The Tire Industry Association celebrated its 100th anniversary in style with a private reception and program at the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas during this year’s SEMA show. The centennial festivities began with a cocktail reception and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a program recalling the association’s iconic history and speeches by TIA’s leadership.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced TIA to celebrate its 100th anniversary in its 101st year of existence, however, there were two conventions held in 1921 and no conventions held in 1933 and 2020, making this year’s Global Tire Expo the group’s 100th convention.
Brian Rigney opened the program by recalling the full history of the association, from its beginnings when it was known as the National Tire Dealers’ Association to today.
“Whether it be legislation or legal challenges, TIA has stood up for the rights and protections of the independent tire dealers and retreated time and again,” Rigney said. “Today, the association is on solid footing with record membership totals and a solid balance sheet. Our performance remains guided by a clear understanding that allows us to play off one another’s strengths and to arrive at a course of action to which the good of the association is the singular priority.”
President Mason Hess gave a short speech remotely, and Immediate Past President Dan Nothdurft detailed some of the organization’s recent accomplishments, including the creation of an internship task force focused on helping students in high school learn to become automotive technicians.
Roy Littlefield III also presented his farewell address to attendees, explaining how his position as CEO of TIA allowed him to combine his love for the tire industry with his experience in Washington, D.C., and how today the industry stands better than ever.
“I’m proud to say that we were better prepared for the pandemic than most associations. We have more members today than at any point in our history. We have more financial security than at any point in the last five years. We have the best and most extensive training in the industry. TIA will continue to thrive and prosper because the board, the staff, the officers and the members deeply care about this association,” he said. “These truly were the greatest years of my life.”
The event also featured a motivational speech by Vietnam war veteran and four-time Super Bowl champion (Steelers) Rocky Bleier, sponsored by Goodyear, as well as musical entertainment by award-winning singer-songwriters Lori McKenna and Tom Douglas, sponsored by Bridgestone Americas Inc.