Tire Industry Association elects four new Board of Directors

The Tire Industry Association announced it has elected three new members and reelected a fourth to its Board of Directors.

The new Board members are Chris Rhoades of BKT Tires, Copley, Ohio; Gary Schroeder of Cooper Tire/Goodyear, Findlay Ohio; and Leigh-Ann Stewart of Kal Tire, Vernon, British Columbia, Canada. In addition, Don Vanderheyden of Hennessy Industries, LaVergne, Tenn., was reelected to a second term on the Board.

The newly elected directors will take office on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, during TIA’s Annual Membership Meeting preceding the opening of the Global Tire Expo/SEMA show in Las Vegas. They will join an additional 14 directors to make up the Association’s 18-member board.

Chris Rhoades, BKT Tires

Rhoades is senior product manager, technical solutions for BKT. He has 22 years of OTR tire industry experience working at the company and for Bridgestone Americas Inc. At Bridgestone, Rhoades was the historical product manager of Bridgestone’s TreadStat off-the-road tire and rim performance tracking solution. At BKT he is the developer of the company’s SPOTech field evaluation solution. Rhoades combines field work experience in mines across the world with a technical know-how to develop industry-leading solutions. He describes himself as passionate about seeing and developing the next generation of OTR industry experts and is interested in helping TIA’s training and education group develop standards on tire tracking and performance analysis.

Gary Schroeder, Cooper Tire/Goodyear

Schroeder is executive director of Cooper Tire’s Global Truck and Bus Tire Business. Cooper Tire is now part of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Schroeder has 35 years of experience in sales and marketing, operations and finance, including 15 years in the tire industry. For the last 10 years, he has led Cooper’s global commercial tire business. In this role, he has expanded Cooper’s truck and bus business into all core channels – dealers, OEM and fleet – and created strategic relationships with customers in each channel. Schroeder said he hopes that serving on the TIA Board will allow him to have a positive impact on the entire industry.

Leigh-Ann Stewart, Kal Tire

Stewart is director of health and safety for Kal Tire, where she has been the dealership’s senior safety professional for the past 18 years. In this role, she has led a variety of activities including: the implementation of a safety leadership program across 17 countries; carried out safety strategies that have resulted in a more than 60% reduction in workplace accidents; and introduced numerous safety and operational initiatives. She was the lead incident investigator for three tire-related fatalities and two court cases. In addition, she has advised the senior executive team and learning/development teams on improvements to various operational business activities. As a TIA Board member, she said she looks forward to sharing her experience from a safety perspective in the area of Occupational Safety and Health (OHS) law specific to passenger and light truck, commercial, industrial, farm and OTR tires, as well as retreading, warehousing and trucking.

Don Vanderheyden, Hennessey Industries

Vanderheyden is vice president of commercial for Hennessy, the maker of the Coats brand of wheel service equipment. He joined the company in 2001 and has held positions in purchasing, marketing and sales. With deep roots in tire equipment, he said his focus is on the needs and challenges of the independent tire dealer. During his first term on the TIA Board of Directors, Vanderheyden said he welcomed the opportunity to advocate, educate and provide support for the Association’s membership and the broader tire industry.

“We welcome our newest Board members and look forward to their contributions and leadership as the Association begins its second 100 years serving independent tire dealers and the broader tire industry,” said Roy Littlefield, TIA CEO.

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