NATM Focuses on Its Vision in San Antonio

March 1, 2001
THE National Association of Trailer Manufacturers has a vision. It's right there in writing: It strives to be THE PREMIER association for all manufacturers

THE National Association of Trailer Manufacturers has a vision. It's right there in writing: It strives to be “THE PREMIER association for all manufacturers of trailers under 26,000 lbs Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.”

The 13th annual convention, held Feb 21-24 in San Antonio, went a long way toward meeting that vision.

The sheer numbers were the highest ever: 503 registered attendees, 86 exhibitors, and 100 booths. But the real work was done in the sessions, where a number of important issues were addressed: warning labels, guidelines compliance, e-commerce, federal excise tax, and economic forecast.

“We want to help our members be the best that we can be,” outgoing president Roland Gehman said.

Gehman turned the reins over to Jim Callaway, who said one of the primary goals is to increase the membership to 500. At the end of 2000, there were 385 members — an increase of 100 over 1999 — and a week after the convention, the total was 415.

“I think without question we can do that,” Callaway said. “We grew by more than 100 last year.”

Callaway listed the NATM's other primary goals: to achieve at least a 50% participation in the guidelines compliance program; to make minor changes in the guidelines, including the compilation of Canadian regulations onto a CD that will be easily accessible; to hold regional workshops, particularly on updated excise-tax issues; and to expand TRACKS, the association's official publication, to full color and 32 pages, including advertising.

Callaway lauded Gehman's efforts in taking the association to a higher level in 2000.

“Roland has extended a huge amount of his personal time in driving this organization forward,” he said. “He's driven us hard and he makes us think out of the box, which I think is healthy. With the relentless energy he's expended toward this association, we've gone to a new level. I think if we walk — and at times run — toward that vision, we can accomplish some great things.

“I think one of the things that made this board a success is the mutual respect for one another. We come from many different companies and walks of life. The respect everybody has in working with one another truly makes this work.”

About the Author

Rick Weber | Associate Editor

Rick Weber has been an associate editor for Trailer/Body Builders since February 2000. A national award-winning sportswriter, he covered the Miami Dolphins for the Fort Myers News-Press following service with publications in California and Australia. He is a graduate of Penn State University.