The North Carolina Tire Dealers Association (NCTDA) inducted the late J.H. “Shorty Parrish, founder of Parrish Tire Co., into the North Carolina Tire Industry Hall of Fame and presented its first-ever dealer of the year award to Ricky Benton, owner of Black’s Tire Service Center.
The award presentations were made at NCTDA's Tire Industry Awards Banquet.
Shorty’s daughter, Ellen Parrish Jackson, accepted the award. She said her dad was quite the character and would have enjoyed the evening’s event and the honor. A photo of Shorty and a sign in front of the original store asking customers to “Please Leave Keys in Car” gave everyone in attendance a brief trip back to simpler times, according to Reece Hester, executive director of the NCTDA.
He says Parrish Tire continues to grow under the guidance of Shorty’s son-in-law and grandson, Bill and Logan Jackson. Today the company operates 10 retail stores, seven commercial centers, two retread shops and seven wholesale warehouses and distributes three company-owned private brands.
“Shorty’s innovative approach to the tire industry helped to shape the way tire and automotive service business and distribution centers work in our state today,” says Hester.
The event also included the first induction into NCTDA’s “Dealer of the Year.” Ricky Benton of Black’s Tire Service was honored in front of a capacity crowd.
Ricky and his wife, Dianne, started with one tire and auto repair store and with the help of their three sons have grown to 38 retail and auto service locations across the Carolinas, three wholesale distribution centers, a commercial sales division and a retread manufacturing facility.
During his acceptance speech, Ricky announced the creation of the BTS Academy, a state-of-the-art training center adjacent to the BTS corporate headquarters in Whiteville, N.C.
“With his wife, three sons and their extended families, the Black’s Tire family really is a family business,” says Hester.
Parrish is No. 33 and Black’s is No. 77 on the 2013 MTD Top 100 Retreaders in the U.S. list.