BOWIE, Md. (Jan. 12, 2004) — The Tire Industry Association (TIA) is closing its Louisville, Ky., offices and training center in order to consolidate all operations in Bowie, effective Feb. 1.
TIA said the decision comes after months of in-depth analysis into the cost-effectiveness of operating two offices in different states. Two members of the Louisville staff—Kevin Rohlwing, senior vice president of education and technical services, and Chris Marnett, director of training—will be moving to the Maryland office.
“Like any business, we are forced to take a serious look at our operating expenses, and the board felt that the economics of keeping the Louisville facility open didn't add up,” said TIA President Larry Morgan. “This decision had nothing to do with the quality of work from the employees in that office. They've performed admirably throughout the merger and a change in the top staff position. But we had to look at things from a business perspective, and the costs of operating a facility that size could no longer be justified.”
Bob Malerba, TIA chairman of the training and education committee, said TIA is happy that Mr. Rohlwing and Ms. Marnett are relocating to Maryland. “While we will definitely miss the other talented people in that office, our training and certification programs will continue to lead the industry with Kevin and Chris at the helm,” he said. “Our members will not experience any interruptions in the operation of our programs.”
Instructor classes scheduled for the first half of 2004 will go on at the Louisville training center. Fall classes for the Commerical Tire Service (CTS) Instructor Program will be rescheduled. All future CTS and Automotive Tire Service Instructor classes will be conducted regionally. The association said it will release a complete training schedule of dates and locations this summer.
The soon-to-be-renamed World Tire Expo still will be held in downtown Louisville in April 2005.
“We feel the Louisville retread and recycling convention is fulfilling a need for the tire industry,” said TIA Vice President Dick Gust. “The decision to close the Louisville office will not have any impact on the 2005 show, and we are proceeding with our plans to continue the tradition of a spring show for the commercial truck tire, retreading and recycling industries.”