NEWPORT, Ore.—Maintaining a steady course is how the outgoing president of the Tire Industry Association (TIA) wants his term in office to be remembered.
Ken Brown, owner-manager of Alan Brown Tire Center in Newport, has spent the last year heading the major U.S. organization for tire retailers, retreaders and suppliers. As he prepares to give up the TIA reins to Freda Pratt-Boyer of Purcell Tire & Rubber Co. at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, Mr. Brown said he feels proud of TIA.
“What I look at is the continuation of goals and policies we've pursued for years,” he said. “I'm proud that we continue to be strong in government affairs, training and education.”
The TIA presidency gave Mr. Brown a unique opportunity to meet tire dealers and retreaders across the U.S., at trade shows and state tire dealer association meetings. He found that the issues that most concerned them were the same across the country—and also the ones that most concern him at his own dealership.
“The interesting thing is that the biggest concerns are always those things that affect the growth and stability of the industry,” he said. “(The members) want to see this association working with them on political and government issues, locally and nationally. “Some of them are concerned about the estate tax, and of course the biggest concern right now is the Chinese tariffs,” he said, referring to the U.S. International Trade Administration's antidumping duty investigation against Chinese passenger and light truck tires.
(The agency recently postponed its preliminary determination on the case until early 2015.) “But these are issues that affect us all,” Mr. Brown added. Looking toward the future, he said he wants to see TIA continue to pursue the political issues that affect the industry directly.
He also said he is confident that it will. “This staff is so strong and goal-oriented,” he said. “Our goals are in line with what our members want, and that benefits everybody.”
While Mr. Brown will remain on the TIA Executive Committee as immediate past president during the coming year, his biggest plans upon leaving the TIA presidency involve getting back to his own business.
A franchise of Les Schwab Tire Centers Inc., Alan Brown Tire Center was founded in 1972 by Mr. Brown's father, whose name is still above the door.
Mr. Brown manages the flagship store in Newport, while his brother Tad manages a second location six miles away in Toledo, Ore. “I'm looking forward just to getting back to my day-to-day work,” he said. “We had a good year, and my crew has always been great. Perhaps with my input we can do even better next year.”
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