There may be merit to renaming the American Retreaders Association to more adequately reflect its increasingly international membership and widening scope of activities. Nevertheless, the association's board of directors should think twice before changing the name to such a nondescript designation as ``International Tire and Rubber Association.''
While the name ``American Retreaders Association'' has become too limited to cover the group's diverse membership and interests, the name ``International Tire and Rubber Association'' is too all-encompassing to be meaningful.
Rather than calling a special membership meeting to decide the issue, as the board has done, we think the matter should be discussed and put to a vote during the ARA's upcoming World Tire Conference & Exhibition in Louisville, Ky., April 17-20.
In its letter informing members of the special meeting April 8, the ARA board said it wanted to finalize adoption of the new name in time to incorporate it into the logo used at the World Tire Conference.
By doing so, however, the board also will avoid any dissent from ARA members who are unable or unwilling to make the necessary trip to Louisville-just 10 days before the conference opening.
While the proxy statement accompanying the ARA's March 8 letter allows those wishing to remain at home to appoint board members William Babek, Randy Drake and Michael Clark to vote in their stead, it provides no similar mechanism for objecting to the proposed change or suggesting an alternative name. Thus, members' only chance to vote contrary to the board's recommendation is to be present at the special meeting.
While the board's actions are well intentioned, the association should not be hasty in casting aside the name by which it was recognized for the past 32 years.
Otherwise, the Louisville-based organization could find itself saddled with a name it considers even less satisfactory than the one it has now.