A. Ron Hoover, United Steelworkers executive vice president and chief of its Rubber/Plastics Industry Conference, declared job security the focus of 2006 contract talks with the major tire makers. He and the union faced battles over production cuts, plant closures and benefit drawbacks-and the ongoing Goodyear strike.
B. Jon Rich, Goodyear North American Tire unit president, tried to assure strikers, non-union employees, consumers and dealers during its two-month-and-counting labor strike that the firm can handle the strains of the strike as it holds out for a competitive pact.
C. Titan International Inc. CEO Maurice ``Morry'' Taylor Jr., fresh off his 2005 purchase of Goodyear's North American farm tire business, continued expansion by acquiring Continental Tire North America Inc.'s off-the-road tire plant in Bryan, Ohio.
D. Andreas Gerstenberger, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Continental Tire North America Inc., took many steps to get the struggling North American division on its feet. He pledged reforms to dealers and also was involved in closing Conti's Charlotte, N.C., plant to trim costs.
E. Mark Emkes (right), chairman/CEO of Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc., and Martin Carver, chairman/CEO of Bandag Inc., forged a $1.05 billion buyout of the retread franchisor and materials supplier by the tire maker.
F. Canadian Paul Hyatt became the first international president of the Tire Industry Association (TIA) this year, pledging to push for passage of ``Right to Repair'' legislation as well as more global membership.
G. Joseph Tomarchio Jr. (left), executive vice president of store operations, and Robert Gross, CEO of Monro Muffler Brake Inc., ratcheted up the firm's acquisition agenda, declaring a long-term goal of 1,000 stores and ``to be the most profitable publicly traded (automotive) service business out there.''
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TB's 2005 Newsmakers
* Morry Taylor, Titan International Inc.
* Shozo (Carlos) Kibata, Toyo Tire (U.S.A.) Corp.
* Denis Monette, President Tire Canada
* Craig Anderson, Hercules Tire & Rubber Co.
* Larry Day, TBC Corp.