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2012 SmallBiz Success Awards

18 Hawaii small businesses are finalists for Hawaii Business magazine's SmallBiz Success Awards

(page 3 of 8)

GM Daniel Batty may be the owner’s son, but he started his
career as a tire changer at age 18. “We truly reflect the
‘work-your-way-up’ spirit.”
Photo: David Croxford

Family Business Winner:
American Tire Co.

When Alan Batty opened American Tire Co. in 1992, he couldn’t afford to buy furniture for his five employees, so his landlord graciously donated tables, chairs and filing cabinets.

“We were just a small warehouse and office on Colburn Street [in Kalihi] when I started the company myself,” recalls Batty, who began his career as a tire changer in 1974 before rising to tire salesman and auto-service manager.

American Tire today boasts more than 35 employees in two locations, Mapunapuna and Kapolei, and is Oahu’s only commercial dealer for Goodyear tires. The family-run company provides tire repairs and maintenance for private and commercial vehicles and ranks among the nation’s fastest-growing private businesses, according to Inc. Magazine’s “Inc. 500.”

The Batty family is driven to succeed. The company’s VP is Batty’s wife, Lei, who, two years ago, retired from Kaiser Permanente after 25 years to manage American Tire’s human resources and accounts payables. Their daughter, Olalani, joined the company as a graduate-school intern and now oversees the sales and marketing department. Their son, Daniel, is GM.

“We truly reflect the ‘work-your-way-up’ spirit,” says Daniel, who also began his career as a tire changer at age 18.

Keeping family members aligned isn’t always easy, but everyone “manages to keep their eyes on the prize,” the company’s growth and future, Daniel says.

The Kapolei store, a half-million-dollar investment, includes state-of-the-art computers that check a vehicle’s alignment in less than 10 minutes, he says. Its September 2011 opening provided relief for many companies with fleets in West Oahu.

One of them, Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co., relies on American Tire to maintain its pickup trucks, heavy equipment and passenger vehicles.

“They go the extra mile to make sure the tires on our equipment are repaired on a timely basis,” says David Gomez, equipment division manager for Hawaiian Dredging. “Their response time is normally within an hour of trouble calls.”

- Cathy Cruz-George

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