LEESBURG, Va. It would be fair to call John Hogan Jr. a Goodyear lifer.
Mr. Hogan, who along with his sons John Hogan III and Gregory Hogan founded Leesburg-based Hogan & Sons Inc. retail tire dealership in 1984, died Sept. 23 at age 82but his legacy lives on. In October, the business he helped launch will celebrate 30 years in operation and, at the same time, its 30-year relationship with the Akron tire maker.
Last month, Goodyear stopped by the dealer's Leesburg location to surprise Mr. Hogan with a plaque honoring its longtime tire supplier relationship with Hogan & Sons. It was a special moment for Mr. Hogan's family, according to co-owner Philip Hogan, the youngest of his eight children.
But the occasion also was bittersweet.
While Mr. Hogan didn't live to see the dealership hit the 30-year mark, both the business and its ongoing partnership with Goodyear are poised to continue for years to come.
We've been a loyal Goodyear dealer for 30 years, Philip Hogan told Tire Business. Goodyear, Dunlop and Kelly are the only tires that we stock or have ever stocked. There's a lot of brand loyalty for us.
Not many tire dealers can say they've stuck with one tire supplier over the years, but then not many families can say they have as many ties to one manufacturer as the Hogans. The family's relationship with Goodyear stretches back much farther than the dealership itself.
John Hogan Jr. was the eldest of nine children born to John Hogan Sr. and his wife Maryann Hogan. His father served for many years as Goodyear's chief of security before retiring from the company.
John Hogan Jr. and all eight of his siblings grew up in Northeast Ohio, and each of them, at one point, worked directly for the tire maker. Several of their spouses were employed by Goodyear, too, according to Philip Hogan.
I've got rubber in my blood, I think, said Philip, whose brothers John Hogan III and Gregory Hogan also worked for Goodyear prior to founding Hogan & Sons.
John Hogan Jr. himself was a 30-year employee of the tire maker. After receiving his degree in English from the University of Akron, he spent time working for Commercial Credit Corp. and Beneficial Finance before returning to Akron in 1957, where he graduated from Good-year's Management Squadron training program.
In 1972, he was transferred to Washington, D.C.located about 40 miles southeast of Leesburgas Goodyear's Washington representative, government marketing. Mr. Hogan retired from the company in 1987, three years after launching his own dealership in 1984.
Philip Hogan said his father has had an entrepreneurial spirit all his life, but that his brothers played an integral role in the start of Hogan & Sons.
It was pretty much John and Greg that, when it came down to it, they had talked about it and kicked it around enough, he said, and they finally all got the guts to do it.
The Hogan family's loyalty to the tire maker continued well after Mr. Hogan's retirement, and Hogan & Sons has since expanded to eight locations throughout northern Virginia, generating upwards of $15 million in sales a year under the Goodyear banner. The stores are located in Leesburg (opened in 1984); Fairfax (1987); Sterling (1991); Herndon (1994); Falls Church (1997); Purceville (2005); Winchester (2009); and South Riding (2011).
We're not done expanding, Philip Hogan said. We don't have any locations specifically in mind, but we are certainly gearing up for some more expansion.
Since its founding, the company has gone through some ownership changes, but it has remained within the family, Philip Hogan said. Gregory Hogan sold his portion of the business to his father and brother John Hogan III in the late 1990s.
Philip Hogan and his sister Susan Hogan came on board as owners in 2012. Both of them serve as district managers, running four stores apiece, while John Hogan III is president and CEO. Philip Hogan holds a dual role as company treasurer, while Susan Hogan is Hogan & Sons' secretary.
Mr. Hogan Jr.'s wife, Mary Jo Hogan, previously was the dealership's vice president and is still a member of the board of directors.
The family involvement doesn't end there.
Another of Philip Hogan's siblings, Paula Brown, is the company's human resources director, while his cousin Brian Hogan is chief financial officer. John Hogan III's son Alan Hogan works as assistant manager at the Sterling location, while his other son Troy Stephans runs the Leesburg store.
Other family members working for the dealership are Andrew Morris (Purceville service manager) and Michael Morris (Leesburg service manager), sons of Philip Hogan's late sister Chris Morris.
John Hogan Jr. is survived by his wife Mary Jo Hogan; children John Hogan III, Paula Brown, Gregory Hogan, Therese McIntosh, Kathleen Trexler, Susan Hogan and Philip Hogan; 26 grandchildren; and 17 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Christine Morris.
Memorial donations may be made to Capital Caring Hospice in Aldie, Va., the family said. Mr. Hogan's funeral service was held Sept. 27 in Leesburg.
To reach this reporter: w[email protected] crain.com; 330-865-6148.