Creating a People-First Business with Sullivan Tire

Creating a People-First Business with Sullivan Tire

Sullivan Tire's Paul Sullivan digs into the company's storied history and how it's ushering in the third generation.

Sullivan Tire is a name synonymous with the tire business. Yet when Bob Sullivan decided to take a risk and start the business in 1955, he was working out of a little red garage in Rockland, Massachusetts, that he rented for $150 per month. At that time, the Sullivan family had eight kids—eight mouths to feed—yet Bob was determined to go in business for himself and pursue the American dream.

Fast forward 68 years, and now his kids have taken over and are shareholders in the business, which has grown to 117 locations, across its retail, wholesale and commercial divisions in New England.

Bob’s son, Paul, now the company’s vice president, started as a young lad in the business and worked his way up under the tutelage of his father and older siblings. He not only has helped grow Sullivan Tire’s footprint but also its brand recognition in the markets it serves. In this episode of Johnny g & Friends, presented by Firestone, find out how Paul lives out Bob’s mission of treating everyone—customers and employees—like they’re a part of the Sullivan Tire family.

EPISODE OVERVIEW

  • The story of how Bob Sullivan started Sullivan Tire and why Bob’s employees referred to him as “The Chef” (1:57);
  • One of the biggest lessons about business Bob taught Paul, who carries it out to this day (6:07);
  • Paul’s memories of working in the tire business—complete with props! (8:35);
  • Ways the Sullivan family maintains relationships with Sullivan Tire’s 1,400-plus employees (10:17);
  • Challenges of growing Sullivan Tire in the 70s (12:38);
  • With Sullivan Tire sponsoring major New England sports teams, Paul details his favorite athlete he’s worked with and how these partnerships help the Sullivan Tire brand (15:21);
  • How Paul feels Joe Zaccheo, president of CEO of Sullivan Tire, will lead the business into its third generation (21:19);
  • Future growth plans for Sullivan Tire (24:13);
  • Rapid Fire Questions (27:01).

Watch the episode above and subscribe to Tire Review’s YouTube channel, where you can catch all episodes of Johnny g & Friends. You can also subscribe to Johnny g & Friends on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts and Spotify.

You May Also Like

Hunter’s John Zentz on How Dealers Can Win in Today’s Market

When you take a look around at the tire service equipment in your shop, you may see the name of the company that Johnny g’s next guest represents. The one that he credits for imprinting the tire industry in his heart. That company is Hunter Engineering, and the guest that’s been part of its team

When you take a look around at the tire service equipment in your shop, you may see the name of the company that Johnny g’s next guest represents. The one that he credits for imprinting the tire industry in his heart. That company is Hunter Engineering, and the guest that’s been part of its team for over 25 years is none other than John Zentz, the company’s senior vice president of global sales.

S&S Tire’s Swentzel: Secrets to Longevity in the Tire Business

Related Articles – Respect Your Elders – Road to AAPEX Ep. 1: The Future Legacy of the Automotive Aftermarket – Jim Franco and Office Efficiency There’s no one secret recipe for business success. Sure, hard work has tons to do with it. Luck helps. And in the case of S&S Tire, you can’t have a

Meet the Michael Jordan of the Tire Industry

In this episode of Johnny g & Friends, presented by Firestone, get to know the “Michael Jordan of the Tire Industry.” No, he’s not 6-foot-6 with six playoff rings, but he is the largest car dealer in the state of Florida. That man is Larry Morgan, chairman of Morgan Family Ventures, a high-growth group of

Johnny g & Friends, Ep. 1: Mario Andretti

Related Articles – AAPEX: Empowering the Automotive Aftermarket Through Collaboration – Thoughts on Autonomous Commercial Vehicles – AAPEX: Navigating the Automotive Aftermarket’s Digital Evolution Mario Andretti is a racing icon. He’s won the Daytona 500, the Indy 500 and a Formula One World Championship—a feat no other racecar driver has achieved. He’s taken the checkered

Other Posts
Sullivan Tire Announces Employee Stock Ownership Plan

By converting to the ESOP, the company will be 100 percent owned by its nearly 1,500 employees.

Sullivan Tire
Sullivan Tire Opens New Distribution Center in Maine

Sullivan Tire’s new 40,000-square-foot warehouse will serve customers in northern and central Maine.

tire-distribution-outlook-tire-rack
Craig Tate: The Most Important KPI in the Tire Business (Podcast)

Think of your favorite sports team. At the height of their success, you probably knew their record, some of the players’ stats and all the commentary around what was being said about the team. Now, apply that mindset to your business. That’s what Craig Tate, former owner of Tate Boys Tire & Service, did to

Ziegler Tire: Adapting A 102-Year-Old Business

John Ziegler Jr. has worked on the retail, commercial and wholesale side, and now serves as the company’s VP.