A Conversation With the Chairman
SEMA Member News - September/October 2009
Membership in the Wheel & Tire Council is open to all
companies whose business focuses on the wheel industry, including
manufacturers, importers, distributors, tire and wheel dealers and
service providers. Companies that meet this criteria are encouraged to
become actively involved.
Tim Dietz, who has assumed leadership of the Wheel & Tire Council (WTC), has been a test engineer at Standard Testing Laboratories Inc. for 20 years. The company uses scientific methods to develop testing programs to verify that new and existing products meet current regulations for safety and performance. The programs are used by manufacturers to test products before they are released to the public. Dietz has tested tires, wheels, vehicles and components for the auto makers, aftermarket manufacturers and the racing industry as well as the motorcycle, agricultural, aerospace and military industries. He also has direct involvement in compliance testing for the U.S. and various foreign governments.
Dietz has held positions on several technical committees that drive the tire and wheel industry and is a member of SEMA, the Society of Automotive Engineers, the American Society of Testing and Materials, WTC and the Young Executives Network. He became a member of WTC when it was still the Wheel Industry Council more than six years ago, and he has been a WTC select committee member for two years, serving as chair-elect. SEMA Member News recently talked with Dietz about what he hopes to accomplish during his tenure as chairman.
SEMA Member News: What do you see as priorities for WTC this year?
Tom Dietz: I would like to help provide tools and techniques in order to build up and equip our members to adjust to, adapt to and overcome the issues that are affecting our industry from within and without. While everyone has been affected by the economic downturn, the wheel and tire industry seems especially hard hit by both the economy and competition.
SMN: What are your priorities as WTC chairperson? What specific things do you want to accomplish?
TD: I would like to help raise the level of education and awareness of our industry within SEMA and our own council membership. I would also like to draw from the expertise of WTC members so that we all can benefit from a certain level of common and critical knowledge to strengthen our industry. I would like to do my part and continue the great sense of community that we have within our membership. This is our industry, and I want to do my part to protect it and help it thrive.
SMN: In this current economic crunch, why should companies join SEMA and WTC?
TD: SEMA and WTC retain a good measure of resources as to what is going on in our industries today. They have enough insight into the current trends and business world that they can provide members with great situational awareness for themselves and their companies. In addition, members can gain from the benefits of the community of friends and colleagues that spur challenges, help you to grow and provide the support to be a strong company. It’s called networking with peers, and it has to be one of the single biggest benefits of SEMA and WTC membership.
WTC Select Committee Elections
As a result of annual elections, WTC also welcomes the following new members to the select committee:
Joe Findeis is the owner of Wheel Consultants Inc. and the creator of “The Ultimate Wheel and Tire Plus Sizing Guide,” a publication widely known throughout the industry. He has more than 30 years of experience in the wheel and tire industry, has served three previous terms on the WTC select committee and was the WTC’s 2007 Person of the Year.
Joe Schaefer of Konig Motoring Accessories is also starting his second go-round on the WTC select committee, having served three consecutive terms in the past. He has 28 years of experience in the wheel and tire industry and is a SEMA-certified custom wheel and tire specialist.
Russ Fuller is another veteran of the wheel and tire industry, with more than 25 years of experience. During those years, Fuller was involved in the development of many products and specifications used in the industry today. He now owns Revolution Supply, which supplies wheel accessories to many SEMA-member companies. Revolution is one of the leading suppliers of Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems, sensors, accessories and tools in the U.S.
Carl Mercincavage is the wheel and tire sales leader for Keystone Automotive’s northeast zone and brings a distributor/retailer perspective to the select committee. He also brings almost 35 years of experience to the committee.
Marc Pugh started his career in 1987 and has held positions in sales, marketing, tech and fitment. Today, he is a wheel designer for Ultra Wheel Company, where he has been employed since 2004.