The North Carolina Tire Dealers Association was formed in 1964 to advance and safeguard the business interests of its members; to promote harmony, good will, and understanding among its members; to encourage an exchange of ideas and technical knowledge with retailing and wholesaling procedures; to improve the quality and standards of the products of the new tire and retreading industry; to acquaint, through advertising and other means, the buying public with the true value of the independent tire dealer in the community; and to represent the NCTDA in their contact with local, state, and national governments, and appear for and on behalf of the membership before legislative, administrative, judicial and quasi-judicial bodies of local, state, or federal governments.
NCTDA Hall of Fame
After serving his country in the United States Army from 1953-1955, Reuben and his young bride, Lucille Hawley Davis moved to Lenoir County to run a country store at Wooten’s Crossroads. In 1974 they opened at their current location at 1601 W. New Bern Road in Kinston.
Reuben began his tire business by going into the fields at night to change tractor tires for farmers while his young son would hold the flashlight. He was willing to do what others were not, building trust with his customers and his community. Reuben prided his employees’ ability to get you “in and out” as quickly as possible referring to the statement, “We don’t want you to lose a lap” based on his love for NASCAR.
Serving on the Lenoir County Board of Commissioners for 18 years with one term as Chairman, Reuben helped to steer business and government in Lenoir county. Reuben’s civic mindedness was also reflected in the many civic clubs of which he was an active participant. He was a member of the American Legion Post 504 for 60 years, the local Lions Club, Lenoir Community College and the Kinston Exchange Club. Reuben was an advocate for all people, serving on the NC Commission for Mental Health.
Reuben’s son, Jeff has run Davis Wholesale Tire since 2010. Jeff has gone from holding the flashlight for his dad in the fields, to working at the shop changing tires as a teenager, to now running the business and continuing what his father started. Davis Wholesale Tire continues Rueben’s legacy of service to their community by helping customers
Davis Wholesale Tire has served their customers, who they treat as family, for over 45 years.
Born and raised on a farm in Angier, NC, Bob knew the value of hard work from an early age. Graduating from Campbell College and furthering his studies at NCSU, Bob met the vibrant Watts Nursing student, Bobbie Rigsbee. They married in 1958 and Bob joined her family’s business Rigsbee Tire Sales in Durham. Drafted by the US Army in 1959, Bob and Bobbie moved to Minnesota until his discharge in 1961. He continued his military service in the US Army Reserves until 1986 when he retired with the highest rank for enlisted personnel, Command Sergeant Major.
Bob and Bobbie returned to Durham and Bob assumed management of the wholesale division of Rigsbee Tire Sales, working alongside his father-in-law, Stewart Rigsbee and brothers-in-law Buddy Lynam and Charlie Rigsbee. Working together, they grew the company, known for its honesty and integrity. While at Rigsbee Tire, Bob served on the NC Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association as an active board member and as President in 1982. He also served on the Hercules Tire & Rubber Dealer Council, the Toyo Tire Dealer Council and the National Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association, the forebear of the Tire Industry Association of today.
In 1983, Rigsbee Tire Sales was sold to Merchants Tire and Ralph Howard, longtime executive vice president of the NCTDRA was preparing to retire. Bob, already an active participant, was a perfect fit and became executive vice president in 1984. Bobbie worked with him helping with event planning, bookkeeping and ladies’ programs. As executive vice president, Bob strengthened the board, added more educational opportunities, gave a stronger legislative voice to tire dealers and constantly looked to increase value-driven benefits for members.
Bob and Bobbie retired from the NCTDRA in 2005.
Roland S. Boyette, Jr.
Roland was born and raised in Wilson, NC and is a Tarheel thru and thru. After attending the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Roland returned to his hometown, joined the National Guard and began work with Interstate Tire Company.
In 1974, John Bolt Jr and Leonard Turnage formed ITCO Tire from its beginnings as Interstate Tire and Roland continued his rising career in tire sales and distribution, holding positions in Wilson, Greensboro, Charlotte, & Columbia. In 1986 he left ITCO and joined Merchants Tire where he remained until he joined Heafner/ITCO in 1999. Roland has held most positions in the tire distribution industry over the course of his career including warehouseman, delivery driver, warehouse manager, manager of and distribution centers and regional general manager culminating his career at ATD as Senior Vice President of Sales.
