June 6, 2017 << Back to Blog
June 6, 2017
Wayne Mead, long-time territory sales manager for the Alliance Tire Group, was honored last week during a retirement party at the company’s office and warehouse complex that he helped open in Houston. Mead spent 16 years as the top salesman for Galaxy Tire, a legacy company of ATG, building an expertise in skid steer, construction, farm and port tires that he has shared with customers for decades.
Mead started in the business delivering tires in 1968 for Gates Tire in his hometown of Houston after injuries from shrapnel and napalm cut short his planned military career with the 101st Airborne Division. He was known for sleeping in his truck to save money and stay efficient—a powerful work ethic that has characterized Mead’s long career. Even as a distinguished sales rep, he was never above helping unload a truck in a pinch, or going the extra mile for a customer.
“I’m not the greatest speaker in the world, so I had to have a good work ethic,” he joked. “I learned a lot about our tires and a lot about our competitors’ tires. That way, I could be of value to my customers.”
Mead’s career spanned some of the most exciting changes in the tire industry, from the widespread adoption of car and truck radials to the introduction of the Galaxy Beefy Baby, the first premium, high-performance skid steer tire on the market. Working with tire industry pioneer David Ganz, Mead helped build a huge and loyal following for the long-lasting tire and helped sell the “lowest cost of ownership” positioning that still drives ATG today.
Mead’s connections with the Alliance, Galaxy and Primex brands goes back decades. He sold Alliance tires as a wholesaler in Texas, then joined Galaxy Tire in 1994 as the company’s second Houston employee. He and long-time colleague Bob Arnold—now a VP with Alliance—opened a warehouse there and quickly established themselves as top performers in the company. Mead recalls nights on the road watching David Ganz design some of the industry’s top OTR tires, including Galaxy’s renowned Beefy Baby, Hulk and King Kong skid steer tires.
As he heads out to enjoy traveling with his wife, Verlie, and doing some hunting and fishing, Mead sees a bright future for the next generation of Alliance Tire salespeople in the fast-growing company, and looks back on a fulfilling career.
“Once carbon black gets in your blood, you can’t get it out,” he said. “I’ve met so many good people in the tire business, and it’s provided for my family over the years. It’s been a fun industry.”