The Power of Association

As fellow business owners, you know as well as I do that time is one of our most precious commodities. It seems as though there is never enough and it is impossible to create more. Time, like money, must be invested wisely. Since joining NATSO in 1981, I have seen firsthand just how much return I can get for investing even a small amount of time in NATSO.

There is no way to survive in today’s market if you’re not abreast of the newest technologies, the latest products and the emerging trends. We have to be persistent and relentless in our search for new ideas, and through NATSO we have easy access to the information that will set our businesses apart.

It is impossible to thrive without innovation. By connecting with fellow members and industry partners, we can find solutions to our most pressing challenges. Through a phone call, email or face-to face meeting at an industry event, we can ask questions of those who have more experience, greater insight or simply another view of the industry.

I urge you not to just be a member of NATSO, but also to join one of the associate groups — AMBEST, NATSN, PTP or Roady’s—if you’re eligible. I guarantee you that investing in your industry will yield a tremendous return — both professionally and personally.

By joining together, we create a high profile for our industry. We know the important role we play in our communities and in the movement of goods in the country, but it is crucial we spread that message to others.

In May, travel plaza owners, operators and managers From across the country took to Capitol Hill, meeting with lawmakers and spreading our industry’s message in the nation’s capitol. I would like to thank those who made the trip to Washington, D.C., and encourage those of you who weren’t able to join us to keep up the momentum we have going. Reach out to your elected officials and visit them in their home offices. Let them know how many of their constituents you employ, how much you pay in taxes and how important you are to your community. Let’s show them that our industry is full of committed advocates. When we all spread our message, the strength of our voice grows.

The power of association can help us gain the Momentum we need to take our businesses to the next level. By staying committed to our businesses, our fellow operators and our industry, we’ll gain greater focus and find the solutions and inspiration that can keep us ahead of the curve. As a truckstop operator and NATSO’s chairman, I know firsthand that my success is fundamentally tied to my participation in NATSO. I urge you to get involved. I assure you that you will get out of NATSO what you put into it.

Bobby Berkstresser


This article 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.

Bobby Berkstresser's photo

Bobby Berkstresser

Stop Watch Magazine
Retailer Featured:
Lee Hi Travel PlazaWhite's Travel Center LLC

Tell Us What You Think

Back to Highway & Transportation