After 47 years in the industry, Roland retired from American Tire Distributors in March, 2017and is spending more time on the golf course, cheering on his beloved Tarheels and enjoying more time with Nancy, his wife of 32 years.
Roland and Nancy have one daughter, Shannon who resides in Miami, FL. Roland’s brothers and sister are attending tonight. They are David and his wife, Susan, Eleanor and her husband, Charles and Wayne and his wife, Alison.
Roland served on the NCTDRA Board of Directors and was President of our Association from 2001-2002.
Dan K. Brown
Raised in Caroleen, NC, a rural textile community located in Rutherfordton County, Dan exhibited leadership strengths throughout his formative years by holding class Officer positions and participation in many clubs as well as playing on football, baseball and golf teams. After graduating with honors from Western Carolina University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Management, Dan joined Heafner Tire in 1975 as a route salesman. During his 41 year career, he held numerous VP positions that included responsibility for sales, marketing, and procurement, advancing to President of Tire Pros and Executive Vice President for American Tire Distributors, positions he held at the time of his retirement in June of 2016.
Dan was a key member of the senior management teams that grew the original regional family-owned wholesale business to become the largest tire distributor in North America. Under his leadership, the Tire Pros franchise grew from Approximately 200 stores located in 12 states to 725 stores with locations in 45 states.
Dan served on the NCTDA Board of Directors for seven years and chaired Political Action and Membership chair. He served as association President from 1993-1994 and was recognized with the Outstanding Member award for 1995-1996. In November 2016, Dan was inducted into the National Tire Industry Hall of Fame.
With Donna, his wife of 20 years and their two children Katherine (14) and Pierce (12), Dan is staying busy as an involved father and devoted husband.
John Bolt Jr.
John Bolt was born in Gray Court, SC on September 17, 1923, the oldest of three children and the only son. While a student at Clemson, he was a member of the Army ROTC and upon graduation, entered Officer’s Training School. After serving his country in both World War II and the Korean War, John went to work with Ashland Oil Company, US Rubber Company and then Oliver Rubber Company. In 1964, he teamed with brothers Leonard and Tom Turnage to form Interstate Tire. In 1973, after purchasing Tom’s share, John and Leonard formed ITCO Tire which grew to distribute tires throughout the Southeast operating 31 full-service distribution centers in eight states. John was the father of seven children, John III, Sandra, Mickey, Gwen, Frank, Missy, and Cary.
Leonard was born the 9th of 14 children in 1930. His family’s Black Creek farm helped to instill the work ethic which served him well. He left school early and started work as a dump truck driver in Wilson while serving in the National Guard. He also began seriously courting his young neighbor, Nancy Bass who became his wife in 1952. After being drafted by the Army, he served 2 years in Fort Jackson and Fort Benning. Upon returning from service, Leonard joined his brother Tom and opened Turnage Tire in Wilson. Two years later, he and Tom joined with John Bolt Jr. to form Interstate Tire Company in 1964. In 1974, Leonard and John bought out Tom’s share and formed ITCO Tire. This company grew to over 750 employees operating 31 full-service distribution centers in eight southeastern states. ITCO Tire was sold to private equity firm Wingate Partners in 1996 which merged with Heafner Tire in 1998. In 2002, Heafner Tire became American Tire Distributors. The Turnage legacy lives on in their two children, Teresa and Greg and five grandchildren and now, five great-grandchildren.
Frank, Hugh & Paul Perry
Hugh, Frank and Paul Perry were all born in Sanford, NC to Hugh Ross Perry and Elizabeth Cook Perry.
In the midst of the Great Depression and with three young boys at home, Hugh R. Perry purchased a service station in Sanford, North Carolina and began selling Goodyear tires. His sons, Hugh, Frank and Paul all worked in their father’s business while growing up in Sanford.
After attending college and serving in three different branches of our armed forces during World War II and the Korean War, these brothers joined with their father to create a business model that now has six retail tire and automotive service stores with locations in Dunn, Smithfield, Oxford, Southern Pines and two stores in Sanford.
The fourth generation of Perry Brothers is continuing what their Great Grandfather Hugh began with quality products and superior customer service.
John A. Rainey
John A. Rainey was born June 23, 1927 in Wise, North Carolina where his family farmed and his father also worked in the saw mill.
John joined the US Navy in 1944 where he served until the end of the war. He attended American University in Washington, DC and remained there working for the US Government until moving to Henderson with his late wife, Betty in 1953 where they raised their children, Mike, Pat, Ray and Becky.
