On June 14, the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC) hosted its 2022 Annual General Meeting and Inaugural TRAC Industry Leadership Awards.
Taking place at the Alt Hotel Toronto Airport, in Mississauga, Ont., the occasion marked the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that TRAC had hosted an in-person meeting. During the meeting, Paul Downey, founder & CEO of Pliteq was named incoming Chair of TRAC, taking over from Maureen Kline, Vice President, Public Affairs & Sustainability (North America) Pirelli.
During the event, TRAC also recognized outstanding individuals and businesses for their dedication and commitment to excellence in the tire and rubber industry including end-of-life tire management and other businesses focused on sustainability.
The inaugural Industry Leadership Awards recognized leadership in the following categories: Leader of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Sustainability, and Young Leader.
The recipients of the awards were as follows:
Leader of the Year: Emmie Leung, Founder & CEO of Emterra Group (a TRAC member)
Lifetime Achievement Award: Don Blythe (posthumously), Don Campbell; Jim Henderson, and Glenn Maidment
Sustainability: Kal Tire; Maureen Kline, Vice President, Public Affairs & Sustainability (North America) Pirelli; Tyromer Inc.
Young Leader: Charley Kriksic, Consumers Tire; Mark Lin, MAXXIS; James O’Reilly, Trail Tire Group
In summarizing the Inaugural TRAC Leadership Industry Awards, Carol Hochu, President & CEO of TRAC stated, “To our delight, we received submissions from many highly qualified industry professionals and companies; and picking any one single winner in most categories proved itself a challenge. That is why we chose to recognize multiple winners in several categories.”
Hochu also added that, “this year, we are pleased to celebrate 11 individuals and companies who have demonstrated leadership and excellence, and whose contribution to the tire and rubber industry in the areas of business, innovation, and sustainability had been simply outstanding.”
For more details on each of this year’s award recipients please continue reading below.
Leader of the Year
Emmie Leung, Founder and CEO of TRAC member firm Emterra Group
For over 45 years, Emmie has led Emterra from a one-woman start-up to one of the largest integrated resource management companies. Emmie’s ability to envision business growth and development in the circular economy has led to Emterra’s expansion into several divisions. Emmie created Emterra Tire Recycling (ETR) in 2005 and has continued to make significant contributions to tires’ circular economy and became a leading supplier of crumb rubber in Canada.
Emmie expanded her vision and leadership to people, communities, and the planet by creating a formal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (“DE&I”) strategy and program with emphasis on female and diverse community empowerment in the workplace. Emterra also created its Community Care program to help improve the environmental health and well-being of the communities Emterra services. Through partnerships with local organizations across Canada, Emterra works to design and implement charitable giving programs, donating materials and funds to worthy community causes, and heightening awareness around waste reduction.
Lifetime Achievement Award
TRAC is proud to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Don Blythe, Don Campbell, Jim Henderson, and Glenn Maidment in recognition of their outstanding achievements and enduring legacies to the Canadian tire and rubber industry and to the community at large.
Don Blythe, OK Tire / Western Canada Tire Dealers (awarded posthumously)
Don Blythe had over 60 years of experience in the industry. He began his career with Goodyear Saskatoon in 1957. He joined OK Tire in 1972 and was instrumental in forming an OK Tire Franchised Dealer Committee to explore the possibility of the Canadian dealers (49) purchasing OK Tire Stores Canada Ltd. from Ashland Oil (Kentucky). In 1973, a 100% OK franchised dealer-owned marketing group OK Tire Stores Inc. was formed. He was named President of OK Tire in 1983.
Don was elected to the Board of the Western Canada Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association (today WCTD) in 1982. After retiring from OK Tire in 2003, he became Executive Director for WCTD until 2009. Don was instrumental in establishing Tire Stewardship BC (TSBC) and several end-of-life tire programs in Canada and remained at the helm of TSBC until his passing in 2018.
Don was named to the Western Canada Tire Dealers Hall of Fame in 2008; and named to the Tire Industry Association (TIA) Hall of Fame in 2010. He was deeply respected by the tire business across North America.
Don Campbell, Industry Canada / Tire and Rubber Association of Canada
The Canadian tire industry owes Don a debt of gratitude for his vision and dedication to the industry under Industry Canada and as past president of TRAC (1997–2001). Within the framework of NAFTA negotiations in 1980s, Don championed development of a duty remission program which allowed rubber companies to claim return of duties in return for new investment in Canada. This duty remission accrued approximately $250 million, and the industry invested close to a $1 billion in new tire plants and equipment in Canada. Thanks to these efforts, Canadian tire manufacturers (Bridgestone, Goodyear, and Michelin) operate world-class facilities that are fully integrated into their manufacturing operations worldwide. Today’s tire manufacturing landscape in Canada would not be as robust or healthy had it not been for the work of Don Campbell.
Jim Henderson, Goodyear Canada Inc.
Jim has been involved in tire industry, tire production, and manufacturing for 56 years. He started his life-long tire industry career with Michelin plants in England and Ireland. Following upheaval in Northern Ireland in the late 1960s, Jim accepted an offer from Goodyear in Toronto in 1972 where he remained until his retirement earlier this year. A staple in the tire industry, he provided insights and built relationships, communication channels, and bridges between the industry and government, ensuring that all stakeholders worked together toward the best outcomes for the industry. Notably, Jim provided assistance to Transport Canada’s enforcement program as well as being a great contact for insights into all aspects of the tire business.
