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SEMA Show, pre-show: TIA hall of famers honored

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SEMA Show, pre-show: TIA hall of famers honored

The Tire Industry Association (TIA) inducted four outstanding individuals last night into its Hall of Fame in Las Vegas prior to the 2012 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show. The event honors the outstanding accomplishments of members of the tire industry.

The ceremony began with opening comments from TIA Vice President Ken Brown, who led a moment of silence for six TIA industry greats who passed away in the past year: Becky Babcox, Publisher, Babcox Media Inc.; William Fitzgerald, retired president of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.; Tom Foord, founder of Kal Tire; Frank Norfleet, founder of Parts Plus; Robert Newton, founder of Hoosier Racing Tire; and, John Olson, founder of Olsen Tire Service Inc.

The 2011 Hall of Fame inductees, introduced by incoming TIA President Randy Groh, are: Randy Clark, chairman and president of Dunn Tire LLC; Bruce Halle, founder of Discount Tire Co.; Paul Kruder, founder of Computerized Information and Management Services Inc. (CIMS); and Pete Veldman, founder of The Tire Rack.

In addition, two individuals received 2012 Ed Wagner Industry Leadership Awards: Steve Akridge, former executive director of the Virginia Automotive Association and past president of the Virginia Society of Association Executives and the TIA board of directors; and Reece Hester, past executive director of the North Carolina Tire Dealers Association and current TIA board of directors member.

The induction ceremony was followed by comments from outgoing TIA President Larry Brandt, who discussed TIA’s successes of the past year including expanded and successful educational services, and an emphasis on industry cohesiveness.

Afterward, Modern Tire Dealer Editor Bob Ulrich recognized Brandt’s work with a portrait, a tradition that MTD started 20 years ago.

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