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TIA announces the 2018 Hall of Fame and Ed Wagner Leadership Award honourees

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The Tire Industry Association (TIA), a leader in tire safety and education, is pleased to announce the names of the honourees for the 2018 Hall of Fame and Ed Wagner Leadership Award. The inductions will take place at the Tire Industry Honors Awards Ceremony on Monday, October 29th at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel.

The 2018 Hall of Fame honourees are:

Bob Majewski, president, Sumerel Tire Service, Inc.
Arvind Poddar, chairman and managing director, Balkrishna Industries Ltd.

The 2018 Ed Wagner Leadership Award honourees are:

Mike Baggett, retired, Yokohama Tire Corporation
Freda Pratt-Boyer, senior auditor, Purcell Tire Company

The Hall of Fame Award is the Tire Industry Association's highest honour that recognizes individuals who have made a significant impact within the tire, rubber and transportation industries. The Ed Wagner Leadership Award is presented to individuals or companies that demonstrate leadership or innovation in products and services that foster and promote the tire, retreading and/or tire recycling industries.

"We are pleased to introduce our new class of exceptional industry leaders as recipients for the Hall of Fame and Ed Wagner Leadership Award," said Roy Littlefield, executive vice president of the Tire Industry Association. "On behalf of TIA, we extend our congratulations and are honoured to recognize these amazing individuals that have proven themselves as key industry influencers. We look forward to having them join us in Vegas on Monday, October 29th."

2018 Hall of Fame honourees

Bob Majewski – president, Sumerel Tire Service, Inc.

Bob Majewski has been in the retread business for more than 50 years. He started in the retread plant at an independent, family owned business, graduated from Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics, and then made a name for himself on a national scale with Mohawk Rubber, Hercules and the ARA. Bob's efforts to establish retread training during his tenure at ARA set the stage for the next revolution in retreading. Without his contributions to the ARA, countless independent retreaders would have had a competitive disadvantage when going up against the major rubber companies. Bob Majewski played a major role in preserving independence of the independent retreader. In late 1994, Bob became part owner and Vice President of Sumerel Tire Service, in Newport, Kentucky, and responsible for manufacturing, operations, and marketing for their mold cure remanufactured tires called the Acutread Segmented Mold Cure Process, which he designed. In 2002, Bob became President of Sumerel Tire Service, a position he held for 13 years and has now formed a steering committee that runs Sumerel Tire planning the next transition. His continued involvement on industry committees and organizations ensures that his wealth of knowledge and experience contributes to the overall image and success of retreading.

Arvind Poddar – chairman and managing director, Balkrishna Industries, Ltd.

Arvind Poddar began his career at BKT in early 2000 and immediately sought to take the company forward and make it profitable. He saw that a complete change in the company's model must happen. Arvind decided to enter the OTR market with a vision to make BKT a global player. With over 93 percent of the production being exported to markets in over 130 countries, BKT experienced remarkable growth in terms of revenue and profits and became the star company for the investors and shareholders. After the shortage of the large OTR in 2011, Arvind ventured into expanding production into large OTR tires which required sizable investment of $500+ million, which was equal to the total net worth of the company. With that, came the most sophisticated Bhuj plant with installed capacity of all three BKT plants combined. BKT filled the needs of the market and sustained the OTR consumers with a quality product of value in terms of cost/hour or cost/mile. The BKT product became the quality product of choice and became best sales rep for the company. BKT now enjoys 6 percent share of the world OTR market and with a turnover close to USA 1 billion. Under Arvind's leadership, the BKT tires demand has kept pace with the production increase.

2018 Ed Wagner Leadership Award recipients

Mike Baggett – retired, Yokohama Tire Corporation

Mike Baggett began his career in the tire industry 46 years ago serving the OTR Tire industry in all facets of the business. He has owned an OTR dealership and worked for three major tire manufactures. Mike was instrumental in the introduction of the Giant Radial Tire to the mining industry, as well worked on the development of one of the first OTR Tracking systems, and a second one in his current position at Yokohama. Mike has been a proven leader holding top level executive positions with major corporations such as Bridgestone Firestone, Michelin (TCI), Cobre Tire, and Yokohama Tire Corporation USA. He has also been involved in the OTR retread business both as owner of Southern Tire and later on with Bridgestone and Cobre Tire. Mike retired from Yokomaha Tire Corporation in April 2017.

Freda Pratt-Boyer – senior auditor, Purcell Tire & Rubber Company

Freda Pratt-Boyer began her career in the tire industry over 45 years ago with Purcell Tire & Rubber Company. Over the course of her career, Freda has worked in retail, commercial, retread plant and wholesale distribution centres in managerial positions. She has served as operations manager, region manager, and now as senior auditor for Purcell. These years of service have given her the opportunity to become a leader in the industry and are proof of her determination and ability to promote and advance the standards of the tire industry. Freda is a former member of the TIA board of directors and is also the second woman to serve as board president. She is a decisive manager who vigorously promotes education, training and customer service to all levels of the tire industry.

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