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Jim Shrader Sr. worked for Goodyear Tire & Rubber for 13 years before having entrepreneurial ambitions of creating his own business. In the spring of 1948, Jim founded Shrader Tire & Oil, an automotive tire, oil, parts and service store at 2045 Sylvania Ave. in Toledo, Ohio.
Jim was the owner, manager, over-the-road salesmen and collection agent, while his wife, Bernie, ran the office, bookkeeping and the store sales counter. Jim and Bernie employed one tire service man, one part-time warehouse/delivery man and Jim Shrader Jr., their 13 year old son, who worked after school to help the family business. Soon to join the company was John Hilkins, who went on to loyally serve the company for over 50 years, in practically all phases of the business.
As time went on and the business grew, Jim Sr.’s two daughters Patti and Gerri, soon filled roles within the company as well. Company meetings were held around the dinner table as Jim Sr. instilled important values to each one of his children such as honesty, integrity and commitment which are at the forefront of how Shrader does business today.
Son in laws Rod Chryst, Patti’s husband, and John Kruszynski, Gerri’s husband, also joined the team. John Kruszynski eventually headed up the oil side of the business while Rod Chryst took over the automotive parts end of the company. The business continued to expand as did the family. Jim Jr., Patti and Gerri all had children, most of which began working for the company on a part-time basis after school.
The company itself though was having a bit of an identity crisis as Shrader had made a name for itself in many areas. Some thought the business should deal more in equipment and tool sales, some thought more oils, lubes and chemicals. Others thought it to be a parts business, but Jim Jr. leaned towards passenger/truck tire sales.
Ultimately Jim Jr.’s business philosophy and direction were made clear and in 1985 Jim Shrader Sr. stepped down at the age of 73 to hand the company onto Jim Jr. Acting as a mentor for his son, Jim Sr. became Chairman of the Board. In addition to these internal changes, Jim Jr.’s two sons, Joe and John, were quickly becoming rising stars within the company as Joe was appointed sales manager.
In 1985, Mark Meyer, who was already working as a sales representative for the company, stepped into the role as the company controller and head of finances. Mark graduated from the University of Toledo in accounting, so his transition was a natural fit. Today Mark heads up the finance and operations departments and holds the title of company Vice President Secretary.
Over the years Shrader Tire & Oil began to shift further towards Business-to-Business transactions and ultimately transitioned over from retail. This was propelled by the opening of commercial truck tire service centers in Toledo and Perrysburg, Ohio. Measured success lead Shrader to expand it's foot print into Michigan and Indiana as well.
Moving aggressively into the medium truck tire business required the company to enter the truck tire retread business. Jim Jr. began looking into retreading processes and in 1993 built a state-of-the-art Retread Plant, located in Blissfield, Michigan in which his son Joe was totally responsible for along with his continued sales management duties for the company.
The truck tire retread plant and its entire operation was proving to be a big success under Joe Shrader’s leadership. It has been said by Jim Jr. that this was the main test in taking over the role as president for Joe when Jim planned to step down. They began transition planning and mentoring in 1995, and on Jim Jr.’s 65th birthday on June 8, 2000, Joe became president of Shrader Tire & Oil and 3rd generation leader. To this day, Jim Jr. acts as Chairman of the Board and works on the business, not in the business.
Joe’s brother, John Shrader, stepped up to fill the role of sales manager and is the company Vice President of the Tire Division. Jim McCabe, who also worked in sales for a number of years, became Vice President of the Oil Division in 1996, helping Shrader maintain a strong relationship with Chevron.
Shrader has further professionalized it’s leadership team by bringing in Dave Stark who heads up all human resource functions, employee benefits and the Shrader safety committee. Jeff Peters, who is responsible for the company’s information technology, has worked hard to keep Shrader’s computer operations up to date with the latest achievements in the field. Jeff also works alongside Mark Meyer, consolidating company finances in the accounting department. Joe Reynolds was brought into Shrader to consult the company on project development. He soon found a permanent position and is the go-to guy, helping ever evolving areas of the company such as logistics, store operations, systems knowledge and keeps the company updated on new industry technologies.
In his presidency, Joe Shrader has upgraded all of the company’s facilities, opened new stores and phased out the retail end of the company. The original store on Sylvania Avenue is now home to the company’s headquarters, the customer service department and the main distribution center for Ohio. With the purchase of the Melvindale, Michigan location in (2005), came the opportunity to expand our Fleet Service and Bulk Oil presence in Michigan. Melvindale is also home to Shrader’s state-of-the-art Michelin Retread Technologies Plant and Shrader’s exclusive THERMOBRITE Rim Reconditioning Plant.
Today, Shrader Tire & Oil is proud to be partners in the industry with Michelin and Chevron and strives to continue offering customers the same values enacted by Jim Sr. and Bernie Shrader: Honesty, Integrity and Commitment. Shrader continues to expand it’s foot print as evident with the opening of their latest Truck-Tire Service Centers in Lima and Fostoria, Ohio. The Company is proud of it’s history as the region’s industry leader in commercial truck tires and lubrication, as well as being your trusted solution provider.