INDIANAPOLIS, IN — On Thursday, March 7th, the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) invited its members, guests, and attendees of the 2019 Work Truck Show to attend the association’s President’s Breakfast and 55th Annual Meeting, held at the Sagamore Ballroom of the Indiana Convention Center. The highlight of the event was a conversation with football legends Archie and Peyton Manning.
The meeting is an opportunity for the NTEA leadership to address members and other industry professionals on the state of the association and their initiatives and priorities for the coming year.
This year, the keynote speech was delivered by Jeffery Gitomer, public speaker and New York Times bestselling author of such books as The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Black Book of Connections and The Little Gold Book of YES!
In his opening keynote Gitomer discussed the importance of educating yourself to keep pace with the changes and developments in your industry, no matter what that industry might be. Not just to educate yourself, but as part of an overall mission to educate your customers.
Gitomer stressed the importance of service, quoting, “To serve is to rule.” Service is the key to demonstrating value to the customer, and it is perceived value that is the key to repeat business. If customers perceive no difference in value, Gitomer said, they will buy on price and only price.
Gitomer closed by saying, “It is the people you surround yourself with who will determine your success.” He encouraged everyone to set goals, post them, review them, to always do those things they will remember the most, and to leave a lasting legacy.
NTEA Board President Todd Davis (of Phoenix Truck Bodies and Van Equipment) then took the stage to discuss the state of the work truck industry. He acknowledged past presidents of the NTEA and celebrated nine companies who had just hit the 50-year membership mark: Amthor Welding Service, Brown Industrial, Elliot Machine Works, General Body Mfg. Co. of Texas, Hews Co., Iroquois Mfg. Co., Messer Truck Equipment, Terex Utilities and Truck Equipment Sales.
Davis spoke about changes coming to the NTEA:
- The association has reviewed its bylaws and changed its governing structures to better serve members.
- Now, cloud-based work truck certification is available for vehicle labeling requirements.
- The association has promoted new tools for managing life-cycle costs and for managing purchasing decisions.
- Additional training programs are in the pipeline for U.S., Canadian and European processes.
- The NTEA is offering a new Manufacturer and Distributor Conference to help drive efficiency gains.
- The NTEA is constantly advocating on behalf of its members with lawmakers in both Washington D.C. and Ottawa.
The NTEA’s annual report will be published in the spring.
After a brief speech of thanks and appreciation by Mark Buzzel, Director, North American Fleet for Ford Automotive (Ford is a major sponsor of the Work Truck Show and an important partner of the NTEA), Davis returned to the stage to reflect on his time as the 54th NTEA Board Chairman.
Davis acknowledged retiring Chairmen Paul Kokalis and Shane McDermott and also gave thanks to his team, his wife and his parents. He then introduced incoming Chairman William Craig Bonham and passed on the ceremonial gavel.
The Mannings discussed mentorship; both acting as mentors to others and those mentors who had been influences in their lives.
Bonham thanked the organization and its members for their confidence in him, “Transitioning into this unique role, I recognize the weighty responsibility the membership and the Board has entrusted to me, and I’m eager to get started,” he said. Bonham also thanked his wife, his parents and his team for their support.
Bonham then introduced the 2018-2019 Executive Committee, including (along with Davis and himself) Second Vice Chairman Pete Miller of Pro-Tech Industries, Third Vice Chairman and Treasurer John Sievert of Henderson Products, Inc., and Secretary Steve Carey of the Farmington Hills, MI NTEA chapter.
Special mention was made of the 2018-2019 Board of Governors, including Chairman Jennifer Pellerseis of Altec Industries, Vice Chair Shane Woodman of Onspot of North America, and Treasurer Michael Thompson of Reading Truck Group.
A Talk with the Mannings
Bonham then welcomed father-and-son football legends Archie and Peyton Manning to the stage for a conversation that included football, life after football, family and giving back to their communities.
Archie talked about raising children and how, while football was a big part of the Manning household, the most important lessons he wanted to pass on to his children were making good decisions and doing what’s right. Archie also thanked his wife Olivia for being a patient woman, a quality she needed while raising three active boys along with a father who sometimes acted like a boy.
Peyton talked about his retirement from the game of football, saying that he didn’t miss the punishment his body used to suffer, but he did miss the camaraderie of being on a team. The flights back home, especially after a big win, had a special feeling that he recalls fondly.
Both Mannings have used their post-football careers dedicating their time and energy to charitable organizations and have found the work rewarding. Archie Manning put it in perspective, saying that winning Superbowls is fantastic, but something like dedicating a children’s hospital or raising money for a school is what he’s really proud of.
With workforce development a large part of NTEA’s mission, the Mannings discussed mentorship; both acting as mentors to others and those mentors who had been influences in their lives. Peyton spoke about the coaches he had known over the years, in particular Tony Dungy back when he was QB for the Colts. Dungy’s approach was to break problems down to their components, and then focus on measurables. “Take care of all the little things,” Peyton said about his coaching style, “and the big things will take care of themselves.”
Peyton also discussed the many surgeries he has had over the years. Adversity, he said, will force you to adapt—just as he was forced to change how he threw a football in order to remain competitive. “In a weird way,” Peyton said, “I’m almost glad I had to go through all that because of what it taught me about myself.”
Archie and Peyton shared stories and anecdotes with Archine reminiscing about the Ol’ Miss vs. Alabama game on prime time more than 50 years ago, one of the greatest college football games ever.
After the conversation, Craig Bonham thanked the attendees, and said he hoped to see everyone next year for the 20th anniversary of the Work Truck Show.