As you make plans to attend the International Tire Exhibition & Conference (ITEC) for tire dealers and auto service professionals Aug. 20-22, in Orlando, Fla., here's an update on the latest happenings and some of the exciting things we have planned.
For the popular Presidents and CEO Panel, we now have four outstanding leaders, the newest being Richard Smallwood, president and CEO of Falken Tire Corp.
He joins Chris Ostrander of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Tomoshige Tomo Mizutani of Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. and Gordon Knapp of Bridgestone Americas on the panel. This is a fantastic opportunity to hear from and interact with some of the industry's key decision makers. You'll be able to ask questions, so starting thinking about them now.
We also have another tire firm president speaking at ITEC. Shawn Rasey, the newly named president of BKT Americas' OTR Division and former head of Bridgestone Americas' mining tire business, has joined the OTR Panel. It's made up of OTR industry leaders who will share their insights into this dynamic segment of the tire business.
Another exciting panel focuses on Young Tire Dealers. Jeff Wallick, marketing manager for K&M Tire in Delphos, Ohio, has organized a group of young industry professionals who will dive into issues such as succession planning at family-owned dealerships, generational differences, the tire industry as a career choice, and the challenges, threats and trends facing independent tire dealerships. I don't recall ever attending a program led by young tire dealers on these subjects, so this will bring a fresh perspective to these topics.
As for seminars, let's just say ITEC is loaded with them. Here's what's planned in just one trackSales Training and Customer Service:
Jody DeVere, CEO of AskPatty.com, will share her knowledge on How to Wow Women and Increase Market Share and separately cover 10 Phone Skills to Increase Your Profits;
Matt Winslow of the Automotive Training Institute will talk about Best Practices for the Service Manager at the Front Counter;
Dan Molloy, founder of Molloy Business Development Group, who will discuss Turning Online Sales Leads into Customers; and
Howard Fleishmann, of Community Tire Pros & Auto Repair in Phoenix, who will share his thoughts on What is Outstanding Customer Service.
Want to improve the customer-service skills at your dealership? These are must-attend seminars for you and your key employees.
And if you want to hear even more on Sales Training and Customer Service, plan to join Ms. DeVere as she leads a Roundtable discussion on the topic.
As for fun at ITEC, what's more refreshing than ice cream on a hot summer afternoon? But this isn't any old ice cream social. The chefs at Three2Oh, who have entertained the likes of celebrity chef Guy Fieri and design diva Martha Stewart, will tantalize ITEC attendees with a culinary experience using liquid nitrogen to produce premium frozen treatsall with an interactive show.
This is brought to you compliments of tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) supplier Orange Electronic Co. Ltd., which also is sponsoring the TPMS Roundtable. You won't want to miss this two-hour treat on Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 20 at the show.
There's plenty more happening at ITEC Tire Dealers/Auto Service, held at the Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel and Convention Center. This is a new, all-inclusive venue for ITEC where the educational meeting rooms and trade show are located next to each other, allowing for easy access and great networking opportunities.
Check out the full program at www.itec-tireshow.com. The cost is only $65.
If you have questions or ideas, please contact me.
Dave Zielasko is editor and vice president/publisher of Tire Business. He can be reached at [email protected] crain.com or 330-865-6131.