Mark Ferner, senior manager, technical operations for Bridgestone Retail Operations (BSRO), will serve as chair of the Tire Industry Association’s Electric Vehicle Advisory Council (EVAC).
He will take over Aug. 1 for Ron Lautzenheiser, a Big O Tires and Grease Monkey franchisee and former TIA Board member, who has led the council since its founding in June 2022. Lautzenheiser will continue to serve the council as a member.
“We are pleased Mark has agreed to be a part of the EVAC,” said TIA CEO Richard “Dick” Gust. “The council is playing an important role in helping prepare TIA members and the entire tire industry to safely service electric vehicles as they grow more popular in the marketplace. Mark’s experience as a former technician combined with his technical background and work at Bridgestone in supporting the company’s service technicians will help keep the council vibrant and effective.”
In his current role at Bridgestone, Ferner provides operational support to more than 11,000 technicians, including those working on EVs, at BSRO’s more than 2,200 retail service centers. He is an ASE Certified Master L1 and L3 technician and a career-long member of the Society of Automotive Engineers.
Gust also praised the work and leadership of Lautzenheiser. “Ron’s enthusiasm and drive to make sure independent tire dealers have the necessary training and information on EV tires got the EVAC off the ground and running,” Gust said. “The council made significant progress in the past year and will soon release a number of recommended industry practices for servicing EV tires.”
A globally recognized industry leader in tire technician training, TIA established the EVAC last June to focus on educating and training tire and auto dealers on the proper service techniques and procedures of EVs, establish potential safety protocols when working on them and deliver best practices for service and maintenance.
“I am very flattered and excited to be a part of this council,” Ferner said. “EV/hybrids are already entering service centers and that trend will only increase. We all need to work together to help manage this change.”