Fountain Tire is a truly Albertan story. Brothers Bill and Jack Fountain founded the company in 1956 in Wainwright, Alberta. A simple idea to provide round the clock service for farmers during the spring and harvest seasons (and some excess equipment from the National Service) eventually led to the company’s first 50-50 partnership model, on which the company runs today.
The 65-year-old company is now led by Brent Hesje, a sales marketing veteran from Saskatchewan. Brent earned his leadership stripes early in his career while working for a major blue-chip company—Proctor & Gamble—where he honed the leadership ethos that he brings to Fountain Tire—from getting vulnerable with your team, admitting and correcting your mistakes, and investing generously in your team’s development and growth.
What makes Fountain Tire unique in this space is its 50-50 ownership model, and Brent and his leadership team invest heavily in local owners to build their capacity and confidence. This hyper local, intimate customer focus, combined with the global perspective that Brent brings from his Proctor & Gamble days, is perhaps the secret sauce to the company’s stability and growth over the years.
A lifelong football fan—and Director of the Edmonton Elks—Brent has as much passion for building his community and culture as he does for his team. And this passion is palpable in how he shares the story of his own career, the evolution of Fountain Tire, and the future of the sector and of Alberta.
In this episode:
- Brent’s career journey from Proctor & Gamble to Fountain Tire
- Brent’s leadership philosophy and advice to future leaders
- The value of being vulnerable, making mistakes, and having a mentor
- A day in the life of Brent Hesje
- Top advice to future leaders
- How Fountain Tire started in 1956
- Fountain Tire’s unique 50-50 partnership model—and why it works
- Outlook of the future of the sector and Alberta
About C-Suite Unplugged
In this series, C-Suite Unplugged, host Adam Legge talks to Alberta’s top CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business leaders about their journey to the C-Suite, what keeps them up at night as an Albertan and as leader in their industry, and what their outlook is for the future.