POTOSI, Mo. (Oct. 26, 2105) — Freda Pratt-Boyer has been an unusual Tire Industry Association (TIA) president in two ways.
First, as senior auditor of Potosi-based Purcell Tire & Rubber Co. for the past 28 years, she comes from the financial side of tire retailing, not the technical or commercial side.
Second, she is one of just three women to rise to the top of the tire retailing industry's national trade association.
Ms. Pratt-Boyer sees the first factor as not separating her very much from TIA's previous presidents.
“All the TIA presidents have been very insightful as to budgets, training and benefits,” she told Tire Business. “I just continued that as we customized our projects for the coming year.”
- This article appears in the Oct. 26 print edition of Tire Business.
However, Ms. Pratt-Boyer put her financial acumen to use when she met with representatives from major tire manufacturers to solicit their financial aid for the TIA Foundation, a three-year-old nonprofit that creates training programs for tire-related businesses to help them comply with government regulations, lower liability, educate employees and/or add value to their operations.
That meeting demonstrated the need for funding for the TIA Foundation, according to Ms. Pratt-Boyer.
“But instead of presenting it as a solicitation for charity, our presentation was more like a business proposal, a business plan,” she said. The presentation underlined the value of funding the TIA Foundation and the benefits that accrued to every tire-related business by funding it, she said.
As for the second factor, Ms. Pratt-Boyer has used her status as a leader in the tire industry to promote and expand the role of women in every aspect of the industry.
TIA is still getting requests for what Ms. Pratt-Boyer calls “the Ladies' Brochure” — the article titled, “Women to Watch in the Tire Industry” that appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of TIA's Today's Tire Industry magazine. The article spotlighted 18 women holding positions as owners or executives in tire manufacturing, retailing and service companies.
“The tire industry has always been noted as being a man's world,” Ms. Pratt-Boyer said at the time of the article's publication. “We hope that this effort will elevate the image of women in the professional world and provide women currently in the industry and those considering careers in the industry with inspiration and motivation.”
Focus on training
Training women as professionals in the tire industry is every bit as important as promoting their careers, Ms. Pratt-Boyer said.
This is why TIA offered its first-ever Automotive Tire Service (ATS) training certification class for women only, held in Phoenix Oct. 6-9.