Modern Tire Dealer

NOV 2018

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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M T D N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 8 28 college I had taken internships in the music industry and was set on working in brand management at a major record label. Instead, I was offered an amazing opportunity to start my career at a full-service digital agency as an account man- ager which allowed me to dabble in many industries. What attracted you to the industry? I love this industry for its uniqueness. As a marketer, we love to solve challenges, and the tire industry has a lot of unique and complex challenges to reach the end consumer. We are one of the few industries that has the distribution channels of wholesale distributor to retailer to consumer. What advice would you give your high school self? You literally don't know anything yet. Describe your first car and what you loved most about it. 1996 Toyota Tacoma, a rusty old beater pickup that was black with yellow racing stripes. It had a tape player that I made my own custom mix tapes for. Totally wasn't what you'd picture a teenage girl driving. I loved it for that. What's the biggest issue facing the tire industry? Introducing e-commerce and more digital solutions will require the industry to pivot. We're already seeing some of that where dealers are relying more on profits coming from service offerings versus their product margins. Riley Kentfield OWNER TAKE OFF TIRE LLC LINCOLN, NEB. AGE: 22 What was your first job in the industry? Servicing tires in a small tire shop. What attracted you to the industry? It's my dream to customize cars with rims and tires that make the vehicle pop! What's the biggest challenge you've faced in your career? My biggest challenge is finding the right people to help grow my business. Who has had the biggest influence on your career? Jarret Kruse VICE PRESIDENT OF STRATEGY AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BELLE TIRE DISTRIBUTORS INC. ALLEN PARK, MICH. AGE: 36 Who has had the biggest influence on your career? My father's influence is immeasurable. (Jeff Kruse retired from Belle Tire as senior vice president of retail operations.) His career in the tire industry spanned 40 years. When I think about my father, the first thing that comes to mind is integrity. He was great at instilling that sense of team in everyone, and made everyone feel a part of something bigger. How do you spend your work day? On a day-to-day basis my team is responsible for our go to market strategy, specifically maintaining our pricing and product strategies. We are in the midst of entering many new markets, so we are quite busy developing the launch strategies for those markets. We also spend a lot of time looking at business and consumer data trends and patterns and developing insights and recommendations for the organization. Best way to spend a Saturday night: Home alone watching college football from noon until midnight on a Saturday! What's your secret superpower? To make Don Barnes III laugh at opportune times by telling an inside joke or two. is is not easy! How should the tire industry attract and retain more young talent? We have to aggressively compensate, develop more formalized retention programs (cultural, benefits, etc.) and promote the opportunities to innovate. What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now? Opening a Belle Tire store on another continent. Hayley Milne MARKETING MANAGER AMERICAN KENDA RUBBER COLUMBUS, OHIO AGE: 27 Growing up, what was your dream job? When I was a little kid I wanted to be a dolphin trainer. Going into middle school I was convinced I'd be a writer. By the time I got to

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