Retired NTDRA Executive VP Philip Friedlander Jr. Dies

ARLINGTON, Va. – Philip P. “Phil” Friedlander Jr., retired executive vice president of the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association (NTDRA) and influential tire industry leader, died June 2, 2020, from Covid-19 and having several life-threatening illnesses. He was 90.

Friedlander served for 18 years as NTDRA’s top administrative official in a career that spanned four decades with the association. He joined what is the predecessor organization of today’s Tire Industry Association (TIA) in 1954 as editor of the association’s magazine, which at one point was published weekly. He later became director of public relations, then director of communications and finally general manager before being named executive vice president in 1978. He retired Dec. 31, 1996.

Under his leadership, NTDRA instituted the “Money Express” credit card and a check guarantee service for dealers; sponsored a 1983 study on the future of the tire industry by Louis W. Stern of Northwestern University; and published the book, "A Practical Approach to Improving Tire Dealer Profits,” in 1989 based, in part, on financial research directed by Robert G. Cox of the University of South Florida.

Current TIA CEO Roy Littlefield was hired by Friedlander to serve as the association’s first full-time director of government affairs. “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,” Littlefield said. “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.”

Among NTDRA’s legislative victories under Friedlander’s leadership was the passage of voluntary tire registration for passenger tires, which previously had been mandatory. He also was a member of the Small Business Legislative Council, a multi-industry organization dedicated to promoting the interests of common concern to small businesses, serving as vice chair and chair.

Friedlander graduated in 1951 from George Washington University with a BA degree in English. He prized education as the standard for not just personal growth and success, but for his own industry's success.

In college he was a member of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity and later was a member of Rotary International. He served in the U.S. army on active duty in Germany followed by six years in the reserves.

Friedlander is survived by two daughters, Dorothy Ann Friedlander and Beth Friedlander, both of Arlington, Va., and a son, James Philip Friedlander; daughter-in-law, Gina Friedlander; a brother, Robert Friedlander of Jefferson, Ga.; and two grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife Cissy (Rosa Lee) Friedlander in 2008.

The family requests that anyone wishing to honor his memory consider his commitment to higher education. Donations can be made to the Philip P. Friedlander Jr. Scholarship in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Studies at the GW School of Business:

This endowment fund was established in 1997 by the NTDRA in his honor. Income earned by the fund is used at the discretion of the dean of the GW School of Business to provide tuition grants for students who focus on concentrations in entrepreneurship and small business studies or a related area.

A service is planned for a later date.