That’s the constant thematic thread woven through the Spider-Man franchise’s web of comic book pages and on-screen images, and one that I was so often reminded during my five years as Tire Review publisher.
Jim Smith, my personal tire industry Uncle Ben, was always quick to point out the role the magazine played in shaping and influencing the tire industry. “It gets in your blood,” he’d often say of the industry he knew so well, and he was right.
It’s running through the veins of Alpio Barbara and “Johnny G,” each share a success story or offer advice. It pumps through the hearts of Howard and Pat Fleischman who offer teachable examples of rebuilding and rebranding. It’s mixed with sweat and tears of business owners like Craig and Jerry Wortham who run a tire dealership in Alaska, and Bud and Claudia Lupino based in California. And it’s sipped from the cup offered by industry evangelists like Chris Monroe and Dave Crawford.
When you are around them, you understand how they have applied the various amounts of power they have gained as business owners, community leaders and industry advocates to help shape the industry.
In the past five years, I have done my best to wield my publisher powers for the greater good, to up the responsibility of the brand. We expanded our Top Shop program to focus on telling more dealer stories in our “Proud to be an Independent Tire Dealer” profiles. We stepped up the speed of reporting the news of the day via the daily email newsletter, on our website and across social media channels, as well as sharpened our focus on issues that matter most to tire dealers. We profiled young and old, and even crowned the industry’s favorite mascot. Those are just a few accomplishments of which I am most proud, but now it’s time for my responsibilities to shift.
In July, Babcox Media leadership asked me to take on a new role within the company, to launch a division focused on helping our customers (you, the reader, and our many advertisers) find different and sometimes unique ways to connect outside of the traditional channels, such as a print magazine or a digital newsletter. With our company connected to 330,000+ automotive aftermarket professionals in print and millions more online, the need for standout content – based on elements such as authenticity, thought leadership, experience in solving problems, etc. – has never been greater. This new group will help our customers with their content needs, including custom print and digital solutions.
I know I leave Tire Review in great hands. Patti Hoying, Maddie Winer, Michael Ingram, RJ Pooch and Christine Perry will continue to produce the industry’s finest publication and information resource. They take tremendous care and pride in making sure they focus on what matters to you, the tire dealer. They will be joined by a familiar face to many Tire Review advertisers, Dean Martin, currently the publisher of Fleet Equipment Magazine and a 20+ year sales and publishing executive with Babcox Media, who will take on the additional responsibilities of publisher of Tire Review. Dean, Patti and the Tire Review team have an ambitious plan for 2019, and I am sure there will be many more unique announcements in the coming months.
I look forward to seeing many of you at SEMA or at an industry event in 2019.