RESTON, Va.- Ballots asking members of the Tire Association of North America and the International Tire & Rubber Association to vote on the proposed merger of the two groups went into the mail Jan. 15.
``We hope everyone gets out and votes,'' said Ross Kogel, executive vice president of TANA and interim executive vice president of ITRA.
For the proposed merger to go forward, two-thirds of those voting must approve the plan, he said. Ballots must be returned by Jan. 31.
``I think it's crucial that as many members of both organizations participate in this vote as possible,'' Mr. Kogel said. ``It's crucial for folks to have a say in the future of the organization and to participate in the most important vote in our respective organizations' histories.''
Should their members OK the merger, the two associations would be combined into one national association effective July 1. The combined group, which has yet to be named, will maintain TANA's headquarters in Reston and ITRA's in Louisville, Ky., for the time being.
Assuming the merger goes through, the combined groups will have a new name. Just what that name will be, however, depends on the groups' members.
To come up with the new moniker, ITRA and TANA are holding a contest to name the new association. Members of both organizations have until Jan. 31 to submit potential names, after which the leadership of the combined association will select the winning entry.
The individual submitting the winning name will receive a five-night stay at the Aladdin Hotel during the 2002 International Tire Expo, Nov. 4-7 in Las Vegas. If more than one member submits the winning name, those entries will be placed in drawing to determine the prize winner, said TANA President Steve Disney.
Members of TANA and ITRA will receive information about the contest in January, the associations said.
``This contest will help our members become involved in the merger process,'' said ITRA President Tom Raben. ``It will heighten awareness of the merger, the upcoming name change and help the leadership consider all potential names for the organization.''
TANA and ITRA officials on Oct. 30 announced plans to merge the two groups after 21/2 years of negotiations. Should the merger go through as planned, TANA President Steve Disney will be the new organization's first president, serving from July 1, 2002, to Nov. 4, 2002. Current ITRA President Tom Raben will succeed him for a term that will last for one year.
Mr. Kogel will serve as the new association's executive vice president.