POTOSI, Mo.—Growing up in Potosi, Freda Pratt-Boyer wanted to be a teacher. But when the position of computer clerk at home-town company Purcell Tire & Rubber Co. presented itself, she took it. And she has never regretted it.
“There's not a day that I don't love my job,” said Ms. Pratt-Boyer, who has been Purcell Tire's senior auditor for the past 27 years.
This year, she will take on an even more responsible job: the presidency of the Tire Industry Association (TIA), which she will accept from outgoing President Ken Brown at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas in early November. As TIA president, Ms. Pratt-Boyer said she doesn't plan to make major revisions of the strategies Mr. Brown and other past TIA presidents have set forth.
“I want to stay the course on our strategic policy,” she told Tire Business, commending the hard work of the Bowie, Md.-based association's board of directors, the executive committee and the TIA staff in setting and implementing policy. “It's really a big job,” she said.
Continuing the ongoing updates of TIA's education and training programs, including the Commercial Tire Service (CTS) program, is high on Ms. Pratt-Boyer's list of priorities, she said. But during her tenure as TIA president, she particularly wants to emphasize retreading and its benefits.
There are three things Ms. Pratt-Boyer said she wants to accomplish on behalf of retreaders: c Prevent any federal highway bill from reinstating the federal excise tax on truck retreads; c Promote the value of retreads to truck fleet customers; and c Emphasize the green aspects of retreading to the public.
“If we can get these three things done, we'll have done a major job,” she said. Purcell Tire has been a model of business success during Ms. Pratt-Boyer's career there. The company had just three stores and one retread plant when she joined it.
Now it boasts 70 tire and auto repair outlets, six retread plants, and operations that deliver tires to 41 states, according to the company's website. For this expansion, Ms. Pratt-Boyer credits the couple who hired her—Bob and Juanita Purcell.
Ms. Pratt-Boyer left Purcell Tire for some years to pursue personal interests, but when the company acquired Western States Group in Arizona, the Purcells asked her to come back to be the company auditor. She became senior auditor in 1987.
“I have been very lucky to have such wonderful people as my bosses,” she said. In her job as senior auditor, Ms. Pratt-Boyer is responsible for running Purcell Tire's audit department, leading internal audits and overseeing special projects. “If you have a problem in one of the stores, you find the problem, you fix the problem, and you teach the staff to avoid that problem in the future,” she said.
Ms. Pratt-Byer received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Century University in 1996. She is divorced and has a son, David Boyer; a daughter and son-in-law, Christine and David Carlson; and two granddaughters, Madelyn and Mallory Boyer.
Besides being TIA president, Ms. Pratt-Boyer is also vice president of the Missouri Tire Industry Association.
To reach this reporter: mmoore@ crain.com.