ATLANTA, GEORGIA –To kick off Black History Month and our third anniversary on SiriusXM’s Auto Trends with JeffCars.com, we’re honored to have Steve Hightower, the CEO and president of Hightowers Petroleum, a privately-owned, Ohio-based company.
While we’ve had an opportunity to talk to a host of entrepreneurs and barrier breakers over the years, Hightower, whom we consider to be a ‘master teacher,’ has his eyes set on becoming a part of a super elite club, where individuals like Reginald F. Lewis paved the way in the eighties. Lewis, who died from brain cancer at the age of 50, was the first Black person to create a billion-dollar organization.
In an insightful two-part conversation, the entrepreneur shares how his background as a janitor in his parents’ business while in his teens, prepared him to create Hightowers Petroleum.
Hightowers Petroleum is one of the top 15 black-owned businesses in the nation, according to Black Enterprise and provides fuel to a number of Fortune 500 companies. Hightower’s business portfolio includes investments with a number of American and foreign automakers, where his company holds the exclusive gasoline account to fuel vehicles upon final build, at various assembly plants throughout the world.
Hightower credits Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., the founder of Rainbow/PUSH, for helping several minority suppliers get a face-to-face meeting with foreign automakers as a result of an international trade trip the activist arranged several years ago. The trade mission enabled Hightowers Petroleum to win business with two Asian automakers.
The international businessman, who is also invested in a professional soccer team, shares his preference and blueprint for goal setting and strategic focus — as opposed to being a jack of all trades.
Like a skilled chess player, the gifted communicator reveals how he invited himself to the table in an extremely lucrative area of the petroleum industry that was previously not open to those who look like him. The savvy Ohio native is confident this strategy will drive revenue, supporting his quest to create a billion-dollar business.
During our in-depth conversation, Hightower shares his thoughts about college degrees and the role they have played with his children, while revealing the reason why he became a college dropout. Hightower also unveils what he believes will become the future alternative fuel source for vehicles, at a time when many automakers are expanding into the world of electrification.
Jeff Fortson, the host of Auto Trends with JeffCars.com says, “There’s nothing like sitting at the feet of someone whose everyday playground is a field that is foreign to most of us, one where there is no script, forcing him to carve out his own path.”
Tune in to the interview in two parts:
To hear part-one of Hightower’s conversation, tune in to “Auto Trends with JeffCars.com,” on Friday, February 1 at 12:00 p.m. ET on SiriusXM Channel 141. Encore broadcasts can be heard on Sunday, February 3 and Monday, February 4 at 12:00 p.m. ET and 1:30 p.m. ET, respectively.
To hear part-two of our conversation with Hightower, tune in to “Auto Trends with JeffCars.com,” on Friday, February 8 at 12:00 p.m. ET on SiriusXM Channel 141. Encore broadcasts can be heard on Sunday, February 10 and Monday, February11 at 12:00 p.m. ET and 1:30 p.m. ET, respectively.
Cruise over to SiriusXM.com to find out more about free trials and how to listen in your car or on your smartphone.
About Jeff Fortson
Jeff Fortson is the host and the executive producer of “Auto Trends with JeffCars.com,” a weekly multicultural automotive show that airs in both the United States and Canada. He also serves as the editor of JeffCars.com, an educational car-buying website with a new-vehicle pricing guide. Fortson, who has over 25 years of both automotive corporate and automotive retail experience, has penned several extensive car-buying guides for Black Enterprise, Ebony and Essence, three of the premier magazines in the Black community.
In April 2009, Essence recognized him as a “The Top Guru for Sound Car-Buying Advice.” His contributions and articles have also appeared in The Washington Post, Jet, Consumers Digest, BlackAmericaWeb.com, Eurweb.com and AOL.com. He has appeared as an automotive analyst on several broadcast networks, including CNN and NPR. Fortson empowers students through his signature traveling car-buying clinic and in-school modules that utilize STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) to help young people realize their dreams, while fostering literacy, empowerment, and education.