Like the ever-evolving world of new vehicles, Nick Barnett’s role at Trail Tire Vernon has changed considerably over the years.
“I started working at Trail Tire in the fall of 1995 as a tire technician,” Barnett says. “I then moved to working both the sales counter and as tire technician for a short while, then to full-time counter staff and eventually store manager.”
Born on the B.C. coast, Barnett moved to Prince George in his teens, where he graduated from DP Todd Secondary School in 1989. He married his wife Dana in 1994 before relocating to Vernon in 1995 and beginning his 27-year tenure at Trail Tire.
“I grew up helping my dad maintain the family vehicles, then working on my own vehicles over the years,” Barnett says.”Back in high school I had a 1968 Dodge Dart, and now have a 1970 Dodge Dart that I’ve had for six or seven years – getting into the auto industry just seemed like a natural fit.”
In his spare time Barnett likes to go camping, and tries to “find a nice out-of-the-way spot where nobody else seems to go.”
When not enjoying the peace of a hidden spot in the great outdoors, he tends toward activities of a less serene nature.
“My wife and I enjoy kickboxing classes at Kees Tae Kwon Do,” Barnett says. “I also recently started doing some drag racing in Osoyoos with the Wine Country Racing Association.”
Asked about some of the milestones and adventures he and his family have experienced during his many years with Trail Tire – approaching its 55th anniversary next year – Barnett reflects: “My son Levi, who just turned 25, graduated from Seaton Secondary and is currently working as an apprentice carpenter for a local Vernon company.
“We have had lots of great times camping locally, visiting family and friends in Prince George, Southern Alberta and Fort Nelson, as well as many trips to Mexico and the Caribbean.”
With the evolving new vehicle industry, the team has to keep up with changing tire technology, and Barnett says he’s always picking up new skills.
“We’ve all seen each other grow and change too, with families getting larger and kids growing up into adults with families of their own now,” Barnett says. “Trail Tire is a great place to work, with lots of great people over the years, both staff and customers alike.”
As the team at Vernon’s Trail Tire approaches their 55th anniversary, this feature series highlights the many longstanding local team members. Watch for a new story each week!