Norm Affleck, retired CEO and president of Big O Tires Inc., died on Feb. 8, 2019. He was not only a founding dealer member of Big O Tires, but also instrumental in the introduction of the Big O brand 33 years ago.
Affleck flew B29s in the Air Force during World War II, and finished with 32 missions under his belt. When he returned to the U.S. in 1945, he started in the tire business as an O.K. Rubber Welder store owner. By 1960 he had six stores in Southern Colorado and New Mexico.
In 1962, he and a group of other O.K. Rubber Welder franchisees formed Big O Tire Dealers Inc. From 1962 to 1984 he served as president. For three years he flew his own plane around the country, at his expense, meeting with independent dealers and selling the Big O concept.
“In 1965, Affleck developed and implemented the first speed lane in the tire industry,” says John Kairys, Big O’s vice president and general manager. “He created a drive-through bay in his Denver store. The result was an immediate improvement in customer satisfaction, and increased productivity and store profitability.”
Affleck retired in 1984, but continued his contributions to the industry through his retreading and recycling efforts. He also worked in the industry as a consultant.
“Norm’s contributions to the Big O brand (spans) decades, and we are forever grateful for the legacy he leaves behind,” added Kairys.
He was inducted into the Tire Industry Hall of Fame in 2007. "Affleck’s vision for the future, and his implementation of Big O’s exclusive products and programs, were vital to the growth and success of the company," said the Tire Industry Association at the time.