Young Professionals in the Aftermarket (YPA) is an organization with a mission to act as the voice and the resource for the young professionals in the automotive industry. To further its mandate of ensuring the future growth and prosperity of the industry, the YPA is pleased to introduce its YPA Spotlight Series where current members share their experiences, insights, and industry outlooks.
Name: Brad Irving
Title: Strategic Business Manager, Western Canada
Number of years in the aftermarket: 12
Did you always know that you wanted to work in the automotive aftermarket?
BI: Automotive is part of my family’s background! My grandfather, Hector Irving, started an auto repair shop in Vancouver in 1958 (Irving Tire) and then my father, Tom Irving, took over and ran it for 40+ years. As a young kid I would go into work with my dad to play around in tire stacks and hang around the shop watching the mechanics work on cars. Out of high school, while playing junior hockey in small towns in B.C. and Manitoba, I worked part-time in the industry as both a tire technician and an auto parts Delivery driver. Once I came home for good, I started working full time at our family shop and decided to get my Red Seal Certification and started this journey.
How long have you been a member of the YPA?
BI: This is my first year being a member of the YPA.
What does your participation in the YPA mean to you?
BI: I’ve dedicated my career to the automotive industry, and joining the YPA is my way of being part of the future and help this industry continue to succeed. It’s also important for me to assist where I can to make sure we have the next generation behind us looking at the automotive aftermarket as a career choice.
Have you ever had an industry mentor? If so, who, and why?
BI: At Uni-Select, I’ve be fortunate to have a great mentor in Tim Bruschetto. He has provided me with the knowledge of the automotive aftermarket, and the tools to be successful in my role and provide the best service to our customers. He has let me be creative on the analytical side of our business to offer a different perspective to our customers that hadn’t been done before.
Is there any advice you would give to someone who is just starting out, or looking to transition into the automotive aftermarket?
BI: If you’re an automotive technician that may be looking for something new, know that your knowledge of parts on the vehicle and how they function is a valuable asset in many different roles in the automotive aftermarket.
For more information about Young Professionals in the Aftermarket (YPA) and the Automotive Industries Association of Canada, please visit: www.aiacanada.com. Follow the YPA on LinkedIn.