Humberto Gomez had huge shoes to fill when he replaced Gary Nash as president of Yokohama Tire Mexico S. de R.L. de C.V. on Jan. 1. Those shoes will officially leave the building on March 31, 2018, when Nash retires after 19 years with Yokohama Tire Corp. — and 52 years in the tire industry.
"What can you say about Gary Nash that hasn’t been said before?" says Shinichi Takimoto, CEO of Yokohama Tire Corp. “He’s a true legend, one of the most respected, knowledgeable and influential people in the industry. He embodies his favorite moto: 'In order to be a salesman, you must first sell yourself. Integrity, plus confidence, plus friendship equals success.' We wish him the best in his retirement, but we’ll certainly miss him."
Takimoto says Gomez, a 35-year industry veteran who came out of retirement in 2013 to work with Nash as Yokohama Tire Mexico’s director general, is poised to continue the stellar work of his good friend.
"Gary’s obviously a tough act to follow, but if there is anyone in the industry who has the scope of knowledge, experience and utmost respect of his peers, it’s Humberto."
Gomez, an industrial engineer, worked three decades for Bridgestone Corp. He spent much of his career at Bridgestone in Mexico, Venezuela, Costa Rica and Brazil, where he held several positions, including president of Bridgestone Latin America.
"It’s an honor to follow in Gary’s footsteps," says Gomez. "He’s been an inspiration, and we will continue to build Yokohama’s presence in Mexico with increased brand recognition and sales."
Nash began his storied career in the tire industry by accepting a management position with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s retail division following his graduation from Tennessee Tech University, where he earned a degree in business management. He also worked for Bridgestone on the dealer side before joining Yokohama in 1998. Prior to being named the first president of the newly established Yokohama Tire Mexico in 2013, he was Yokohama's vice president of OTR sales.
Nash was elected to the Tire Industry Association Hall of Fame in 2010.
"I’ve been blessed to have had such a great -- and long -- career," he says. "It’s been a blast because to me, it’s always been about the people and friends I’ve met along the way. I’ve prided myself on being a mentor and trying to make people feel good about themselves."