Westmont Magazine Racing for a Job
Tyler Gibbs ’91 caught the racing bug one day in high school when he picked up a car magazine. The contagion continued during his college years when he awoke early to watch Formula One races on television in the dormitory lounge.
After earning a degree in economics and business at Westmont and participating in the International Business Institute, Tyler went to work as a parts picker for Cosworth Engineering. Then he started moving up in the company, becoming an assistant manager for the maker of racing engines. As the firm grew, so did he.
In 1996, he left Cosworth to join Toyota Racing Development and has become senior manager for strategic planning and procurement. When Toyota engineers dream up new designs for racing engines, Tyler’s job is to bring them into reality. He has also helped develop Toyota’s involvement in the Indy Racing League (IRL). His love of racing is now encouraged by his employer, and he predicts that Toyota will soon win its first racing championship.
“The Lord was watching over me,” Tyler says. “I enjoyed my work at Cosworth, but going to Toyota was such a great opportunity. I plan to stay there.”
One month before graduation, Tyler began dating Kris Oleson ’91, a four-year friend he met the first day of his freshman year. He married her in September 1992. Kris majored in political science at Westmont, wrote for The Horizon and participated in Potter’s Clay every year. One of the highlights of her Westmont experience was living with the same group of close friends the entire time. They still keep in touch by e-mail even though they are spread out throughout the country and overseas.
Kris graduated to a job with a Christian short-wave radio station in Simi Valley, Calif. As administrative assistant to the president of the international company, she worked with offices throughout the world. In 1995 she and Tyler decided to go on a short-term mission to Tanzania with Tyler’s parents, former missionaries in Africa. The three-week project included building a medical clinic and taking materials for a training center. When they returned from Africa, they discovered Kris was pregnant.
Tyler and Kris hope to take advantage of future short-term missions when their children, ages 3 and 5, are older. “It’s too difficult to take small children on these missions,” Kris explains.
The couple has inherited more than an interest in missions from Tyler’s parents. They have also taken over the earthquake preparedness business the former missionaries started. Customers include entire school districts as well as individual families. Kris and Tyler run the business out of their home, putting together the kits in their garage. Most of their clients live in the Pasadena area, where Tyler’s parents resided before moving to Oregon.
Tyler and Kris attend New Harvest Community Church in Irvine, Calif., where they live. Two of the many young parents there, Kris serves on the Children’s Ministry Council and Tyler is a deacon over the children’s ministry department.
This is a growing time for the Gibbs in their family, their work and their church, and they relish the faithfulness of God.