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TWE segment at SEMA sets sights on several TIA business, social events

Thursday, October 30, 2008 - 00:00

Inaugurating a new president is among the many business and social events on a busy Tire Industry Association (TIA) agenda at the Tires, Wheels & Equipment (TWE) section of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas.

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Attending this convention presents a myriad of networking opportunities, according to Kevin Rohlwing, the TIA’s senior vice president of training. “By meeting with peers in a neutral location for an event like TWE, tire retailers can create alliances, partnerships and supplier contacts that open up new revenue streams.”

The TIA is sponsoring a series of “Tires at Two” seminars at starting at 2 p.m., naturally, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Rohlwing says the “Successful Tire Dealers Share Their Secrets” sessions – held on Tuesday and Wednesday with a different panel each day – comprise the “iron man” of the Tires at Two offerings.

“Don’t miss this chance to learn from your peers,” he advises. “Since the move to Las Vegas around a decade ago, Successful Tire Dealers has helped hundreds of tire dealers save thousands of dollars each year. It’s our most popular and long-running seminar for the simple reason that tire dealers always want to hear what’s working for other tire dealers.”

Tuesday’s Tires at Two will also be presenting vehicle manufacturers’ views on the state of Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) from the OEM perspective. Sensor manufacturers will be following up at Wednesday’s Tires at Two with sessions on how dealers can better maintain and service valve stem sensor assemblies. At Thursday’s Tires at Two, the electronic TPMS scan tool manufacturers will provide the latest information on the capabilities and coverage limits for their products.

With TPMS “impacting every tire retailer, and, since every new car now includes this technology, being up-to-date on the latest and greatest is becoming more important each year,” says Rohlwing.

Those of you journeying to Las Vegas will find that this year’s TIA HQ hotel has shifted from Caesars Palace to the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, a new Sheraton property on the site of the old world-famous Aladdin Hotel. Since the grand opening in April of 2007, Planet Hollywood has hosted a number of movie premieres and served as the backdrop for several productions filmed in Las Vegas.

Events begin Monday, Nov. 3 with the Noon to 12:30 p.m. Annual Membership Meeting – open to all TIA members, of course – held in Planet Hollywood’s Diamond 4 Room. New members will be welcomed and incoming and outgoing board officers recognized for their contributions.

On Monday evening from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., the gala TIA Welcome Reception takes place at Privé, Planet Hollywood’s much-ballyhooed hotspot known for its “A-list celebrity clientele” and stunning décor.

“Most attendees to the poolside welcome receptions at Caesars would agree they were fabulous events under the desert stars,” Rohlwing recounts. “With the change to Planet Hollywood, we had to search for a new venue, and, fortunately, one of the hottest nightclubs on the Strip is located in the hotel,” he reports. “Privé is an over-the-top combination of Miami-beach glamour and Las Vegas glitz that features Pucci fabrics, dramatic crystal chandeliers, modular banquets, glass-enclosed fireplaces, vacuum compressed elevators and a floor-to-ceiling ‘wall of fire.’ Now you will have the opportunity to live like a celebrity – if only for a few hours!” Tickets are $50; members and non-members alike are welcomed.

Tuesday morning is the Breakfast with the President and Tire Industry Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Open to everyone, it runs from 6:45 to 9 a.m. at the Planet Hollywood grand Ballroom. Tickets are $35. Current TIA President Peggy Fisher will pass the gavel to Dan Beach as he is inaugurated as the organization’s new president. Following a speech by Beach, Larry Morgan, Terry Westhafer, Francois Michelin and Joe Esco will be honored for their contributions as this year’s inductees into the Tire Industry Hall of Fame.

Beach is president and CEO of the Tire Alliance Groupe (TAG), a buying group of large regional retail tire companies. TAG negotiates supply agreements with tire manufacturers and other vendors for its 14 members who collectively are comprised of 470 separately-owned companies. In total, these 470 companies have over 1,400 retail outlets throughout the U.S.

Prior to assuming the top TAG position in 1996, Beach, as president and partner in the RPJ Tire Co., was among TAG’s six founding partners in 1995.

With more than 40 years of experience in the tire industry, Beach began his career with Goodyear International Corp. via its management training program. After graduation he was transferred to South America, where he was Goodyear’s branch manager in Bogota, Colombia for three years. He then was transferred to Caracas, Venezuela, where he was the sales manager.

In 1973, he was transferred to Stockholm, Sweden as Goodyear’s director of sales and marketing for the Scandinavian countries.

After eight years abroad, Beach returned to the United States in 1977 to start his own company, Dob’s Tire & Auto Centers in Ventura, Calif. Over the next 19 years, he grew that single location into a company with 96 retail stores operating in seven states before selling his interest in 1996.

Beach served as the TIA’s secretary and vice president prior to assuming the presidency of the organization.

He holds a BS degree in foreign trade from the University of Hawaii and an MBA in international business management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Ariz. He is fluent in Spanish and has a working knowledge of Swedish, acquired from his years at Goodyear.

In his spare time, Beach enjoys golf, music and is an avid surfer, having won three world surfing championships. He currently resides in Ojai, Calif. with his wife of 40 years, Melinda. They have three grown children.

For more information about the TIA’s Las Vegas lineup, visit www.tireindustry.org/events.asp.

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