It takes all types of people with different abilities and skill sets to make a business not only run, but thrive. A company can produce a terrific product but without talented sales team, that product never reaches the customer. At Chief, sales and service are at the forefront, and our Sales Managers are an integral part of the sales machine. Mike Croker is our Manager for the Central and Northeast US and today we talk with Mike to find out about what it means to be a part of the Chief team.
Q: How long have you been with Chief?
Mike: I have been with Chief for 2 years, I was originally hired to be a Chief University Instructor before I was moved into the role of Division Manager for Central /Northeast United States.
Q: What do you enjoy about your job?
Mike: I love many aspects of my job. I get to be in a different place every day and get to meet different people within our industry. What I enjoy most is educating the industry about the technology changes in vehicles and how to prepare for them. I am also a part of the National Technical Committee for Skills-USA Group and love being able to see what the future of our industry can accomplish at the competitions. Not to mention the team aspect of our group at Chief, everyone works great together and we have a great time doing it.
Q: What is your work background in?
Mike: I started in collision repair in high school. I attended a tech school and started working in my first body shop at age 15. After high school I attended Wyotech in Pennsylvania and received a degree in Automotive Business Management. I then had the opportunity to become a service writer at a large Ford Dealer in Florida. Eventually I had a opportunity to go to work for a collision equipment distributor and that is how I first connected with Chief, besides working with their equipment at my shop. I also have been a I-CAR instructor for 7 years and enjoy all the knowledge that they feed me.
Q: What is one of the biggest challenges to your job?
Mike: The biggest challenge of my job is the work/family balance. My position requires me to travel a great deal. I have two kids and try to schedule my work so they don’t notice I am gone, but it is difficult being away.
Q: During your work career or personal life what are you most proud of?
Mike: I am most proud of my family, my wife Kristen especially. Her and the kids are my foundation and support me through everything. They make it all worth it. I am also proud of my mother, father and sister, who from a young age pushed me to be the best at what I do and to love what I do. I do believe in the saying: “you won’t work a day in your life if you love what you do”.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your time away from work?
Mike: In my free time I enjoy building street rods and body work. Even though I deal with it everyday I still have it in my blood. I have 1927 Ford that I drive and show. Working on my hot rod also allows me to get more time with my son and father.
Q: Are you a music person or a sports person?
Mike: Ultimately I am a car guy, but I am a pretty loyal St. Louis Cardinals fan.
Q: What product in Chief’s line do you think is the most interesting or has the most to offer to the customer? Why?
Mike: Its hard to narrow down just one piece of equipment. Its takes several to get the job done. Our new aluminum repair line is awesome. We have everything your shop would need to start making repairs on aluminum body vehicles.