May 2016 ATD Chairman's Column

By Steve Parker, May 2016

Steve Parker
ATD Chairman
Steve Parker

Throughout history, a trumpet has sounded to herald the onset of many important battles including the Napoleonic Wars, the American Revolution, and the Civil War. The trumpet has sounded at ATD and, soon, state association executives and select dealers will converge in Washington, D.C. for the annual ATD board meeting and truck dealer fly-in from June 7-8.

Two years ago, ATD created its first-ever Strategic Plan which outlines the association's member-centric visions and overarching goals; including positive manufacturer and industry outreach, progressive truck dealer education, and active government advocacy. This year's summer board meeting allows us to closely re-assess our Strategic Plan for past markers of success as well as best practices for the future.

My fellow board members and I will closely examine ATD's current resources and the ways in which we can strengthen our position in the industry. We will also discuss opportunities throughout the rest of the year and measure ATD's success thus far.

During the board meeting, we will also hear from a special Congressional speaker. And we will continue to look forward to our next 2017 ATD Convention in New Orleans and select the convention workshops.

The nation's capital is a battleground. So in conjunction with the board meeting, we are preparing for our highly anticipated, second annual truck dealer fly-in to Capitol Hill. Last year, ATD hosted the first fly-in of its kind and the event was highly successful. Thanks to the hard work and engagement of our members and state executives, we held over 40 Capitol Hill visits with Congressional members and their staff. We spoke on important issues including government overreach into our business and federal regulations that will have a serious impact on the truck industry. Most importantly, we were able to build face-to-face relationships with those who represent us in the nation's capital.

I am especially grateful for the state associations that participated in the 2015 pilot program including Iowa, Colorado, Massachusetts, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

This year, ATD has been diligently coordinating with dealer state associations and their members in anticipation of the upcoming visits with their state representatives. Once again, this is an opportune time in which our members can talk to Congress and advocate on behalf of all truck dealers. We will be focusing on supporting House Concurrent Resolution 33 and opposing the harmful FET tax on most heavy-duty truck sales.

This is the time for our voices to be heard and to utilize a platform that addresses the commercial truck dealer's needs-particularly DC's rulemaking and policies which are affecting our business. I look forward to seeing an active dealer body on the steps of Capitol Hill once again.

Finally, as we approach this important time remember that ATD holds the best interest of all our members at heart. That is why we would like to hear from you in our annual ATD Dealer Attitude Survey which has been officially released. The survey is only available online at: https://daisurvey.com/atd.

The survey results matter and are closely evaluated by OEM's senior management. This is another opportunity to have your voices counted in future corporate decisions which will affect our dealerships. I urge everyone to complete and submit the survey by June 3, 2016.

The trumpet has been sounded to our fellow dealers. I look forward to working together in June!