Sure, it's not the most exciting name-Tire Industry Association.
But it's an exciting time for the soon-to-be-combined International Tire & Rubber Association and Tire Association of North America.
Selecting a new moniker is a symbolic step in creating a new organization that takes the strengths of both associations and melds them into something new and more effective.
And it's a name that seems to accurately reflect what the association is all about-that TIA, with no geographic terms included in its name, is inclusive of the entire tire industry worldwide.
It's also significant that the leaders and board members of the two associations were able to reach an agreement on a name. If nothing else, deciding to call the organization TIA shows that the two groups are working well together and that they can reach a decision on an issue as emotionally packed as selecting a name.
That spirit of cooperation will be important as the two associations, which officially merge July 1, begin to tackle some of the larger issues facing the new organization.
For one, the merger is not generating a financial windfall, as some might have anticipated. This likely will hamper the group in the short term. Just the legal and financial costs of the union are staggering and could reach $130,000 once the bills are paid.
And that's not all. TIA is facing the loss of 300 dues-paying members. These are companies and individuals that held memberships in both organizations and, as a result, will not be renewing one of them.
At an average dues cost of $333 per member, Ross Kogel, TIA executive vice president, estimated the loss in revenue at nearly $100,000.
Add in the fact that the old ITRA convention and trade show, the World Tire Expo, won't be held this year after shifting to an every-other-year schedule, and it's clear TIA is facing some near-term economic hurdles.
That's why all tire dealers, retreaders and wholesalers who believe in the need for a strong national tire association should support the newly formed TIA by becoming members.
Despite the extraordinary costs facing TIA, the organization remains sound financially, President Steve Disney said recently, although from an operations standpoint it's under some duress.
Tire dealers, as savvy businesspeople, understand better than most the economics of this merger. What's important is that they can do something to make it stronger.
The near-term obstacles aside, TIA is clearly becoming a more influential and powerful organization that can effectively represent and provide valuable services to its constituency.
Supporting TIA is vital. Now is the time to join up.