When Akron native and NBA superstar LeBron James penned his “coming home” essay announcing his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, he wrote “Nothing is given, everything is earned. You work for what you have.”
It was the start of a rebirth in Northeast Ohio. For LeBron, in order to lead the Cavalier franchise, he felt he needed to leave and learn how to become a champion. By the time you read this, he has hopefully accomplished this goal and brought a world title to Cleveland. If he has, he will have earned it by defeating a Golden State team that won a record 73 regular season games.
It is in that same spirit of coming home and with the goals of being a champion for our independent tire dealer readers and the tire industry, that I am excited to introduce you to the new editor for Tire Review.
Like LeBron James, Patti Renner is a native of the Akron area. She attended The Ohio State University and in 1992 began a career with Babcox Media, the parent company of Tire Review. She found success early, moving quickly through the editorial ranks as managing editor of Body Shop Business magazine and later serving as the founding editor of Underhood Service. In the world of publishing, Patti’s rise to lead a B2B publication at such a young age was unmatched.
Patti left Babcox Media in 1997 to start a family. It was during that time she pursued many entrepreneurial ventures including owning and operating a group of specialty retail shops; an invitation design company; and a boutique marketing services company specializing in brand development and digital optimization. We know tapping into Patti’s perspectives on running a small business, doing what it takes to be successful, and wearing the many hats small business owners do, will strongly resonate with independent tire dealers.
Most recently, Patti served as vice president of marketing for Ignitionone, a leading global marketing technology company. Patti’s primary role was to develop and execute marketing strategy and sales support activities, content creation and distribution, and targeted digital campaigns for clients within the automotive, hospitality, and retail space. Her success in building digital and print marketing programs, sale leads, and leading winning teams are some of the qualities she cultivated. As you will come to learn, Patti is a marketing maven with high energy and a lot of creativity.
Patti becomes only the 9th editor of Tire Review in its 115-year history and the first woman to lead the publication’s editorial mission. The tire industry is in her blood. Patti’s dad was a longtime Goodyear employee, and her grandparents and brother were employed at Goodyear and BFGoodrich. I am sure our friend and former colleague Jim Smith would be pleased that Patti is following in his footsteps.
Much like Jim, Patti is deeply committed to preserving and understanding the history of an industry and immersing herself into it. I am excited to see how Patti will continue Jim’s legacy, as well as the changes she will make to our publication and her advocacy for issues that affect you, the Tire Review reader. Patti should hit the ground running.
Jim’s death reinforced the important work publications like Tire Review provide to an industry. The hundreds of calls, countless emails, and personal notes reflected the impact one voice can offer. Over the four months since we lost Jim, we were encouraged by the suggestions many of you provided on how we can change, adapt, and grow. We were also encouraged by the 100 resumes we received and the more than 40 personal interviews conducted for this position. It is why we are so excited to bring someone like Patti to our team. Patti’s first day was June 9, and her column will fill this space beginning in July.
Adding Patti to our Tire Review team is just another step in earning the trust of the industry. As a new era in the 115-year evolution of Tire Review begins, our team does so knowing the industry is moving at a rapid pace. While some things with our publication will obviously change, one thing will not – and that is our commitment to helping independent tire dealers become more profitable in their business. We know that the trust you show to us is not given; we need to work toward earning it every day.
One final note: I would be remiss if I did not offer my thanks to our Tire Review team for navigating through some tough waters over the past four months since Jim’s sudden passing on Feb. 18. If a manual for dealing with the grief of losing a co-worker and friend exists, I am sure the Tire Review team wrote it. Kristen Criswell and Carley Hull did an outstanding job producing four issues and two supplements, creating content to fill a daily e-newsletter, social media channels, and website on top of the overwhelming amount of travel required by the Tire Review staff. Nichole Anderson and RJ Pooch provided amazing art direction and graphic design, and our production and circulation team made sure we were on schedule and organized. I am proud to work with such a talented and dedicated team.