CHICAGO — Ernst & Young L.L.P. (EY) has named Paul Reitz, CEO of Titan International Inc., a finalist in its Entrepreneur of the Year 2023 Midwest competition,.
Now in its 37th year, EY's Entrepreneur Of The Year is a competitive business award for transformative entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies who are building a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous world for all, Titan said.
Reitz was selected by an independent panel of judges. Entrepreneurs were evaluated based on their demonstration of building long-term value through entrepreneurial spirit, purpose, growth and impact, among other core contributions and attributes.
"I'm honored to be in consideration for this award among the many talented leaders who could have been selected," Reitz said.
"I'm incredibly proud of what we've been able to achieve at Titan, and I certainly didn't do it alone. Our One Titan team has excelled in adapting to business challenges with resilience and tireless effort over the past several years — ultimately leading to a record-setting year in 2022."
Reitz joined Titan as chief financial officer in 2010 and was promoted to president in 2014, followed by CEO in 2017. During this time, Titan said, he has been instrumental in driving the company's global growth strategy and implementing processes that significantly improve global operating efficiency, performance and financial health.
In 2015, he shepherded an expansion and extension of the licensing agreement with Goodyear to allow Titan the ability to distribute the Goodyear Farm Tire brand into 127 additional countries — a decision that significantly grew and diversified the company's global footprint, Titan said.
That same year, Reitz developed and launched the One Titan framework — an initiative that brought together the company's global team in an operating environment that fostered teamwork, accountability to each other, and information sharing that set the stage for Titan navigating through a challenging business climate in the years to come.
Through improved global collaboration, and a number of strategic investment and divestment decisions, Reitz and team were able to successfully navigate through several years of depressed end user markets, followed by the COVID-19 Pandemic, during which time Titan (and most of its 20 global production facilities) were deemed critical infrastructure by numerous national governments, Titan said.
Emerging from the Pandemic, under Reitz's leadership, the company had a record-setting year in 2022, reaching $2.17 billion in sales (an all-time high), record adjusted EBITDA of $253 million (up from $135 million in 2021), record adjusted net income of $140 million, a record free cash flow of $114 million and share price that increased by four-fold compared to early 2020.
Regional award winners will be announced on June 21 during a special celebration. The winners will then be considered by the national judges for the Entrepreneur of the Year National Awards, which will be presented in November at the annual Strategic Growth Forum.
The Entrepreneur Of The Year program has recognized more than 11,000 entrepreneurs throughout the U.S. since its inception in 1986, and it has grown to recognize business leaders across 145 cities in over 60 countries around the world.