TIA will induct Morgan, Westhafer into Hall of Fame

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The Tire Industry Association (TIA) will induct Larry Morgan, chairman emeritus of Tires Plus, and Terry Westhafer, president of Central Tire Corp., into the Tire Industry Hall of Fame.

This year's Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held Nov. 4 prior to the opening of the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas, Nev.

Morgan, who is a former TIA president, was chosen for his 43 years of service to the tire industry, which includes his tenure as CEO of Merchant’s Tire, where he grew the chain from eight stores to 137 stores. He also built Tires Plus into a 600-store chain in 27 states with annual sales of $1 billion.

Westhafer, whose company is located in Verona, Va., was chosen for many years of service to various tire organizations, including TIA, the now-defunct International Tire and Rubber Association, the Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau, and the Virginia Automotive Association. He also is active in state and federal study committees on a number of tire-related issues.

TIA also will induct two "historical contributors" into the Hall, Francois Michelin, former managing general partner of Groupe Michelin, and Joe Esco, founder of Esco Tire Co. of Oklahoma City, Okla.

"Michelin was chosen for his lifetime of service to the tire industry, which includes his support for the advancement of radial tire technology," say TIA officials. "Esco was selected for his contributions to tire retreading."

In addition, Harold Herzlich, president of Las Vegas-based Herzlich Consulting LLC, will receive TIA's 2008 Friend of the Industry Award.

"This award recognizes well-known individuals who are allies and proven supporters of the tire industry."

Tire Industry Hall of Fame inductees are selected based on several criteria, including service to the industry, the contribution of new ideas and practices, and others. They are chosen by a committee of eight TIA Board members.

The induction event will take place at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino at 6:45 a.m. EST. Tickets for the event are $35 and are available online at

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