NTDA 2017 board members.jpg

NTDA ‘raises the bar’

Dec. 5, 2017
2017 convention highlights growth, service

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL. More than 600 members attended the 27th Annual NTDA Convention at the TPC Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa here last month, a gathering that included association updates, inspiring keynote addresses, educational sessions, poolside networking and even a little golf—or more than a little for many.

“Every year, the NTDA raises the bar,” 2016–2017 Chairman of the Board Steve Robinson said, before kicking off the formal annual meeting with the State of the Association address. “Bringing all of the leading OEMs and suppliers together with the industry’s top dealer principles to facilitate networking is something I believe we do better than any other industry organization.”

He noted the dealer-to-supplier ratio of 47/53 percent, “the best I know of.”

The association continues to grow as NTDA now counts almost 900 members, adding 63 new members in the last year, with the 1,000-member milestone in sight.

“You may recall, NTDA began 27 years ago with 22 members,” Robinson added.

For recruiting the most new members this year, the President’s Award of Excellence went to incoming NTDA Chairman Dale Martens of American Trailer and Storage, and John Short of Stoc Trailer.

Along with encouraging member involvement, Robinson called specifically on women to run for positions on the NTDA board.

Among the association’s programs, Robinson pointed to the redesigned NTDA website, which includes a resource library, a searchable membership directory, event information, an FET compliance guide, and market data.

In terms of education, NTDA continues to offer free online webinars in addition to hosting more extensive training programs.

And the NTDA scholarship program, established in 1998, received a record number of applications in 2017. Robinson credited the new online application process, and reported that NTDA will award $11,000 to five children of association member employees’ children this year.

The event’s opening speaker was Dave Manning, who would be named chairman of the American Trucking Associations two weeks later. Manning discussed industry issues including the electronic logging device mandate, hours of service rules, the cumulative economic impact of trucking regulations, truck parking, CSA, the ongoing driver shortage and driver retention, and transportation infrastructure. 

Also in the opening session, Steve Goreham, author and environmental researcher, presented his somewhat controversial views on the politics of climate change. Glen Kedzie, ATA vice president and energy and environmental counsel, followed up with a Greenhouse Gas Phase 2 Update.

In presentations covered in the following pages, the NTDA convention also featured:

•  Richard Finnegan, president of C-Suite Analytics, who presented a session focused on how to Hire & Train Millennials using a technique he refers to as “Stay Interviews.”

•  Mark Martincic, professional advisor with KEA Advisors, who discussed the concept of a “Lean, Mean Dealer Machine.” 

•  Richard Bloomquist, president, North Central Utility of Wisconsin LLC, Madison, who moderated a panel session that provided market overview for dealer financing.

•  A keynote presentation by U.S. Navy Capt. Michael Abrashoff (ret.), who spoke about the inspiration for his best-selling book on leadership and management, It’s Your Ship.

The 2018 NTDA Convention will be held at The Broadmoor, in Colorado Springs.

About the Author

Kevin Jones | Editor