song do you crank up loud and always sing along to? Pretty much anything by Led Zeppelin. I don't think I have ever listened to Immigrant Song at a healthy level. If we gave you $1,000 and one hour, how would you spend the money? I have recently moved into a new home from an apartment so I need furniture badly. My downstairs looks like a dance hall. ere isn't a stitch of furniture down there. I could at least land a few rugs and end tables for $1,000. Let's get this set up. Brandon Johnson CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER EAGLE TIRE PROS JACKSBORO, TENN. AGE: 24 What's the biggest issue facing the tire industry? Finding new talent. We are sending more students than ever to four-year universities, and not nearly enough students to the trades. We are going to find a major crisis when there aren't enough mechanics to meet the demand. How should the tire industry attract and retain more young talent? We need to keep reinforcing that this industry is a wonderful one to be in. It's full of innovation and opportunities to help someone. e trades are filled with the most honest, selfless employees on earth. Describe your first car and what you loved most about it. My 1996 Ford Explorer — dubbed the Exploder by everyone who rode in it. e doors wouldn't open from the inside, so you had to roll down the window and let yourself out. Growing up, what was your dream job? For sure, a Jedi. What advice would you give your high school self? Listen to your dad a lot more — he's not always wrong. If you could spend a day supporting a charity, what would you do? I'm currently the District Gover- nor of Lions Clubs in east Ten- nessee. at means I lead over 40 clubs and 1,000 Lions Club members. So I support them a lot, and love to help those in need. If you could start a new career tomorrow, what would it be? I wouldn't change a thing. I love business, and helping folks. e tire industry is the perfect combination of that. Andrew Svenson CHIEF ENGINEER TRUCK AND BUS TIRE DEVELOPMENT BRIDGESTONE AMERICAS TIRE OPERATIONS LLC AKRON, OHIO AGE: 37 What attracted you to the industry? Being born and raised in the Akron, Ohio, area, I had exposure to the industry my entire life. My grandfather was an engineer in manufacturing for BFGoodrich, but based on his advice I wasn't convinced the tire industry was for me. I became involved with the Formula SAE program at the University of Akron where stu- dents design a race car to compete against other schools. Being in Goodyear's backyard, they sup- ported us tremendously through a sponsorship that included free tires, time on their test track, and 23 w w w . M o d e r n T i r e D e a l e r . c o m

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