Tire Industry Honors - Monday, October 30th at 6:00pm

9th Annual Tire Industry Honors

~ Sponsored by Michelin North America ~

Monday, October 30th @ 6:00pm | Paris Las Vegas Hotel


Join us for a very special evening honoring the outstanding accomplishments of individuals who have significantly impacted the tire, rubber, and transportation industries. There will be an induction of our 2017 Hall of Fame recipients along with the presentation of the Ed Wagner Leadership Awards. Also we will have Richard Smallwood from Sumitomo Rubber Industries deliver the keynote speech.

In addition, we will recognize the winners of the Michelin Scholarship Award and the Trade Show Press Awards.

2017 Hall of Fame Honorees (Press Release)

Godfrey L. Cabot - Founder, The Cabot Corporation

The late Godfrey Cabot was an American industrialist and philanthropist, who founded Godfrey L. Cabot, Inc., and its successor, Cabot Corporation in 1882. By 1890, Cabot Corporation had become America’s fourth largest producer of carbon black. At the turn of the century, the automotive industry became one of Cabot Corporation’s largest customers as nearly six pounds of carbon black was required in the production of a single tire. By the time Godfrey retired in the 1950s, Cabot’s directed focus on material science and other research and development efforts had resulted in many innovations in carbon black production and manufacturing processes, enabling the company to supply a full range of carbon black products around the globe and to lead the world in carbon black production for tire applications. In 2015, Cabot invested $58 million in research and development companywide, and was granted 29 patents in its Reinforcement Materials segment alone. For the past 130 years, Cabot Corporation has directly contributed to the growth and development of the tire industry as a supplier with a broad portfolio of products that can increase tread durability, reduce rolling resistance and improve traction across a wide range of tire applications.

William T. Conklin III - Former President, Schenuit Tire and Rubber Company

The late William Conklin began his career in the tire industry in 1950, at the former Lee Tire Company in Philadelphia after graduating from Haverford College. William continued that career as a branch manager for Lee until he joined the Schenuit Tire and Rubber Group in 1960, working first as a Manager and then, when the company was sold, as President of the Baltimore Division, which was the genesis of the branding concept, until 1977. In the early 1980’s, NTDRA initiated the Private Brand Group and launched a full-time, staffed government affairs program. William was a leader and a major player in both efforts. He was the first chairman of the 27 member Private Brand Group. He started a monthly subscription newsletter addressing the industry and political issues. Revenues from that newsletter helped finance the association’s first two Federal Lobby Days. He worked tirelessly on the two Capitol Hill efforts, and lobbied extensively on the Hill. By organizing and leading the Private Brand Group, William enhanced the image of that sector in the industry along with their visibility and political power. He played a strong role in the passage of historic legislation that was in large part due to his leadership and ability to engage dealers.

Norman Gaither - Owner, DSP 20 Group

Norman Gaither is the founder and owner of Dealer Strategic Planning company. Norman started out in the industry at an auto parts warehouse with two locations being their Controller. Being able to fix their accounting and inventory systems the company grew to have seven locations and he became their General Manager in three short years. He has traveled all over North America and through parts of Europe; coaching and helping tire dealers improve their profits. In 2007 Norman started DSP, Inc. 20 Group which allowed him to coach 20 tire dealers rather than one at a time. In nine prosperous years the 20 Group grew to six groups of 20 dealers. Many of these tire dealers went from the brink of bankruptcy to having the most promising profits they had ever had. After 35 tremendous years in the business he decided to sell the company and retire.


2017 Ed Wagner Leadership Award Recipients (Press Release)

Anthony Blackman – Owner, Atlantic Tire and Service

Anthony Blackman has been a huge influence in the local market for more than 30 years. Since opening its doors in 1998, Anthony has since opened an additional two more stores located in Raleigh and Durham, NC. Sales of the Raleigh location has topped $6 million since opening in 2009 and total sales for all three Atlantic Tire locations topped $9 million in 2013, $30,000 increase over 2012. Anthony is also an active member of multiple local Chambers of Commerce and has been honored with numerous business and community service awards including the Cary Chamber’s Employer of the Year Award and both the Cary Chamber and Morrisville Chamber’s Small Business of the Year Award in recent years. Most recently, Atlantic Tire won the large business category in the Eastern Better Business Bureau award for 2013.

David Zielasko – Vice President, Crain Communications Inc.

David Zielasko has built a 33-year career in the tire industry as an editor, publisher, reporter, and conference speaker in true service of his readers and the industry at large. David has authored more than 1,000 news stories, columns, news briefs, and unsigned editorials during his 31 years at Tire Business. In 1995 he became an integral part of the commercial side of Tire Business when he was promoted to Associate Publisher. Three years later, David became solely responsible for Tire Business’ editorial and commercial success as Publisher. His mission is always the same – to ensure his team provides timely and accurate information to the industry so tire dealers and tire manufacturers can run their businesses smoothly. David has traveled to several countries across the world covering the latest tire industry developments, from ride and drives, to tours of new plants, to conferences and trade shows in support of Tire Business and the tire industry.


Keynote Speaker (Press Release)

Richard Smallwood has been in the tire and rubber industry for 30 years. Throughout his career Richard has held the roles of Vice President of Sales & Marketing, and Chief Operating Officer, with Falken Tire Corporation. He also currently serves as an Executive Officer of Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. (SRI), and previously served as a member of the Board of Directors for SRI Tire Trading, Ltd. (SRIT). Richard received a Bachelors of Arts degree in Organizational Communication at California State University Stanislaus and a MBA in Business at Pepperdine University. Richard's speech will focus on the advent of driverless cars - the greatest change in highway travel in over a century. He will address how this impact will increase vehicle miles traveled and how tire and auto part sizes are expected to be more uniform in size, that will significantly reduce inventory. By 2025, industry leaders are predicting 24 million driverless vehicles on the highway.