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Leadership 2.0 Blog: Chris Hillestad, Midwest Zone Manager, NGK Spark Plugs U.S.A.
April 16, 2012
By aftermarketNews staff
Chris Hillestad is all smiles on the Northwood Florida campus.
Tim Lee speaks at the convocation.
This week, 30 aftermarket professionals have returned to the classroom for Session II of the University of the Aftermarket's sold-out Leadership 2.0 experience. Throughout the week, they will hear from industry leaders such as Tim Lee, MAAP, president of Lang Distributing Inc., analyze the latest industry challenges, present their intersession research findings and hone their leadership skills before returning to their jobs at aftermarket manufacturing, distribution, association and vehicle service organizations. Once again, several participants in this week's session have agreed to give us their insider's take on the experience, as part of our second annual Leadership 2.0 blogger series. We begin with a first blog entry from Chris Hillestad, Midwest Zone Manager for NGK Spark Plugs U.S.A.
Blog #1
After a long flight, it was nice to see familiar faces when I checked into my hotel in West Palm Beach. I had run into some of my Leadership 2.0 classmates at various industry events, but this was the first time I had seen everyone together.
Last night, we all gathered for a kick-off dinner at Northwood University's campus here in West Palm. It's much smaller than the Midland, Mich., campus where the first Leadership 2.0 session was held last September.
I was lucky to have been chosen by my company (NGK Spark Plugs) to attend this year’s class. What an amazing experience I have had thus far. I can’t express enough how valuable this experience has been to my career and my experience in the industry. My gratitude goes out to my company, the professors, the University of the Aftermarket staff and all my fellow classmates. And I can't forget my teammates, who have collaborated over the past six months on our team project, which will be presented on Thursday afternoon. My team includes Wes Ward (Wes Ward Auto Repair), Brent Kulcsar (Auto Electric Service Ltd) and Kent Van Oort (Gates
This has been one of the greatest experiences of my career. We are all gathering for our last week together, but what a great homecoming. Last night's guest speaker was Tim Lee, president of Lang Distributing and a member of Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance. He talked about trust – how each part of the supply chain must trust each other if we are to survive and succeed. It was a good message. He also told us stories about his career and his early days in the auto parts business.
He said something else that really struck a chord with me: “The values you earn come from the friendships you make.” What a fitting comment given the great relationships and friendships this class has created. I am really looking forward to the rest of the week!