Wanted: Tire Dealers
Modern Tire Dealer Senior Editor Joy Kopcha recently wrote in a news item titled “Wanted: tire dealers” on our website about the New Jersey State Tire Dealers Association (NJSTDA) being put “on hold” due to lack of interest. NJSTDA member Brian McCatham told Kopcha he hoped the association could be saved. Here are some comments on that news item from our readers.
As a past president of the Georgia Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association, I can tell you we also have the same problems with recruiting new members and participation of current members.
We are fortunate to have a great base of dealers and we have a fantastic scholarship program for our young people entering college or tech schools.
The value that you get out of an association is exactly what you put into it. The relationships that you develop, the knowledge that you get from your peers, the people who help with legislation at the state level, these are things that you cannot put a price on. The small amount of money for dues and the time for an occasional annual meeting or golf outing is far outweighed by simply learning more about our business, especially as it is changing at a rapid pace.
We need more active members and we need the young dealers with new ideas to keep us moving forward.
John Plumstead, President, Tire Distributors of Georgia, Macon and Tifton, Ga.
Good for Mr. McCatham on speaking to the issue of supporting and continuing a state trade association.
As an involved director and now president of our state association (the North Carolina Tire Dealers Association), I can testify to knowing the value of return on investment by being proactive as a member.
First of all, an association should be a friend to the industry by being transparent in its representation to all industry-involved and related companies. We represent our members at the legislative level where specific dealers and suppliers would be considered to have a conflict of interest. This is important to all tire and automotive service businesses.
Associations are organizing entities that welcome numerous businesses to come together at conventions, trade shows and educational meetings for networking opportunities, industry updates and to see new, upcoming products. And at the same time, we invite friends, competitors and families who make a living in the industry we work in to come together.
I am hopeful that younger people in our industry will make the effort to adjust their schedules so they can at least attend an annual convention or conference to gain additional experiences.
They (associations), in my opinion, are a welcome component of “glue” to our businesses. I would compare it somewhat to the policeman at the middle of the intersection, directing traffic, pointing out danger and assisting people in getting where they need to go. As president of the North Carolina group, we would offer the New Jersey folks any assistance we can provide to them in maintaining a vital trade association.
T. Beroth, President, North Carolina Tire Dealers Association, Stokes Tire Co, King, N.C.
I want to reiterate T. Beroth’s words. I am the past president of the North Carolina Tire Dealers Association and still serve on the board. I have been an independent tire dealer for 25 years, but not always an association member. I joined many years ago, but quit because I did not use any of the benefits and services that the association provided. Maybe, like some of the New Jersey tire dealers, I did not see the value at the time. Years later, I was encouraged to join again and decided to get involved and participate in some of the services and programs. I am glad I did.
Then, about 10 years ago I was asked to be a director on the association’s board. Not only have I saved a lot of money participating in the programs we offer, but I have made friendships with other tire dealers across our state. Sharing ideas and methods has helped me in running my business, which is invaluable. Most consulting companies charge for this type of service and information.
I encourage tire dealers in New Jersey as well as all over the country to join and get involved in their state associations. The benefits and services that most associations provide are enormous and invaluable compared to the membership dues we pay. New Jersey tire dealers — please do not let 40 years of efforts go by the wayside. Get involved, please. You will not regret it.
Richard Leicht, President /Owner, Atlantic Avenue Tire & Service, Raleigh N.C.
I looked but cannot find a Colorado state tire dealers association. Does one exist?
Chris Macarak, Vice President, On-Site Tires, Denver, Colo.
If anyone knows of a tire dealer association serving Colorado dealers, please tell us! “If no one responds and we find out that there is, in fact, not a Colorado Tire Dealers Association, maybe it is time one was formed,” says Macarak. – Ed.