NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Pauline Chambers Yost, owner of Tech International, became the first woman inducted into the International Tire Retreading and Repairing Hall of Fame June 9. Garland Duke Jr., founder of Air-Treads Inc., joined her as an inductee.
These two, along with winners of the ITRA's Industry Leadership, Pioneer and Friend of the Industry awards, were honored during the ITRA awards banquet at Nashville's Opryland Hotel.
``I love men and money. Those are my two goals in life, and I've accomplished both,'' Mrs. Yost said, in accepting her award before a crowd of 370.
People need a purpose in life, she added. ``My true purpose is to give em-ployment for those who want to work,'' she said. ``If you find true purpose, you will find inner peace and love your work.''
Early on with the company, Mrs. Yost, a trained hairdresser, worked alongside her late husband, Frank Chambers. Following his death in 1972, she took charge of the business. Under her guidance, privately held Tech has become the world's largest producer of tire repair and related materials.
Mr. Duke began his tire industry career in 1954 working in sales and retreading at his father's business, Duke Tire Co., in Atlanta.
Six years later he founded Den-Air of Atlanta Inc. and began retreading tires for commercial airlines and the U.S. Air Force.
In 1965, five Den-Air franchised retread plants merged to form Air Treads Inc., which grew to become the world's largest independent aircraft tire retreading firm.
Mr. Duke sold the business to Goodyear in 1984, remaining chairman until retiring four years later.
In 1985, the ITRA honored Mr. Duke with the Industry Leadership Award for overall leadership and innovation for products and services to foster and promote the international transportation industry.
This year, the ITRA named three leadership award winners—George Bishop and Vicencio Paludo, in retreading and repair, Tiffany Hughes, in tire and rubber recycling.
Mr. Bishop joined the New York Pang organization in 1955. Four years later he became partner and executive vice president.
Pang, a pioneer in chemical vulcanization, purchased the Truflex factory in Los Angeles in 1964 and named Mr. Bishop to head the new organization. Under his leadership, Truflex Pang grew into a global tire repair company.
In 1996, Mr. Bishop became the firm's majority stockholder and president and CEO. He sold the company to Tech in 1998.
Mr. Paludo, president of Borrachas Vipal S/A in Brazil, founded the company in the 1960s to supply lower cost tire repairs to that country.
Today, Vipal is known worldwide for supplying its customers with retread and repair materials that are safe, durable and of the highest quality, the ITRA said.
Ms. Hughes has taken a leading role in tire and rubber recycling, helping to advance the awareness and viability of the industry on the local, state and national levels.
She entered tire recycling in 1993 when she joined American Rubber Technologies Inc. A year later, she became vice president of marketing.
The Pioneer Award, given to individuals or companies that have developed or implemented products and services for the international transportation industry, went to retread equipment supplier Matteuzzi s.r.l. and crumb rubber pioneer Bob Winters.
Matteuzzi was founded in 1956 by the late Giulio Matteuzzi. Following Mr. Matteuzzi's death in 1971, his sons, Claudio and Emilio, continued the business. Today, the firm is considered a leader in computerized tire-buffing technology.
Mr. Winters is a founding member of the Asphalt Rubber Producers Group and CEO of Atlos Rubber Inc., a tire processor, hauler and crumb rubber producer.
Among his innovations are the practical and commercial applications of the ``McDonald Wet Process'' for asphalt rubber pre-reacted compositions.
The Friend of the Industry Award, given to proven allies of the international transportation industry, went to Roy Littlefield, ITRA government relations director, and Paul Ruesch of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Mr. Littlefield has represented tire dealers and retreaders since 1979 and most recently was instrumental in the passage of TEA21, which reauthorized funding for the federal highway system. He has worked to halt efforts to repeal the federal excise tax on truck tires and was involved in legislation to eliminate the excise tax on tread rubber.
Mr. Ruesch is recognized as ``an enthusiast whose supportive influence is attracting notice and appreciation from the tire and rubber recycling industry,'' the ITRA said.