Brother and Sister Team Keep Flip’s Tire Center Rolling
San Fernando Valley Business Journal
January 19, 2009
Tire dealer created business group in Valley to fight crime
Los Angeles Times
June 27, 2008
Local tire dealer 'larger than life'
Daily News Los Angeles
June 25, 2008
VAN NUYS Crime Fighter Undaunted by Troubled Times
Los Angeles Times
March 9, 1994
By Holy J. Andres
Philip “Flip” Smith, a longtime Van Nuys resident and owner of Flip’s Tire Center and Performance Concepts in Van Nuys, died of cancer Monday at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Woodland Hills. He was 61.
Smith, a resident of Van Nuys for more than 40 years, had been a tire dealer since 1972 when he was in a partnership at Globe Tire at the same Sepulveda Boulevard address where his renamed store was located.
“Flip was smart and he ran a very successful business. He had integrity, honesty and was very knowledgeable of the tire business,” said Ron Feinstein, a 30-year friend and owner of All Valley Washer Service.
“Flip was always the type of guy who was a straight-shooter, a hard-worker. He worked as hard as he played.”
Smith was an active member and two-time past president of the Mid Valley Chamber of Commerce. His membership in the chamber and Rotary Club of Van Nuys took him beyond just business and into community service.
His concern over safety issues near his store led to establishment of the Sepulveda Boulevard Business Watch program, which has expanded to seven San Fernando Valley communities.
And Smith’s community service included police-business dialogue programs, business-education partnerships, community cleanups and a yearly track meet at Birmingham High School in Van Nuys for at-risk youth.
“He carried around a coin in his pocket that said, ’Sure Enough.’ He really did believe that anything could be done. Wherever there was a need, he filled it,” said daughter, Kristin Dietz.
“He was the most inspirational person. I’ve heard it said that he was among the top 10 movers and shakers in this community. He wasn’t just the tire guy on Sepulveda Boulevard. He was much more than that.”
Dietz said her father had a penchant for wearing Hawaiian shirts after he fell in love with the Aloha state.
And even if he had to wear a tuxedo, Smith would wear a formal tie or shoes with a Hawaiian motif, she said. A hibiscus flower was part of this store’s logo.
“You weren’t just going to go buy tires, you were going to see Flip. He was larger-than-life with a great sense of humor. He made you feel better and lifted you up. He gave 200 percent,” said longtime friend Nancy Hoffman Vanyek, chief executive of the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Smith was an athlete who visited the gym five days a week and enjoyed racket ball, golf, water skiing and kayaking.
Philip Arthur Smith was born Sept. 21, 1946, in Lynwood. He grew up in Sherman Oaks and attended elementary school at St. Cyril of Jerusalem Roman Catholic School. He graduated in 1964 from Notre Dame High School.