VONORE, Tenn. — After spending 45 years in the tire industry, Dave Marks said the time has come to move on to the next chapter of his life — and that involves golf, waterskiing and grandkids, not necessarily in that order.
Marks, CEO of the Independent Tire Dealers Group (ITDG) since August 2017, will retire in 2023, after helping his successor transition to the position. The group credits Marks for leading its growth both in sales — now nearly $350 million annually — and number of locations — 1,007 and counting.
"I've enjoyed the business immensely but I think it's time for simple fact to let someone take leadership role and take (ITDG) to the next level," Marks said.
"I've been fortunate to work with a phenomenal team, including our board, vendors and shareholders. You create so many friendships, but after 45 years in the industry, I want to have time to do other things I enjoy."
The ITDG board of directors has created a search subcommittee that will conduct a national search and identify candidates for review.
"Our goal is to ensure that Dave's replacement is the best fit to lead us into the future," ITDG Board Chairman Rob Slagle said, noting the timeline to Marks' departure will be determined once a successors has been named.
"I'm not leaving until the right person is in the right place at the right time," Marks said. "It is extremely important that it is seamless. Whatever that means, I stay on to March, April, whatever, I'll be working next year for sure. We need to find the right person, and I'll be working side by side by with that person to make sure it's an easy handoff."
Marks has held management, sales leadership and operational/distribution positions throughout his career, with stints at Tireco/Tire Distributor Experts; American Tire Distributors Inc; and Tire Dealer's Warehouse/Hercules Tire, where he spent 15 years.
He began his career in 1978, working primarily in California for several retail and wholesale tire and wheel businesses.
Marks said he is especially proud of the engagement and partnership he has been able to foster and enhance with ITDG shareholders and vendor partners.
"We've been able to maneuver through all of turmoil in markets," he said. "We have exceeded expectations and exceeded market growth. It's all because of our platform."
He said he is also proud that the buying group, which was formed in 1994, was able to break the magic number of 1,000 locations. The group has representation in 44 states.
"I'm extremely proud of the newest members that have joined the group," he said. "That speaks volumes to the strength and stability of our platform."
Marks recently oversaw the group's annual meeting and trade show, held April 20-24 in Nashville. It was the first in-person event the group has hosted since it gathered in early May 2019.
Marks said there are plenty of things yet to accomplish for the group.
"We have a phenomenal trajectory for the future," he said. "We have an outstanding team that will help drive ITDG to the next level into the future."