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TIA honors 2013 Hall of Fame inductees

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The Tire Industry Association (TIA) has named Lex Brodie, Robert “Bob” Dunlap and Richard “Dick” Johnson to the TIA Hall of Fame.

They will be recognized at TIA’s Tire Industry Honors event on Nov. 4, 2013, one day prior to the Global Tire Expo - Powered by TIA at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, Nev.

TIA Hall of Fame inductees are chosen for their contributions of new ideas, practices or innovations that promote the health and well-being of the tire industry; their exemplary and distinguished service in the tire industry; and the respect of their peers.

Lex Brodie

Lex Brodie, a native of Kauai, Hawaii, founded the Lex Brodie’s Tire Co. chain in 1961. Known as one of Hawaii’s greatest entrepreneurs, Brodie was a master at branding, advertising, and customer service. 

In 1975, Brodie started the Small Business Association of Hawaii (now Smart Business Hawaii) to help small businesses to be better represented. In 1994, he received the Holo I Mua Award from the Better Business Bureau, which recognizes outstanding local businesses. 

In 2002, Les Brodie’s Tire became the first company in Hawaii to be approved as an AAA Approved Auto Repair Facility. AAA is known for having the toughest standards in the industry for customer service and Lex Brodie’s has averaged a 99% satisfaction rate. 

Brodie was also known for his passion for protecting the environment and his love of surfing.  He passed away on Jan. 11, 2013, at the age of 98.

Robert “Bob” Dunlap

Robert “Bob” Dunlap served as lieutenant in the U.S. Navy from 1951-53. Upon leaving the Navy, he transformed an old junkyard on his father’s property where he sold used tires off junk cars into one of Mississippi’s largest and most successful companies. The company now operates Dunlap & Kyle Co., Hesselbein Tire Co. and Gateway Tire Co. and has a total of 56 stores in 7 states.

Dunlap currently serves as president and CEO of Dunlap & Kyle. Over the years, Dunlap served on numerous dealer councils and was a founding member of the TBC Corp. 

He served on TBC’s board from its inception until he stepped down in 2000. Outside of the tire business, he is very involved in the betterment of the state of Mississippi and the community of Batesville with his support of local schools, community organizations, Boy Scouts and wildlife conservation.

Richard “Dick” Johnson

Richard “Dick” Johnson retired from American Tire Distributors (ATD) in 2009. Prior to his retirement, Johnson served as chairman and CEO of ATD. Johnson led the company though 10 years of rapid growth, both organic and through a series of acquisitions.

He strengthened ATD by divesting its retail stores and improving its financial flexibility. Johnson brought a broad range of expertise to the company and he built a unified team committed to using its essential strengths, distribution and customer service, to help independent tire dealers grow their businesses.

In 2003, Johnson was named as chairman of TIA’s first state association committee.  As chair of this committee, he worked with the executive directors of the state and regional dealer associations to improve relations with TIA and to develop ways in which TIA and the state groups could work together for the industry’s benefit.

Prior to becoming ATD’s chairman and CEO in 2003, he served as the company president since 2001.  Before that time, Johnson led Heafner Tire Group’s Southeast Division as president.

TIA also announced the recipient of the Ed Wagner Leadership Award. For details see MTD publisher receives TIA leadership award.

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