BOWIE, Md.—Captain Mark Kelly, commander of Space Shuttle Endeavor's final mission, will be the motivational speaker at the 2015 Tire Industry Association OTR Tire Conference in Tucson, Ariz.
Kelly is a retired U.S. Navy Captain, a best-selling author, prostate cancer survivor and an experienced naval aviator, who flew combat missions during the Gulf War, TIA said. He became an astronaut in 1996 and flew his first of four missions into space in 2011 aboard Space Shuttle Endeavor.
A celebrated American in his own right, Kelly also is the husband of former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who became the center of international attention in January 2011 after an assassination attempt.
Giffords was a longtime member of the tire industry, having previously served as president of her family's Tucson-based business, El Campo Tire & Service Centers Inc.
“We couldn't be more excited to hear Captain Kelly's story,” said Roy Littlefield, TIA executive vice president.
“He is a true American hero who exemplifies leadership and courage, and his story is sure to inspire OTR attendees. We are in for a real treat.”
The couple also are active in Americans for Responsible Solutions, a non-profit they founded in 2012 to encourage elected officials to stand up for solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership.
The OTR Tire Conference is scheduled for Feb. 18-21 at Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson.
Conference information and registration forms are available at TIA's website.