The nominations are in; the judges have voted; and the late Lawrence P. Anderson of L.P. Anderson Supply Co., a tire dealership in Miles City, Mont., has been named the recipient of the first TIRE BUSINESS Tire Dealer Humanitarian Award. Telling Mr. Anderson's daughter, Sandra, and his business associate, Sam Ohnstad, of this fact has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my 10 years in the tire industry.
They were overjoyed and truly touched at learning of his selection and will be on hand, along with Mr. Anderson's other daughter, Marilynn, to accept the award when it is presented Sept. 8 during the Awards Banquet at the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association convention in Dallas.
I never met Mr. Anderson, who died April 19. But I wish I had. From all accounts, he was quite a tire dealer, having built a line of successful businesses, including what grew to be four tire outlets, despite little formal education. Yet, he never lost sight of the importance of giving back to his community and to others less fortunate.
His good deeds, which are legendary in southeast Montana, are told on page one of this issue. They symbolize what it means to be a successful small independent business man or woman. It means more than job creation and a healthy bottom line, although they are essential. It also means giving back to the community and making it a better place in which to live.
Mr. Anderson did that, and that's why we are honoring him.
We created the Tire Dealer Humanitarian Award to recognize such accomplishments among independent dealers and retreaders. The size of a business was purposely not part of our criteria.
This first award drew 21 well-qualified nominations. The judges, who included the executive director of The Volunteer Center in Akron, a retired judge and a practicing attorney, told me they had a tough time deciding on a single recipient.
Symbolizing the award is a bronze medal, designed and sculpted especially for TIRE BUSINESS. It is substantial in size and weight and features two hands-one reaching to help the other-to represent the spirit of giving. We will present one annually to each recipient of the honor.
The award also carries a $1,000 donation to the charity of the winner's choice. Sandra Anderson asked that a check be sent to the Miles City Chapter of Future Farmers of America, which, among other objectives, helps prepare young people for careers in farming.
I get the feeling Mr. Anderson would have been proud to be remembered as a humanitarian. He certainly led his life that way and set a high standard for others in our industry to follow.
Mr. Zielasko is editor of TIRE BUSINESS.