Every so often, our editorial staff selects one aftermarket industry professional to get to know a little better. In this new feature, 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. This week, we hear from Mike Allen, vice president of Federated Auto Parts.
What was your first job in the industry?
My first job in the automotive aftermarket was as a district sales manager for Raybestos, calling on NAPA. I spent 17 years with Raybestos and was fortunate enough to start out with a well-respected company that provided me with opportunities for advancement that has culminated in me landing on staff at Federated with some of the most respected leaders in our industry.
What do you like best about your current position?
The exposure to so many different facets of our business is probably what I like best. The Federated business model is second-to-none when it comes to program distribution. It allows me to participate in a wide range of duties from vendor relations to marketing, as well as allowing me to keep in contact with the street by conducting installer business training programs for our membership. This keeps me in touch with what is really happening in our industry.
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, I worked for Clark Forklift as a trainer/facilitator just out of school before being presented with the opportunity to call on NAPA as a district manager for Raybestos. That was 20 years ago, and now the aftermarket has been part of my life ever since. The constant change and challenges that take place in our industry makes it very rewarding to work with the Federated membership as we navigate through the ever-changing landscape.
What do you do when not at work?
When I’m not working I spend most of my free time chasing our two kids around in their sport endeavors. Basketball season just ended and now our weekends are filled with travel soccer with my 14-year-old daughter (Alex) and my 10-year-old son (Lucas). Weekends are pretty busy, but the gratification my wife (Lilia) and I share watching the kids compete and develop is priceless.
What one word best sums up your personality?
What was your first car?
A 1986 Chevy Camaro.
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading “American Assassin” by Vince Flynn. Most of the books I read fall under the mystery and thrillers genre.
“Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” John Wooden
If you would like to participate in “Five Minutes With” or know someone who would be a great candidate, contact AMN Editor Amy Antenora by clicking here.