Finding common ground in the auto care industry: Spotlight on Brad Cochrane
Brad Cochrane values connections. What he looks for is a shared vision and trust, whether it is in a company or a mentor. And that is what he has found in the Young Professionals in the Aftermarket Committee – a place where likeminded auto care leaders can meet on an equal footing to set a path towards a common goal.
Director of Sales Operations, Canada, NAPA Auto Parts
Years in the Automotive Aftermarket Industry: 14
Any advice you would give someone either starting in the industry or looking to transition into the industry?
I always say pick a company, not a job. Try to find employment with a company that you share a vision with and work towards developing your career with them. If you consistently prove yourself and perform at a high level, opportunities for advancement will come, but sometimes you need to be patient. I’d also tell them that they’re making a wise decision to join the aftermarket. It’s an exciting industry with great people and endless opportunities!
Have you had an industry mentor? If so, who and why?
I’ve been very fortunate to have several people from the industry that I consider mentors throughout my career, and I continue to find new mentors. Some of my mentors have been my bosses, some are people in a similar role that I’ve worked alongside, and others have been people that I admired and had a positive impact on me. One constant with all of my mentors is that they’re people that I trust, am able to open up to, and with whom our working relationships have turned into friendships. I think it’s important to be open to guidance and advice. You don’t need to apply everything that you’re told or taught, but if you’re willing to learn and are open to new ideas, you’ll find that there’s a lot of great advice out there!
What does the Young Professionals in the Aftermarket Committee mean to you and what would you like to see the committee achieve in the future?
The YPA Committee is a platform for like-minded young professionals within the aftermarket to connect and share their thoughts and ideas on the current state of the aftermarket, and what’s required to ensure that it has a bright and stable future. Members and participants of the committee are made up of individuals from all channels of the aftermarket, and it provides an opportunity for everyone to focus on the industry as a whole, not only as it pertains to their particular companies. Since becoming involved with AIA Canada and the YPA Committee, I’ve met a lot of great people, and I’ve developed a much better overall understanding of the aftermarket. It’s my hope that we’ll continue to expand our reach and keep attracting the next generation of up and coming young professionals to share their voice and their passion for the aftermarket.
About Napa Auto Parts
NAPA Auto Parts stores offer a wide range of replacement parts, accessories, supplies, tools, equipment and quality products to the consumer groups that make up our clientele, namely, repair shops, commercial fleet operators, professional mechanics, do-it-yourselfers, and automobile owners. All of NAPA’s products, from the best-known brand names to private brands such as NAPA, UltraPro, UltraCraft and BodyPro, have become synonymous with “reliability” and “affordability.”
Find out more about careers at NAPA Auto Parts.
About the Young Professionals in the Aftermarket Committee
Young Professionals in the Aftermarket (YPA) is an Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA Canada) committee comprising of young executives, of 45 years or younger, in the Canadian auto care sector. The Committee’s mandate is to ensure the future growth and prosperity of the aftermarket industry.