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President gives credit to Tech's extended family

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Tech International celebrated its 75th anniversary last week with much fanfare. One of the highlights was a speech by company President Dan Layne.

Modern Tire Dealer was on hand to record the event for posterity. (To read Associate Editor Ann Neal's report on the event, click on "Tech International celebrates 75 years.") Here is what Layne shared with the employees and guests in attendance about the family-owned (fourth generation!) company.

"Technical Rubber Company, or Tech, as we are commonly known, is a world-leading producer and distributor of tire repairs, tire and wheel service products and industrial rubber products. Today, Tech sells more than 10,000 products in 96 countries around the world. And it all began just a half mile from where we are right now.

"Our founder, Charles Cornell, had the vision for Tech while working in the rubber industry. He saw the need for a better method of repairing tires.

"So, in 1939 Charles left a stable job and, with his wife Rhea Belle, created the Technical Rubber Company. Working out of the barn behind their home, Charles developed a rubber vulcanizing process that he used to develop repairs for tires and inner tubes in hot or cold applications. Charles named his invention the “2-Way” repair. This invention led to a complete line of tire and tube repair products, and it revolutionized the tire repair industry.

"Charles’ values of invention and quality set the stage for product breakthroughs at Tech that included bias, cross ply repairs, self-vulcanizing inserts, center over injury, radial repairs and our very popular Uni-Seal one-piece repair units.

"The vision Charles had for Tech not only launched a business, it created a legacy for generations to come.

"Charles’ step-daughter and son-in-law, Pauline and Frank Chambers, took over as second-generation family leaders at Tech in the 1950s. Many of you remember Pauline fondly as she had an undeniable presence in the tire industry. Pauline began managing Tech operations in 1974 after her husband, Frank, passed away. She led Tech to become the international company we are today.

"During Pauline’s tenure, Tech expanded around the globe and today operates production facilities in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, Shanghai, China and, of course -- 75 years after Charles began creating tire repairs -- Tech is still headquartered and continues to invest in its original production facility right here in Johnstown, Ohio.

"Tech remains a family-owned and operated company, directed by third and fourth-generation family leaders, including Cheryl Poulton, Nikki Layne and myself.

"As we celebrate this milestone, we know our success was made possible by family. Not just our family leadership, but our extended employee family.

"Tech employs 248 staff members here in Johnstown and hundreds more around the world. Among our employees are some third and fourth-generation family members. We have 48 staff members who have been with us for 20 years or more, including many who have given 40 or more years of service. Their commitment to Tech and our products is outstanding. Our team takes pride in their work, which has allowed Tech to create high-quality, trustworthy products since 1939.

"Our exceptional team, our commitment to quality and our core values are at the center of our ability to thrive as a company. By focusing on our core values of honor, innovation, intelligence, leadership and teamwork, we have created a business model that has enabled us to thrive and adapt to the changing tire repair marketplace for more than 75 years.

"To celebrate our years in success and chronicle our history for future generations of Tech employees, we commissioned a commemorative art piece that truly is one of a kind.

"Using photos, newspaper clippings and mementos, we collaborated with the artists at One of A Kind Art Studio in Maryland to create this work of art and capture Tech’s history. I’m proud to share it with you today!

"Thank you, Nikki and Cheryl. When we conclude shortly, I’ll invite all of you to come and take a look at Tech through the years. I’m proud to see see our founders, Charles and Rhea Belle Cornell and our second-generation leaders, Frank Chambers and Pauline Chambers Yost, honored in this art piece -- as well as company milestones, like our first Presidential E-Star Award for export excellence. You will also notice the circular shape of the art piece, which suggests a tire, and flag ribbon celebrating our customers throughout the world.

"This art work will be installed permanently in our headquarters as a lasting tribute to Tech’s first 75 years in business.

"To see Tech’s history and accomplishments together in this art piece clearly demonstrates that our growth and longevity is a result of innovation; not only in our tire repair products, but also through discovering new ways to leverage our intelligence.

"That pioneering mindset is what will pave the way for a successful future at Tech, as we use our core competencies in repairing, recycling, repurposing and reusing to find new ways to improve and grow our product offerings. With this in mind, we look forward to seeing Tech celebrate many milestones like we are today."

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