City Tire Recappers was opened in 1956 and grew to include 3 outlet stores while heavily involved in recapping. City Tire moved in 1986 to its present location and is operated by his son, Mike.
In November, 1965, Mr. Rainey, John Cross, Stewart Rigsbee, and Ralph Howard met in Durham to organize the North Caroline Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association. Their first annual meeting was held in April 1966 and John was elected as its first President.
Though his greatest joy comes from his family, now grown to include 9 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren, Mr. Rainey at 87 years young still enjoys coming to City Tire daily, greeting his customers and enjoying the business he began.
John H. Snider
John H. Snider was born March 3, 1929 in Haynesville, Louisiana, but grew up in the oil fields of East Texas. He liked to say, “We were poor, but we didn’t know it.”
While attending Killgore Junior College, John met his wife, Mamie. He went on to Denver University where he earned a degree in Business Administration. Beginning in 1950, his career took him from Firestone’s management team in Dallas to General Tire & Rubber Company and a position as district manager in Charlotte, NC. With pressure to transfer to the Akron, Ohio corporate offices, John purchased a single tire dealership in Greensboro, NC in 1976.
His son, John Jr. joined the company in 1977 and his son-in-law, Russ Hunt followed in 1985. With the addition of Bernie McNally, Floyd Allen, Bill Riordon, Hunter Whitsett and many others, Snider Tire, now Snider Fleet Solutions has grown into one of the largest commercial dealerships in the country.
His “share the spotlight” leadership style is still in place today encouraging impressive growth with over 900 employees working at 45 locations in eight states. His legacy will not be the number of tires or retreads sold, but rather the family, friends and colleagues he cultivated as a result of his vision and leadership.
Joseph “Shorty” H. Parrish
Joseph “Shorty” H. Parrish was born July 5, 1919 in Winston-Salem, NC.
He earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Political Science at Davidson College in 1941.While a student, he was manager of the student store, president of his fraternity and played various varsity sports.
“Shorty” served in World War II in the Pacific theater. After the war and with General Tire’s support,he opened up a tire store in downtown Winston-Salem.For 25 years, Parrish Tire Company operated as a retail and commercial tire store.When his son Joe Jr. graduated from college, he joined the company and they expanded into the wholesale tire business.
Today Parrish Tire Company operates ten retail stores, seven commercial centers, two retread shops, seven wholesale warehouses and distributes three company owned private brands internationally under the guidance of Logan and Bill Jackson, his son-in-law and grandson.
“Shorty” was dedicated to his family and his business and with his innovative approach, helped to shape the way the tire and automotive service business and distribution centers work in our state today.
Dick Johnson retired from American Tire Distributors in April 2009. Prior to his retirement, Johnson served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American Tire Distributors, Inc.
Johnson led the company through ten years of rapid growth, both organic and via a series of acquisitions. He strengthened ATD by divesting its retail stores and improving its financial flexibility.
Johnson brought a broad range of expertise to the Company and he built a unified team committed to using its essential strengths – distribution and customer service – to help independent tire dealers grow their businesses.
Johnson’s business success stemmed from his ability to balance passionate common sense with expertise in the distribution business.
Johnson became American Tire Distributors’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in May 2003. Prior to becoming Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American Tire Distributors, Johnson served as the Company’s President and CEO since 2001. Before that time Johnson led Heafner Tire Group’s Southeast Division as President. He also served as President and Chief Operating Officer of ITCO Tire Company from February 1997 until ITCO merged with Heafner in May 1998.
Gerrard founded Gerrard Tire Company with his father, Red Gerrard in 1972. This family business grew into a seven store operation under Jerry’s capable leadership. These stores included a Retreading Plant, a Truck center, a Distribution warehouse and four retail stores. Gerrard’s Tire employed more than 150 employees and Jerry thought of every one of them as family and treated them as such.
Known as a “can do” kind of man, Jerry never saw a problem that was too large to solve. He would persevere until his objective was reached and the problem was solved only to tackle his next objective. An innovative leader and yet a humble man, he led his team and built a multi-million dollar business through hard work and an optimistic attitude.
Before founding Gerrard Tire, Jerry worked with Monkey Grip Rubber Company until he joined the United States Army. Upon completion of his service, he was employed by the Charlotte Observer newspaper until he joined Uniroyal Tire Company where he worked until Gerrard Tire was formed.
