WENTZVILLE, Mo. (May 16, 2014) — Lou Fontana, a 20-year veteran of Hercules Tire & Rubber Co., has been named the new president of SURE Tire Co., replacing Patrick McLaughlin, who is retiring as president.
John Casey, chairman of Wentzville-based SURE Tire, made the announcement, welcoming Mr. Fontana to the company while noting “his valued experience and enthusiasm will lead our SURE Tire group to new heights.”
Among positions he held with Hercules, Mr. Fontana told Tire Business he spent time in various areas of logistics and supply chain management, with the most recent position as vice president of purchasing. Prior to that he also served as the director of sales for the company’s northeast U.S. region.
Before joining Hercules he spent two years at Frigidaire Appliance Co. in materials management and 7 1/2 years with Rockwell International Corp. in information technology and materials management.
Mr. Fontana said he grew up in western Pennsylvania and graduated from Penn State in 1985 with a degree in MIS. He can be reached via email at Lou@suretire.com.
Mr. McLaughlin, 66, has been president of SURE Tire since 2002 and was named a director in 2006. He continues as a director.
Mr. McLaughlin looks back on a 45-year career in the tire industry, starting in 1969 with Montgomery Ward. He moved to B.F. Goodrich in 1972 and to Goodyear's Kelly-Springfield business in 1976, where he stayed until 2000, moving to Ben Tire Distributors.
Asked for comment on his retirement, Mr. McLaughlin said: "I have always enjoyed the challenges the tire industry presents, but most importantly I have enjoyed serving the great dealers and distributors I have met along the way."
As for what retirement will offer? "Plans are pending, but a fishing pole is somewhere in that plan."