FINDLAY, Ohio (Sept. 27, 2001) — Thirty-five-year tire industry veteran Don Helker has joined Hercules Tire & Rubber Co. as its southeast region sales manager.
Mr. Helker, 57, started his new position Sept. 1 with the Findlay-based company and will work from his home base in Greenwood, S.C. Last March he left his position as vice president of sales and marketing with Del-Nat Tire Corp. in order to move closer to his family in South Carolina. During his nine-year stint with Del-Nat, he saw the private brand marketing cooperative grow from 20 stockholders to its current 74.
After Hercules CEO Craig Anderson and Steve Buck, vice president of the tire division, created the new position of sales manager for the southeast region, the company said it “seemed only natural that they bring Don on board.” Mr. Helker said he knows the southeast region very well and promised he'll be “pounding on a lot of doors” to solicit new customers.
In an April interview with Tire Business, he said he had worked hard at Del-Nat to create a place where dealers felt they were doing business with friends, rather than an impersonal corporation.
Private brands marketed by Hercules include Merit, Hercules, Electra, RoadPro, Signet, Marshal and Nexen. Earlier this year the company sold the assets of its retreading operation to its Findlay neighbor, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.