FastForwardFocus: Executive intel for leaders driving the future of highway retail.

  • Fast. Fast-paced presenters with information packed slides.
  • Forward. Get up to speed on breaking trends shaping highway businesses’ future.
  • Focus. Zoom in on trends’ implications for highway fuel retailers and create new insights with the industry power players we specifically invited to fill the virtual room.

Get in. Get the intel and contacts you need. Get back to shaping your highway business’ future.

Invitation only. Request an invitation by emailing Christine Schoessler at

Quick Links


This Year’s FOCUS Areas

  • Nov. 30, Nate Springer, GNA , Sustainable Fuels Driving Fleet Demand
    Nate Springer, Director of Market Development at Gladstein, Neandross and Associates (GNA), will present on the state and expectations of the growing market for sustainable technology adoption by fleets. He will draw on the recently released State of Sustainable Fleets that summarizes adoption rates, costs and benefits, and trends shaping growth in fleet demand for compressed natural gas (CNG), propane, renewable fuels, electric vehicles (EVs), hydrogen and other clean technologies across 9 fleet types. He will comment on the impact of commitments by fleets such as Walmart and Amazon, the State of California, and manufacturers such as Daimler and Meritor to transitioning to sustainable technologies. GNA ( is a leading advisory firm to fleets, OEMs, and energy/infrastructure providers for clean commercial transport and produces the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo.
  • Dec. 1, Ken Cassar, CassarCo, What Truck Stops Need to Know about E-Commerce
    E-commerce is disrupting the traditional 
retail world, growing faster than bricks-and- mortar retail and accounting for a greater percentage of consumer spending. To continue thriving as retailers, truckstops 
must understand these shifts in consumer spending habits. Ken Cassar, CassarCo, will take a deep dive into e-commerce trends and pinpoint disruptive trends NATSO members need to understand.
  • Dec. 2, Tim Denoyer, ACT Research, Freight and Economic Outlook
    Long-haul truckload carriers represent one of the primary customers for the truckstop and travel plaza industry. Listen to gather the outlook for the truckload sector and freight to help make overall business decisions and important major investments.
  • Dec. 3, Lisa Mullings and Darren Schulte, Truckstop and Travel Center Trends
    The truckstop and travel center industry has experienced significant change over the past decade, and the pace of change continues to increase. From ghost kitchens to growth of EV pick-ups to a shift to smaller layouts, the truckstops and travel of five years from today may look quite different. Darren Schulte, NATSO’s vice president, membership, will walk through what the major industry trends are and what they could mean for operators.
  • Dec. 4, NATSO Government Affairs Team, Government Affairs Agenda
    David Fialkov, NATSO’s vice president of government affairs and legislative and regulatory counsel, and Jessica Frend, Steptoe and Johnson will offer their take on what the political landscape in 2021 will mean for the business community and travel centers in particular. Having represented fuel retailers and the convenience store industry in Washington, D.C., for almost ten years, Fialkov brings an understanding of not only the business environment and legal issues confronting travel plazas, but also a sharp grasp of federal policymakers’ political and policy agendas. Fialkov will discuss the national political environment as well as take a “deep dive” on some of the key issues relevant to the travel plaza industry that will be on the table in 2021. 



 Meet the Experts

Nate Springer, Gladstein
Speaking on: Sustainable Fuels Driving Fleet Demand on Nov. 30
Nate Springer has nearly 20 years of experience in transportation and clean technology. He leads market development of low- and zero-emission technologies and promotes their adoption by fleets with GNA. Nate launched and runs the ACT Fleet Forum of leading fleets who adopt EVs, natural gas, and hydrogen vehicles and he also developed the State of Sustainable Fleets, the first comprehensive, technology-neutral evaluation of leading fuel and vehicle technologies for fleets. Previously he led initiatives with more than fifty Fortune 500 companies on clean vehicles and shipping and designed their growth. His expertise crosses EV, renewable natural gas, biodiesel and renewable diesel, hydrogen, CNG, and LNG for vehicle fleets and shipping globally, especially in US, Europe, and Latin America. Nate is fluent in Spanish and holds an MBA with High Distinction and an MS in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan.

Ken Cassar, CassarCo

Speaking on: What Truckstops Need to Know about E-Commerce on Dec. 1
Ken is a longtime retail industry executive, focused on e-commerce. He is the principal at his own consultancy, Cassarco Strategy & Analytic Consultants. Ken cut his teeth crunching numbers in financial and marketing analytic roles, but has thrived as an innovator in new forms of retail consumer measurement (particularly in e-commerce) and as a retail industry thought leader for the past 20+ years. Ken’s former roles include principal analyst at Rakuten Intelligence, where he oversaw the company’s research agenda, and more recently as VP, Research for Shoptalk.

Tim Denoyer, ACT

Speaking on: Dec. 2, Tim Denoyer, ACT Research, Freight and Economic Outlook
Tim joined ACT in August 2017, after spending fifteen years in equity research focused primarily on the transportation, machinery and automotive industries. In addition to his roles analyzing commercial vehicle demand and alternative powertrain development (i.e. electrification), Tim is the lead analyst in ACT’s transportation research effort and the primary author of the ACT Freight Forecast, U.S. Rate and Volume Outlook. This report provides supply chain professionals with better visibility on the future of pricing and volume in trucking, the core of the $800 billion U.S. freight transportation industry, including truckload, less-than-truckload and intermodal/drayage. This service leverages ACT’s expertise in the supply side economics of transportation and draws upon Tim’s background as an investment analyst. Tim was a co-founder of Wolfe Research, one of the leading equity research firms in the investment industry. While with Wolfe, Tim was recognized in Institutional Investor’s survey of investors as a Rising Star analyst in both the machinery and auto sectors. His investment experience also includes responsibility for covering the industrial sector of the equity markets, most prominently with leading hedge fund Balyasny Asset Management.

