After an eight-month search, the Tire Industry Association (TIA) has selected former board member, 2005 association president and industry executive Richard “Dick” Gust, as CEO, effective Jan 1.
Gust, who chairs the association’s Environmental Advisory Council, will replace current CEO Roy Littlefield III, who is retiring after 18 years in the position and 42 years overall with the association and its predecessor organizations.
“We are pleased with the selection of Dick as the next chief executive of TIA,” said TIA President Dan Nothdurft, who led the CEO search. “He brings an extensive background to the position including more than 25 years of volunteer service with TIA and other industry organizations, in addition to a successful private-sector career. We are confident he will continue the tremendous growth experienced by the organization during Roy Littlefield’s tenure.”
Gust will join TIA from Liberty Tire Recycling, where he serves as director of government affairs and president of national account sales. He is well known in the scrap tire field and previously served as president of Lakin Environmental Industries overseeing operations involving tire retreading, remanufacturing, scrap tire collections and scrap tire processing, TIA said.
The incoming TIA CEO began his tire industry career as a tire design engineer with Uniroyal Tire Co. (now part of Michelin) and later moved into managerial positions in tire production, quality control, product development and product testing, TIA said. He later joined Sears, Roebuck and Co. as a tire engineering liaison between Sears buyers and their various tire suppliers before moving to Lakin Environmental.
Gust’s association involvement includes working with the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association, the American Retreaders Association, the Tire Association of North America (TANA) and the International Tire & Rubber Association (ITRA). TIA said he was instrumental in the negotiations leading to the merger between ITRA and TANA in 2002 that created TIA.
Gust has been a frequent industry speaker and has been invited to share his industry experience with various federal and state agencies, TIA said. Earlier this year, he was appointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Environmental Technologies Trade Advisory Committee as a representative of TIA and of the Waste Management & Recycling segment of the U.S. environmental technology industry.
Gust is a recent past chair of TIA’s government affairs committee, where he worked extensively on public policy issues affecting the tire industry. In 2016, he was inducted into the Tire Industry Hall of Fame.
“I am both humbled and excited to be selected as the next TIA CEO,” Gust said. “As we begin the association’s second hundred years, we will build on TIA’s solid history of industry leadership, look to develop additional innovative programs to increase tire safety, remain a strong advocate for our members at all levels of government and keep pace with innovation. Roy Littlefield and the TIA staff have created a solid foundation on which to build, and fresh ideas from our board of directors will ensure valuable benefits for our members for years to come.”
Gust will work out of TIA’s Bowie office, TIA said.