Maguire Shares Secrets of NETSA’s Success

April 19, 2024

Katie Maguire was named executive director of the New England Tire and Service Association (NETSA) at the end of 2023, replacing Tony DeSimone, who held that role for many years. 

Earlier this month, NETSA wrapped up another successful trade show and convention in Uncasville, Conn. (“Last year, we had 85 booths.” she told MTD. “This year, we sold out 107 booths.”)  

In this MTD exclusive, Maguire, whose tire industry career includes a long stint at Mohawk Rubber Sales of New England Inc., which was acquired by Myers Tire Supply in 2022, explains why NETSA remains vibrant and successful. 

MTD: While many state and regional tire dealer associations have fallen by the wayside over the years, NETSA appears to be bigger and more vigorous than ever. What makes NETSA so successful on an ongoing basis? 

Maguire: It’s our board. Every board member – past and present – has been so active in the association. I’ve been on the board since 2014 and I’ve learned so much. When we have our board meetings... we just make things work. We really put our heads together and try to create what we think is best for our members. 

I’ve been on other boards where people use it to say, ‘I’m on a board’ and there’s no involvement whatsoever. Every NETSA board member is active. We have committees. We talk to each other two or three times a week. And I think that helps us stay together as an association. 

MTD: The work NETSA has done on Right to Repair has been impressive... 

Maguire: We have someone working on the Maine Right to Repair (issue.) We’re continuing to work on the Massachusetts Right to Repair issue. Sen. (Elizabeth) Warren was in town a couple of weeks ago and had a roundtable with one of our board members in his shop. She’s really involved in pushing Massachusetts Right to Repair (cause.) She’s really backing it, which I think is great for us. (Editor’s note: In November 2023, voters in Maine approved a ballot measure that will require auto manufacturers to share access to certain vehicle diagnostic tools with vehicle owners, as well as independent repair facilities like tire dealerships. Voters approved a similar bill in Massachisetts three years earlier.) 

MTD: Beyond legislative work, can you talk about some of the programs, benefits and services that NETSA has rolled out for its members? 

Maguire: We offer life and accident insurance. We offer website help for our (members). We offer (help with) digital and social media. We just brought on a customer re-engagement program. Back in the day, you were knocking on doors, saying, 'Here are our benefits. This is why we think you should become a member.’ And that’s one thing we still do. We also use social media. We use email.  

MTD: In your opinion, why should dealers get involved with their local tire dealer associations? 

Maguire: Going back to legislative (issues), there are things that I think they don’t know about. Our members in Maine were aware the Right to Repair Bill passed by 84%, but didn’t realize there was a lot of push-back on it. To get them involved, we sent them a letter and (asked) if they could send letters to their legislators.  

“I think that by giving our members the path, they can decide if they want to get involved” in issues that directly impact their businesses, she adds.

About the Author

Mike Manges | Editor

Mike Manges is Modern Tire Dealer’s editor. A 25-year tire industry veteran, he is a three-time International Automotive Media Association award winner and holds a Gold Award from the Association of Automotive Publication Editors. Mike has traveled the world in pursuit of stories that will help independent tire dealers move their businesses forward. Before rejoining MTD in September 2019, he held corporate communications positions at two Fortune 500 companies and served as MTD’s senior editor from 2000 to 2010.