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PHOTO GALLERY: NATRE kicks off in New Orleans

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NEW ORLEANS—The North American Tire & Retread Expo kicked off April 19 at the Ernest Morial Convention Center with true New Orleans flavor.

Guests attending the expo on the first day were treated to the sounds of a brass band and could indulge in a sweet slice of cake, served in honor of Bridgestone's Bandag brand's 60th anniversary.

Prior to the expo’s opening, guests heard from industry leaders including Joseph Saoud, president of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations' truck, bus and retread tire operations, who presented the event’s keynote speech. In doing so, he provided insight into the changing commercial tire landscape.

Other speakers on the schedule April 19 were Ask Patty.com CEO Jody DeVere; Paul Dvorak, CEO, America Industrial Tire Corp.; Mike Hudgins, director of sales, Mighty Auto Parts; and Alexei Nicolini, president & CEO, Budini Inc.

The evening concluded with a networking party at B.B. King's Blues Club in New Orleans.

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