When Nelson Vallance first moved to Vernon in 1989, it was for a job in the auto industry – initially at a local dealership – and the beginning of his relationship with his future wife Crystal.
When Vallance eventually made the move to Trail Tire Vernon in 1998, his first position was as a certified auto service technician, and he began an upward move from there.
“In 2007 I transferred to the the front desk and started my second career as service manager,“ Vallance says, “and I still enjoy the position to this day.”
Vallance was born in New Westminster, spending his elementary years in the lower mainland, but in his teens moved to Ashcroft, where he graduated from Ashcroft Secondary School.
Asked what drew him to a career in the auto industry, he says he always had an interest in vehicles, and had spent time working on his own cars.
“I did try the college route for a short time, but I didn’t really enjoy it, and enjoying it is half the battle!” Vallance says. “So I got into the auto industry, which definitely is a happy place for me!”
What he does enjoy – when he’s not working on vehicles – is hitting the links for the occasional round of golf, fishing or mountain biking on local trails at Kalamalka Lake Park or on the Okanagan Rail Trail.
“My wife and I recently bought some e-bikes, which are pretty cool, so we try to get out there and ride them in places like that when we can.”
A family man, Vallance says one of his favourite ways to spend time with his wife and two kids is by firing up the barbecue and enjoying a meal together.
“My daughter Amanda, who just turned 27 this month, graduated from college about a year ago and is now a licensed physiotherapist, and my son Jordan is 30, and works for RBC.”
Vallance also enjoys working with the rest of the team at Trail Tire – they’re a great group of people who have good time doing what they do, he says.
“However, my favourite part of my day has to be helping customers with their vehicle troubles,” Vallance says. “I really like helping people!”
Asked about his 24-year tenure at Trail Tire – approaching it’s 55th anniversary next year – Vallance speaks of the way the staff are respected and treated like family.
“They treat their employees not just as an afterthought, not as someone who’s just another employee. I’ve had other jobs, but this is the kind of place to put down much longer roots!”
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!