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Bill Honoring Les Schwab is Drafted

May 29, 2007, Whitsett News Release

Salem, OR – Senator Doug Whitsett (R-Klamath Falls) introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 19 Tuesday, a resolution honoring the life of Les Schwab. Les Schwab is best known for forming Les Schwab Tire Centers, a chain of 410 stores across seven states, and the value he placed both on his customers and employees.

“It is important to honor those who have led by example,” said Whitsett. “Les Schwab is such a man, both in how he conducted his life and his business.”

Les Schwab was born in Bend, Oregon in 1917. Orphaned at age 15, he supported himself and his siblings by delivering the Oregon Journal. Schwab purchased the O.K. Rubber Welders shop in Prineville in 1952. He later changed the name to Les Schwab Tire Centers and has since expanded to seven states with 410 stores and made sales of $1.6 billion in 2006.

“You will not find a finer example of a man or the American dream than Les Schwab,” said Whitsett. “Through hard work and tenacity he built a legacy of quality products, valued customers, and prized employees. He really has a remarkable and inspiring story.”

J.D. Power and Associates has ranked Les Schwab Tire Centers as the best national passenger vehicle and light truck tire retailer in customer satisfaction for four consecutive years. Schwab recognized his employees as his company’s greatest assets and established an employee trust fund account for their retirement. He also offered no-premium medical coverage for his employees and their families and carried on a generous profit sharing program.

Les Schwab Tire Centers became a main stay for the town of Prineville especially following the loss of the timber industry. Les Schwab passed away May 18, 2007.

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