Parker County Today December 2016 - Page 61

E rnie Peña knows a thing or two about tires. The Fort Worth native has been working with tires since he finished high school at Trimble Tech. His first job in the tire industry was 28 years ago, working at a Four Day Tire Store after school doing grunt work sorting through the adjustment or defective tires. It was here that he learned how a tire fails, and where his dream to own his own tire store and his career as Ernie “Tire Man” Peña was born. Peña was born the fourth out of seven children with three girls and four boys. His father was a welder and his mother was a homemaker. His hard work ethic began as an 11-year-old child with his first job as a sweeper at a dry cleaners. “I’ve always been a hard worker, even when I would sweep the floors,” Peña said. “Whenever we would do fundraisers, I was always running around trying to get as many sales and donations for the school.“ Fast-forwarding to his first tire job after high school, Peña went from doing grunt work to running the store. He decided to move on and left the tire store, going to work for a tire distributor that sold wholesale tires. He then took a job with a tire retailer. It was at these jobs that he learned more about tires, and how he didn’t like the concept of pressure-selling to his customers. “My theory is to treat people like I want to be treated,” Peña explained. “I worked the chain store way of thinking where they pushed and pushed sales, and I worked at a place where it was OK to work and not push sales. I didn’t want to push sales on customers and make them feel like they have to buy.” DECEMBER 2016 PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY 59