Elected: April 5, 2001
Inducted: August 17, 2001
Born: January 6, 1950 in Pekin, Illinois
Married the former Melanie Hilst on February 5, 1971 in Pekin, Illinois. Together they have raised two boys, Mark who is presently an instructor on Caterpillar Engine Technology at Illinois Central College and Michael a high school senior.
Ron Matthews and his wife Melanie worked side by side in developing Tazewell Towing over a period of 25 years. They specialized in heavy duty recovery, operating out of two locations, one in Pekin and the other in Creve Coeur. In 1996, they sold Tazewell Towing and Ron has become a consultant, teacher and expert witness to the towing and recovery industry while Melanie has become the administrator of the Professional Towing and Recovery Operators of Illinois.
Ron is a graduate of Illinois Central College and has amassed a number of accolades, including Founding Member of PTROI, Board Member for 21 years of PTROI, 1985 Outstanding Young Man of America, Outstanding Service Awards from Motor Club and Certificates of Commendation from the Chicago Motor Club for 10 years. In 1988, he also received the Tow Times Company of Character and in 1990 Tow Times Most Attractive Large Company. In 1994, he earned the coveted ACE Award and in 1995 the Award for Courageous Professionalism from American Towman. Ron is active in the Students Against Drunk Drivers, Pekin Chamber of Commerce and is in charge of their annual Christmas Parade.
A quote from a friend best summarizes Ron’s contributions to his industry and community as follows: “I have long admired Ron as an American success story – common sense, grit, determination and persistence. He has it and deserves great credit.” The Honorable Judge James Helple, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, State of Illinois.