This November, I will be taking over as president of the Tire Industry Association (TIA), a role in which I am truly honored to serve. With more than 7,500 members, TIA is the largest it has been in its history. But it’s not all about size; it’s about the strength of the association and how it is contributing to the industry. The association is making a very strong impact in so many positive ways and it’s my goal that it continues to do so.
In my role as senior director of retail training for TBC Corp., one of North America’s largest marketers of replacement consumer tires, it is my job to develop and deliver retail training that reinforces our company’s mission to enable people to live, work and play safely and easily.
TIA plays a very similar role in its mission to provide the industry with the best tire technician training to improve the safety of those in the industry and the motoring public. To date, TIA has trained more than 98,000 tire technicians and its programs continue to grow.
This year, TIA released its Basic Industrial Tire Service (ITS) program, which focuses on pneumatic, solid-resilient, press-on and polyurethane-filled tires used in industrial applications. With the completion and release of the ITS Program, TIA has a complete slate of technician training resources for the industry, which also include automotive, commercial, farm and earthmover. If you or your company has not yet participated in TIA training, I highly encourage you to do so. TIA even has an online university for many of its basic level training programs so the training is convenient and affordable.
While technician training continues to be the backbone of TIA, the association has also created a number of consumer education videos to complement our training program and continue to improve safety for the motoring public. The “Tire Safety Starts with…” video series covers topics such as proper tire repair, tire selection and winter tires. To date, the videos have had more than 178,000 views on TIA’s YouTube channel. The videos are available free of charge to the industry and can be posted on company websites and social media channels. Safety is a top priority for the association and it should be for everyone in the industry. I will continue to promote the message of safety throughout my term as TIA president.
As I hope everyone knows, TIA has been extremely busy with its advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill for the past year. Roy Littlefield and his government relations team, along with TIA’s government affairs committee, have been working to represent the best interests of tire retailers on many legislative issues that could potentially impact our industry.
Pending legislation in Congress such as mandatory tire registration, taxes on tires and LIFO repeal could result in serious economic hardships on tire dealers. We are fortunate to have TIA working on our behalf, but the staff and board of directors can’t do it alone. I encourage each and every one of you to get more involved in TIA’s advocacy efforts and see how you can help make a difference. To learn more about how you can get involved, call the TIA office at 301-430-7280 or email [email protected].
I want to recognize outgoing president Freda Pratt-Boyer, our board of directors, the TIA staff and all those who have served the association in the past for helping to make TIA what it is today. There are so many who have steered the association along this dynamic road and they have done so in a strategic and responsive manner. They’ve helped to create a financially sound organization and are leaving me in a position to continue to build on the strong foundation that we already have.
No one can predict what the coming year will bring, but I am confident that we are going into it as strong as ever. I am convinced that if we work together, we can continue to be responsive to our members’ needs. I hope that you will become more engaged with TIA in the future and that you will support me in my efforts.