By Dave Kjederquist
YEN Steering Committee Chairman
Regional Sales Manager
It was Wednesday, March 7 at The Work Truck Show 2012, and I suddenly found myself standing in the middle of the Indiana Convention Center thinking that perhaps the industry has surpassed the point of skepticism and caution, and that we are finally on a path of excitement, opportunity and restoration. There was a hum in the air that quite honestly started on Monday morning when old acquaintances were greeted upon arrival in Indianapolis, and reached the pinnacle on Thursday just hours after President George W. Bush addressed attendees at the President’s Breakfast. This hum was of positivity and excitement for what the future held, for vendors and attendees alike.
Excitement is an understatement when speaking of the Green Truck Summit and the popularity that this event currently has throughout the industry. What was once viewed as a sidebar to The Work Truck Show — or even a fad that may or may not last as the economy, political agendas and social demographics change — has now become the premier event for clean vehicle and fuels initiatives, and sustainable technology solutions.
This year, one of the first things I noticed was that the number of exhibitors had increased. Booths seemed larger than in years past, and many companies were using the event as a launching pad for new product introductions. In addition to looking for Waldo, taking a drive in an Indy car simulator or listening to Jamie Trent of the Knapheide Manufacturing Company open for the Little River Band during the annual Knapheide distributor appreciation dinner, there were orders placed, distributor agreements made and relationships solidified for the upcoming year. In short, there is a renewed sense of momentum for a positive 2012 and beyond.
This same energy has been realized by the 2012 YEN Steering Committee. The YEN Leadership Workshop & Networking Reception was a tremendous success, as we hosted a record number of attendees for the session. I would like to say a special thank-you to Steve Miller, marketing strategist for The Adventure LLC, for taking the time to present “Your Brand, Your Promise.” The feedback that we received was extremely positive and will be used as we begin to plan for next year’s show.
As chairman of the YEN Steering Committee, I would like to express my gratitude to the rest of the Committee members. Although the Committee is smaller than when I began serving in 2009, members’ dedication and willingness to go the extra mile are examples of the direction that both the industry and the YEN will be headed for years to come.
The Work Truck Show 2012 is just the beginning of what should be a historical year for the YEN. I would like to invite those who may be interested in joining the Steering Committee to contact myself or Jim Hamilton, NTEA sales and services manager. We have started to work on new initiatives for 2012/2013 that will be formally introduced at The Work Truck Show 2013 next March, and achieving these goals will require additional assistance from members throughout the industry to take the YEN to the next level.
Once again, thank you for your continued support and interest in the YEN! I look forward to updating you on our progress throughout the year and to hearing your recommendations and feedback as we continue to plan for the upcoming season!