2018 Executive Leadership Summit recap

By Shane Woodman, vice chair, Generation Next
Onspot of North America Inc. - Onspot Automatic Tire Chains

This article was originally published in the November 2018 issue of Generation Next Edition

NTEA hosts the annual Executive Leadership Summit - a dynamic program that provides a unique forum to explore the most important trends influencing the commercial vehicle industry. This year’s Summit, held in Baltimore, Maryland, took place over the course of one day - which is a change from the two-day format of prior years. The well-attended event was geared toward the connectivity between personnel, locations and technology that exists within the commercial vehicle community.

Ample time for networking

It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities; one reason networking receptions are valuable is the opportunity to connect with other industry leaders and colleagues … and NTEA allowed ample time for just that. After all, growing your industry network is not only vital for your professional growth, but also for your company.

The event kicked off with a welcome reception and closed with an evening reception. These opportunities provided the time and space for professionals to share ideas and experiences, and grow relationships.

Relevant, timely sessions

Networking aside, the educational sessions are what prompt many to attend … and NTEA did a great job filling the time with informative content.

Two economists - Mark Vitner, managing director and senior economist, Wells Fargo Securities LLC and Steve Latin-Kasper, director of market data and research, NTEA - delivered forecasts. Mark provided a macroeconomic forecast of work truck industry health and commercial vehicle demands. He touched on influences in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Steve spoke on the work truck industry and key end-use market forecasts. Among the markets he included were construction, utility, public works, agriculture, and cartage and delivery. This is one session that I - and many others - look forward to attending. In fact, this is one of the main reasons I attend the Summit each year. These economic overviews bring enough value to make the rest of the event an added bonus.

During the afternoon session, we had the opportunity to listen and learn from two great speakers: Matthew Wallace, ceo and president, VRSim, and Cyndi Gave, president, The Metiss Group. Each brought forth great information for attendees to take back and apply to their respective companies. Matthew spoke on using augmented and virtual reality to transform small and mid-sized companies. This interactive session allowed us to better understand how technology and new applications are being used to elevate companies. Cyndi spoke on culture. Her session was titled “Culture eats strategy for breakfast—What’s your culture?” In this session, we learned how core values can create a culture that is more impactful than a business plan. She explained the differences between core values and culture, and how they can form a very strong tool for your company. I would encourage you to look up each of these presenters, as their messages will bring much value to what you do.

The annual Executive Leadership Summit is an event you should strongly consider attending in the coming years. Whether it will be your first or fifth, each year brings something greater to the table. I am already looking forward to 2019.