Dan Williford began his aftermarket career in 1987. He has worked behind parts counters for CARQUEST and Advance, as a technician, in distribution centers, field sales and corporate marketing. For the past six years, he has been with Airtex Products, where he was appointed marketing director in March 2010. A native of North Carolina, Williford is a graduate of East Carolina University. He lives with his wife and three children in Evansville, Ind. Read on to find out what makes drives Dan, what Dan drives and what Newton’s Laws of Motion have to do with it.
What was your first job in the industry?
My first job was at a family CARQUEST store. I started out sweeping floors and stocking shelves, and at 16 moved to parts delivery and counter sales.
What do you like best about your current position?
The diversity of day-to-day activities. Being involved with cataloging data services, marketing and training provides multiple touch points with our customers and their customers – the folks throwing away the box. It’s an exciting time to be in the aftermarket and to see how converging technologies are driving and enabling a richer customer experience.
Did you initially intend to pursue a career in the aftermarket? If not, what drew you to the industry and what keeps you here?
No, for a time I was an English teacher. Then I came back to the aftermarket. Then I worked for a marketing agency. Then I came back to the aftermarket. There’s a trend here…. Seriously, I love cars and parts, and have been fortunate to work with and learn from many great people in this industry.
What one word best sums up your personality?
What do you do when not at work?
If I’m not spending time with my wife and three children, I’m running, practicing martial arts, woodworking or playing guitar.
What kind of car do you drive?
A 2009 Scion xB.
Who was your childhood hero?
“Actioni contrariam semper et æqualem esse reactionem.” [Loosely translated, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite re-action,” based on Newton’s Laws of Motion. – Ed.]