Steinberg wins NETSA award
WATERTOWN, Mass.-Barry Steinberg, owner of Direct Tire and Auto Service in Watertown, received the New England Tire and Service Association's President Award.
NETSA President Spencer Carruthers, president of Kenwood Tire Co. Inc., presented the award during the association's annual trade show. It recognizes an industry leader who contributes to improve the automotive service and tire industry in New England, the group said.
Mr. Steinberg is a board member for the association and is involved in civic programs in the area.
Sales rep retiring after 50 years
OGDEN, Utah-Bob Jones, a sales representative with Bandag Inc.'s Tire Distribution Systems (TDS) subsidiary, planned to retire Sept. 11-50 years to the day after he joined J.W. Brewer Co. and also his 70th birthday.
He intends to continue as a TDS consultant. Bandag bought Brewer Tire in 1997.
Mr. Jones began at the company as a fuel pump attendant then moved to the truck tire service area. He later entered truck tire sales.
``It was a good run,'' Mr. Jones said of his time with the company, according to a statement from Bandag. ``I was able to provide a good life for my family.''
Mr. Jones said his advice to others in truck tire sales is to know a customer's needs and have enough tire knowledge to match a tire to those needs.
``Most importantly, you have to have a relationship with (the) customer, and the customer has to trust you,'' he said. ``I built my entire career on that concept.''
Commercial tire dealer opens shop
GROY, N.Y.-Gary Joy opened a commercial tire dealership earlier this year as an offshoot of his heavy truck repair business.
The tire dealership, A&S Commercial Tire, was founded in Groy, he said. Mr. Joy had owned and operated A&S Diesel Service Inc. and decided to get into the tire business as well.
``Money,'' he said, was the simple reason for his decision. He now operates both businesses.
Mr. Joy said he does not yet have plans for more commercial tire outlets.
Kost Tire helps vandal victims
NANTICOKE, Pa.-Kost Tire & Muffler teamed up with a radio station in Nanticoke to offer free tires to victims of vandals.
During the night of Aug. 8 and the early morning hours of Aug. 9, vandals slashed tires on 22 vehicles in a two-block area of the city. Police still are investigating the incident and have no suspects, according to Det. William Shultz of the Nanticoke Police Department. He said some vehicles had two tires slashed, and it appears that the crimes were random.
Kost Tire offered to replace the tires free of charge at its Kingston and Wilkes-Barre, Pa., stores. Radio station WNAK FM 94.3 worked with the dealership to get the word out on the airwaves, according to Al Swatko, general manager of Kost Tire's Pennsylvania division.
``We're a community-oriented organization,'' Mr. Swatko said. ``We try to be involved in local communities.''
Mr. Swatko said only about three or four customers came in to take advantage of the offer because many victims had taken care of their vehicles immediately before the station broadcast the news or the local paper ran the story. He said customers were able to pick any tire brands, but he couldn't provide a dollar amount on the giveaway.
Binghamton, N.Y.-based Kost Tire operates 20 stores in Pennsylvania and 25 stores in New York. The dealership's Pennsylvania division is based in Clarks Summit.
Tire Warehouse adds 3 stores
KEENE, N.H.-Tire Warehouse Central (TWC) Inc. recently celebrated the opening of a store in Littleton, N.H., its third new store so far this year.
The Littleton outlet is a franchise operation owned by Allan and Nancy Vieira and their son, Keith, who previously managed a TWC-owned store in Claremont, N.H. The Littleton store celebrated its grand opening June 26.
In April, Keene-based TWC also marked the openings of stores in Goffstown, N.H., and Brewer, Maine. The Goffstown store is a franchise location owned by Chris Herbert, while the Brewer outlet is company-owned and managed by Halis Sirimoglu.
The three new stores give Tire Warehouse 53 company-owned and franchise locations.
Man found guilty on murder count
BENSALEM, Pa.-A 31-year-old man was found guilty but mentally ill for shooting his boss to death at a Firestone Tire & Auto Center in December 2003.
Ken Kim will receive a mandatory life sentence for the first-degree murder conviction, authorities said. Prosecutors had not sought the death penalty in the case. Mr. Kim, who was convicted Aug. 26, will be sentenced Sept. 20.
Mr. Kim shot Joseph Phillips, 39, manager of the Bensalem tire shop, in the chest on Dec. 12. Mr. Phillips never regained consciousness and died on Jan. 10. On the day of the shooting, Mr. Phillips reportedly admonished Mr. Kim and told him to go home after Mr. Kim drove a vehicle out of a service bay without properly securing the lug nuts. Witnesses said Mr. Kim walked out to his truck, retrieved a gun, returned to the bay and shot Mr. Phillips.
Mr. Kim's defense argued at the trial that he suffered symptoms of post-traumatic stress from various factors, including his childhood in war-torn Vietnam, said Karen Diaz, chief deputy for the Bucks County district attorney. She said the jury's finding suggested that an illness was involved, but Mr. Kim is still criminally responsible for his actions.
With the illness finding, she said Mr. Kim could serve part of his sentence in a special treatment center if the judge chooses. But Ms. Diaz stressed that Mr. Kim would return to state prison after the treatment.
``He is still always going to be part of the state prison system,'' she said.