Learning to Manage with Christopher Warren

Meet Christopher Warren.

If you work at NAPA, chances are you already have. Christopher has run the gamut of most everything on the NAPA team, and the years haven’t dampened his Bleedin’ Blue spirit.  

“I started in July of 1998 as a Delivery Driver while I was finishing up college,” says Christopher Warren.  

“I really enjoyed working for the company, and I guess my manager thought I had some aptitude because he suggested I be considered for the Executive Management Training (EMT) program. So when I graduated from college, I moved into that role at the Distribution Center. I did that for about a year and became the Office Manager at the Distribution Department. After that, I moved on to the Distribution Center (DC) side as the Quality Assurance Manager. And then stayed on the DC side, becoming the Stock Room Manager and starting to manage the warehouse. After that, I went back out on the store side as the District Operations Manager and then was promoted to DC Operations Manager. I’ve been in my current role as the District Manager for a little over a year.”

As Christopher moved around the company, he also managed to stay grounded and central in his location of Atlanta, Georgia. After attending the EMT program, he found NAPA had quite a few advancement opportunities close to home. Christopher acknowledges that the program has changed since he first joined, but he has nothing but glowing words for his experience.  

“It’s a fantastic springboard. You get exposed to all the different aspects, from the store side to the sales side, even customer service. It’s just an outstanding, hands-on way to learn about the businessget your feet wet, and understand how all the parts work together to see where your interests lay. Ideally, it will help you to know what you’d like to do for a career moving forward.”

The 18-month program helps ensure that NAPA employees get a full idea of the company they’re helping thrive. Christopher describes the program in detail, noting, “You spend six months in the store, six months in the Distribution Center, and another six months working on your capstone projects and rounding out any of the areas that you need more experience in.”  

And what did he get out of that experience?  

“I learned a lot about managing peopleI learned about taking care of our customers. I got to see all the different aspects of the business without having any pressure of the day-to-day responsibility and learn in a hands-on environment.”

Throughout our discussion, Christopher continues to give out praise to those around him. There’s an air of trust in not only the high-level supervisors of the company, but everyone that walks in the door—whether they’re employed by NAPA or not. 

“Everyone is invested in the success of both your peers and coworkers. It’s a camaraderie; I’ve got friends in my job and all over the country. It’s an open culture where you can reach out to those folks to ask, ‘Hey, I’ve got this problem, what can I do?’ or ‘What are you guys doing that’s working?’ Those lines of communication are so important to our success.”

And when they’ve achieved that success, Christopher describes the support the company provides. “We do recognition events,” he explains. “We have a Store of the Month and we celebrate employees on their service anniversaries. We just celebrate the accomplishments as folks get promoted and move into new assignments. Celebrations happen all along the way.”  

With Chris’ range of experience, we asked him what he looks for in someone looking to fill a manager role. Christopher declares that, above all else, you need “a good attitude, high energy, integrity, the ability to work hard, and show up when you’re supposed to.” (Sometimes the simplest advice is best!)  

NAPA is intent on giving their employees everything they can to excel in their positions. Christopher acknowledges their efforts, saying,

“My favorite benefits of working here are the opportunities that are afforded to employees, the career development that is available, the support of senior management, and all the different offerings of the Genuine Parts Company From Auto Parts to Motion Industries to RPS, there are so many lanes your career can take. Plus, the company is going international now, so expanding opportunities are becoming available.”

Interested in working with those expanding opportunities? If you’re ready to join the NAPA family, you’re getting exactly that: a family. Check out our careers page, today!