Jimmy Lambert – Class of 1988
Co-owner, Tire Maxx, Morganton, NC

Our mobile society is more dependent on automobiles that ever before, and having an honest and reliable business to provide needed service and repair is something every car owner values. Tire Maxx, located along US 70 between Morganton and Drexel, not only supplies tires but also provides North Carolina inspections, brake work, and major and minor engine repair.

Co-owner Jimmy Lambert will soon mark 32 years in the car service business. “I started when I was 19 years old,” he explains. “The best part of my job is helping people. I’ve always been that way. I really enjoy working with my established customers and adding new customers to the business. I feel like we go out of our way to do a good job. Besides, I’m not the type to sit behind a desk all day. Being out and working with the people is what fuels my fire.”

Jimmy’s greatest influence was his father, who sold cars for 50 years. “It was exciting when I opened my business right across the street from my father’s, the place where he took such pride in his service to the public for so many years. Both my father and mother worked hard all their lives and taught my sisters and me to treat people the way we would want to be treated. So that’s the way I’ve structured my life and my business. I have many good and loyal friends who keep coming back. Some of them go all the way back to my school years.”

Any local business owner will say that word of mouth is always the best advertising, and Jimmy will agree. He makes it a point to remember each of his customers. “People appreciate you knowing who they are. They know you care.”

Jimmy and co-owner Brad Lingerfelt opened Tire Maxx at this location in May of 2009. The economic downturn of 2008 presented challenges for many businesses, so they started small and built the business gradually. Their hard work paid off as anyone who stops in can see by the number of customers in the waiting area. Of course, owning and operating a business requires more than just meeting customers and doing the service work. Bookkeeping, ordering, and managing a staff are also part of the task. “It all get’s done, and we are happy to we can provide this service to the community.”

Like so many other students, Jimmy has fond memories of his high school days. “I wouldn’t take anything for the great experiences I had at East Burke and the good friends I made there. Many of them I still see often.” Participation in basketball and cross country reinforced the skills of commitment and hard work that he learned from his parents, and the business courses he took during his senior year gave him a foundation on which to build his future. “I’ve always liked doing things on my own, and my interest in helping people motivated me to get started.”

Jimmy’s love of sports was not left on the high school field. In fact, he has turned it into a lifelong passion. “I coached basketball, baseball, and football at the Valdese Rec for 17 years, and I loved it. I started coaching when my kids were small, and I enjoyed working with them and the other children. I have tried to be an example, a mentor, to the kids on the teams, especially for those who may not have anyone else to mentor them.”

He also serves as the president of the Touchdown Club at Draughn High School. “I get to work with all kinds of people, some I’ve known for years as well as new people. It’s fun and fulfilling, but it’s also a great way to give back to the community. I like to help where I can, whether it’s fixing a car or fixing a relationship. Show me a problem or a pain, and I want to fix it. My door is open.”

Published Novrmber 2020

Home Page