AKRON (June 9, 2014) —Tire dealers and auto service shop employees, especially those under the age of 40, will have an opportunity to discuss issues relevant to their position at a “Young Tire Dealers Panel” at this year’s International Tire Exhibition & Conference (ITEC) show for tire dealers/automotive service personnel.
Moderated by Jeff Wallick, director of training and development for K&M Tire Inc., a regional wholesaler based in Delphos, Ohio, the panel will delve into the challenges and opportunities of a young person working at an independent tire dealership or in the industry.
The session will include plenty of time for a give and take between the panelists and the audience.
This year’s ITEC – Tire Dealers/Auto Service show will take place Aug. 20-22 in Orlando, Fla.
Mr. Wallick, a 2009 graduate of Ohio University, has industry experience in the retail, wholesale, commercial and manufacturer segments.
He has assembled a diverse group of panelists, including:
* Ross Kogel Jr., president of Tire Wholesalers Inc., in Troy, Mich. Mr. Kogel Jr. is the second generation to work in his family’s tire distributor business, which was founded by his father Ross Kogel Sr.
* Jay Christman, Midwest regional sales manager for Alliance Tire Americas Inc. Mr. Christman began his tire industry career as an inside sales representative for K&M Tire in 2008 just as the company was going through a period of growth and acquisitions. This enabled him to learn many parts of the business faster than expected. At K&M he also worked in outside sales and later became national commercial and agricultural tire manager.
* Sean McDermaid, national sales manager, U.S. dealer channel for Continental Tire the Americas. Mr. McDermaid joined Continental in 2007 as an area dealer manager in Florida, Puerto Rico and Georgia for the PLT tire replacement division. He later became regional manager Southeast PLT replacement before moving to his current position in 2012.
* Cameron Stephens, vice president of his family’s tire business, SM Tire, based in Santa Maria, Calif. The dealership operates four commercial and two retail stores and a Bandag retread plant. Mr. Stephens serves on Goodyear’s Southern California Advisory Board and is part of Goodyear’s Next Generation Group consisting of family members in a family-owned tire business who have been identified as potential future dealer principals.
* Justin Garzolini, general manager at Garzo Tire, his family’s OTR and agricultural tire business in Terre Haute, Ind. Mr. Garzolini began his industry career at age 15 checking tires in a coal mine for his family’s business. He has worked in store management, commercial sales, OTR service and service management.
* Sherry Clay Marco, past president of Jeff Clay & Sons Tires, a family-owned tire dealership in Kissimmee, Fla. Ms. Marco joined Clay & Sons Tires in 1982 and became president in 1989. She continued in that position until 2001 when he sold her interest in the dealership to her three brothers. Today, Ms. Marco serves as a mentor to her youngest brother, who continues to run a much smaller tire operation.
The 2014 ITEC – Tire Dealers/Auto Service show will be held at the Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel in Orlando. It features 45 seminars and 10 panel presentations on subjects of interest to independent tire dealers and automotive service professionals.
The event includes a trade show and a networking cocktail reception sponsored by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. Cost to attend all three days of the conference is $65. To register, visit itec-tireshow.com.