'The original warehouse was 5,000 square feet, today our warehouse is 35,000 square feet,' says David Kessler, president of Ascot Supply.

Ascot Supply celebrates 50th anniversary

Jan. 4, 2019
The two-day event in Atlanta included a banquet, guest speakers, a trade show and more.

In 1968, four independent business owners in the tire service industry came together to form Ascot Supply Corporation in order to better negotiate with suppliers and vendors, and to remain competitive with larger businesses in the industry. Fifty years later, Ascot’s membership has grown from four to 15 independent companies. All 15 are in the business selling tools and equipment related to tires and wheels for everything from motorcycles and light duty automotive, to commercial vehicles, all the way up to mining equipment.

On November 30, Ascot invited its vendors and associates to a banquet in Atlanta celebrating those 50 years. The event “was a congratulations to the vendors and the vendor community, to thank them for their continued support through the 50 years, to make sure they understand [how much we appreciate] the relationship and the partnerships,” says David Kessler, president of Ascot Supply.

The event included a dinner, guest speakers including Ben Stein, presentation of a 23 year anniversary award for longtime Ascot employee Danny Spencer and “Tony Mafia, who owns Rubber Inc. in Chicago ... gave the rundown of all of the members and how many years they’ve been with Ascot individually,” Kessler says. “Then we both went through the vendor and the vendor community and how many years they’ve been working with Ascot. It was a huge conglomerate of support within that room, and I would truly say it was like a family.”

Family is important at Ascot, and Kessler attributes the company’s success partially to family and working relationships. “I think what separates Ascot from everybody else in this industry is that Ascot is independently owned, and they’re all family businesses,” he explains. “For example, a company in Florida, they’re in their fourth generation; a company in Denver, they’re in their third generation. So you have the owners on the street talking to their customers, keeping that relationship … this business is all built on relationships, and the people that are associated with our owners feel like they’re part of the business they’re buying from.”

As part of the 50 year anniversary celebration, Ascot printed a full size newspaper titled The Ascot Gazette, containing an illustrated recap of the company’s history throughout the last five decades. “We took pictures from meetings, we took pictures from events, we took pictures from summer venues, past trade shows, all of the things that would make sense that would touch everybody,” Kessler says. “[We] put this newspaper together ... and made sure that everybody got a copy.”

The day following the celebration, Ascot hosted their biennial trade show which allows vendors to “present their products and product knowledge to all the sales people, all the owners, all the distribution network that we sell to and that they sell to,” Kessler says. “It’s a great venue for them to see what we do and how we do it, and to meet in front of the group that really has a lot to say about their product.”

Kessler describes the celebration and the show as a success. “The biggest thing that happened was the camaraderie between everybody,” he says. “Everybody gets so busy with the emails, the conversations that go back and forth, but how often do you get an opportunity to provide dinner, bring everybody in to an event, and thank them sincerely for everything that they’ve done throughout the years.”

About the Author

David Brierley | Editor | Fleet Maintenance

David Brierley is a former editor of Fleet Maintenance magazine.

Brierley’s education and career have been based in the publishing industry. He is an award-winning writer and comes from a background in automotive, trucking, and heavy equipment. Brierley joined the Endeavor Business Media vehicle repair group in 2017 as managing editor for Fleet Maintenance, PTEN, and Professional Distributor magazines, as well as VehicleServicePros.com. In his current role, he writes for and oversees production of Fleet Maintenance magazine. He has worked in the publishing industry since 2011.

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