The Tire Industry Association (TIA) inducted four outstanding individuals last night into its Hall of Fame in Las Vegas prior to the 2011 SEMA Show. The event honors the outstanding accomplishments of members of the tire industry.
The ceremony began with opening comments from TIA Vice President Randy Groh, who led a moment of silence for three TIA industry greats who passed away in the past year: Jerry White, who died after his induction last year, Bob Malerba, past president of TIA from 2005-2006, and Ed Wagner, a major player in the retread industry who was inducted into the TIA Hall of Fame in 1996.
The 2011 Hall of Fame inductees, introduced by incoming TIA President Larry Brandt, are: Bill Fountain, founder of Edmonton, Alberta-based Fountain Tire in Canada; John Gamauf, retired president of Consumer Replacement Tire, Bridgestone North American Tire; Onkar Kanwar, chairman of Apollo Tyres Ltd.; and Ralph “Buddy” Snow, retired vice president and counsel of Oliver Rubber.
The induction ceremony was followed by comments from outgoing TIA President Mike Berra Jr., who reflected on the group’s accomplishments in the past year including enhanced educational services and an emphasis on industry cohesiveness.
Afterward, Modern Tire Dealer Editor Bob Ulrich recognized Berra’s work with a portrait, a tradition that MTD started 19 years ago.