If you’ve spent some time in the tire industry, you’ve probably heard the name John Gamauf, aka Johnny g. In his 50-plus years of service to the industry, he’s busted tires, survived the largest tire recall in history and made a lot of friends along the way. Meet them in Johnny g & Friends, a monthly podcast in which Johnny g and his friends share the secrets to their success and the memories they’ve made along the way in our beloved tire industry.
S3 Wrap-up: How Do you Work on the Business Instead of in the Business? Tire Dealers Sound Off
Welcome to Johnny g & Friends. Today, we have a special episode for you: The Greatness Round-Up of Season 3. In this episode, we take one question I asked all of our guests this year and compile their answers into one episode of never-before-heard audio.
This year, I asked our guests, “How do you work on the business instead of in the business?” In this episode, you'll hear from:
Marc Pons, owner of Chapel Hill Tire;Beth Barron, president and CEO of Chabill’s Tire & Auto Service;Paul Sullivan, vice president of Sullivan Tire & Auto;Matt Jensen, president of Jensen Tire & Auto;TJ Beroth, president of Beroth Tire & Automotive;Dennis King, president of Dunlap & Kyle.We appreciate all of our Season 3 guests sharing their knowledge about the tire business with us this year. Be sure to be on the lookout next year for Season 4. Have a Happy New Year!
A Deep Dive into Bridgestone Motorsports with Cara Krstolic
You know when someone loves what they do when they speak about it with passion and excitement. With an engineering background and a passion for racing, Cara Krstolic, executive director, race tire engineering and manufacturing and chief engineer, motorsports, at Bridgestone Americas, is one of those people.
A native of Akron, Ohio, Cara started her career at Bridgestone as a vehicle dynamics engineer. But her curiosity for learning goes farther back than that. As the daughter of two teachers, Cara remembers growing up with an interest in science and the outdoors. She would do experiments with her mom, a science teacher. Later as a college student at the University of Akron, she participated in Formula SAE challenges, where she and a team designed and competed with small formula-style racing car. Soon after graduating, she started at Bridgestone and hasn’t looked back. Her story of making her way to the motorsports side of the business is one of grit and a strong work ethic.
Those traits and more are what allowed her to work her way up to become the head engineer for all race tires for the Bridgestone and Firestone brands, building tires for storied races like the Indy 500.
In this episode of Johnny g & Friends, presented by Firestone, Cara and Johnny g discuss:
Cara’s career trajectory at Bridgestone (0:53)A typical race weekend for Cara –the schedule, data collection and all (3:52)Data points collected at a typical race weekend (5:39)Johnny g’s first encounter with guayule in the early 90s, which is a plant Bridgestone is using a sustainable alternative to natural rubber (11:35)Future application for guayule in racing tires (14:24)The atmosphere and race day and Cara and Johnny g’s favorite part about it (17:27)How more women are involved in racing and Cara’s advice to young women for achieving a career in racing (19:59)Rapid Fire Questions (22:51)
For more episodes of Johnny g & Friends, presented by Firestone, click here.
D&K's Dennis King: The Tire Industry’s Lucrative Future
Dennis King has deep roots in the tire industry at Dunlap & Kyle Tire Company. His dad, Denny started out at Dunlap & Kyle in Jackson, Mississippi, working in distribution for Hesselbein Tire. When Dennis finished his computer science degree at Ole Miss in 1990, he planned to work in IT for the federal court system, yet the universe had other plans.
After a conversation with Bob Dunlap, founder of Dunlap & Kyle, Dennis would go on to make a career in the tire business. Over the years, he worked his way up from the adjustments department to vice president of operations to president of Dunlap & Kyle, overseeing the company’s 19 distribution warehouses in Arkansas, Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee, and 41 retail stores, under the Gateway Tire & Service brand across those states as well as Oklahoma and Alabama.
In this episode of Johnny g & Friends, presented by Firestone, Dennis shares:
How he started in the tire business with Dunlop & Kyle (1:28) - The greatest lessons he has learned from Bobby Dunlap and his dad over the years (4:07) - Two concerns Dennis has about tire distribution and retail (6:07) - Why his outlook is positive when it comes to the future of the tire industry (9:34) - How Dunlap & Kyle created a vision statement with eight core values and the significance of them for employees (12:08) - Advice for the next generation of tire industry professionals (16:07) - Best memories from tire industry trips and the people that made them great (19:13) - New ways D&K is communicating with its employees and adapting to digitally (23:29) - Rapid Fire Questions (25:07)
More from Firestone Tires: www.firestonetires.com
More Johnny g & Friends:https://www.tirereview.com/category/video/johnny-g-friends-video/
Faith, Community Drive TJ Beroth to Continue on Family Legacy at Beroth Tire Co.
TJ Beroth comes from a long line of proud independent tire dealers that have demonstrated passion for serving their community. And TJ is no exception.
