The Tire Industry Association (TIA) honored its latest Hall of Fame inductees and awarded other industry leaders at its Tire Industry Honors Awards Ceremony hosted at Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Oct. 31, prior to the start of the Global Tire Expo/SEMA Show from Nov. 1-4.
Tire Review Editor Madeleine Winer recognized Telle Tire & Auto Centers as this year’s Top Shop Award Winner, highlighting the business’s rich customer experience, welcoming and engaging company culture, expertise in the market and expansive growth. Aaron Telle, a fourth-generation tire dealer and the company’s president and CEO, thanked the tireless efforts of his team and reflected on the company’s 80-year history in his speech.
TIA’s Hall of Fame Committee selected four inductees who were honored at Monday’s night event: Larry Day – chairman, president and CEO of TBC Corp. (deceased); Christine Karbowiak – chief administrative officer, chief risk officer, executive vice president at Bridgestone Americas; Joe DePaolis, CEO and president of Johnny Antonelli Tire Company (decesed); and Robert William Thomson – inventor of the pneumatic tire (deceased).
Day spent nearly his entire career in the tire industry working for several companies before moving into senior leadership roles with Monro Muffler & Brake and then TBC, where he spent 16 years before retiring as president, CEO and chairman in 2014. While at TBC, Day re-engineered the firm from a national distribution company to a fully integrated tire marketer, TIA says. Under his leadership, TBC acquired Midas International, which markets automotive services and tires through 2,000 franchisees.
Karbowiak worked for Bridgestone for more than 25 years, as a leader in its Americas business unit and as part of its Global Executive Committee (G-ExCo), a small group of global leaders who comprise the highest level of Bridgestone’s operational management. Karbowiak helped create Bridgestone’s Corporate and Social Responsibility platform and elevated the company to become more global in thought and practice. Through numerous board roles, she helped support and elevate women within the tire industry, TIA says.
DePaolis made his mark in the tire industry by turning a small three-outlet retail tire dealership in western New York into one of the largest independent tire dealerships in the U.S. at the time, TIA says. DePaolis joined Johnny Antonelli Tire Company in Rochester, New York, as vice president and general manager in 1968 and grew the retail tire organization to 28 stores by 1989, making it the 21st largest independent tire chain in the U.S. He also considered automotive service a necessity to tire dealers. One of his hallmarks for tire wholesaling was two-a-day deliveries.
Robert William Thomson was also inducted into the Tire Industry Hall of fame. In 1845, Thomson invented the aerial wheel or pneumatic tire. This came only six years after vulcanization was discovered. Thomson was awarded the United Kingdom patent, 10990, for his tire in 1845, followed by the French patent in 1846 and the U.S. patent, 5104, in 1847. Thomson tested his tire in the streets and parks of London and conducted experiments around side slip and skidding, TIA says. He determined how loads could be drawn, motion maintained and noise reduced. TIA says Thomson was never awarded full credit for the invention of the pneumatic tire.
The Hall of Fame inductees were not the only ones honored, as TIA also presented the Ed Wagner Leadership Award to the 2022 honoree. Dr. Redmond “Red” Clark, president of Asphalt Plus, is a longtime supporter of using rubber-modified asphalt on roads and has done extensive research in this field as well assisted various state departments of transportation to revise their specifications to include rubber. His company has worked with contractors to pave many roads using rubber-modified asphalt. During his career, he has had more than 300 publications and presentations to his credit, TIA says.