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N.C. dealers honor Bob and Bobbie Smith

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One of the highlights of the recent North Carolina Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association's (NCTDRA's) annual convention was a special tribute to retiring Executive Director Bob Smith and his wife, Bobbie. The association presented them with tickets for a cruise for their years of hard work.

Bob Smith, due to officially retire on June 1, has been its executive director for 21 years; his wife is retiring after working for the association for 11 years. Bob says he plans to stay with the association and run its benefits and services group.

The new NCTDRA Executive Director is Reece Hester.

Prior to his work with the association, Bob was one of the owners of Rigsbee Tire Sales in Durham, N.C. The business was sold to Merchant's Tire in 1983.

More than 200 people attended the annual convention, which featured two keynote speakers. Tom Dattillo, chairman, CEO and president of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., spoke at the Saturday morning breakfast. Greg Smith, publisher of Modern Tire Dealer, spoke Friday evening.

In addition, the convention had four well-attended seminars covering proper telephone techniques, how to add value to your business, high performance tire and wheel opportunities and "How to Unlock the $70 Billion Treasure Chest."

New NCTDRA officers for 2005-2006 are:

* President: Bob Briggs, owner, Briggs & Sons Tire in Fayetteville.

* President-elect: Danny Honeycutt, the North Carolina sales rep for Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire LLC.

* Vice president: Ryan Benton, general manager, Black's Tire Service in Whiteville.

* Secretary/treasurer: John Allen, owner, Hughes Brothers Inc. in Wilmington.

Mike Wolfe, a partner in Southeastern Wholesale Tire in Raleigh, N.C., is the immediate past president.

Briggs is the first president elected to serve a two-year term for the organization.

"By exchanging information, gathering new ideas and helping to shape issues that affect our business, we are able to better serve our customers and our employees," says Briggs.

Bob and his wife, Barbara, started their company in 1972 with a service station in Clinton, N.C. Briggs and Sons Tire has grown to 11 locations throughout eastern North Carolina.

"We attribute our growth to the fact that we have never lost sight of our customers' needs," adds Briggs.

The NCTDRA has more than 500 members, including tire and automotive service companies from across the state.

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