Glenn Maidment, Tire and Rubber Association of Canada
Glenn’s tire and rubber industry career spanned 51 years with 30 years working for the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (formerly Rubber Association of Canada, RAC), and nearly 20 years as the Association’s President. Under his vision, the tire industry and governments developed sustainable and self-sufficient non-profit enterprises that meet their financial and recycling obligations. He was instrumental in the development and implementation of tire stewardship regulations and establishment of stewardship organizations responsible for tire recycling in British Columbia, Manitoba, and Ontario. Today, these industry-led programs set the standard for producer responsibility internationally.
In the area of Sustainability, TRAC honours Kal Tire, Maureen Kline, and Tyromer Inc. for their environmental, economic, and social contributions.
Kal Tire has long held a value of continuous improvement, recognizing its responsibility to its customers and the environment. From team practices to process operations, Kal Tire is committed to reducing waste, conserving energy, and developing solutions that enable customers to reap stronger environmental benefits. The company has been Canada’s largest retreader of truck tires for many years; and they have gone beyond that to develop practices in raw material reclamation and recovery, and lifecycle analysis, such as using the reclaimed material in OTR rubber compounds when retreading, creating their own internal circularity.
Last year, Kal Tire opened its first thermal conversion recycling facility for mining tires in northern Chile. The tire is reduced back to its original components of carbon black, steel, and oil; and the released syngas is used to self-power the process. Additionally, Kal Tire recently launched its Maple Program, which uses a proprietary carbon calculator to provide mining customers with third-party verified data on how much CO2 and oil is saved when they retread tires vs buying new, and the organization is looking to expand this to other commercial tire lines.
Maureen Kline, Pirelli Tire North America
Maureen Kline is Vice President, Public Affairs & Sustainability (North America) of TRAC member firm Pirelli. She has a background in international public affairs, sustainability, journalism, and communications. Maureen has an immense passion for sustainability and has led the Sustainability Task Force of the US Tire Manufacturers Association, as well as participating in the Corporate Responsibility Steering Committee of the Detroit-based Automotive Industry Action Group, the Standards Advisory Group of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB-Value Reporting Foundation), and the Sustainability Working Group of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association in the US. She is a co-chair of the newly formed Social Impact Committee of the Public Affairs Council in Washington. Additionally, Maureen is an adjunct instructor with Clarkson University teaching Enterprise Sustainability in the Master of Science in Engineering Management (MSEM) program, and she writes an occasional column on sustainability for www.inc.com. She is an alum of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, and a co-chair of the board of Yale Blue Green, the network for Yale alumni interested in environmental and sustainability topics.
Tyromer’s Tire-to-Tire vision aims to further elevate sustainability in the tire and rubber industry by devulcanizing rubber from end-of-life tires. Tyromer’s energy-efficient, non-chemical rubber devulcanization technology can return about 20% of recycled tire material back into new tires and much higher percentages in general in rubber products through its Tire Derived Polymer (TDP) product. Using TDP provides almost a 10-fold benefit in CO2 costs to manufacturers. Tyromer operates three TDP production facilities in Canada and the Netherlands. Tyromer’s approach provides solution to manufacturers’ sustainability goals regarding raw materials, supply chain, producer responsibility, circular economy, and CO2 emissions’ reduction.
The Young Leader award recognizes inspirational and dedicated young leaders who demonstrate industry leadership in management, innovation, technology and/or sustainability within their organization or community. This year, TRAC recognizes Charley Kriksic, Mark Lin, and James O’Reilly.
Charley Kriksic, Consumers Tire
Charley is a motivated and dedicated industry professional. He is Director of Sales and Marketing with Consumers Tire. In 2021, he was elected to the position of President of the Ontario Tire Dealers Association (OTDA) where he oversees the Association’s activities and continues to encourage the growth and prosperity for the sector. He is also Director and Executive Vice-President of the Tire Dealers Association of Canada (TDAC) advancing the industry advocacy at the national stage.
Mark Lin, MAXXIS
As OE Account Manager at TRAC member firm MAXXIS, Mark always seeks ways to bring value to the organization, team members, and customers. He creates strategies to improve partnerships, business processes, products, and marketing activities. Mark has become a champion of sustainability and environmental stewardship across all facets of MAXXIS’ business from tire production to distribution, promoting workplace wellbeing at MAXXIS Canada and in other international regions. He also makes room in his busy schedule to coach and share industry knowledge with team members and to build trust with stakeholders. Mark has obtained sustainability and quality management certificates and is currently an Executive MBA candidate at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.
James O’Reilly, Trail Tire Group
James O’Reilly, Vice president of the Trail Tire Group, is a second-generation tire business professional. He is currently overseeing the Distribution Arm (Trail Tire Supply) as well as the Associate Store Program (Trail Tire Auto Centers) at Trail Tire Group. Both divisions launched in 2019. Based on James’ strategy of building a great company on relationships, support, and commitment, this venture has seen strong growth since its launch. His other work includes overseeing their e-commerce division under Trail Tire (Tirewarehouse.ca).