TJ’s grandfather, Tom, started Mock-Beroth Tire & Automotive in 1966 with the Mock brothers in the greater Winston-Salem area. It started as a recapping business and has evolved to 11 retail locations today. TJ’s dad, T, took over for Tom in the late 70s and developed the motto of “do more, give more” within the communities the business serves. After T passed away from ALS last year, TJ took over the helm as president, overseeing the operations of seven stores under Beroth Tire & Automotive, as he continues his family’s legacy.
In this episode of Johnny g & Friends, president by Firestone, TJ delves into:
His earliest memories of the family business (1:38)The origin story of the business (3:02)How TJ utilizes the wisdom and expertise of his grandfather, Tom Beroth (6:28)His unwavering faith and how his family brings it into the business (8:12)The ways his father, T, influenced him in business and in life (11:51)How his father prepared him to take over the family business, especially during his battle with ALS (15:21)What he is doing differently and the changes he has made in the business as a third-generation tire dealer (18:24)Lessons from playing college football that TJ brings to the business today (22:40)Rapid Fire questions (28:26)
More from Firestone Tires: www.firestonetires.com
More Johnny g & Friends: https://www.tirereview.com/category/podcasts/johnny-g-and-friends/
How Jensen Tire & Auto Gets Better Everyday with Matt, Mike and Nick Jensen
Matt Jensen grew up in the industry under the tutelage of his father, W.R., who founded Jensen Tire & Auto in 1973 with his wife. In the mid-90s, Matt bought out his father’s share of the business and focused on its growth in Omaha, Fremont and Lincoln, Nebraska. In 10 years’ time, he took Jensen Tire from 10 locations to 21.
Throughout the years, Jensen Tire has stayed true to its mission of maintaining long-lasting relationships with friends and neighbors who seek out their products and services. Today, Matt’s sons, Mike and Nick, have joined the business in leadership roles. Mike serves as vice president of operations, and Nick is vice president of retail operations. As Matt transitions more duties to his sons, he’s looking to grow Jensen Tire’s footprint and reach the next level.
- Matt describes how his parents founded Jensen Tire & Auto and how he worked his way up in the business (1:51)
- The trait Matt learned from his father that helped him grow the business to 21 locations (5:09)
- How Matt and his wife, Diane, grew the business together from 10 to 21 locations (6:34)
- Mike details how he worked his way up in the business, "earned his stripes" and became vice president of operations (10:20)
- Mike explains why Jensen Tire is investing in mobile tire service and what the benefits have been for the business (12:24)
- Why Mike lives by the motto of "staying ahead of the game" (15:01)
- Nick takes Johnny g through his start in the tire business and his role as president of retail operations, managing 220 employees (16:22)
- Nick describes how he's working to grow a workforce for Jensen Tire (19:02)
- The most important lesson Nick has learned from his dad (23:32)
- Matt describes his role as president and CEO today compared to 10 years ago and the challenges he and other dealers face when looking to open new locations (24:51)
- What Jensen Tire's 50th anniversary means to Matt (27:52)
Check out more episodes of Johnny g & Friends: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVkqUUE022sfk413J6lVAaPFH4Wc2ORLy
More from Firestone Tires: https://www.firestonetire.com
From Humble Beginnings to a Tire Behemoth – The Sullivan Tire Story
Sullivan Tire is a name synonymous with the tire business. Yet when Bob Sullivan decided to take a risk and start the business in 1955, he was working out of a little red garage in Rockland, Massachusetts, that he rented for $150 per month. At that time, the Sullivan family had eight kids—eight mouths to feed—yet Bob was determined to go in business for himself and pursue the American dream.
Fast forward 68 years, and now his kids have taken over and are shareholders in the business, which has grown to 117 locations, across its retail, wholesale and commercial divisions in New England.
Bob’s son, Paul, now the company’s vice president, started as a young lad in the business and worked his way up under the tutelage of his father and older siblings. He not only has helped grow Sullivan Tire’s footprint but also its brand recognition in the markets it serves. In this episode of Johnny g & Friends, presented by Firestone, find out how Paul lives out Bob’s mission of treating everyone—customers and employees—like they’re a part of the Sullivan Tire family.
The story of how Bob Sullivan started Sullivan Tire and why Bob’s employees referred to him as “The Chef” (1:57)One of the biggest lessons about business Bob taught Paul, who carries it out to this day (6:07) Paul’s memories of working in the tire business—complete with props! (8:35)Ways the Sullivan family maintains relationships with Sullivan Tire’s 1,400-plus employees (10:17)Challenges of growing Sullivan Tire in the 70s (12:38)With Sullivan Tire sponsoring major New England sports teams, Paul details his favorite athlete he’s worked with and how these partnerships help the Sullivan Tire brand (15:21)How Paul feels Joe Zaccheo, president of CEO of Sullivan Tire, will lead the business into its third generation (21:19)Future growth plans for Sullivan Tire (24:13) Rapid Fire Questions (16:01)More Johnny g & Friends: https://www.tirereview.com/category/video/johnny-g-friends-video/
More from Firestone: www.firestonetires.com