“I’ve had so many opportunities to learn and grow.”
Speaking with our General Manager Todd Ward, that’s a sentiment that comes up time and time again. It’s not just words, either — it’s backed up by an impressively long career history with Chapel Hill Tire, stretching all the way back to 1987.
In his first position as a General Service Technician, you could find Todd changing tires and oil with his team at the Carrboro location. But even during the four years he was cutting his teeth on the automotive repair industry, Todd was already looking to take the opportunities offered to him. That led to making light repairs on shocks, springs, and the like.
But Todd’s willingness and aptitude led him to become a Service Writer at the Carrboro location next, followed very shortly thereafter by his role as Manager of the entire location, a role he would hold all the way until 2015. This was perfect for him, as he felt a deep sense of connection to his work family at Carrboro, and loved being able to support them through the trials and tribulations of personal and professional life.
Even all of that experience couldn’t quite prepare Todd for what came next, though. With Marc Pons taking on the role as the company’s CEO, Todd was offered his largest responsibility yet: A role as the General Manager in charge of all Chapel Hill Tire locations.
“At the time, I didn’t deal with change very well.” says Todd, “And I’m a very loyal person. My Carrboro team was my family,” and being away from that location felt almost insurmountable.
“I just knew that the toughest part would be leaving my Carrboro family — but I also knew that I’d still be involved. Letting go was hard, but it’s been totally worth it.”
But with time and experience, Todd has taken to the General Manager role like a duck to water. He loves getting to spend his days visiting all nine locations, checking in with his people, making sure everything is going well for them both personally and professionally.
“In the stores, I always want to show that I care.” says Todd, and he does that every day by having conversations with every employee he meets.
“It did take me a little while to get in my groove. It was a lot to learn, and a different way of leading than what I was used to.” But what made that transition possible for Todd was sticking to Chapel Hill Tire’s core values — particularly Winning As A Team. By always supporting each other like a family, those values served to open the door to real personal and professional growth, all within the company.
With regards to those values, Todd says it best:
“I’ll say this: Those values are not just writing on the wall. They are what have helped to build the culture that we have today, by living those values and making decisions based on those values.”
For Todd, that means implementing them in a real, physical way each day: “We really focus on and talk about them daily, with our managers having a morning huddle focusing on the value of the week. They’re a huge piece of what’s gotten us to where we’re at today.”
Chapel Hill Tire wouldn’t be the place it is today without the people who keep it running, and we especially thank Todd for the work he’s done in continuing to grow and develop with everyone as a team!