Lisa Mullings, NATSO

Speaking on: Dec. 3, Darren Schulte, Truckstop and Travel Center Trends
Lisa Mullings was named the President and CEO for NATSO in 2004.  She also serves as the President of the NATSO Foundation.  Prior to her appointment, she served in various positions within the organization, including Vice President of Public Affairs and General Counsel.  Before joining NATSO in January 1995, Lisa was the communications and government affairs manager for the National Association of Chemical Recyclers.  Prior to that, she served for five years as a staff member on the House of Representatives Committee on Public Works and Transportation (now Transportation and Infrastructure Committee). In 2007, Lisa was appointed to the Blue Ribbon Panel of Transportation Experts convened by the U.S. Department of Transportation.  She recently served on the board of directors for the American Society of Association Executives.  She received her Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential in 2008. She received her undergraduate degree in business (accounting emphasis) from the University of Maryland in 1994 and her law degree from George Mason University School of Law in 2000.  While attending George Mason, Lisa was a Dean’s Scholar and taught first-year legal research and writing.  She is licensed to practice law in Virginia.  She is married and has two sons.

Darren Schulte, NATSO

Speaking on: Dec. 3, Darren Schulte, Truckstop and Travel Center Trends
Darren Schulte serves as Vice President of Membership at NATSO. In this role, he directs recruitment, retention and customer service for truckstop and travel plaza members. He is also responsible for developing NATSO products and programs, particularly those relating to education, research and training for truckstop and travel plaza operators. Schulte joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising. Schulte has worked for Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores, HESS Corporation, Petro Stopping Centers, and TSC Global/Barjan LLC.

David Fialkov, NATSO

Speaking on: Dec. 4, NATSO Government Affairs Team, Government Affairs Agenda
David Fialkov is the Vice President of Government Relations, as well as the Legislative and Regulatory Counsel, at NATSO.  In this capacity, Mr. Fialkov directs NATSO's legislative, regulatory, and legal strategy on a range of issues, including transportation, energy and fuels, labor, data security, and taxes.  Mr. Fialkov also oversees NATSO's political engagement program, including individualized legal and political counsel to member companies. Prior to joining NATSO, Mr. Fialkov was the senior associate in the Government Affairs and Public Policy practice at the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson in Washington, D.C.  At Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov advised clients on legislative, regulatory, and political issues, as well as legal concerns.  His primary clients included trade associations representing the motor fuel wholesale and retail industries, including the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America.  Mr. Fialkov's focus was not only on the motor fuels business, but also the litany of other issues that retailers confront, including labor matters, foodservice issues, healthcare and employment issues, tax matters and data security. Prior to joining Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov graduated with honors from George Washington University Law School.  He received his B.S. Summa cum laude with highest honors from Clark University in Worcester, MA.  He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Allison, daughter Lilah and  son Allan Brennan. 

Jessi Frend, Steptoe and Johnson
Speaking on: Dec. 4, NATSO Government Affairs Team, Government Affairs Agenda
Jessica Frend advises a broad range of clients on legislative and regulatory matters, including energy, tax, commerce, telecommunications, and financial services, among other issues. Jessica regularly assists clients by developing strategic plans, furthering congressional outreach, developing and maintaining Capitol Hill staff and member-level relationships, advising on legislative developments, briefing clients in preparation for congressional meetings and hearings, and advocating on behalf of clients. In addition to her legislative guidance, Jessica focuses on the organization and coordination of client Capitol Hill visits for several trade associations and corporate clients. Prior to joining Steptoe, Jessica served as legislative staff covering the foreign affairs and trade portfolio for Senator Mike DeWine. While earning her B.A. in Political Science, she served as an intern for Senator Judd Gregg and Senator Elizabeth Dole.


FAST Schedule

Save the date to participate every day at 1:00 p.m. eastern (12:00 p.m. central, 11:00 a.m. mountain, 10:00 a.m. pacific) the week of November 30.

Dates: Monday, Nov. 30, Tuesday, Dec. 1, Wednesday, Dec. 2, Thursday, Dec. 3, Friday, Dec. 4

Time: 1:00 p.m. eastern (12:00 p.m. central, 11:00 a.m. mountain, 10:00 a.m. pacific)

Length: One hour



What should I expect?
This is an executive-level event designed to help highway fuel retailers gain insight into how trends are likely to affect their operating environment. Expert speakers kick things off by presenting information - but it is the interaction among the power players in the virtual audience that turns information into actionable insights.

Each day’s session will include:

  • A short information packed presentation on a topic;
  • Small group discussions around how the trend could impact the industry; followed by
  • All Board members and Chairman’s Circle members coming together as a group to report on each group’s findings.

What retailers typically particpate?

  • 24-7 Travel Stores
  • Bosselman Enterprises
  • Broadway Group
  • Coffee Cup Travel Plazas
  • Deluxe Truck Stop
  • Dodge City Travel Centers
  • Iowa 80 Group
  • Jubitz Corp.
  • Kwik Trip, Inc.
  • Liberty Petroleum Distributors
  • Love's Travel Stops
  • Pilot Flying J
  • Pride Travel Centers
  • RaceTrac Petroleum, Inc.
  • Sacramento 49er
  • Sapp Bros Inc.
  • TravelCenters of America/Petro Travel Centers

How do I enroll?
The event is by invitation only. Request an invitation by emailing Christine Schoessler at

Donate. There is no fee to register for NATSO's FastForwardFocus. In lieu of a registration fee, we hope you'll consider donating to our industry's NATSO Foundation. The foundation provides scholarships to industry members and their dependents; distributes AMBER Alerts and advances Anti Human Trafficking and other safety efforts. Donate here.