Born May 1925 in Bridgeton, New Jersey.
Moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1929.
Father had a one man tire repair shop and began recapping tires in 1934.
Served in US Coast Guard from 1943 to 1946.
Went into business with his father after honorable discharge from the Coast Guard.
Attended University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.
Married Ruth in 1948.
Formed Target Tire in 1963.
He and Ruth are parents to Elliott Stein, a lawyer in New York City, Debby Stein who lives in Babylon Long Island and Howard Stein who joined Bucky at Target Tire in 1976. Started Avalon Tire brand in 1970.
Sold Target tire in 2004 and the last of their retail stores in 2011.
Born December 4, 1922 in Beaufort County, North Carolina.
One of four children.
Married Margie Dean Hudson on Christmas Day, 1942.
George and his bride were parents to four children: Sammy Pugh, Linda Pugh Stokes, Judy Ann Pugh, and Phyllis Pugh Moore and seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. In 1945, George bought his first service station, the George Pugh Shell Station in Greenville.
In 1955 he became associated with Firestone and became Pugh’s Tire & Service Center. Since 1955 Pugh’s has grown into five large retail tire and service centers, an automotive parts store and a centralized warehouse. He expanded into other brands including Bridgestone, Michelin and Goodyear over the following years.
In January, 2012, Pugh’s opened their sixth location in Washington, North Carolina. Today, the second, third and fourth generations of the Pugh family are hard at work continuing the legacy begun by George.
Charlie was born in Richmond, Va. in 1943, and he graduated from NC State Univ.in 1967. He and I got married in 1965. Otherwise, I don’t think he would have graduated.
After graduation, he was hired by Union Camp Paper Co. in Franklin, Va. as an engineer in their Forest Products Division. Three years later, Gregory Poole Equip. Co.(Raleigh, NC Catapillar Dealer), hired Charlie and moved us to Edenton, NC. We both loved the Catapillar job, and Charlie was fortunate enough to receive frequent awards.
In 1976, with persuasion from NC Senator George Wood, Charlie reluctantly resigned from Gregory Poole, and became 50/50 partners with George in an oil jobber business located in Edenton with 2 employees.. Two years later, George, after health problems,ended his silent partnership in Creywood Oil by selling out to Charlie against Charlie’s better judgement. In 1980, BP Petroleum, convinced Charlie to add a small 3-bay tire store to the BP Oil Co. warehouse in Edenton, thus the beginning of Colony Tire Corp.
On January 1, 1987, Creywood Oil was sold, leaving Charlie with about 6 Colony Tire Stores. Today, Colony Tire has 45 profit ( or loss) centers in North Carolina and Virginia, (Richmond, Va to Wilmington, NC, and Burlington, NC to the Atlantic Ocean).
Colony Tire has approximately 525 associates and distributes Michelin, Mastercraft, Toyo, Falken, Continental, and Cooper Tires. They stock and service all tire sizes up to and including large off-road mining tires.
Colony’s growth and success has been a direct function of their dedication to Customer.and Company Associate’s satisfaction. Charlie has lived and breathed this business for 35 years because he truly loves his Customers and Associates.
NCTDRA Past President ’89-’90
Scrap Tire Tax (task force)
Floyd Mock’s roots in the tire business began in a small building next to his home in 1957. Floyd, along with his brother Cecil and later Carey, started the business by recapping a few tires a day. Floyd continued to work a shift at RJ Reynolds and then many hours at “the shop” each day. Floyd left RJR after 13 years to pursue his dream of being a police officer. He served as one of Winston-Salem’s finest for four years. The recapping business was good and new tires were added to the product offering. Business grew and Floyd saw opportunity and need. Floyd wanted to expand services to meet the many automotive needs of the Mock tire customers. In 1972 he opened the Country Club Rd store. This was the beginning of a network of a 12 store automotive service group employing over 160 people in the greater Winston-Salem area. Floyd Mock, Cecil Mock, Carey Mock, Tom Beroth Sr. and Tom Beroth Jr. were all part of this expansion. Floyd was a very special person. He was a humble man. He said he never thought , “the business small beginnings would lead to where it is now.” Floyd never felt comfortable being over burdened with debt. Expansion came only on the heels of customer demand.
