Title: Product manager
Company: Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.
Why he was selected: Has utilized his development experience to help expand new categories throughout the company's consumer product line.
What inspired you to pursue a career in the rubber industry?
The main inspiration I had to pursue a career in the tire industry was the opportunity to work on products which are critical to a vehicle's safety and performance. I also wanted to challenge myself by developing products in a different industry to grow my product development background. I started out as a product engineering intern at a business seating company, moved into a product design engineering role for a wheel company, and then moved to Toyo Tires, first as a product engineer, and now as a product manager.
How has working in the rubber industry broadened your view of the world?
Toyo Tires has subsidiaries and factories all over the world. I've had the opportunity to work with and visit our engineers, researchers, factories and proving grounds in Japan on multiple occasions. Learning about Japanese culture and working for a Japanese company has exposed me to people, places and experiences I never imagined I'd have. I've also been able to work with members of Toyo Tires from Russia, Australia and Canada, showing them our culture and learning about theirs.
How did your company sell the rubber industry to you during the recruiting/hiring process?
I was already sold on the idea of working with rubber because of my appreciation for its role in the performance of vehicles. I always thought of myself as an informed consumer when purchasing tires because it was important to me to have the best vehicle performance. I was very interested in the opportunity to work in the motorsports industry, which initially drew me to the tire industry. I was immediately exposed to the challenges of tire development and have been able to work on products whose performance targets are drastically varied from purpose-built racing tires, to light truck rugged terrain tires, to passenger car variable condition, and ultra-high performance tires.
Other interests: Enjoys skiing, cycling and is a self-described "passionate gear head" who loves to work on his car and take it to the local race track whenever possible.