Fort Worth, Texas. Bad weather and travel challenges didn’t keep the 30th Annual NATM Convention and Trade Show from setting an attendance record or packing the exhibit hall of the Fort Worth Convention Center with vendors earlier this year.
Nearly 1,300 people picked up credentials as industry professionals took in a series of hot-topic briefings and technical sessions, and got a firsthand look at the latest in trailer components, coatings, and manufacturing processes on display by more than 220 exhibitors.
“2017 was a momentous year for NATM,” said Executive Director Kendra Ansley, taking charge of her first convention with the retirement of Pam Trusdale. “We celebrated 30 years as an Association and were able to reflect back on all that we have accomplished since 1987 when five companies came together.”
Indeed, the organization presented Trusdale with the Outstanding Service Award for her two decades of stewardship.
“When Pam joined NATM in 1998, the association had been stagnant and the Board was in search of someone who could push the Association further,” Ansley said. “Pam’s enthusiasm and passion was undoubtedly the fuel NATM needed to flourish. Pam has been a tireless advocate for the trailer industry in her nearly 20 years at the helm. She believed in the mission and she believed in our members and that passion carried the Association further than anyone could have imagined.”
In other honors, NATM named:
• Rick Russell, Vice President of Marketing and Product Development for Carry-On Trailers, as the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Member Award.
• Ron Yarnell, PPG, as the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Associate Member Award.
• Marco Garcia, Director of Engineering Services, U-Haul International, as the recipient of the 2018 Regular Member Young Professional Award.
• Andrew Dearing and Josh Gurley of Trailer Makers Insurance, as the recipients of the 2018 Associate Member Young Professional Award; and
• Joe Ostrowski, National Sales Manager of Kenda/Americana Tire & Wheel, as the recipient of the 2018 Ed Freel Membership Award.
Also during the convention, the NATM board re-elected Patrick Jennissen of Felling Trailers as president. Other officers for this year are Vice President Owen Shelton, BoatMate Trailers Inc.; Treasurer Marty Lorick, Jr. Triple Crown Trailers Inc.; and Associate Representative on the Executive Committee Jim Berry of Dexter Axle.
For the 2018-2021 term, the membership elected three new members to the NATM board: Leo Akins of Forest River; John Kerr of the Marsh & McLennan Agency; and Justin Kurth of Tracker Marine.
The 31st Annual Convention & Trade Show will be held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Feb. 19-21, 2019.