Photo credit: NATSO Chairman Bob Wollenman welcomes attendees to NATSO Connect.
NATSO’s 2018 was certainly one of great opportunity. NATSO Connect came to Nashville with a blaze of success. Exhibitors, attendees and guest presenters were presented with an all new format that will lead us into the next decade. Many times during the event, people mentioned new access to exhibitors and attendees. Many thanks to the planning group leading this effort.
The Alternative Fuels Council was formed in 2018. This council launched its RIN Management Service to help fuel retailers that blend and sell renewable fuels to more efficiently participate in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program and manage fuel retailers’ Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). Please welcome Jeff Hove and his staff as they bring a wealth of knowledge to NATSO members.
Washington, D.C., is certainly a place of change. Leadership, or maybe a lack of leadership, has put our country’s infrastructure in a perilous position. Smart infrastructure investment, such as increasing the federal motor fuels tax as well as capturing revenues from alternative-fuel vehicles that don’t currently pay into the Highway Trust Fund, are just two of the changes needed to repair and improve our country’s infrastructure. NATSO also stands with many allies working to oppose poor financing schemes such as tolling and commercial rest areas.
David Fialkov, NATSO vice president of government relations, legislative and regulatory counsel, is a great advocate for our legislative agenda. Ernie Brame, general manager of the Kenly 95 Truckstop, is the current chairman of the NATSO Government Affairs Committee. Brame has a wealth of experience, including fighting the expansion of tolling in North Carolina, particularly on Interstate 95. Brame, who has long-served on the committee, continues to build upon the upward momentum of recent years. The enthusiasm and vision of Dan Alsaker, past chairman of the committee, encouraged new faces to join, and in 2018 NATSO PAC reached new levels of dollars raised.
Looking forward to 2019, the midterm elections are now behind us. How did the country fare? Are we going to have to work harder? Our government affairs activities are always on high alert. Enormous amounts of rules and laws are being prepared by various government agencies. We have to maintain great relationships with Members of Congress. NATSO’s Day on the Hill is a great way for you to accomplish this. Make plans now to attend this terrific event, May 14–16. Please mark the dates on your calendar. Our goal is to have 100 attendees at this event. Will 2019 be the year we attain this goal? First-time attendees can rest assured that great preparations are made well in advance. New attendees are never expected to make the office visits by themselves.
NATSO Connect 2019 will run Feb. 10– 13 at the Disney Yacht and Beach Club in Orlando. NATSO Connect, which was first unveiled last year, is a great way to gather with peers and attend various breakout sessions that always provide some “nuggets” of gold. NATSO’s Chairman's Circle members, Preferred Partners and Strategic Partners as well as many exhibitors will attend. They bring a wealth of information about products and services that may benefit your operations.
Thank you for allowing me to stand as your chairman for 2019. I have the greatest affection for NATSO members and staff. Matching the leadership of those who came before me is going to be an enormous task. I extend thanks to Don Quinn as NATSO chairman these past three years. His leadership for our association and our industry is one we can all be proud of.
Photo credit: Lisa Webb/NATSO
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