See What Spring 2012 Can Do For You

Darrin116.png As we move into 2012, there are things around us that let us know that spring is almost here. There are many things that remind me of spring — garden stores gearing up with flowers and trees, kites flying in the park and playgrounds becoming busy with children. Somehow, the sun feels warmer, but one of the most powerful reminders of spring in my mind is the image of buses loaded with NATSO members eagerly making their way through the narrow streets of Washington, D.C., toward Capitol Hill.

It is an incredible sight to see each spring. Buses pull up to the steps of the House and Senate buildings and suddenly the sidewalks are overtaken with NATSO members. They are all dressed professionally as they make their way up the steps. The first evening begins with the annual NATSO Congressional Pie Reception. The event will make you stand back in awe as you watch the reception room flood with Congressmen, Congresswomen and their staff elbowing their way to the table to get a piece of pie. The annual NATSO Congressional Pie Reception presents dozens of pies spread across long tables; all the pies are compliments of NATSO members’ travel plazas and truckstops from all over the area. The elected officials and their staff love the pies, and it is always a hit and a great time to mingle and meet the elected officials and their staff.

The next morning, NATSO members gather together for breakfast with a guest speaker — usually a representative from Congress. The NATSO members are briefed on the travel plaza industry legislation and other topics up for discussion within the House and Senate.

After breakfast, NATSO members are turned loose for the day, with their schedules in hand and appointments and talking points in their mind. Every NATSO member meets with their elected officials or their staff to discuss challenges facing their travel plaza. If you are new to the Day on Capitol Hill, don’t worry. An expert from the NATSO staff will assist you in the meeting and help you get your point across. You will stay busy all day with appointments and meetings in both buildings. At the end of the day your legs are tired and your feet are sore, but you are refreshed knowing that you made a difference for your business by being in Washington, D.C., and on Capitol Hill.

I urge you to consider making spring 2012 one you won’t forget. Get involved in the NATSO Day on Capitol Hill. Go see your elected officials at their office. You will be impressed with what you can do.


This column originally ran in Stop Watch magazineStop Watch provides in-depth content to assist NATSO members in improving their travel plaza business operations and provides context on trends and news affecting the industry.

The magazine is mailed to NATSO members bimonthly. If you are a member and not receiving Stop Watchsubmit a request to be added to the mailing list. Not a memberJoin today or submit a request to receive additional information.

Darrin Flitton's photo

Darrin Flitton

Darrin Flitton is the Fleet and Truckstop Manager for the Sinclair Gold Truckstop Network. He has spent 23 years in business related positions. Prior to working for Sinclair Gold Truckstops, he served in several positions at Flying J, Inc. including Corporate Buyer and Category Manager, District Merchandise Manager and Travel Plaza Manager. He has also been employed at Barjan, LLC as an account representative. Flitton has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management from Utah State University. He is currently serving on the Buying Committee for AMBEST. He also served on the Board for Granger Crossing District, a volunteer position within a non-profit organization to improve the business district of an inner city suburb of Salt Lake City.More
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