SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Almost from the first moment they began to consider the acquisition of MotoStar Tire & Auto Products Inc., Cheryl Gossard and her executive team at K&M Tire Inc. believed the Northeast-based warehouse distributor would be a good fit.
As the process played out, Ms. Gossard said it became clear the two businesses operated much the same way: with integrity and character.
"They try to do things for the right reasons," she said of MotoStar, which operates warehouses in New Hampshire, Maine and New York. "If they say they're going to do something, they do it,"
That synergy hit home during K&M's 2018 Dealer Conference, held Jan. 11-12 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center, located 20 miles northwest of Chicago. About 1,000 K&M dealers and their families, staff and vendors attended the event, which included five seminars, dealer recognition and a two-day trade show featuring 60 vendors.
Before the conference began, Delphos, Ohio-based K&M held several days of training for the 65 former MotoStar employees. Ms. Gossard said she asked one employee what stood out from his experience with K&M.
"He said 'engagement,'" Ms. Gossard said. "Out of everything he learned — they talked with the vendors, heard vendor presentations, talked about accountability — the one thing he picked out was engagement.
"That almost gives me goosebumps. That's exactly what I would envision. I want our customers and our employees, just to be very passionate, love what they are doing, just be happy to be a part of our team."