The Tire Industry Association’s (TIA) Hall of Fame Committee has selected four new inductees for the 2022 Tire Industry Hall of Fame: the late Larry Day, retired chairman and CEO of TBC Corp; Christine Karbowiak, retired Bridgestone Americas executive; Joe DePaolis, tire dealer and former president of the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association (NTDRA); and the late Robert William Thomson, inventor of the pneumatic tire, who will enter in the historic category.
The committee also named Dr. Redmond “Red” Clark, president of Asphalt Plus L.L.C. in Barrington, Ill., as the 2022 winner of TIA’s Ed Wagner Leadership Award, TIA says.
TIA will recognize the honorees during the Tire Industry Honors awards ceremony on Monday, Oct. 31, 2022 at Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, prior to the start of the Global Tire Expo/SEMA Show, Nov. 1-4 in Las Vegas. This is a complimentary ticketed event, but advanced RSVP is required, according to TIA.
TIA says the Hall of Fame Award is the tire industry’s highest honor. It recognizes individuals who have contributed greatly to the growth and development of the tire industry or have demonstrated high standards, ideals and leadership in the management of their businesses and in the tire community and have achieved goals and success that distinguish them from others.
The Ed Wagner Leadership Award is presented to individuals or companies that demonstrate leadership or innovation in products and services that foster and promote the tire, retreading and/or tire recycling industries, TIA says.
2022 Hall of Fame Honorees
Larry Day – chairman, president and CEO of TBC Corp. (deceased)
Day spent nearly his entire career in the tire industry working for several companies before moving into senior leadership roles with Monro Muffler & Brake and then TBC Corp., where he spent 16 years before retiring as president, CEO and chairman in 2014. While at Monro, he instituted an aggressive expansion campaign doubling the number of retail outlets operated by the company and started the acquisition effort to develop a publically traded company, TIA says. He continued this growth trend at TBC where he worked in both the wholesale and retail segments of the industry. While at TBC, Day re-engineered the firm from a national distribution company to a fully integrated tire marketer. Under his leadership, TBC acquired Midas International, which markets automotive services and tires through 2,000 franchisees. The company also has an international presence through its TBC de Mexico and TBC Worldwide joint ventures. At both Monro and TBC, he led the initial effort for the roll-up of numerous local and regional companies into a much larger corporate umbrella, TIA reports.
Christine Karbowiak – chief administrative officer, chief risk officer, executive vice president – Bridgestone Americas Inc.; executive officer and president and CEO (retired)
Christine Karbowiak worked for Bridgestone for more than 25 years, as a leader in its Americas business unit and as part of its Global Executive Committee (G-ExCo), a small group of global leaders who comprise the highest level of Bridgestone Corp.’s operational management. Her leadership and pioneering spirit impacted not only Bridgestone’s commercial and retail sectors but the manufacturing side as well, TIA says. Karbowiak helped create Bridgestone’s Corporate and Social Responsibility platform and elevated the company to become more global in thought and practice. Under her leadership, she brought about change nationally and internationally through establishing Bridgestone as an official sponsor of the Olympics. Through numerous board roles, she helped support and elevate women within the tire industry, TIA says. Karbowiak also brought a passion for Bridgestone’s role in ensuring a healthy environment for both current and future generations. She cross-functionally led the company through numerous crisis situations with poise and grace and was, at many times, the face and voice of the global company, according to TIA.
Joe DePaolis – CEO and president of Johnny Antonelli Tire Co. Inc. and 1988 president of the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association (Retired)
Joe DePaolis made his mark in the tire industry by turning a small three-outlet retail tire dealership in western New York into one of the largest independent tire dealerships in the U.S. at the time, TIA says. He also was an avid champion of the independent tire dealer during his time on the board and as 1988 president of the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association (NTDRA), a forerunner to today’s Tire Industry Association. DePaolis joined Johnny Antonelli Tire Co. Inc. in Rochester, N.Y., as vice president and general manager in 1968 and grew the retail tire organization to 28 stores by 1989, making it the 21st largest independent tire chain in the U.S. He became president and CEO of the dealership in 1977. The chain included two truck tire centers, a retread operation and a wholesale division. An innovative tire dealer and marketer, DePaolis created programs at the dealership such as the annual “Cash and Carry” tire sale, where customers bought at sales price if they paid in cash and carried the tires out of the store themselves, TIA says. He also considered automotive service a necessity to tire dealers. One of his hallmarks for tire wholesaling was two-a-day deliveries. He also created a job rotation system at the dealership, which made for more well-rounded employees and enabled him to promote from within. Under his leadership at NTDRA, the association published a 370-page book, “A Practical Approach to Improving a Tire Dealer’s Profits,” a project he helped develop and then made sure to push through during his term as president, according to TIA.
Robert William Thomson – inventor of the pneumatic tire (deceased)
In 1845, Robert William Thomson invented the aerial wheel, or pneumatic tire. This came only six years after vulcanization was discovered, but he clearly understood the usefulness of the process. He was awarded the United Kingdom patent, 10990, for his tire in 1845, followed by the French patent in 1846 and the U.S. patent, 5104, in 1847. Thomson tested his tire in the streets and parks of London and conducted experiments around side slip and skidding, TIA says. He determined how loads could be drawn, motion maintained and noise reduced. His tires went into commercial production but the cost, coupled with a lack of suitable supplies of thin rubber and the lack of a ready market, meant that they were not a commercial success, TIA says. There were no automobiles at the time and even the bicycle industry was in its infancy. Thomson did not give up on his aerial wheel with his own carriage fitted with them in Edinburgh at the time of his death. He tried to source suitable quantities of the correct specification of rubber in the late 1860s to no avail. TIA says Thomson was never awarded full credit for the invention of the pneumatic tire.
2022 Ed Wagner Leadership Award Honoree
Redmond “Red” Clark, president of Asphalt Plus L.L.C.
Dr. Redmond “Red” Clark, president of Asphalt Plus L.L.C, has a Ph.D. in the environmental sciences and is a longtime supporter of using rubber-modified asphalt in roads. He has performed extensive research in the rubber asphalt industry and worked tirelessly to assist various state departments of transportation to revise their specifications to include rubber. His company has worked with contractors to pave many roads using rubber-modified asphalt. During his career, he has had more than 300 publications and presentations to his credit, TIA says.