He was a mentor to many people in the community. Friends, business associates, employees, fellow church members valued Floyd’s caring ear and insightful advice. Floyd said the secret to his success was, “treat your customer as you want to be treated.” Everyone who knew Floyd knew this was no secret. Floyd was an example of compassion and hospitality to others.
There is a theme that emerges as one looks back at the life of Floyd. “The needs of others”. Floyd always had the want to help others. This heartfelt passion to be the hands and feet of Christ was at the core of Floyd’s everyday life. He positively touched the lives of people through gifts of encouragement, money, knowledge and prayer. Floyd’s faith in God, hope for the future and love of Jesus and his fellow man will always be with those whose lives he touched. Ruth, Floyd’s wife, Michelle and Laura his daughters, grandsons, Jonathan and Jack are left with a legacy of extreme love.
The secret of success… “Treat others as you like to be treated” commanded by Jesus; lived by Floyd Mock.
James Harlan Heafner
September 18, 1904 – May 13, 1987
Founder of Heafner Tire Company
J H Heafner moved with his family to Lincoln County when he was just over a year old and lived in the Lincolnton area all of his life. He and wife, Evangeline raised three daughters; Ann, Carolyn and Jean.
Upon graduation in 1927 from UNC-Chapel Hill, Mr. Heafner began a career in education which saw him serve as both teacher and school principal. He opened a tire and service business on May 5, 1935 and operated it as a sideline business until he left the classroom and focused his full attention on his tire shop in 1943. As busy as he was managing his growing tire business, he maintained a deep interest in education and served as a member of the Lincolnton City Board for 24 years, 19 as chairman.
Throughout the years he remained steadfast in his service to the community, serving as President of the Rotary Club, Director for the Chamber of Commerce, President of the Executive Club, Member of the Recreation Commission and Member of the Race Relations Commission to list only a few. Central to Mr. Heafner’s life was his devotion to the First United Methodist Church in Lincolnton. He was a member of the Official Board for more than 30 years and church lay leader for more than 20. He was recognized in Who’s Who in Methodist Churches and served as delegate to the Methodist Conference, teacher of the Men’s Bible Class and Chairman of the Pastoral Relations Committee among many other church activities. The tire business he started as a part time venture became the foundation company for today’s American Tire Distributors.
NCTDA Dealer of the Year
In the Summer of 1959, while still a student at Bunker High School, aspiring entrepreneur Wilson Sigmon decided to open a small business in a shack on family property and named it Sig’s Place.
A year later, young Wilson moved his business into a larger building nearby where he installed gas pumps and an outdoor lift behind the store and began selling tires, pumping gas and changing oil.
Wilson married his wife Linda in 1964 and she joined Wilson and his mother to work at the store. With his business continuing to grow, Wilson convinced his father to join them at the store where he could relieve his stress by walking to the back dock where he watched his cattle graze.
Wilson served in the Army’s Infantry from 1967-1968 while his parents and wife kept the business operating while awaiting his return.
Sig’s Place became Sig’s Tire Center in 1969. 1976 brought significant changes to their business plan as they built a larger store next door and opened Sig’s Wholesale Tire in their original space. Expansion continued with the incorporation of Startown Tire in Newton with partner Gwyn Allen in 1979 followed by Sig’s Tire & Automotive in Hickory in 1984.
Wilson and Linda continue running the business with their three sons; Kevin, Jamie, and Tracey.
Gary was born in New Bern, North Carolina, the second son of Ed and Versie Baldree. Growing up, Gary and his brother Bill worked at their father’s Sinclair station, pumping gas, changing oil, washing windshields and pretty much anything else their daddy asked them to do. Graduating from ECU in 1972, Gary was hired by Goodyear in Goldsboro and after a short time there, he was transferred to the Tarboro location.
Here he met a bubbly brunette secretary who captured his heart, the lovely Beth O’Day. In 1974 having learned a bit about how Goodyear stores operated, Gary convinced his father to add a full service tire and automotive repair center to his Sinclair station. Baldree’s Tire & Service was born. He and Beth married in 1976 and Gary joined his dad running the tire and service store. A few years later, his older brother Bill left his career in Washington, DC and brought his family home to New Bern where he too joined the family business.
In 2001, Gary and his brother realized the need to expand their business footprint so they separated their businesses and Gary opened a store in nearby Havelock. Becoming a Tire Pros store in 2013, Gary and his son Howard have earned the respect of their customers and industry friends alike.
