No secrets in Vegas

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Uh, not exactly.

Not for the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers. NATM followed up its 20th anniversary year with the annual convention February 26-March 1 at the Las Vegas Hilton, and no attempt was made to keep things hush-hush.

The organization was actually quite pleased to lay everything on the table.

“The convention went very well this year,” executive director Pam O'Toole said. “After last year, we decided to limit the number of exhibitors until we increased attendance by manufacturers. We had several promotions to increase manufacturer participation, including non-member promotions.”

The result? A 25% increase in manufacturer attendance and 15 new memberships. There were 280 exhibitors — more than double the 130 that were there in 2004.

NATM wanted to have 1000 members by the convention, and it reached that goal January 3, 2008. During 2007, it lost 96 members but the net gain was actually 217. In addition, Four Industries, the world's largest RV manufacturer, became the first RV manufacturer to join. The breakdown on total members: 436 regular members, 41 branch regular members, 448 associate members, and 75 branch associate members.

Secretary-treasurer Mike Terry, in his yearly financial report, said NATM had $1.672 million in revenues ($132,000 over budget) and $1.512 in expenses ($68,000 under budget).

“It doesn't get any better than that,” he said.

Net income was $160,000 and total net assets were $814,174 — an increase of $183,000 over 2006.

“Our financial condition is outstanding,” he said.

O'Toole said the board plans to invest the increase in assets in programs that benefit its members.

New officers were elected: Travis Eby, president; Terry, vice president; Mike Skoglund, secretary/treasurer; Andy Gehman, immediate past president; and Rick Coffey, associate member.

O'Toole said the organization was very pleased with the Regulatory Roundtable featuring representatives from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) discussing important regulatory issues with NATM members.

Next year's convention is set for Charleston, South Carolina, from February 24-28.

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