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SEMA Show, pre-show: one-on-one with Mike Berra

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This year's Global Tire Expo will be special for Mike Berra Jr. During the week (Nov. 1-5), he will take over as president of the Tire Industry Association (TIA), which is sponsoring the expo.

Berra talks about his plans over the next year in the November issue of Modern Tire Dealer. In this exclusive Web site mini-interview, he focuses on the state of TIA.

MTD: How would you describe TIA's financial position?

Berra: Despite the current economic situation, TIA is in a good position right now, and we continue to grow. We are continuing to attract new members, our training has never been more popular… all of this in the midst of a rough economy, when other associations are declining.

MTD: Is overseeing the government-mandated national tire maintenance consumer education program still a priority?

Berra: Absolutely! We have been frustrated by the pace with which this is progressing at NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), but that is completely out of our control. It does not change the fact that this program is a tremendous opportunity for TIA to achieve one of our top priorities of reaching out to the consumer with factual, usable information on a scale that has never been achieved.

It remains critical that the right organization -- with the knowledge, experience and resources -- manage this vital program. And, TIA remains the clear choice. In a recent meeting at NHTSA, we learned that the agency has reallocated resources back to this issue with some priority; thus, we continue to be dedicated to this and remain engaged.

(To read more, check out the November issue of MTD, which will be at the Specialty Equipment Market Association, or SEMA, Show.)

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