BOWIE, Md. — The Tire Industry Association (TIA) will induct two industry veterans — Bob Majewski, president of Sumerel Tire Service Inc., and Arvind Poddar, chairman and managing director of Balkrishna Industries Ltd. — into the association's Hall of Fame later this year.
TIA also will award Freda Pratt- Boyer, senior auditor for Purcell Tire Co. and a former TIA president and board member, and Mike Baggett, retired from Yokohama Tire Corp., with the Ed Wagner Leadership Award.
The awards will be given during the Tire Industry Honors Awards Ceremony on Oct. 29 at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel in Las Vegas prior to the start of the SEMA Show/Global Tire Expo.
The Hall of Fame Award is TIA's highest honor, which recognizes individuals who have made a significant impact within the tire, rubber and transportation industries. The Ed Wagner Leadership Award is presented to individuals or companies that demonstrate leadership or innovation in products and services that foster and promote the tire, retreading and/or tire recycling industries.
• Mr. Majewski has been involved in the retread business for more than 50 years, first working at a retread plant for a family-owned business and then working for Mohawk Rubber, Hercules Tire and the former American Retreaders' Association (ARA), where he worked to establish retread training.
"Without his contributions to the ARA, countless independent retreaders would have had a competitive disadvantage when going up against the major rubber companies," according to TIA. "Bob Majewski played a major role in preserving independence of the independent retreader."
In 1994, Mr. Majewski became part owner and vice president of Sumerel Tire Service in Newport, Ky., responsible for the manufacturing, operations and marketing of the Acutread Segmented Mold Cure Process, which he designed.
In 2002, he became president of Sumerel Tire, a position he held for 13 years. He has formed a steering committee that runs Sumerel Tire's planning for the next transition.
"His continued involvement on industry committees and organizations ensures that his wealth of knowledge and experience contributes to the overall image and success of retreading," TIA said.
• Mr. Poddar began his career at BKT in 2000 where he sought to take his family's company forward and make it profitable. He decided to enter the OTR tire market with a vision to make BKT a global player. With more than 93 percent of its tire production targeted for export to more than 130 countries, BKT has experienced growth in terms of revenue and profits.
Recognizing an industrywide shortage of large OTR tires in 2011, Mr. Poddar ventured into large OTR tires, committing $500 million to build a dedicated factory in Bhuj, India.
BKT now claims a 6-percent share of the world OTR market, with annual sales of close to $1 billion.
• Ms. Pratt-Boyer began her career in the tire industry over 45 years ago with Purcell Tire, working managerial positions in retail, commercial, retreading and wholesale. She has served as operations manager, region manager and now as senior auditor for Purcell.
Ms. Pratt-Boyer is a former member of the TIA board of directors and was the second woman to serve as board president.
"She is a decisive manager who vigorously promotes education, training and customer service to all levels of the tire industry," TIA said.
• Mr. Baggett has owned an OTR dealership and worked for several tire companies, including Bridgestone Americas, Michelin (TCI), Cobre Tire and Yokohama, where he retired in 2017.
He worked on the development of one of the first OTR tracking systems, and a second one while working for Yokohama. He has been involved in the OTR retread business both as owner of Southern Tire and as an executive with Bridgestone and Cobre Tire.