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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 15, 2022

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 their work with the Trek Across Maine as VIP Tires & Service is this year’s presenting sponsor of the ride.

3:07 – Tim talks about his career in the auto parts world and how he got his job with VIP Tires & Service.

5:07 – Tim shares some information about VIP Tires & Service, including that they are headquartered right in Auburn, Maine.

6:40 – Nancy and Tim tell the story of how they met.

13:11 – Tim describes VIP’s management process.

15:34 – Tim explains what VIP Tires & Service does for PR, including a recent appearance on Competitive Edge with Montel Williams.

18:52 – Tim talks about how VIP Tires & Service invests in their people.

26:02 – Tim shares why VIP Tires & Service decided to sponsor the Trek Across Maine.  

28:40 – Tim describes how sponsorships fit into VIP’s overall marketing plan.

32:27 – Tim shares some resources that have helped him.



“The biggest key is staying in touch with our people, our managers and our team members because when you're in the service business like we are, there's no substitute for those relationships and for our leaders and our teams to really feel like we've got their back. I've always felt like within our culture, if our people feel like we have their back, if they really enjoy their job and they enjoy coming to work, then that's going to pay off in spades in how they take care of our customers.” – Tim Winkeler, president and CEO of VIP Tires & Service



Competitive Edge -

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certification -

Trek Across Maine –

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink -

Origin USA -


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About the guest:    

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 thrives in helping organizations succeed through strategy development and execution, relentlessly pursuing continuous improvement while helping each member of the team reach his/her personal best. Tim is a teacher at heart and learns every day by reading great books and meeting great people.

VIP Tires & Service operates 65 shops throughout New England. With 600 employees, VIP is a third generation private company. Under Tim’s leadership, VIP has been transformed from a discount retailer to a professional service provider by focusing on people rather than price. VIP invests in their people through a multitude of programs including Leadership Training, P&L Training, Career Pathing, Certification Achievement, Team Building and many others.

VIP’s culture is embodied in the company’s vision VIP’s professionals love their jobs because they are appreciated, well-prepared, enjoy serving others and find personal success as a member of the VIP Family.

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