Having never met a stranger and always willing to lend a helping hand, Gary has excelled in his chosen field. He has also been active civically as a Rotarian and on numerous boards including the Harold H Bate Foundation, Craven Community College Board of Trustees and the Havelock Civitan Club. He joined the Havelock Chamber of Commerce prior to opening his new store and has served on its board’s Military Affaires Committee seeing that our military families are honored.
2017 was a big year for Monroe Tire & Service in Shelby when they were named a TopShop finalist, but this recognition really began many years ago with their founders, Doug and Nancy Monroe.
Monroe Tire & Service of Shelby opened in 1974, much to the surprise of Chris’ mother Nancy. At 13 years of age, Chris began helping out at the shop. After earning a business degree from East Tennessee State University, Chris moved back to Shelby and began working his way into business ownership in 1987.
Chris is an innovative thinker, always looking for ways to better his business and the tire and automotive service industry as a whole. Over the past decade, Chris has worked closely with the local high schools assisting with internship development and speaking at career days about the importance of our trade. Chris, Traci and their Scottie, Rivet are enjoying making Monroe Tire & Service a success.
Chris serves as a Director on the NCTDA board and recently served as a director for the Tire Industry Association. Chris says, “Through my exposure to the industry on the state and national level, I have been given a greater appreciation for the NC Tire Dealers Association and the professionalism this association brings to our industry. We are extremely fortunate to have the resources we have!”
John Q. Allen
Born in Georgia and raised in Norlina, NC, John attended NCSU for three years before joining the Army.
After serving for two years in the US Army, he began working at Firestone in Raleigh where he rose through the ranks becoming Territory Manager.
In 1980 when he and his wife, Pam decided to make their home along the NC coast, John began his career at Hughes Brothers in Wilmington. He expanded his business in
1989 by opening the College Road location.
He joined the NCTDA shortly after arriving at Hughes Brothers and has been a board member serving as both President and Treasurer.
John has been married to his wife, Pam for 46 years and they have one daughter Heather who works with her father in his business.
Anthony Blackman was born in Sanford on February 19, 1954 and has a strong connection to our NC Hall of Fame Inductees. Hugh Perry of Perry Brothers Tire & Service offered Anthony his first job at his tire store.
After graduating from NC State University, Anthony entered the management program at Goodyear Tire & Rubber in Raleigh, NC.
In 1998, Atlantic Tire & Service opened its doors and with the support of Beth, his wife of 32 years, has expanded its operations to three retail stores in Cary, Raleigh and Durham. Anthony serves as a board member on the national Tire Industry Association.
With 50 employees and his son, Cameron joining the company in 2014, Atlantic Tire & Service is positioned for a positive place in the Research Triangle area.
John D. Clark
John D. Clark was born March 3, 1948 in Hickory, North Carolina and grew up with tire dust in his blood.
After earning his degree from UNC Chapel Hill, John returned to Hickory to work with his father at Clark Tire, an independent, family owned Goodyear dealership that his father, John A. Clark opened in 1943.
From its humble beginnings as a single store, Clark Tire has expanded into 24 retail stores, 2 truck tire centers, 3 Warehouse Distributor warehouses, a Retread Plant and a wholesale parts company.
John and his wife, Shelly have been married for 30 years and have raised two children, Charlie and Celia.
Knowing the value of loyal, professional employees, Mr. Clark shares the credit of his company’s success with them and in turn, earns both their respect and allegiance.
Ricky J. Benton
Ricky J. Benton was born May 23, 1955 in Cerro Gordo, NC.
Ricky married Dianne Batten, his high school sweetheart, and completed his education while working full time. He and Dianne lived next door to his parents where they raised their three sons.
After working for Georgia Pacific in Whiteville, Ricky opened a gas station and garage which he ran until 1981 when he went to work for Black’s Tire Service . Part of his duties involved expanding the business into multiple locations.
Ricky and Dianne purchased Black’s Tire Service from owner, W. Crowell Black maintaining the name of Black’s as a sign of respect for the Black family. His three sons all joined the family business after graduating from college and have worked with their parents to expand this thriving business. Black’s Tire Service has grown to operating 38 retail tire and auto service locations across North and South Carolina, three wholesale distribution centers in Charlotte, Durham and Whiteville, a commercial sales division in these three centers, and a retread manufacturing facility in Clarkton, NC.
With his wife and sons by his side, Ricky has created a business plan for generations to come.