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New Business Education Program Created For Independent Tire Dealers

Northwood University will be hosting a new management, business skills and leadership development program for North American independent tire dealers this spring. The Tire Leadership 21 program — believed to be the first of its kind in this sector of the industry — is designed to develop the next generation of tire dealer managers and owners. It’s similar to Northwood’s long-standing Leadership 2.0 aftermarket executive development program.

Tire Leadership 21 will cover a range of topics specific to independent tire-dealer managers and owners, with instruction coming from Northwood’s DeVos Graduate School of Management faculty and from industry experts. For tire expertise, Northwood is being guided by a group of independent tire dealers called the Center for Tire & Service Education (CTSE).

CTSE is a wholly independent organization founded in March 2013. It was formed by a group of independent tire dealers and others allied to the tire industry. Their goal is to be the driving force behind an educational effort to benefit the North American tire industry. These tire dealers are actively advising Northwood on all aspects of Leadership 21’s marketing and content.

Click here to view the founding members of the CTSE advisory board.

Rich Brahler, president of commercial tire dealer Brahler’s Truckers Supply in Jacksonville, IL, said the program addresses a long-standing need in the tire industry. “Every tire dealer has wondered where they will find good managers to run a new store or how to retain and grow key employees to make this a career and not just a job. This program was designed to foster that growth,” said Brahler, a founding member of the CTSE advisory board.

Kim Sigman, co-owner of Phoenix-based Community Tire Pros & Auto Repair — and another founding member of the CTSE advisory board — added: “More and more, independent tire dealers face serious questions about growth opportunities, key employee retention, even succession planning. With every one of those questions, we came back to the same conclusion: This industry sorely needs an effective, proven way to help our employees grow as businesspeople and managers. This program accomplishes that goal.”

The Leadership 21 program features a pair of one-week, on-campus sessions. Participants attend both sessions. Session I will be held April 14-18 at Northwood’s campus in Midland, MI. Participants will reconvene Sept. 7-12 at Northwood’s campus in West Palm Beach, FL. Between Sessions I and II, participants will be required to complete an individual project that must deliver $25,000 in annual additional revenue or savings to their employers.

The 2014 Tire Leadership 21 program will be limited to 30 participants on a first-come, first-served basis. The program cost — which includes tuition, meals and class material — is $5,995. Hotel-style, on-campus accommodations are available.

The program includes topics on a range of university-level, tire-dealer-focused business, management and leadership subjects, including finance, business strategy, management, operations, industry trends, marketing and social media.

“This is not about the mechanics of changing tires, understanding regulations or even a basic community-college business course,” said Marc Pons, owner of Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center in Chapel Hill, NC. “Tire Leadership 21 is at whole new level, and the subjects and coursework were specifically selected by the CTSE advisory board to engage and challenge attendees, and result in stronger, better run, flourishing tire businesses.” Pons also is a founding member of the CTSE advisory board.

Discounts are available for tire dealers sending more than one participant to the program. Contact program director Brian Cruickshank at for more details. To register for Tire Leadership 21, visit or call 1-800-551-2882.

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