BURNSVILLE, Minn.-What does a man who built his company on the foundation of teamwork do after winning a prestigious award? If it's Tires Plus Groupe owner Tom Gegax, he has the trophy re-engraved to make the words ``Tires Plus Groupe'' larger than his own name.
Mr. Gegax won the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by Inc. magazine, Ernst & Young L.L.P. and Merrill Lynch Business Financial Services, in the retail/wholesale di-vision for the region comprising Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.
He and his 62-store dealership will be judged against winners from 44 other regions. The national winners will be crowned at the annual Entrepreneur of the Year Institute convention in Palm Springs, Calif., Nov. 9-12.
To Mr. Gegax, finally winning the regional competition he had been nominated for in each of the past three years was affirmation that the marketing concept he started in 1976 is working-and accepted among other retailers.
``The most important thing to me was our goal was to be one of the top retailers in the region-not the top tire retailer, but the top retailer,'' he said. Competition in the contest crosses all retail fields.
Still, awards only go so far, Mr. Gegax said.
``The seeds of your success can be the seeds of your future failures,'' he said, noting he doesn't want the company to rest on its laurels.
Burnsville-based Tires Plus, which operates in five states and claims 30 percent of the Twin Cities market, expects its 1995 sales to top $86 million.