RESTON, Va. (Oct. 12, 2000)—The Tire Association of North America will induct three individuals into the Tire Industry Hall of Fame Oct. 31 during the International Tire Expo in Las Vegas.
The inductees are: T.O. Haas, founder of T.O. Haas Tire Co. in Lincoln, Neb.; Patrick W. Rooney, recently retired chairman and CEO of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.; and Lloyd Stoyer, former editor ofModern Tire Dealer magazine.
The three men will be honored as part of the TANA Annual Meeting and Hall of Fame Breakfast, sponsored by Goodyear, at which hockey great Wayne Gretzky will deliver the keynote address.
T.O. Haas, 85, founded the company that bears his name in 1945 in his home town of Lincoln and presided over its growth into one of the largest tire distributorships in the Midwest.
Though he retired more than 20 years ago, Mr. Haas retained the title of company chairman and remained visible in its stores, acting as a "goodwill ambassador."
When sold to Heafner Tire Group earlier this year, T.O. Haas Tire comprised 30 retail stores, one retread plant and four distribution centers covering nine states from Minnesota to Oklahoma. Mr. Haas´ son, Randy, serves as president of Heafner Tire Group´s T.O. Haas Division.
In recognition of the breadth and depth of his community involvement, Mr. Haas received Tire Business´ Tire Dealer Humanitarian Award in 1997.
Patrick W. Rooney, 65, retired this spring after 44 years with Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., the last five and one-half as chairman and CEO. Under his leadership the company nearly tripled in size, going from sales of $1.4 billion in 1994 to anticipated sales of nearly $4 billion this year.
During that time, the Findlay, Ohio-based tire maker expanded its international presence with the acquisition of Avon Tyres Ltd. in the United Kingdom, secured access to a premium tire brand through a strategic alliance with Pirelli S.p.A., and expanded its engineered products business to a size equivalent to its tire operations through the acquisition of Standard products Co. and Seibe Automotive.
Mr. Rooney joined Cooper in 1956 as a sales trainee, and move though a succession of increasingly responsible positions in sales and marketing before being named president of tire operations in February 1990. He was named chairman and CEO in October 1994.
In announcing his selection for the hall of fame, TANA also cited Mr. Rooney´s "consistent efforts to help the independent tire dealer."