THE National Trailer Dealers Association held its largest convention in its history, in part by bringing in a large number of new members.
This year's event drew 365 attendees, up 30% from 2011. Roughly one in three of those that made the trip to The Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California, were attending an NTDA convention for the first time. The number of those attending the convention represented more than 67% of the association's membership.
The convention program included sessions on the economy, shop management, financial management, factors impacting trailer customers, a panel of truck manufacturers and component suppliers to discuss trends in the trailer industry. Congressman Duncan Hunter of California also spoke, providing insights into the inner workings of Washington.
The traditional gavel exchange, symbolizing a change in command for a trade association, took place in an appropriate location — the officers' club at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. There Mike Dye, president of Southwest Trailers in Oklahoma City, took over as president from Rob Velthouse, L & V Trailers in Wyoming, Michigan.
This year, NTDA will be under the direction of Mike Dye as president; Mike Shumake, Central Valley Trailer Repair in Fresno, California, first vice-president; Nick Lambevski, Transport Trailer Sales of Milton, Ontario, second vice-president; and Ron Dietz, Wabash of Utah in West Valley City, Utah, treasurer. Gwen Brow is executive director of the association.
Also providing direction will be two groups of board members representing trailer dealers and associate members. Dealer board members will be Jeff Barber, Interstate Trailer & Equipment in Cincinnati, Ohio; Jennifer Blount, Carpet Trailer Sales in Dalton, Georgia; Charlie Blyth, TNT Sales in Villa Ridge, Missouri; Joel Hought, Wallworth Truck & Trailer Center, Fargo, North Dakota; and Dale Martens, American Trailer & Storage, Kansas City, Missouri.
Allied members of the board in 2012-13 will be John Carr, HAVCO Wood Products, Franklin, Tennessee; Chris Hammond, Great Dane Trailers of Savannah, Georgia; and Steve Robinson, Pressure Systems International, San Antonio, Texas.
Next year's convention is scheduled for October 9-11 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Naples, Florida.