ATD Speakers Urge Dealers to ‘Connect’ and Communicate

Veteran Eric Maddox
Veteran Eric Maddox, a military interrogator, helped orchestrate the capture of Saddam Hussein.

LAS VEGAS (April 1, 2016) – Jeff Carlson, 2016 NADA Chairman, kicked off the ATD Industry Luncheon at the American Truck Dealers (ATD) Convention & Expo in Las Vegas by talking about the similarities between new-car and -truck dealers.

That’s because Carlson, who is a Ford and Subaru dealer in Colorado, began his career 43 years ago driving a beer truck to pay his way through college. That part-time job led to a career as a franchised new-car dealer.

“It’s a lifestyle. It’s a choice. It's the American dream,” said Carlson. “Unlike the roulette wheel and poker tables here at the casinos, we don’t just wake up one day and take an uncalculated ‘chance.’ We don’t freely ‘gamble’ with our employees’ livelihoods or our customers’ safety. Everything we do is with intent, passion, commitment and love.”

The second ATD speaker, veteran Eric Maddox, also talked about commitment and connection in his job. Maddox is the military interrogator who partnered with Delta Force members and helped orchestrate the capture of Saddam Hussein. 

Noting that the theme of the NADA Convention is “Connect,” Maddox said his team simply did the same thing: “All we did was build a social network.” 

The network was not only among Maddox and the other members of the military, but also an intelligence network of captured prisoners.

“The key to success when you don’t know where you’re going is [to assess your] strengths,” he said. “You must open communications.”

More than 25,000 new-car and -truck dealers and their managers, as well as dealers from over 30 countries, auto industry executives and exhibitor staff attended the 2016 NADA Convention & Expo in Las Vegas.

Founded in 1917, NADA will celebrate its 100-year anniversary during the 2017 NADA Convention & Expo in New Orleans, which will run from Jan. 26-29. 

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