Bret grew up in Jasper, IN and dabbled with cars during high school. After high school, he worked various jobs in Jasper and then took a job in Florida as a tech rep for the NHRA Drag Racing circuit. A few years later, he started working for a company in California to work for Blower Drive Service. He had been traveling about 300 days per year and decided to settle down back in Jasper with his new wife. He worked a tool truck and was building his own pro-street hot rod. He wanted to be able to adjust the ride height so he could drive the car to the track and then lower it to race. He took inspiration from semi-trucks with their air springs and sourced one small enough for his project. He built a few more of these systems for his buddies and incorporated Air Ride Technologies in 1996.
Within a couple years, things were really starting to take off. Bret’s wife was able to quit her normal job and come work with Air Ride Technologies and they quickly grew to 20 employees. The company continued to grown until the economic downturn in 2008. Through hard work and streamlined business practices, Bret was able to keep the company open and survive the tough times. He did have to lay off some employees but has been able to bounce back strong and now employs 60 people. They have made a big push in the last few years to engineer and build new products and bring them to the market. Now, they are working on marketing and demonstrating the products.
Steve has known he was going to work with cards since the first grade. His dad was an engineer and his mom was a pianist and they encouraged Steve and his siblings to pursue any passion they wanted. This even includes Steve attempting to build a submarine as a kid. He ended up getting drafted to the Vietnam War and worked as an electrical engineer supporting the airplanes. Once he got out, he went to college and got an engineering degree. While at school, he worked at a BMW repair shop. It was then that he started doing performance and aftermarket installs in his free time.
He quickly went out on his own and grew the company constantly over the years. Within 5 years, he had several employees and was manufacturing many parts specifically for BMW’s. He gained a reputation worldwide as the go-to engineer and tuner for BMW’s and even caught the attention of corporate. They came and visited his shop and Steve hoped they would begin sharing engineering data, but that wasn’t the case. But, they did allow him to sell his parts through the dealerships as long as he personally warrantied all of the work. He continued this relationship with corporate for many years and raced for them as well. At it’s peak, DINAN employed 70 people, did $1 million in revenue per month, and built 3,000 cars each year.
In 2015, he sold DINAN and went on to work for Chip Ganassi Racing to head the Ford GT racing division. He then started on his next venture, CarBahn. It is a service, repair, and modifications for high end vehicles that he plans to expand nationwide. He currently has two locations in northern California. He also has a racing division and a street car engine development division. He has invested a lot of his own money into the business to get it going and will be looking for private equity funds in the future to eventually open 100 locations across the country.
Jason grew up in upstate New York and spent his childhood around cars. For college, he went to Clarkson University and got his Mechanical Engineering degree. He had every intention to go work for an auto company in Detroit but he just couldn’t commit to the cold weather. So, he moved south to work for Home Depot as a mechanical engineer. He worked his way up the ranks and eventually moved on to work for Newell Brands (makers up Rubbermaid and other household items) as a product engineer. While working there, he relocated from North Carolina to Atlanta.
By chance, he was approached by Lund’s recruiter using LinkedIn. He was excited for the opportunity to work in the automotive industry again so he took a job as a Product Manager. He has worked in Sales, Supply Chain Management, Marketing, and now as the VP of Branding and Products. Lund International is a holding company that is comprised of about 1200 employees and they focus on manufacturing through 10 companies.