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The PR Maven Podcast

The PR Maven® Podcast is the combination of traditional networking techniques combined with the power of social media to build your personal and professional brand. The podcast features interviews with industry leaders, top executives, media personalities and online influencers about public relations and their personal brand. Each week, Nancy connects with a special guest to talk about their career, and business or organization, as well as the latest news and events that will give listeners a unique perspective on the world of public relations, marketing and personal branding, including actionable takeaways.

Feb 6, 2024

In this episode, Nancy talks with Tim Winkeler, president and CEO of VIP Tires & Service about PR, marketing and sponsorships. Tim describes his career and how VIP Tires & Service has grown since he started working there in 2010, with a focus on people rather than price. Nancy and Tim also discuss how they met after Nancy left a bad review about her experience at VIP. Nancy and Tim also talk about sponsorships and how VIP sponsors events their employees are involved in 

00:00 Introduction to the PR Maven Podcast 

01:32 Introducing Guest: Tim Winkeler 

03:07 Tim Winkeler’s Career in the Auto Parts Industry 

05:07 About VIP Tires & Service 

06:40 How Nancy and Tim Met  

13:11 VIP’s Management Process  

15:34 VIP Tires & Service’s PR Strategy  

18:52 Investing in People  

26:39 VIP’s Sponsorship of The Trek Across Maine in 2022 

29:17 Sponsorships in VIP’s Marketing Plan 

33:06 Helpful Resources 



Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certification -  

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink -  

Origin USA -  


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About Tim 

Tim is an accomplished people-focused leader with a track record of building high-performance teams that exceed expectations. Always focused on customer needs and feedback, he builds core competencies around making money by serving customers in different and better ways. Tim is a teacher at heart and learns every day by reading great books and meeting great people. 


Bonus Q&A 

VIP has a program they call “five-for-five.” Explain what that means and how you implement it at your stores. 

Five-for-five is all about focusing on the customer experience.  We’ve identified the five key moments in a customer’s visit to VIP where we take the extra step to build a relationship with the customer and to make sure their experience at VIP is memorable.  The five-for-five customer engagement process is all about taking the extra time to build a relationship with the customer. 


VIP has big plans for 2024. Tell us about where you are expanding. 

For 2024, we will be opening some new locations and expanding some existing ones. We will be entering Connecticut for the first time with the acquisition of a shop in Waterbury.  We will be opening our 9th shop in Massachusetts when we open our new shop in Brockton, and we will be expanding our operations in Maine in both our Yarmouth and Augusta shops. In addition, we have several more growth projects that I’m confident will be completed in the back half of the year. 


What makes you the proudest of everything you have accomplished during your tenure at VIP? 

What I enjoy most about being a member of the VIP team is interacting with our team members and getting to know them. The people-first culture that we’ve all worked to establish makes VIP a great place to work every day, and I’m proud to wear the "VIP Blues" and do my part to support our mission to "Earn Automotive Customers for Life.”