RESTON, Va. (Dec. 10, 2002)—Ross Kogel, executive vice president of the Tire Industry Association (TIA), has announced that he will resign from his post on the expiration date of his current contract, Feb. 1, 2003.
Mr. Kogel is leaving TIA to live in metropolitan Detroit near his family and to pursue a career at Tire Wholesalers Inc., a Troy, Mich.-based wholesaler that is owned by his father, Ross Kogel Sr.
“The association supports Ross's decision,” TIA President Tom Raben said. “Ross explained that he wanted to raise his son near his family in Detroit. Frankly, as a grandfather, this makes perfect sense to me. Raising children near family is one of life's great joys. On behalf of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors, we wish him the best.”
Mr. Kogel's career with the association began in 1997 as a staff member of the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association. After the NTDRA was renamed the Tire Association of North America (TANA), he was appointed executive vice president of the group in 2000. Two years later he assumed the chief staff officer position for the International Tire & Rubber Association (ITRA) in preparation for the July 2002 merger of TANA and ITRA that formed TIA. In July 2002 he became the new organization's executive vice president.
A press release issued by TIA listed a number of accomplishments by the staff and volunteers during Mr. Kogel's five-year tenure. They included the financial turnaround of then-NTDRA; the growth of the annual International Tire Expo, held in conjunction with the Specialty Equipment Market Association trade show in Las Vegas; the re-establishment of the association's government affairs department; and the successful lobbying effort related to criminal penalties in the TREAD Act.
Under Mr. Kogel's guidance, TANA saw two of its most financially successful years in 2000 and 2001. He also helped establish a new industry foundation that has raised more than $800,000 to date, and oversaw the successful negotiation of the ITRA/TANA merger—a subject that, at least informally, had been discussed for decades. More recently, Mr. Kogel was involved in establishing TIA's “open book” policy for public review of the its finances.
In his letter of resignation to Mr. Raben, Mr. Kogel noted that in 1997 he became part of a staff team that turned around a nearly insolvent NTDRA "back to a solid financial standing," and ran a balanced budget every year from 1997 to 2001.
In 2000, Mr. Kogel continued, TANA realized a 27-percent gain in net assets, turning a $187,337 operating profit. The following year, one of TANA´s most successful ever, the group saw a $739,838 profit—"a whopping 84-percent gain in net assets in one year," he pointed out in his letter.
During the first six months of TIA´s fledgling existence, Mr. Kogel said the organization has planned two new training initiatives, scheduled three major conferences and trade shows, finalized membership and strategic plans, streamlined internal operations, and joined the Rubber Manufacturers Association´s "National Tire Safety Week" efforts.
Mr. Raben said he has appointed Immediate Past President Steve Disney, Incoming President Larry Morgan, Vice President Dick Gust, Secretary Bob Malerba and Assistant Treasurer Terry Westhafer and to serve with him on a search committee, and that the new executive vice president will be approved and hired by TIA's executive committee. That committee consists of Messrs. Morgan, Raben, Gust, Malerba and Westhafer, as well as Tom Wright, Paul Hyatt, Randy Drake, and Jimmy Crews.
TIA will review both internal and external candidates in the search, and said it is considering using a professional services firm to assist in the search for the new chief staff officer.
“We're looking forward to the future, and we have a great association to build,” Mr. Raben said. “Because of the efforts of Ross and the volunteers working together, we are in great shape. We look forward to continuing that positive relationship and growth with our next executive vice president.”
“I am deeply grateful to all who helped, both professionally and personally, over the past five years,” Mr. Kogel said. “The association has terrific volunteer leadership, which is the heart and soul of any organization. That, more than anything else, made us successful over the past five years.”
He said he has 20 family members living in southeast Michigan, “and the opportunity to spend more time with them—and to have Ross, my son, grow up knowing family life—is an opportunity that is impossible to pass.”