Editor’s Note: AMN’s sister publication, Tire Review, was on hand for this event. Click here to view their photo gallery. This story will be updated with additional coverage from Tire Review.
Big O Tires, one of North America’s largest retail tire franchisors with more than 460 independently owned and operated locations, ascended upon New Orleans for the annual Big O Tires convention at the end of April. More than 800 franchise owners, managers, corporate associates and suppliers gathered for the event, under the theme of “Together Toward Tomorrow – Big O in the Big Easy.”
Ben Nemtin, the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of “What Do You Want to Do Before You Die?” and star of MTV’s The Buried Life, was the keynote speaker for the event, providing an authentic and inspiring message empowering attendees to make an impact – in both their careers and their personal lives.
The “Together Toward Tomorrow” message was echoed throughout all aspects of the convention, according to Big O, starting with the keynote speaker and lasting all the way through the vendor trade show, awards dinner and the breakout sessions. Participants left the convention equipped with the tools to exceed goals and create a wide-reaching impact to lead their teams in that same mission.
While at the meeting, attendees also had the opportunity to pay tribute to the importance of educating future generations through the Big O Tires Scholarship Fund and Blessings in a Backpack, packing more than 800 backpacks with school supplies. The backpacks will be provided to New Orleans public school students for the coming school year. This was Big O’s way to say thank you to the host city for their hospitality during the convention. This year, $205,000 was raised from participants for the scholarship fund at the event; a significant increase compared to last year when the group raised more than $120,000.
During the awards ceremony, franchisees and team members were recognized for their efforts. The following awards represent a sampling of what was presented during the annual “Best of the Best” awards ceremony:
Standing “O” Awards –Each year at the convention, Big O recognizes franchisees and corporate associates for going above and beyond to support Big O, whether it is serving on committees, helping fellow franchisees and team members or providing outstanding customer service. This year’s winners include Derek and Jared Edwards, franchisees in Sandy, Utah; Tim Washburn, franchise business consultant for Big O Tires in the Northern California – Bay Area region; and Erica Staley, senior marketing manager for Big O Tires.
Point of Light and IFA Award – Chris Monteverde was honored multiple times throughout the awards ceremony receiving both the Point of Light and IFA Awards. The Point of Light recognizes extraordinary franchisees that have contributed to the Big O organization with their knowledge, expertise and dedication. The IFA Award, designated by the IFA every year, honors achievement and commitment across the board – both in business and community.
Franchisee of the Year –This was the third year the Franchisee of the Year award was presented. The top 40 stores, based on numerical results, are eligible. Candidates submit information on their community involvement and an executive committee considers that material, along with feedback from other franchisees to make a final decision. Honored were Mike Trammel, owner in Indiana; Greg Kimberlin, multi-store owner in Kentucky; and Rob Curry, multi-store owner in Colorado and California.
Hall of Fame Inductee – Bill Walker, a multi-store owner in Indiana and Kentucky, was inducted into Big O’s Hall of Fame this year.