Western. Auto exec. to head Tire Kingdom RIVIERA BEACH, Fla.—James F. Wright, former executive vice president of stores for Western Auto Supply Co., has joined the 147-outlet Tire Kingdom dealership as president and CEO.
Mr. Wright succeeds Thomas Garvey, the dealership's chief financial officer, who took the helm on an interim basis following the retirement last August of Tire Kingdom founder Chuck Curcio. Mr. Garvey will resume his role as CFO.
At Western Auto, a Sears, Roebuck and Co. division, Mr. Wright was in charge of operating more than 600 stores in the U.S. and Caribbean.
Fire burns Michelin warehouse in MD.
HANOVER, Md.—A four-alarm fire April 28 at the Michelin North America distribution center in Hanover burned 1,000 tires of the 500,000-tire inventory and damaged the roof of the complex.
The fire was contained to a 30-by-40-ft. area and all 39
workers were evacuated. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
A Michelin spokesman said the warehouse resumed shipping tires the next day and was back up to full operation in two days. The roof damage has since been repaired.
PBTG taps Dominguez as executive director
CLEARWATER, Fla.—The Private Brand Tire Group has named Don Dominguez to the newly created position of executive director.
Mr. Dominguez had resigned as executive director of Sonic U.S. distributor group in January after its headquarters was moved from Florida to St. Peters, Mo.
He said he will pursue group purchasing possibilities with a variety of suppliers and insurance companies, as well as work on establishing a group credit card program.
The PBTG headquarters has relocated to 2700 Cove Cay Dr., Suite 1A, Clearwater, Fla. 34620; (813) 530-5090.
NTDRA to relocate offices by Labor Day
WASHINGTON—The National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association will be in its new suburban Virginia quarters by Labor Day, according to NTDRA Executive Vice President David Poisson.
The association has narrowed its office search to two locations, in Reston and Herndon, Va. ``Whoever gives us the best financial deal'' will determine the final choice, according to Mr. Poisson.
The NTDRA's current headquarters, which it has occupied for more than a decade, is in Washington, D.C.
SBA sets $500,000 loan-cap 'til Oct.
WASHINGTON—To deal with an expected shortfall in funds, the Small Business Administration is putting a cap of $500,000 on small business loan applications received from May 5 to Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.
The SBA has $7.8 billion in funds available for loans this year under its Section 7(a) program, an agency spokesman said.
But the agency estimates it will need $9 billion to $9.5 billion to meet loan demand, based on current applications, unless it places a cap on loan amounts.
This is the second time the SBA has placed an upper limit on loans, the spokesman said.
EcoTyre retreads get OK for public vehicles
HOLTSVILLE, N.Y.—The U.S. Department of Transportation for District 11 has approved EcoTyre Technologies Inc.'s load ratings for its retreaded passenger tires.
The approval opens the door for EcoTyre to produce and sell tires for all public passenger vehicles, including mini-buses, school buses, limousines, taxi cabs and ambulances, in the New York City metropolitan area.
EcoTyre President and CEO Vito Alongi said the approval sets precedence for entry into other metro markets.
He expects demand in the New York metro market to generate about $1.5 million to $2 million annually for the company.
Chemist group honors aquatred researcher
ANAHEIM, Calif.—The Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society bestowed its highest tribute to scientific achievement, the 1997 Charles Goodyear Award, to Dr. Adel Halasa.
A research and development fellow at Goodyear, he invented the specialty polymer used in Goodyear's Aquatred wet-traction tire.
TRIB offers video on tire inspections
PACIFIC GROVE, Calif.—The Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB) has produced a new video to help trucking companies and drivers maximize tire performance and reduce downtime caused by tire failures.
The seven-minute video, ``Pre-trip inspection to maximize tire performance,'' is available free to trucking companies, government fleets and environmental agencies; there is a $15 charge to all others.
To order, contact TRIB, 900 Weldon Grove, Pacific Grove, Calif. 93950; (408) 372-1917 or (888) 473-8732.