ITDG Members Celebrate Big Wins During Annual Meeting
Group Is Approaching 'Magic Number' of 1,000 Locations
“It only took us over two years to meet face-to-face again, but it is sure worth it,” Dave Marks, president and CEO of the Independent Tire Dealers Group LLC (ITDG), said during its annual meeting and trade show, which took place April 20-24 in Nashville, Tenn.
Dealers and vendors who attended the event all shared the same sentiment. Being together again to discuss business and network was highly important to them.
The meeting was structured with one main general session, a trade show and individual breakout meetings that allowed dealers to meet and discuss programs with their vendors face-to-face.
Marks said that ITDG, like all businesses and groups, needed to adapt and change as it worked its way through the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Marks told the assembled group of 317 members, suppliers and spouses that “nobody knew what was going to come at us two years ago.”
Through it all, he found “our board to be the most astute people I’ve ever worked with.”
In fact, Marks said he was proud of the diversity of the current board, which includes seven different members from seven different states.
Numbers are climbing
Marks compared how ITDG looked in 2016 versus where it stood at the end of 2021.
From 2016 through 2021, the group grew from 106 shareholders to 122 shareholders, despite a number of members who were acquired by other companies and left the organization.
Also from 2016 through the end of last year, ITDG increased its total number of members from 143 to 158, which increased its total number of locations from 609 to 843.
Marks said ITDG lost 12 shareholders since its 2019 meeting, but replaced those with 15 new shareholders. In just the last four months, the group has added eight new members, accounting for 66 more locations.
ITDG today has 163 members representing 987 locations in 44 states. The only states without locations are Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia.
A goal of hitting “the magic number of 1,000 locations” was mentioned several times during the meeting.
Marks pointed out that the group has seen tremendous growth from the eastern part of the U.S.
From a financial standpoint, ITDG had gross purchases of more than $211.1 million for 2016, increasing to $344.7 million during 2021.
Average eligible purchases per shareholder grew substantially, as well - far outpacing inflation, said Marks. (He joked that his hand shook as he wrote out shareholder payout checks, with the average check increasing from $78,000 in 2016 to almost $121,000 in 2021.)
All of this happened while ITDG trimmed back the number of partner-vendors it used. The group decreased from 89 to 75 partner-vendors, said Marks.
New insurance plan
ITDG also provided an update of its Cell ITDG Captive Insurance Plan, which replaced the original IICIC Captive Insurance, which was established in 2005. Just a few of the new plan's enhancements are lower cost of entry, reduced captive operating expenses, better control of members' workers comp insurance costs and members can recognize a return of some of their premiums for good performance. Marks is the current president of Cell ITDG.
During the meeting, Wes Tatum from Leete Tire & Auto Center, which is based in Virginia, who serves as the chairman of ITDG’s NextGen group, and the group’s co-chairman, Colton Miller from Main Street Tire USA in Colorado Springs, Colo., gave an overview of the group, whose purpose is to discuss best practices, including social media, computer systems, shop operations and more.
ITDG's NextGen group meets via video conference quarterly, with each meeting lasting roughly an hour. Members recently discovered their pay rates and labor rates were very similar in nature, which allowed them to make sure they were following market trends.
Since ITDG was not able to hold its event in 2020 and 2021, three ITDG Dealer of the Year awards were presented to Begg’s Tire of Philomath, Ore. (2019); Montana Tire of Billings, Mont. (2020); and Jack’s Tire & Oil, which is based in North Logan, Utah (2021).
Current board members of ITDG are Chairman Rob Slagle, Affordable Tire USA, which is based in Glendale, Ariz.; Vice Chairman Clay Miller of Mainstreet Tire; Secretary Peter Greenberg of City Tire in Springfield, Mass.; Treasurer Jay Limbaugh of Jack’s OK Tire in Algona, Iowa; and directors Jessica Palanjian-Rankin of Grand Prix Performance in Costa Mesa, Calif.; Eric Ostendorf of Tiremaxx Service Center in St. Joseph, Minn.; and Dan Pearson of Northwest Tire, which is based in Bismarck, ND.
ITDG’s next meeting and trade show is scheduled for April 27-30, 2023 at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Club Resort and Spa in San Antonio, Texas.