New TIA Council Targets the Next Generation of Tire Industry Professionals

  • Release Date: October 23, 2023

BOWIE, Md. – The Tire Industry Association (TIA) is seeking potential members for a new council focused on up-and-coming tire industry leaders and young professionals.

Called the NEXGEN Advisory Council, the group’s mission is to attract, celebrate, develop, and engage emerging and industry professionals, said TIA CEO Richard “Dick” Gust. The council held its first meeting on August 9th, during which it discussed goals and action items.

Council Members:

  • Chris Rhoades, Vice President of BKT Tires, Copley, Ohio
  • Debra Hamlin, Board Secretary and Director of Operations, Bridgestone Commercial Dealer Network, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, Nashville, Tenn.
  • T.J. Trum, Incoming Board Treasurer and General Counsel for Pomp's Tire Service, Kansas City, Kan.
  • Leigh-Ann Stewart, Co-founder of Simply Safe, Vernon, British Columbia, Canada
  • Brandy Sielaff, Business First Solutions, Meridian, Idaho
  • Richard "Dick" Gust, TIA CEO
  • Roy Littlefield IV, TIA Vice President of Government Affairs (Staff Liaison)

Going forward, the NEXGEN council expects to add members outside the Board who can provide additional expertise to the group.

This initiative emerged during discussions at TIA's Mid-year Board meeting in June. Recognizing the need to engage the next generation in the tire industry, CEO Richard "Dick" Gust proposed aligning the council's goals with its mission.

Several goals were discussed, including the need to:

  • Attract, develop, and retain younger workers in the industry and increase awareness of career opportunities and mentorships.
  • Explore emerging trends and stay at the forefront of technology.
  • Do a better job of telling “our” story about careers, opportunities and upward mobility opportunities that exist in the tire industry.

Looking ahead, the NEXGEN Council has scheduled monthly meetings to ensure consistent progress. To learn more about the NEXGEN Advisory Council and its initiatives, please reach out to Roy Littlefield at