There is no better business to a car guy than being in the Automotive Aftermarket! It is truly nirvana for those of us who just love cars and the business of cars. I started my career in the aftermarket at the age of 16 working part time pumping gas at a Texaco Station. I had an intense interest in cars as a teenager and soon began doing state inspections, oil changes, and light mechanical repairs at the shop. Since I always worked on my cars, I also took on a part time job as a parts counter person at a local ADAP auto parts store which later became Auto Palace. Learning how to look up parts in paper catalogs and on micro fiche was quite different than how we look up parts today. Our business is in a constant state of change.
During college I took on the role of Part Time Assistant Manager at that parts store and never looked back. After completing college, I stayed on to become a Store Manager, then became a District Manager, and eventually into Loss Prevention. Finally I moved into the corporate office as a buyer. When Auto Palace was purchased and consolidated by another company, I left the buying side of the business going back into sales as the North East Sales Manager for Keystone Automotive Operations. The E-Comm world of the late 1990’s was in full swing and I was asked to join the team that developed the Driver FX.com business unit for Keystone. When the Dot Com bubble popped, I had an opportunity to join Foreign Autopart as a Category Manager and have been with Foreign Autopart / Autopart International since 1999 recently taking on an expanded role at our parent company Advance Auto Parts.
Today my role at Advance Auto Parts allows me to oversee our global sourcing initiatives, private branding and our Taipei sourcing office. I continue at Autopart International driving, Global Sourcing, Private Brand Development and Strategy, Category Management, Pricing, and Wholesale Sales.
Much has and will continue to change in our industry since my start in 1984. What I have found most important during my career has been to understand the history and foundations of our business, keep the core principles that have made our industry great and continually reinvent and challenge yourself and your team to stay ahead of the ever changing tides in the aftermarket.