Douglas Anthony Blackman, fo
Atlantic Tire & Service in Cary founder and former Tire Industry Association (TIA) Board member died on September 15. He was 69. Blackman, known by his middle name “Anthony,” grew up in Sanford, North Carolina, attended North Carolina State University, and after graduation, enrolled in the Goodyear Retail Training for Management program. He worked ten years in the state’s Goodyear and B.F. Goodrich tire outlets.
Blackman’s Atlantic Tire & Service has won Tire Review’s Top Shop Award twice, first in 2008 and again in 2015. As Tire Review discovered, Blackman began his career at an early age, working at his uncle’s small two-bay Gulf gas station in his birthplace of Vass, North Carolina. “This is where the dream began,” Blackman said of the tiny station.
Blackman met and married “the love of his life” Beth while residing in Greensboro, North Carolina. They relocated to Raleigh, N.C., where Blackman started Atlantic Avenue Tire & Service with a partner in 1989. Blackman used his $20,000 401K to start the company. Ten years later, Blackman struck out on his own, establishing Atlantic Tire & Service in Cary and expanding the company to five locations in North Carolina’s Research Triangle area.
Blackman told Tire Review that he considered his staff to be family and that he wanted them to thrive in business and in life. He was extremely charitable, donating to hundreds of local charities and organizations. Blackman was a firm believer in giving back, donating more than 11% of Atlantic Tire’s revenues in some situations – more than $900,000 per year – to community initiatives. He helped The Salvation Army, Children’s Home Society, The Carying Place, The Miracle League, The MacGregor Rotary Club, The Atlantic Tire Tennis Championship, The Cary Chamber of Commerce, and other charitable golf competitions.
He also volunteered his time to the tire business, serving on the TIA Board of Directors for two years from 2013 to 2019.
Blackman has won various local and national honors. Aside from being a two-time winner of Tire Review magazine’s Top Shop Award (in 2008 and 2015), Blackman and his wife, Beth, received the Tire Business Tire Dealer Humanitarian Award in 2016 and the TIA’s Ed Wagner Leadership Award in 2017.
“I never considered failure,” he told Tire Review. It simply wasn’t an option. I didn’t have anything to fall back on. Growing up poor makes you desire to win.”
His many local honors include Cary Citizen of the Year, the city’s Hometown Spirit Award, and, in 2021, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, which is presented by North Carolina’s governor to individuals who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities through exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments.
Brother Mike Blackman (Joy); sisters Susan Blackman Mathews (Tim) and Cindy Blackman Biggers (Howard); two grandchildren, Hudson Paul Blackman and Harper Thomas Blackman; father and mother-in-law Tom and Lindy Hutchison; brother and sister-in-law Tom and Tami Hutchison; and many nieces and nephews survive Blackman.