HUNTERSVILLE, N.C.The chain of command at the top of American Tire Distributors Holdings Inc.'s (ATD) Tire Pros franchise program is changing, but fear notgoing forward the message will continue to be one of continuity, consistency...and more anticipated success.
As of June 30, Dan Brown retired from his post as ATD executive vice president and president of the program.
On the same day, longtime ATD executive Ron Sinclair took over as head of Tire Pros with the official title of chief marketing officer, ATD and Tire Pros.
Messrs. Brown and Sinclair have worked together closely for many yearsincluding shared responsibility for Tire Pros in 2009 and 2010and both take pride in the success of the marketing group, though both agree that many people deserve credit for that success.
We've had many successes, but I'm not about to take the credit, Mr. Brown told Tire Business. Everything we accomplished is the direct result of the efforts of the Tire Pros dealers, the Tire Pros team and the support provided by ATD.
Both men can boast long, successful careers in the tire industry. Mr. Brown's began in 1975 with J.H. Heafner Co. Inc. (renamed Heafner Tire Group Inc. in 2012) in Lincolnton, N.C., and by 1990 was director of marketing and sales for the company.
Mr. Sinclair joined ATD in 2003, after serving in various marketing and sales positions in the grocery and packaged goods industries. All of his work with ATD has been in marketing, including the position of senior vice president of marketing.
Mr. Sinclair's focus has always been on building strong brands and developing marketing plans to gain market share, he said.
Over the coming weeks, I plan to spend the majority of my time meeting with Tire Pros dealers and Tire Pros staff, and listening to their thoughts and ideas, Mr. Sinclair told Tire Business.
The Tire Pros program dealer count has more than tripled in the past five years, so my objective is to continue this momentum in building the largest network of elite independent tire dealers in the nation.
Mr. Brown said Mr. Sinclair helped him develop a solid infrastructure on which Tire Pros could build an expansive nationwide network of commonly identified independent dealers.
He is extremely bright and talented, Mr. Brown said of Mr. Sinclair. The Tire Pros franchise will be in very capable hands.
Consequently, he doesn't need a lot of advice, Mr. Brown said when asked what advice he would give Mr. Sinclair. If I would offer any, it would be to step out of your shoes and into those of the dealer as decisions and strategy are being developed.
What Mr. Brown hopes to see with Tire Pros is its continuing to link independent dealers under a common retail brand that protects their brand identity while giving them to tools to compete with much larger competitors.
Think Home Depot and Lowe's vs. the family-owned businesses linked together under the Ace and True Value brands, he said. That's what we're doing with Tire Pros.
In retirement, Mr. Brown said he plans to work closely with Mr. Sinclair through 2016 in the transition of his responsibilities. He also looks forward to spending more time with his family and to working on numerous projects.
Over my 41 years in the industry, I've had the good fortune to develop relationships with individuals in all industry segments, he said. While these relationships began through business interactions with associates, vendors and customers, over time these relationships evolved into friendships.
I am blessed today to have a lot of friends in our industryfriendships I look forward to maintaining in the years ahead, he said.
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