Fountain Tire CEO and former chair of the Automotive Industries Association of Canada Brent Hesje has been named to the Tire Industry Association (TIA) 2019 Hall of Fame.
The Tire Industry Association also announced the Hall of Fame induction of the late Frank Holeman, director of the Tire Industry Safety Council. Holeman was a pioneer in presenting the public and the U.S. federal government the industry’s message of dedication to tire manufacturing excellence, quality professional service and the necessity of proper tire care and maintenance.
Also, Edward A. Burleson Sr., president and owner of Central Marketing Inc., Colonial Heights, Va., was named as the 2019 Ed Wagner Leadership Award honoree. His work to bring automation to the retread industry is credited with helping to provide the economic advantage needed for this segment.
The Hall of Fame Award is the tire industry’s highest honour. It recognizes individuals who have contributed greatly to the growth and development of the tire industry or have demonstrated high standards, ideals and leadership in the management of their businesses and in the tire community and have achieved goals and success that distinguishes them from others.
Brent Hesje joined Fountain Tire Ltd. in 1992 as vice president of marketing and became CEO of the tire dealership in 2005. During his time with the company, Fountain Tire has nearly tripled its number of stores to 160, from 56 in Alberta only, and expanded its marketing territory across Canada from British Columbia to Ontario.
Fountain Tire, which is 49-percent owned by Goodyear, has a unique ownership strategy providing a 50/50 ownership of its stores with local store managers. Hesje took this effective and often misunderstood approach across the country, making it one of Canada’s most innovative and celebrated business models.
Since 1992, Fountain Tire has doubled the number of retread plants it operates to six and evolved into a vertically integrated comprehensive tire and automotive business by adding mine service, tire wholesale and five distribution centers.
Consolidated sales over this period increased nearly ninefold to $605.8 million in 2018 from $67.9 million in 1992, while employment grew to 2,475 from 400. Hesje is active in volunteer work, serving on numerous education, community and corporate boards.
He currently is the immediate past chair of the Automotive Industries Association of Canada, the country’s largest automotive aftermarket nonprofit, is a past board member of the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council and currently serves as an advisor to the Productivity & Innovation Centre of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.
He previously chaired the Institute’s Essential Campaign that raised a record $123 million and is a past chair of the school’s board of governors.
The Ed Wagner Leadership Award is presented to individuals or companies that demonstrate leadership, or innovation in products and services, that foster and promote the tire, retreading and/or tire recycling industries.
“We are pleased to introduce our new class of exceptional industry leaders as recipients for the Hall of Fame and Ed Wagner Leadership Award,” said Roy Littlefield, TIA CEO. “On behalf of TIA, we extend our congratulations and are honored to recognize these amazing individuals that have proven themselves as key industry influencers.”
TIA will recognize the honorees at the Tire Industry Honors awards ceremony on Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, from 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. The ceremony is open to all and complimentary tickets may be reserved here: Registration Form.
For more information, visit www.tireindustry.org.