The Tire Industry Association (TIA) is inducting three members to its Hall of Fame in 2017, and honoring two with its Ed Wagner Leadership Award.
Godfrey Cabot, founder of Cabot Corp.; William Conklin III, former president of Schenuit Tire and Rubber Co.; and Norman Gaither, founder of Dealer Strategic Planning Inc. (DSP) and the industry's only tire-focused 20 Group.
The 2017 Ed Wagner Leadership Award honorees are Anthony Blackman, owner of Atlantic Tire and Service Inc.; and David Zielasko, vice president of Crain Communications Inc. and publisher and editorial director of Tire Business.
All five will be recognized Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, during the Tire Industry Honors Awards Ceremony. The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel. (Complimentary tickets are available by reservation here.)
Meet the Hall of Famers: The late Godfrey Cabot was an American industrialist and philanthropist who first founded Godfrey L. Cabot Inc., and then its successor, Cabot Corp. in 1882. By 1890, Cabot Corp. had become the country's fourth largest producer of carbon black. At the turn of the century, the automotive industry became one of the business' largest customers as nearly 6 pounds of carbon black were required to produce a single tire. By the time Cabot retired in the 1950s, his company's directed focus on material science and other research and development efforts had resulted in many innovations in carbon black production and manufacturing processes. The work allowed the company to supply a full range of carbon black products around the globe and lead the world in carbon black production for tire applications. In 2015, the company invested $58 million in research and development, and was granted 29 patents in its reinforcement materials segment alone. Cabot died in 1962. The late William Conklin III began his career in the tire industry in 1950, at the former Lee Tire Co. in Philadelphia after graduating from Haverford College. William continued as a branch manager for Lee until he joined the Schenuit Tire and Rubber Group in 1960, working first as a manager and eventually as president of the company until 1977.
In the early 1980s, the National Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association (NTDRA), the predecessor to TIA, initiated the Private Brand Group and launched a full-time, staffed government affairs program. Conklin was a major player in both efforts. He was the first chairman of the 27-member Private Brand Group. He started a monthly subscription newsletter addressing the industry and political issues. Revenues from that newsletter helped finance the association’s first two Federal Lobby Days. He lobbied and worked tirelessly on Capitol Hill efforts and played a role in passing legislation, while also enhancing the visibility and political power of the private brand sector of the industry. Conlkin died Oct. 5, 2015. Norman Gaither is the founder of DSP. His career began as controller of an automotive parts warehouse with two locations. Gaither's ability to fix the company's accounting and inventory systems helped it grow to seven locations, and Gaither became general manager after three years. He's coached tire dealers throughout North America and parts of Europe improve their profitabliity. In 2007 Gaither created DSP and brought the 20 Group to the tire industry. The groups allowed him to take his one-on-one training to an audience of 20 tire dealers at a time. By 2016 the first 20 Group had grown to six groups, and Gaither sold the business to Bobit Business Media Inc., the parent company of Modern Tire Dealer.
Meet the Ed Wagner Leadership Award Winners: Anthony Blackman is owner of Atlantic Tire and Service, a three-store tire dealership founded in 1998. In 2013 total sales for those three stores, in Cary, Durham, and Raleigh, N.C., topped $9 million. Blackman is a member of the TIA board of directors and has been recognized for his business and community service, and in 2016 was honored as Dealer of the Year by the North Carolina Tire Dealers Association.
David Zielasko has built a 31-year career in the tire industry as an editor, publisher, reporter, and conference speaker. He has written more than 1,000 news stories and columns for Tire Business, and in 1995 was promoted to serve as associate publisher. Three years later, Zielasko became solely responsible for the newspaper's editorial and commercial efforts as publisher. He's traveled the world covering industry events and now serves as vice president, publisher and editorial director of Tire Business.
“We are proud to induct our newest honorees at the 2017 Tire Industry Honors,” says Roy Littlefield, executive vice president of TIA. “Each honoree has proven to be a key player in the tire industry by contributing as a leader, influencer, and trailblazer, all of which serves as the foundation and purpose of both awards."
For more information about TIA, visit www.tireindustry.org.