Every successful business has at least one person who makes it possible for that business to survive.
For DeKalb Tire Co. Inc., an Atlanta-based retail dealership, that person was Mike Nagley, according to former DeKalb owner Ray Bennett.
``When DeKalb moved from the sleepy little town of Tucker to the bustling Northlake suburban area of Atlanta, our business zoomed from $35,000 or so a month to more than $100,000. I went home most evenings bone tired and totally stressed,'' Mr. Bennett told Tire Business. ``One day a man in a Firestone pickup truck pulled up to one of the bays and observed me running around like a chicken with his head cut off.
``I will never forget him saying, `You need help bad. Hire me and you can run the business and I'll take care of everything else.'''
Mr. Bennett said that was in 1976, and ``for more than 25 years that man, Mike Nagley, did exactly what he said he would do.''
Mr. Nagley, 58, of Buford, Ga., died June 9. He had been manager of DeKalb's Northlake store and overall general manager for the company. Prior to that, Mr. Bennett said he had worked for a company-owned Firestone store. A native of Indianapolis, Mr. Nagley was a graduate of the University of Georgia and a veteran of the U.S. Marines.
``There is always one person in every business who contributes more than anyone else...,'' Mr. Bennett continued. ``Without his efforts, DeKalb Tire would have ceased to exist many years ago. Thank God for people like Mike. He was a vital part of the company.''
Mr. Nagley continued working for the dealership after Mr. Bennett sold it to Michelin North America Inc. in April 2001 to resolve Mr. Bennett's price discrimination lawsuit against the tire maker.
In addition to Charlotte, his wife of 24 years, Mr. Nagley leaves one son and two stepsons, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.