NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Marvin Bozarth, executive director of the International Tire & Rubber Association since 1991, has told the ITRA board he wants to be relieved at year's end from full-time duties as the group's top administrative official.
Mr. Bozarth, 64, made his wishes known at the World ITRA Expo in Nashville, April 19-21. Contacted at the group's Louisville, Ky., headquarters following the gathering, Mr. Bozarth declined to elaborate on his plans other than to say that neither he nor ITRA's elected leadership had determined what his association role will be after the first of next year.
ITRA's newly elected president, Thomas Raben of Raben Tire Co. in Evansville, Ind., said Mr. Bozarth ``wants to slow down some,'' but the association would like him to stay on in some capacity.
``We have known for some time that Marvin has wanted to step down,'' Mr. Raben said. ``This wasn't any spur of the moment thing. It wasn't like a bombshell that he dropped. He just needed to give us official notice.''
Mr. Raben said the group has organized a search committee, headed by former ITRA president M. Terry Westhafer of Central Tire Corp. in Verona, Va., to locate Mr. Bozarth's replacement.
Mr. Raben described ITRA's popular executive director as ``a peach of a guy who's really solid in our industry'' and who continues to have an excellent relationship with the association. ``I wish we could clone him.''
He said Mr. Bozarth told the group's board of directors he is interested in staying involved with the association. ``I, for one, have a great desire to see him stay involved,'' Mr. Raben said.
``He (Mr. Bozarth) doesn't want to be in the capacity of full-time executive director running the day-to-day affairs of the association,'' Mr. Raben added. Nevertheless, ``there's a ton of things we could use Marvin's services for.''
ITRA's role is widening beyond that of serving retreaders alone, Mr. Raben said, to serving the commercial tire business as a whole, including providing such services as the training and certifying of commercial tire technicians. And those are things that are hard for an individual company to provide on its own, he said.