Every so often, our editorial staff selects one aftermarket industry professional to get to know a little better. Participants are asked to respond to a series of questions that can be answered in about the same amount of time you might spend chatting at the office coffee pot or waiting for an elevator.
In today’s installment of “Five Minutes With,” we get to know a little more about Ryan Stuver, AAP, regional sales manager – Northeast for CRP Industries.
What was your first job in the industry?
My first job in the industry was with a family owned company out of Salem, Ohio – Haltec Corp. I was pretty green at the time. For whatever reason, they were looking for someone to fill a sales position with no prior experience. Right out of college, I fit that description pretty well.
Haltec was a member of the Tire Industry Association and specializes in manufacturing tire valve hardware for heavy-duty construction and mining equipment. I didn’t handle a lot of the OE business with companies like Caterpillar and Komatsu, but I did get to stand next to a few CAT 797s. I spent most of my time selling inflation solutions and programs, which took me to places like SEMA and assorted AOCA events.
What do you like best about your current position?
Every day and every customer are different. Some days I’m in the office working on strategies and goals for the next quarter, some days I’m on a plane heading to a customer’s headquarters to give a line review presentation and other days I’m heading to a convention. The constant pace changes mean that I never really have a chance to settle in and get bored; I’m always thinking, moving or trying to solve the next issue before it pops up.
Did you initially intend to pursue a career in the aftermarket? If not, what drew you to the industry and what keeps you here?
To be honest, I had no idea the aftermarket existed when I was in college. I was a history major who was focused on trying to find an internship in Washington, D.C. Turns out, those are hard to find when you apply at the very last moment.
When I moved from Haltec to CRP Industries, I really got my first introduction to the Auto Care Association and Industry Week as I know it today. After those first few weeks and my initial training I found that I had a passion for the product that I was selling. It wasn’t just a buying and selling transaction like some sales jobs can be; I felt like I was selling solutions to peoples’ problems. It just snowballed from there. Being passionate about the industry certainly makes waking up for work in the morning that much easier!
What do you do when not at work?
I was a Division III collegiate soccer player, so I still play on a few semi-competitive adult teams. I’m not as fast or fit as I used to be and I don’t heal as quickly as I used to, so my playing days are numbered, but I’m hanging on for dear life. When I’m not working or playing soccer, you can typically find my wife, Jessica, and I working around the house or looking for a place to take a hike with our dog. We live in Northeast Ohio and have been spoiled with a great Metropark system. We try to be outside as much as possible when the weather allows it!
What one word best sums up your personality?
I’m going to say authentic. We just completed an exercise at the YANG Leadership Conference that was part of Spring Leadership Days where we were asked to pick from a list of descriptors how we wanted to be seen by the outside world. I picked authentic. Honesty has always been one of the values I most admired in people and I think it’s much easier to trust someone else when you can tell they’re being honest and that they truly believe in what they are saying.
What are you currently reading?
I’ve usually have a couple of books open at a time. I read in bursts, so I’ll read three books in a week and the fourth one will sit there for a few weeks before I get back to it. Right now, I’m reading “Acceptance” which is the third book in the Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer. I’m also getting started on “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” by Jordan B. Peterson.
If you could time-travel, to where and what in era would you want to visit?
I’d love to be a fly on the wall during the Constitutional Convention in 1787. My senior thesis in college was on James Madison and the Bill of Rights and I just find the entire era wildly interesting. To be in that room while these kids were drafting the Constitution would be crazy! I say these kids, because a lot of people don’t know that they weren’t all sage political veterans. Alexander Hamilton was 21, James Madison was 25, and James Monroe was only 18!
My father has quote hanging up in his office at home. It was Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” speech. I remember looking and reading that speech whenever I used the computer when I was kid. Fast forward to today and I have a copy of that speech in my office. The part that always stuck with me was the first line, “It is not the critic who counts…”.