Longtime Chicago-Area Industrial Tire Dealer Cohen Dies

Aug. 2, 2022

Longtime Chicago, Ill.-area industrial tire dealer Charlie Cohen recently passed away at the age of 76. Cohen was one of the "Windy City's" most successful industrial tire brokers for many decades.

Born to Philip and Millie Cohen of Chicago, Cohen - a U.S. Army veteran - began his tire industry career in the late 1960s as a sales trainee at the former BFGoodrich Co.

He soon entered the industrial tire segment, first working for Werd & Schaefer Tire Co., which manufactured its own solid press-on tires and was one of the first Bandag franchisees in the Chicago area.

In 1978, Cohen went into business for himself and founded Industrial Tire Brokers, which quickly became one of Chicago's most successful industrial tire dealerships.

"Chicago is a big market," Cohen told MTD Editor Mike Manges in 2002. "The more you're equipped to handle customers, the better off you'll be. If you have the expertise, the gross will come."

In the early 2000s, Cohen sold Industrial Tire Brokers to Green Bay, Wis.-based Pomp’s Tire Service Inc., where he worked before joining T.A.S Industrial Tire & Service, which was located in Melrose Park, Ill., a Chicago suburb.

Cohen missed running his own business and in 2006 formed Industrial Tire Solutions with partner and fellow industrial tire sales veteran Mike Pollini.

Initially a two-man operation, the dealership - headquartered in Bensonville, Ill. - rapidly picked up major accounts across the greater Chicago market.

Cohen sold his stake in Industrial Tire Solutions to Pollini several years ago when he retired.

However, Cohen remained active with a number of Industrial Tire Solutions’ clients, who requested that he continue to manage their accounts. Even in retirement, he frequently called upon longtime customers and met with his former partner.

Preceded by his parents and wife of 49 years, Bonnie, who passed away in 2018, Cohen is survived by his son, Marc; his grandchildren, Logan and Mackenzie; and other relatives and friends, including longtime buddies Jim Pater and Jim Planey.

A memorial service was held on Aug. 2 at Shalom Memorial Park in Arlington Heights, Ill. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Dementia Society of America or the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.