ORLANDO, Fla.-Kelly-Springfield Tire Co.'s independent tire dealers surprised the tire maker March 10 with a special plaque recognizing the company's centennial anniversary. Bill Short of Leininger and Short Inc. in Ontario, Calif., along with a committee of representatives from some of the oldest Kelly-Springfield dealerships in the nation, presented the award to Kelly officials during the Kelly-brand national dealer conference in Orlando.
The names of all active Kelly dealerships in the nation-more than 700 in all-appear on the wooden plaque, which was paid for by dealer donations.
Mr. Short, who initiated the idea for the award, said he felt Kelly deserved ``a lot of recognition for being the oldest tire company in America.''
Pictured above, from left, are: Cecil Budd of Cecil Budd Tire Co., Siler City, N.C., a Kelly dealer for 50 years; Don Salyers, Kelly's vice president of sales and marketing; Melvin Engle of Engle Tire, Providence, R.I., 61 years; Dave Emans, of Easter Tire Co., Lima, Ohio, 42 years; Rich Gibbons, vice president of Kelly brand sales; Fred Allen of Allen Tire Co., Lakewood, Calif.; Jim Wochinski of Pomp's Tire Service Inc., Greenbay, Wis., 49 years; Floyd Shelton of Kelly Tire Service Inc., Amarillo, Texas, 62 years; Lee Fiedler, president of Kelly; and Mr. Short of Leininger and Short, 62 years.
In accepting the dealer plaque on behalf of the company, Mr. Fiedler said it would be placed in Kelly's new museum, which the company opened this year in honor of its 100 years in business.