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 this installment of “Five Minutes With,” we get to know Robert Roos, who was recently named the new president of National Pronto Association.
What was your first job in the industry?
After graduating high school, I got a job as a part-time warehouse worker, pulling parts and checking stock at Downey Automotive in Chattanooga, Tennessee, while I attended college. I had a friend who had his picture in the local newspaper for becoming an Eagle Scout and was hired by Downey Automotive. After he worked there for a couple of weeks, they asked him if he knew anyone else looking for a job and he gave them my name. The rest, as they say, is history.
What do you like best about your current position?
My current position is changing dramatically in the next couple of weeks as I have taken over the lead role with the Pronto group. I really enjoy the ability to be involved in all the various aspects of program distribution. While my previous role as vice president of sales and marketing allowed me to have a great overview of the organization, I am really excited about the opportunities that lie ahead as I assume my new role.
Did you initially intend to pursue a career in the aftermarket? If not, what drew you to the industry and what keeps you here?
I honestly never intended to have a career in the automotive industry. When I took that part-time job many years ago, it was simply a way for me to make a little spending money while going to school. I was offered a full-time job the day after I graduated from college and accepted it, never thinking it would become a career. After a few more years, I started to realize this business was a great one to be involved in. For such a large industry, it is truly a close-knit family. The friends and business relationships that I have forged over my career are priceless. I’m not sure there is another career path out there that would have come close to giving me the rewards and satisfaction that I have received from my career in the aftermarket.
What do you do when not at work?
I am a sports fanatic. I enjoy watching all types of sports although I am not very good at any of them. I can talk a good game, but for some reason, working in the program group business doesn’t allow me to perfect my skills in any of them.
What one word best sums up your personality?
What was your first car?
Do you have a hidden talent?
I can name that tune in very few notes.
What are you currently reading?
Hundreds and hundreds of emails and text messages every week.