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Michael N. Pool was born to Neal & Hilta Pool in Odessa, TX. where he has resided ever since. He attended Dowling Elementary, Bonham Jr. High and Permian High School which many of you will recognize from the movie “Friday Night Lights”!
Mike’s father, Neal, began in the towing industry in 1963 when Broncho Chevrolet requested that he build a tow truck to haul their vehicles. At the time, Neal & Hilta were running Neal Pool Rentals, renting trucks & trailers, similar to what we now think of as U-Haul. Neal built all the trailers himself and also had an Atlas Van Lines franchise. Mike was instantly enthralled with the towing aspect of the businesses, so much so, that his parents were able to use it as grounds for punishment. While most of his friends were being grounded from their television, recreation, etc., Mike was being grounded from going to the yard after school and on the weekends. At age 15 he began driving his own tow truck and it was not unusual to see a Neal Pool Reker sitting in the school parking lot during school hours ready to roll! Upon Neal’s death in 1974, Hilta was realistic enough to know that it was inconceivable for a 17 year old boy and his mother to keep all 3 businesses running. She gave Mike the choice of which one he wanted to make a go of. Of course, he chose the wrecker business with no doubt in his mind. By this time they were towing for several dealerships and were also doing the cities towing. The rest is history. Mike & Hilta built Neal Pool Rekers into a thriving business whose name is recognized & respected throughout the Permian Basin.
His commitment and love for the industry ran long and deep from the start. Since 1978 Mike has held numerous positions with the state towing associations TTSA and the TTRA. He has served as President, Vice President, Secretary and Chairman of several committees including training. He served as President of the Texas Towing and Recovery Insurance group from 2007-2008, was the Regional Vice President of the TX Motor Transport Assoc from 2006 – 2008. Realizing the need to improve things nationally Mike was one of the founding members of the TRAA! His training and certifications are endless and cover all aspects of towing, recovery and business management. Mike has received several awards for his commitment over the years including TRAA Certification Pioneer in 2006, and The National Republican Congressional Committees National Leadership Award and Business Man of the year award in 2003. His dedication to community service is outstanding as a member of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, Permian Basin Girl Scouts, Odessa Boys and Girls club and Shattered Dreams a drinking and driving prevention program along with numerous others.
One of Mike’s core goals and passions has been the safety and education of towing operators where he has committed his time, resources and funds to further training and programs for operators in TX and nationwide.
Hllta passed away in 2006 but Mike continues to run Neal Pool Rekers with pride. His wife, Shelley, joined the family legacy in 2000 upon the failing health of Hllta. Kristi-Jo, “KJ”, their oldest daughter joined the ranks while still in high school helping out part-time. She, like her father knew this industry is where she belonged. She has now been a full-time employee for 13 years and plans on taking over when and if her father retires.
Besides his dedication to the towing industry, Mike is also a dedicated father & grandfather. Believe it or not, between all his towing association duties and the running of Neal Pool Rekers, Mike still found time to be a loving and active father to 4 other children besides KJ. Josh has his BS in Information Systems and is presently working as an IP Specialist for IBM out of his home in Seattle, WA. Jeremy is a retired 1st Lt. and Ranger in the US Army with a BS in Economics. KJ is the next in line and, as already mentioned, is the only child following in her father’s footsteps. Jaymie, daughter #2, is a licensed cosmetologist in San Antonio, TX and also has an associate degree in medical assisting. Last, but not least, is the youngest of the clan, Shelby. She is a sophomore at Odessa High School.
2015-2017 Board of Directors Announced
The new board of directors will take office on November 1, 2015
For questions or comments about the museum, contact us
Admission and Hours
Adults - $10.00
Seniors (55 or older)/Military - $9.00
AAA - $8.50
Children 6 - 14 - $6.00
Children under 5 are free.
Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Summer Hours (March. 1-Oct.31)
Monday - Saturday 9 - 5
Sunday 11 - 5
Winter Hours (Nov 1-Feb.28)
Monday - Saturday 10 - 4:30
Sunday 11 - 5
Closed Major Holidays
The International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame & Museum, Inc.
3315 Broad Street
Chattanooga, TN 37408