Your 2012 Goal: Get Involved

new year is upon us. It is a pleasure to write my first letter as Chairman of NATSO. It is an honor to be serving with you. You all come from different backgrounds, different lifestyles, and different ways of thinking, but we are all the same in one aspect. We all need each other as people, as business operators, as friends. I consider each of you my friend. Together, let’s get involved.

As we tackle another year, let us be mindful of the business we are in. We are in the business of taking care of each other. We are in business to make money, to show a profit, but in a sense we are all in the hospitality business. Our doors are open with a warm welcome to greet each other. We need each other.

As 2012 now fully embraces us, we may face obstacles, challenges and surprises. Other industries think of challenges as tough, obstacles hard and surprises too surprising, but we are in the travel plaza business. It is a business that can overcome any obstacle, any challenge and every surprise.

I encourage you this year to set yourself a goal to become more involved. Jump off the fence and go in feet first. Find out what is around the corner for you. Get involved in NATSO. Get involved in something that can affect your business, your life and your peace of mind. Attend The NATSO Show. Go there with an open mind, participate in roundtables and seminars, and talk to people and see what there is to offer. You will be surprised at what you can learn and do.

After The NATSO Show, register for the NATSO Day on Capitol Hill. At this event you will have the fabulous opportunity to meet with your elected officials and tell them what is on your mind. You elected them and for now you are stuck with them; go and make sure they are representing you and what you stand for. These elected officials can have a huge impact on your business. Make sure they have your best interest in mind. Get involved with your elected officials.

Being a member of NATSO can be a great asset to you. See what NATSO can do for you and see what you can do for NATSO. Soon you will see that those obstacles, challenges and surprises are just things to make you stronger — stronger than you ever thought possible.

I am excited to be your new 2012 NATSO chairman. I believe in NATSO. I believe in its cause. I believe in you. Call NATSO on the phone; someone will pick up and he or she will be eager to help you. Ask NATSO how you can become involved. You will be amazed by the things you can do. Whether you come from a small town in the middle of nowhere or a large city hidden among the masses of people, you still are important to this cause. Become involved. Raise your hand and ask, “What can I do?” Be involved as if your business and job depends on it, because it does.

I look forward to working with you in 2012. Let’s make it the year we all get involved.


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.

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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