VIENNA, Va. – COVID-19 has claimed longtime tire industry association executive Philip P. "Phil" Friedlander Jr., the former executive vice president of the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association (NTDRA) who died June 2 at age 90.
Mr. Friedlander spent more than four decades with the group, which was the predecessor to the Tire Industry Association (TIA), including 18 as its top executive.
Mr. Friedlander began his career at the NTDRA as editor of the association's magazine and later worked as the group's public relations director, communications director and general manager before becoming executive vice president in 1978. He spent nearly two decades in that role, retiring in 1996.
"Throughout his 42-year career with NTDRA, Phil had a passion for the workings of government and for the well-being of the independent tire dealer and independent retreader community," TIA CEO Roy Littlefield III said.
Mr. Friedlander hired Mr. Littlefield as the association's first full-time government affairs director.
"He was my mentor, counselor, teacher and friend. His vision, goals, ideas, strategic planning, writings and attention to detail continue to be a big part of today's Tire Industry Association," he said.
During his time as the association's top executive, the NTDRA instituted a number of significant member services, including the association's "Money Express" credit card; a check-guarantee service for dealers; sponsorship of a 1983 study on the future of tire industry by Louis W. Stern of Northwestern University; and publication in 1989 of the book, "A Practical Approach to Improving Tire Dealer Profits," based in large part on financial research directed by Robert G. Cox of the University of South Florida.
He also was involved in gaining passage of legislation eliminating the excise tax on tread rubber, making tire registration voluntary rather than mandatory, eliminating registration of passenger retreads and outlawing the regrooving of passenger tires, according to his obituary.
He was industry manager of the Tire Retread Information Bureau in the mid-1970s.
Mr. Friedlander was a 1951 graduate of George Washington University and served in the U.S. Army on active duty in Germany. He then spent six years as a reserve soldier.
Survivors are daughters Dorothy Ann Friedlander and Beth Friedlander; son James Philip Friedlander; daughter-in-law Gina Friedlander; brother Robert Friedlander of Jefferson, Ga.; and two grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife Cissy (Rosa Lee) Friedlander in 2008.
Donations to honor Mr. Friedlander can be made to Philip P. Friedlander Jr. Scholarship in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Studies at the George Washington University School of Business. More information is available here.
The NTDRA created the endowment fund to honor Mr. Friedlander in 1997.
A service will be held later.