I hope you've noticed in the past few issues of TIRE BUSINESS a page headlined, Tire Dealer Humanitarian Award. It's a new honor we've created to herald the good deeds and public service work independent tire dealers and retreaders are performing in their communities.
I'm excited about this award because it recognizes something positive, and often overlooked, about independent tire dealers-their desire to give something back to society.
It's also an award not tied to the success or size of a dealer's business. You don't have to be big, powerful and profitable to make a difference in your community. As the popular Nike slogan says, you just have to ``do it.''
And many dealers are. In our most recent issue, for example, we wrote about Gary Kirk, owner of Kirk's Tires Ltd., in Lethbridge, Alberta, who has raised $140,000 for local charities over the years thanks to several benefit concerts performed by his friend, Las Vegas entertainer Wayne Newton.
We also featured a dealer in Van Nuys, Calif., who decided to clean up the blight that had infested his neighborhood.
Using his own money and putting in countless hours, Philip ``Flip'' Smith of Flip's Tire Center organized 250 local businesses to attack the graffiti, crime, prostitution and drug traffic plaguing their market area.
It's made a difference. The streets are cleaner and safer. A sense of pride has replaced the apathy and fear that previously gripped the area.
Taken singularly, the efforts of Messrs. Kirk and Smith don't significantly impact the overwhelming problems facing the U.S. and Canada.
Crime, poverty, homelessness, gangs, illiteracy, unemployment, disease, drugs. You know what they are. All you have to do is pick up your daily newspaper or watch the 6 o'clock news to hear about them. They are growing problems affecting every community across the continent.
But efforts like Mr. Kirk's and Mr. Smith's are making a difference and-repeated over-and-over in communities everywhere-they can and do impact the whole.
Today, the success of a business seems to center on how much money it makes. But I believe success should be measured as well by how a company meets its social obligations.
Certainly a business' No. 1 mission is to make a profit. But once that's achieved on a regular basis, it has a responsibility to reinvest in the community that supported and helped make it a success in the first place.
I'm certain successful independent tire dealers throughout the U.S. and Canada are doing just that-giving back to their communities in their own way and without fanfare.
The Tire Dealer Humanitarian Award will recognize the efforts of these individuals and others who are volunteering their services for the betterment of those around them.
Nominations are open to any independent dealer or retreader in North America. Dealers can nominate themselves or someone else for the award.
An entry form and instructions are printed on page 37 of this issue and will be published in upcoming editions. Entry deadline is May 31, 1994.
A committee outside the tire industry will review the nominations and select the winner.
The winning dealer or retreader will be honored in September at the National Tire Dealer's & Retreaders Association convention and trade show in Dallas.
In addition to receiving the Tire Dealer Humanitarian Award medal, TIRE BUSINESS will donate $1,000 in the winner's name to the charity of his or her choice.
So how about it? Are you doing something worthy of recognition? Do you know of a tire dealer or retreader making a difference in his or her community? If so, let's hear from you.
Mr. Zielasko is editor of TIRE BUSINESS.