NTEA Will Deal the Winning Hand At 1998 Convention In Las Vegas

The National Truck Equipment Association's 34th annual convention will be held among the lights and glamour of Las Vegas, Nevada, March 11 to 13. The program includes seminars ranging from understanding federal requirements on vehicle certification to Internet marketing techniques. Captain James Lovell Jr, commander of the Apollo 13 space flight, will give the keynote address.

Appropriate to its location in Las Vegas, the convention carries the theme "The Winning Hand." The theme illustrates components of the convention's mission that includes quality, marketing, partnering, technology, and vision. The NTEA expects about 3,000 to attend the convention and exhibition that will host more than 300 exhibitors. Exhibit hours are 10:30 am to 3:30 pm on Thursday and 9:30 am to 2:30 pm on Friday.

For the second consecutive year, the Young Executives Network (YEN) will present a forum for employees of member companies between the ages of 18 and 35 to network and learn from each other. The ultimate goal is to educate and train new industry leaders. The YEN will hold its annual meeting and workshop at 1 pm and a reception at 5:30 pm on Tuesday.

Convention participants can win cash on Thursday and Friday even if they have no luck at the tables. Registrants will receive five cards that must be verified at five stations in the exhibit hall. After cards have been checked at all five stations, members may participate in a drawing for $200, $300, or $1,000 in cash.

Nine Sessions In addition to nine business sessions, the NTEA will hold a series of chassis seminars at 1 pm Wednesday. Major manufacturers will discuss technical topics related to the commercial truck equipment industry during 30-minute seminars.

Brief overviews of the nine business sessions follow:

Planning for the smooth succession of a family-operated business is important for growth of the industry. Nearly 70% of all NTEA memberships are family-operated businesses. Russ and Roger Allred, business consultants, will present "Power Tools for Family Business" from 11 am to 12:15 pm Wednesday.

Beginning at 11 am Wednesday, NTEA member panelists Gene Kohler Jr, Kranz Automotive Body Company, Sam Teague Jr, Teague Equipment Company, and Pete Wells, Nevada Truck Equipment will share real-life stories on implementing a quality assurance plan for smaller companies. The panelists will explain how they initiated their quality systems and the benefits the programs have provided.

Michael Gerber, CEO of Business Development Corporation, will present "Beating the Odds -- Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What To Do About It" from 1 to 5 pm on Wednesday. Gerber will speak on how to break out of the tyranny of routine and build a flourishing and innovative small business.

Steve Epner, president of BSW Consulting Inc, will continue his successful program from last year on the power of Internet marketing. From 3:45 to 5 pm Thursday, Epner will reveal how to tap into and compete in this electronic marketplace. One of the most confusing business responsibilities is understanding vehicle certification. Beginning at 3:45 pm Thursday, Louis Kleinstiver, technical services director of the NTEA, will cover the basics of vehicle certification. Kleinstiver will discuss federal requirements and the penalties for non-compliance.

A session on strengthening a business through partnerships is scheduled from 8 to 9:15 am Friday. Edwin Rigsbee, president of Rigsbee Enterprises, will discuss pooling knowledge with employees, partners, and other firms to increase productivity and profitability.

At 8 am on Friday, Dr Al Bates will present "How to Improve Your Company's Financial Performance." He will show how to avoid the "profits adequate for survival" approach to business. Bates will discuss the factors that influence profit in the industry and offer solutions for improved results.

Edwin Rigsbee will host another session Thursday from 2:45 to 4 pm entitled "Cashing In - Retail Marketing Tactics that Boost Sales." Using ideas presented in his morning session, Rigsbee will offer tips for improved retail sales. Rigsbee will demonstrate how a user-friendly store can increase profits and satisfy suppliers as well as customers.

Mark J Gambill, Senior vice-president of sales and marketing, Employee Solutions Inc, and Bill Hollis, President, Logistics Personnel Corp, will present a business session summarizing the services available through employer service companies. The session is scheduled from 2:45 to 4:00 pm on Friday, March 13.

Events and Tours Four special events are scheduled for the convention beginning with an opening reception at 7:30 pm Wednesday at the Circus-Circus indoor theme park. In addition to rides and games, the event will have varied musical entertainment. The NTEA will provide food, beverages, and transportation from the Hilton and Sahara beginning at 7 pm.

The president's breakfast and annual meeting will be followed by the keynote speaker. Captain James Lovell Jr will tell the story of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission and how he and his crew returned safely to Earth after the spacecraft's oxygen system failed. The breakfast begins at 7:45 am Tuesday at the convention center.

The closing party for the 1998 convention is expected to be bigger than last year's Supershow. The dinner-dance begins at 6 pm Friday at the Las Vegas Hilton. Served buffet style, the dinner will have table seating and will be catered until 9 pm.

The final event of the convention will be the golf tournament that begins at 7 am Saturday at Angel Park Golf Club. Buses leave from the Hilton and Sahara to the Arnold Palmer designed course at 6 am and return after the awards lunch about 1 pm. Registration includes greens fee, cart, lunch, and transportation.

In addition to the special events offered, the NTEA organizes tours for spouses and children. Three tours will be offered on Wednesday. The first tour begins at 11:30 am at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Entitled "accessorizing made easy," the luncheon includes an accessorizing demonstration by a Macy's fashion consultant.

"Casino gaming instruction" begins at 12:30 pm on Wednesday. A dealer/instructor will explain the rules and strategies of blackjack, roulette, and craps. From 12:30 to 2:30 pm on Wednesday the "Vegas strip tour" will visit Treasure Island, The Luxor, and New York-New York, exploring some of the newest and biggest hotel casinos in the city.

The "Las Vegas home tour and luncheon," visits the Liberace Museum, the Gott Mansion, and an elaborate underground house once owned by a millionaire at 10:30 am Thursday. The tour concludes with lunch at Andre's, a histori c French home-turned-restaurant.

The "Bally's backstage tour and luncheon" begins at 10 am on Friday. It will demonstrate the nightly backstage preparation and the makeup and costuming of a showgirl. The "Red Rock canyon tour and BBQ lunch" begins at 10 am on Friday. Red Rock canyon is only a short drive from Las Vegas. The tour includes a visit to the Spring Mountain Ranch that once was owned by Howard Hughes and a barbecue chicken lunch in Old Nevada.

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