Jeff Messer, president/owner of Messer Truck Equipment joined Generation Next in 2006, later serving on its Board and then joining NTEA's Board of Trustees.
What have you been up to since you chaired Generation Next?
It seems like a lifetime ago, but I completed my service with Generation Next (I know it as YEN) about 12 years ago. Immediately after Gen Next, I was asked to serve on NTEA's Board of Trustees and did that for seven years. My time culminated with an opportunity to serve as the Association's president in 2015-2016. After that, I shifted to "past president" status, slid back into the shadows, and returned to running the family business, Messer Truck Equipment. I continue to keep in contact with several NTEA staff members and serve on ad hoc committees when needed. I have also spoken at several Work Truck Show educational sessions, in hopes of sharing insights I've gained during my time in the industry.
How has your time with Generation Next influenced your professional development or contributed to industry knowledge?
My time with Generation Next was an incredible networking opportunity. I was able to build relationships with other like-minded individuals who have since become my best friends in the industry. It also exposed me to many NTEA staff members who have also become friends. My time on the Gen Next Board of Governors also gave me exposure to the NTEA Board of Directors and ultimately helped me be elected to that Board.
What suggestions do you have for new industry professionals?
My suggestion for those new to the industry is to get involved. It can start with attending educational sessions at The Work Truck Show and then meeting as many people as you can at receptions during Work Truck Week. Then maybe you can get involved on a committee that is of interest to you, or pitch an idea for an Association webinar. The more you get involved, the deeper the relationships will become. The work truck industry is made up of wonderful, values-driven people, and the best way to meet them is by getting involved.
Generation Next Leadership Workshop and Networking Reception