After 30 years with Vogue Tyre, Greg Hathcock, President of Vogue Tyre still approaches his position and his responsibility with the same sort of cool, level-headed candor that is pervasive throughout the organization. Greg has seen Vogue Tyre through the Great Recession of 2008, and the subsequent marketplace shift that could have easily swallowed companies that lack the grit and determination of a company that happens to be over 100 years old. Yes, Greg may make it look easy but those that know him well, know that he’s a committed, empathetic, and passionate leader that has allowed Vogue to grow and thrive.
When you take one look at the average tenure of a Vogue employee, and you’ll see a common thread among this impressive group of men and women: passion. At the end of the day, running a business is all about putting passionate people in the right roles and letting their unique qualities shine. Doing so brings predictable but hard to achieve results: Employees that are happy, fulfilled and empowered to take charge of their own destiny. Greg supports this passion, while keeping a firm eye on the future. Happiness and commitment to results is not complicated, but ensuring it’s weaved in through your company culture is no easy feat. Just like surviving for the last 107 years is no easy feat either.
At Vogue, innovation is never a second thought. For a brand that is built on the premise of standing out, moving into a brand-new decade filled with uncertainty brought about a unique set of quandaries for Greg and the Vogue team. How does Vogue maintain its core values while growing its customer base and remain profitable throughout the process? To grow, Vogue needed to bring the hundred-year-old brand to a completely new set of customers, evolve their product offerings and partake in a whole new digital world.
Vogue’s success has always been about mixing a balance of core values, while never resting on the laurels of success or stymying innovative thinking from within. It could have been easy to rest on the Vogue Tyre name, but that level of complacency has never been in the cards. When Greg assumed the role of president in 1999, he had no idea of what the next decade would bring. Once the crushing recession was fully realized in 2008, Greg helped facilitate the restructuring of the organization, and transitioning themselves from the reliance of sales to the car dealer channel to more focus on sales to independent tire wholesalers.
The shift of distributing tires from a car dealership model over to an independent tire dealer distribution model was designed to grow Vogue Tyre beyond their classic, white and gold offerings. To meet this new model of getting tires out the door, Vogue needed to introduce a wider range of product offerings to a wider range of consumers who may have never heard of Vogue Tyre. From the innovative white / gold, V-rated, 24” inch SUV / truck tire to the Signature V Black and Red Stripe lines. While Vogue Tyre loves long-term team members, sometimes it’s not possible to grow the culture of innovation without bringing in some free thinkers from outside the organization as well. Greg has fostered a culture of innovation that allows industry professionals to shine, and it’s had tremendous results. The Vogue team has seen their opportunities grow. Sure, it doesn’t seem so complicated - offer more products at more locations and you’ll gain more customers- but accomplishing this task while still holding on to the core values of a company with a deep, and proud legacy - now that’s not easy.
In business the path to success is never easy. One thing that is sure, business conditions will change. A company’s ability to adapt, from leadership and throughout the organization, is required to continue to prosper. Let’s face it, change is hard for everyone. Having leadership that fosters a change is good mindset, while retaining the core values, culture, and people first mentality is what enables good organizations to stay nimble and continue to grow.