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3 New Members Elected to TIA Board

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Three new members will join the Tire Industry Association board of directors when the group takes office on Nov. 1.

New board members include Chris Rhoades of BKT USA Inc.; Gary Schroeder of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., now owned by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.; and Leigh-Ann Stewart of Kal Tire. Don Vanderheyden of Hennessy Industries, was reelected to a second term on the board.  

These four will join an additional 14 directors to make up the association’s 18- member board.

Chris Rhoades


Rhoades is senior product manager of technical solutions for BKT. He has 22 years of off-the-road tire industry experience working at BKT and for Bridgestone Americas Inc. At Bridgestone, Rhoades was the historical product manager of Bridgestone's TreadStat OTR tire and rim performance tracking solution. At BKT he is the developer of the company’s SPOTech field evaluation solution. Rhoades combines field work experience in mines across the world with a technical know-how to develop industry-leading solutions. He describes himself as passionate about seeing and developing the next generation of OTR industry experts and is interested in helping TIA’s training and education group develop standards on tire tracking and performance analysis.

Gary Schroeder


Schroeder is executive director of the Cooper brand’s global truck and bus tire business. Schroeder has 35 years of experience in sales and marketing, operations and finance, including 15 years in the tire industry. For the last 10 years, he has led Cooper’s global commercial tire business and has expanded Cooper’s truck and bus business into all core channels – dealers, OEM and fleet – and created strategic relationships with customers in each channel. Schroeder said he hopes that serving on the TIA Board will allow him to have a positive impact on the entire industry.

 Leigh-Ann Stewart

Stewart is director of health and safety for Kal Tire, where she has been the dealership’s senior safety professional for the past 18 years. In this role, she has led a variety of activities including: the implementation of a safety leadership program across 17 countries; carried out safety strategies that have resulted in a more than 60% reduction in workplace accidents; and introduced numerous safety and operational initiatives. She was the lead incident investigator for three tire-related fatalities and two court cases. In addition, she has advised the senior executive team and learning/development teams on improvements to various operational business activities. She looks forward to sharing her experience from a safety perspective in the area of Occupational Safety and Health (OHS) law specific to passenger and light truck, commercial, industrial, farm and OTR tires, as well as retreading, warehousing and trucking.  

Don Vanderheyden


Vanderheyden is vice president of commercial for Hennessy, the maker of the Coats brand of wheel service equipment. He joined the company in 2001 and has held positions in purchasing, marketing and sales. With deep roots in tire equipment, he said his focus is on the needs and challenges of the independent tire dealer. During his first term on the TIA Board of Directors, Vanderheyden said he welcomed the opportunity to advocate, educate and provide support for the Association’s membership and the broader tire industry.

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