On Sept. 22, Willess “Bill” Henry Vincent, Jr., one of the co-founders of ISRI’s Tire and Rubber Division, passed away at 82. “Bill was one of the first people I met from the tire recycling industry,” ISRI President Robin Wiener says. “He was a wonderful leader and absolutely instrumental in pulling the National Association of Scrap Tire Processors (NASTP) into ISRI and making it work.”
In the late 1990s, Vincent and Norman Emanuel, owner and founder of Baltimore-based Emanuel Tire, invited tire processors across the U.S. to a meeting in Irving, Texas to create an association for their trade. The meeting led to the creation of the National Association of Scrap Tire Processors (NASTP). In 2001, while working to bring a potential member to NASTP, Vincent and fellow recycler Mark Rannie, now president of Emanuel Tire, learned about ISRI and believed it might be a good home for NASTP.
After learning about ISRI, Vincent and Rannie met with Wiener and ISRI’s executive team to discuss a merger. Both parties welcomed the merger: ISRI wanted to expand into tire recycling, and the former NASTP members would gain access to new resources, networking opportunities, and a strong voice on advocacy issues.
Rannie credits much of the NASTP-ISRI merger to Vincent’s insights about the nature of the recycled materials industry. “Bill knew that we’re more than just our individual companies,” Rannie explains. “He had incredible foresight to take the industry to the next level. He wanted us to be more than just individual entities and to take charge of our own voice. Bill really helped us get to where we are today as an industry.”
In September 2001, the NASTP executive committee and ISRI board voted unanimously to transform NASTP into the Tire and Rubber Division and Scrap Tire Processors Chapter of ISRI. The division elected Vincent as its first chapter and Rannie the first chapter president.
“Bill was a dear friend and a great mentor,” Rannie says. “He and I spoke all the time. We would share opinions about where we thought the industry should go and he was instrumental in taking the industry in that positive direction. His vision for the industry was not only inspirational but also a driving force for me in my own career.”
Vincent was born Aug. 18, 1940, in Dallas to the late Mary Edith (Burleson) and Willess Henry Vincent. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Patricia Marie (Sullivan) Vincent; his sister, Vonnie Hamlett; and great-grandson, Riverson Vincent. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend.
Vincent is survived by his children, Kimberly Carter and husband, Jerry of Euless, Texas; Kip Vincent and wife, Sydney of Carencro, La.; Kyle Vincent and wife, Tammy of Lafayette, La.; and Keely Vincent of North Richland Hills, Texas; grandchildren, Eric Carter and wife, Amy; Amanda Carter, Wade Carter and wife, Courtney; Lauren Vincent and Dustin Stelly; Kayse Vincent and wife, Miranda; Jake Vincent, Chase Vincent and wife, Christina; Chance Vincent and wife, Cortney; Dustin Roberts and wife, Casey; Blake Roberts; Matthew Roberts and wife, Brooke; Trevor Mote and Zane Mote; and 20 great-grandchildren.
He is also survived by his sisters, Sue Peterson and husband, Logan, of Tioga, Texas, and Pamela Keith and husband, Larry, of Richland Hills, Texas; numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family members; and a host of friends.
An entrepreneur, Vincent had a hand in numerous ventures including Comet Cleaners and Coin Op; Uneeda Uniform and Linen Service; Southern Bulk Solvents; Southern Products; Southern Waste; Texas Tire Disposal; Southern Tire Recyclers; Colt Scrap Tire Centers; and Tioga Pluming and Electric. His current company, Scott, La.-based Colt Recycling, is run by his sons Kip and Kyle Vincent.
In addition to serving as council member and mayor of Richland Hills, he participated in several organizations including Keep Texas Beautiful, Chisolm Trails Roundup, the Western and social riding club Tejas Vaqueros, and ISRI.
Funeral services were held Sept. 28 at Lucas Funeral Home in Hurst, Texas. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to the Fellowship of the Sword, 700 Bedford Euless Rd., Hurst, Texas, 76053 or via its website.
“Bill was loved by people and enjoyed life,” says Chair Gary Champlin, ISRI’s immediate past president, president of Champlin Tire Recycling and a close friend of Vincent. “To have known him as a friend was truly a blessing.”
Photos Courtesy of ISRI.