April 2016 ATD Chairman's Column

By Steve Parker, April 2016

Steve Parker
ATD Chairman
Steve Parker

I'd like to welcome our readership to the first installment of the ATD Chairman's Column! This column is my opportunity to share and introspectively comment on some of the most important highlights in our industry each month. And there is no bigger highlight from the past month than our annual ATD Convention & Expo in Las Vegas.

Just a few weeks ago, over 25,000 attendees-and 2,800 international guests- converged in the Entertainment Capital of the World for our annual convention.

It proved to be our best industry affair yet with nearly 1,000 truck dealers, OEMs, suppliers and vendors in attendance. I am especially grateful to our amazing sponsors, including Shepherd Insurance for sponsoring the Welcome Reception; Cummins for sponsoring the opening ATD luncheon general session; Eaton for sponsoring the Saturday ATD luncheon general session and the ATD Happy Hours; Heavy Duty Trucking and Procede Software for the momentous Truck Dealer of the Year program; and Karmak for the NextGen reception. Our ATD exhibitors are world class and they make everything on the expo floor possible year after year. We are proud to receive 100 percent OEM support for the final evening gala at the convention. On behalf of ATD, I'd like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who took the time to celebrate a year of remarkable achievements and dedication to our great truck industry.

Speaking of dedication, I'm eager to serve as your ATD Chairman for the next two years and I'm confident in the ATD staff and Board that will be spearheading so many efforts on your behalf. We've come this far thanks to our Immediate Past Chairman Eric Jorgensen who has led this association with strength and clear direction despite many challenges. I am prepared to carry the torch and tackle many of our pressing issues such as regulatory overreach into our business, the harmful FET excise tax, and continuous advocacy for good relationships with our manufacturers.

With our members at the forefront of everything we do, remember that ATD needs to hear from you. I urge you to fill out our Dealer Attitude Survey which will be available online in May.

This survey is an integral part of ATD's industry relations program. And it is your chance to communicate with your manufacturer and our opportunity to present your feedback on key issues to each of the respective truck OEMs. The greater the response rate, the more weight the survey results will carry. Your response will always remain confidential. Please stay tuned for the launch of this year's survey and be sure to complete it. The information which you give ATD will help us advocate for you when we meet with the manufacturers you represent.

There will be many new 'beginnings' this year. We are in the throes of an election year in which we will select a new President and Vice President for our great country. Those whom we elect into office-at the federal and local level-will make decisions that can impact our industry tremendously. So let us make this a good beginning. From a personal standpoint, I am very proud to be a new, first-time grandparent. My newly born grandson seemed to have waited until my wife and I got home from the convention until he decided to come out into this world. I couldn't be more grateful.

As we continue into 2016, there will be many more beginnings and challenges ahead. It will be my ongoing mission to educate others about our commercial truck industry. It will be my duty to help support your businesses and employees through the regulatory burden. And it is my honor to lead ATD through the next two years. From the beginning to the end, rest assured that ATD will remain committed to you-our great truck dealers-through it all.