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TIA Announces 2008 Hall of Fame Inductees

Former TIA president Larry Morgan, long-time ARA president Terry Westhafer, retired Groupe Michelin managing partner Francois Michelin and Esco Tire Co. founder Joe Esco are the 2008 inductees to the Tire Industry Hall of Fame.


Morgan, currently CEO of Morgan Auto Group and chairman emeritus of Morgan Tire & Auto, was chosen for his 43 years of service to the tire industry, which includes his tenure as CEO of Merchant’s Tire, where he grew the chain from eight stores to 137 stores. He also grew Tires Plus into a 600-store chain in 27 states with annual sales of $1 billion.
Westhafer, president and general manager of Central Tire Corp. in Verona, Va., and a 46-year history in the tire industry, was chosen for many years of service to various tire organizations, including TIA, the American Retreaders Association (where he was a former president), the International Tire and Rubber Association, the Tire Retread Information Bureau, and the Virginia Automotive Association. He has also been very active in state and federal study committees on a number of issues relating to tires, including work with the Virginia State Police on the source of tire scraps on highways.
Michelin and Esco were chosen for induction as Historical Contributors. Michelin served as managing general partner of Groupe Michelin. In addition to running Esco Tire, based in Oklahoma City, Esco served as president of the National Tire Retread Dealers Association (a forerunner to TIA).
Additionally, TIA’s 2008 Friend of the Industry Award recipient is Harold Herzlich, president of Herzlich Consulting in Las Vegas. The award recognizes well-known individuals who are allies and proven supporters of the tire industry.

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The Hall of Fame inductions will take place during TIA’s Breakfast with the President during the upcoming SEMA Show. The event will be held Nov. 4 from 6:45 to 9 a.m. at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Tickets for the event are $35 and are available online at (Tire Review/Akron) 

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