Sudden Succession:
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



Flip's Tire Center

San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Sudden Succession
Brother and Sister Team Keep Flip’s Tire Center Rolling

Following the death of their father in June, Shawn Smith and Kristin Dietz faced a decision on the future of Flip’s Tire Center, the business that Philip “Flip” Smith had operated for more than 30 years.

There was no plan for the pair to take over the Van Nuys tire and auto accessories store and the elder Smith seriously considered selling and retiring. Career paths had taken Shawn to a chrome wheel wholesaler while Dietz became an accountant and taken a position as chief financial officer for a charter school in Burbank.

But then the brother and sister found themselves the inheritors of the business; a well-known business that Flip Smith had built up since the early 1970s serving individual vehicle owners and car dealerships.

Not wanting to let all that goodwill to just end, it became clear to Shawn Smith and Dietz to keep Flip’s Tires going to continuing serving its customers.
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Los Angeles Times

Tire dealer created business group in Valley to fight crime

Philip “Flip” Smith, a longtime Van Nuys tire dealer who expanded the neighborhood watch concept in Los Angeles to businesses, an innovation that reduced crime along the Sepulveda Boulevard corridor, died Monday. He was 61.

Smith died of liver cancer at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Woodland Hills, said his daughter, Kristin Dietz.

In the early 1990s, Smith formed the Sepulveda Boulevard Business Watch, eventually pulling together about 300 businesses along a seven-mile stretch to clean up and police the thoroughfare.

The group was the first of its kind in Los Angeles, according to the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce.

“He was like the Pied Piper. He could get anybody to do anything,” said Nancy Hoffman Vanyek, chief executive of the chamber group. “He knew how to make people want to help.”
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Daily News Los Angeles

Local tire dealer 'larger than life'

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.”
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Los Angeles Times

VAN NUYS Crime Fighter Undaunted by Troubled Times

Philip (Flip) Smith says he has no regrets. He sees his two grown children at least once a week, regularly attends a step aerobics class and has a penchant for Hawaiian shirts.

His business is not flashy-he owns a tire shop on Sepulveda Boulevard-but Smith considers himself a success. A founder of the Sepulveda Boulevard Business Watch, he has held on in a troubled neighborhood through years of decline.

And police say that among business leaders in the San Fernando Valley, Smith and his organization have done more than most to fight crime and urban decay.

On a recent Friday afternoon, looking relaxed in a pink, navy blue and beige Hawaiian shirt, beige linen-look pants and sensible brown shoes, Smith, who has been married for 27 years, talked about the business and community leadership roles he has held since 1982.

"Whenever I see a problem, I think about the solution," said Smith, who has lived in Van Nuys for 43 of his 47 years. "A lot of people try to point fingers or they blame someone else for not doing anything, but you can just roll up your sleeves and take action."
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