There’s something unique and endearing about Gainesville, that brings the best out of people. It’s family, it’s innovative, its nature, it’s the fine arts, it’s music and it’s defined by talented people. The four men in this article embody what makes Gainesville special by loving their families, their community and striving to serve the people around them however they can.
Did you ever expect to have roles in different industries?
No way. I came back to Gainesville, after my NFL career, and I knew I wanted to be able to spend time with my kids and still be a part of the sports community. Opening Chris Doering Mortgage and working for ESPN/SEC Network gave me time to spend with my family and do what I love.
How did the mortgage lending role happen?
A friend convinced me it was a great opportunity. That was in April of 2007. Right after I opened the market bottom fell out. I watched as other lending companies went out of business. I had no preconceived ways of doing business, the industry had really clamped down, rules were tight and that was where I started from. I grew in a slow market. It was good for me. I learned when times were lean.
Was being a Sports Commentator for the ESPN/SEC Network a natural fit?
My degree in Telecommunications from UF prepared me. At first, I worked at a local radio station commentating. That led to a chance to interview for an ESPN/SEC Network Commentator position. I knew I nailed it. The rest is history.
How do you balance work and family?
I spend as much time as I can with my kids. As they have grown, it is more of a challenge, but we always make time to be together. And my work family is just that, family. During the Fall, I travel 5 out of 7 days a week. I do radio in mornings too. I lean heavily on my work family.
What advice do you give your kids?
Believe in yourself. Nothing that I have accomplished was the way I dreamed it would happen. But I kept pushing. Ultimately, I achieved my goals. And because it wasn’t easy, it was so much more fulfilling.
When did you know you wanted to work for the Chamber of Commerce?
I never saw myself in the roll of President/CEO of the Greater Gainesville Chamber. In August of 2018, when I was asked to step in as Interim President/CEO, I was excited to help. I realized not only was I drawn to what the Chamber was doing, I enjoyed working in the Chamber. I was excited to accept the position as President/CEO when asked in December 2018.
Do you have any other passions?
My faith is a huge part of my life. As a small child I wanted to be a Priest. Meeting my lovely wife Yvette changed that, but my faith has never wavered. I serve on the Finance Committee at Queen of Peace Catholic Church and have served on many mission trips.
How do you balance work and family life?
My family is very close. We plan family trips every year. COVID put a hold on things, but we went to the Keys in late April. Family came from all over the US and the Bahamas. It was great to reconnect. I never take moments with family for granted.
What has happened recently that has restored your faith in humanity?
Watching our health care workers over the last two years has been amazing. What an incredible level of commitment and service. They have selflessly given back to our families and our wonderful community.
How do you find time for all you do?
I maximize my day. I am up by 3 am and to the gym by 4 am. I take time for prayer. I protect my time in the morning and by the evening I am spent. I am blessed with good sleep.
What is your favorite quote?
Happy are those who dream dreams and are willing to pay the price to make them come true.
How did you get into the flooring business?
My dad started Gainesville CarpetsPlus Colortile in 1978. I grew up around the business. I worked for my dad during the summers installing floors and literally worked from the ground up. After I attended the University of Florida and earned a degree in Economics, my dad asked me to join him. And in 2018, when my dad retired - I took over.
Have you always been at your current location at 6510 NW 13th Street in Gainesville?
No, we started off on Main Street, but by 2008 we had outgrown our space. We built the current building and have been growing every year since.
With the challenges of the last few years, have you made any changes?
None. We immediately applied to be an essential business and once approved we continued to work. We never closed, which is good because I am an office guy and can’t work from home. And my staff, they were right here with me.
How would you describe your staff?
We work together, cover for each other, we are family. We recently had a team member retire after 38 years. Some of our subcontractors have worked for us for over 35 years.
Family seems to be a consistent theme. How do you balance work and family life?
Family means everything to me. My boys are my priority, my business my second. I coach my sons’ JV Basketball Team at Queen of Peace. I never miss any event when it comes to my boys.
Golf. It's a great way to get away. Walking the 18 holes at Hawkstone is a total pleasure. My favorite golf course is Whistling Straits Golf Course in Sheboygan, WI. Another favorite is East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
What is the best life advice you’ve received?
It’s okay to be successful, just don’t become greedy.
When did you know you wanted to be a GM?
As soon as I got into retail at the age of 21 in the automotive industry, I knew I wanted my own dealership. The only way to accomplish that goal was to become a GM and learn all aspects of the business. My goal was to be a GM by 40 years old and I accomplished it at the age of 34.
What is another role for you in your life?
I am a husband and a father first, and a leader to my employees.
How old are your kids?
Aisley is 11 and Tyler Jr is 10.
Favorite memory of becoming a dad?
Holding my daughter for the first time has always been a special memory. Seeing both of my children grow and develop their own personalities has also been very rewarding
How do you balance your work and home life?
My wife Lindsey is very supportive and understanding of my commitment with work. We work together as a team and make spending time together a priority regardless of our schedules.
“Do to others as you would have them do to you,” Luke 6:31
How many years in the car industry, hobbies?
I have been in the automotive industry for 19 years. I enjoy the outdoors- fishing, hunting, and playing golf with my family.
What’s your favorite part of being a GM? What do you love about your job?
I enjoy mentoring and growing our employees. Being able to promote from within and give people the opportunity to provide for their families. The hard work we put into this job pays off both financially and personally.
How does having a stable career at Toyota/BMW impact your life?
The Gettel Automotive Group has allowed my family to grow in the Gainesville community. We have no plans on being anywhere but Gainesville.