By Matt Wilson, NTEA President, Chairman & CEO, Switch-N-Go, AmeriDeck & Bucks Divisions of Deist Industries Inc. (Hadley, Pennsylvania)
This article was published in the February 2017 edition of NTEA News.
Blink and it’s over. This is what people say when you go off to school, have kids and experience other life events. The same can be said for my time on NTEA’s Board of Trustees. I’m thankful for this opportunity and proud that I was able to represent the Association at the highest level across our country and beyond.
For those willing to take a quick walk down memory lane, here it goes. I can’t believe it’s been seven years since Jim Carney (NTEA’s former executive director) came to my office in Hadley, Pennsylvania, to learn more about me, our business and what I could bring to the table as a potential Board member.
Since then, I’ve had opportunities to serve on every committee that operates under the Board umbrella. Additionally, I chaired the Strategic, Data and Finance & Investment Committees.
Due to timing and my background, I’ve been part of the Association’s banking relationship and financial advisor transitions. In both cases, I believe NTEA made well thought-out decisions based on long-term interests of the membership. Most recently, I traveled to Washington, DC, to represent the Association and deliver testimony on behalf of the work truck industry at an Internal Revenue Service hearing on proposed Federal Excise Tax changes.
I’ve been fortunate enough to see ideas like the Executive Leadership Summit become a reality. This conference reaches and engages with our member companies in a manner different than any other NTEA event. I’ve seen long-standing undertakings reach a new pinnacle of development, such as lean initiatives, and data collection and analysis projects.
I’m excited to see what will happen with offerings planned for the future — namely the Employee Recruitment & Retention Task Force, which will provide member companies with near- and long-term resources.
Last year, Steve Carey, NTEA executive director, and I set an aggressive agenda for ourselves, including many related industry trade shows, international delegations, and visits to our Canadian office and member businesses. We traveled a lot together, and I give Steve credit for listening to and laughing at my handful of stories as we made our way through airports and over highways.
During my time on the Board, I’ve been fortunate to work with great people, most of whom I likely would not have gotten to know otherwise. There are too many individuals to name, but I would like to acknowledge the presidents during my time as a Trustee, as they were a resource to me while preparing for this year. I can’t thank them enough as I’ve learned more from them than I could ever reciprocate.
Additionally, I want to recognize the remaining members of the Executive Committee. Ross Haith, your dedication to this Board and preparation for each meeting is a great example for all to follow. Todd Davis, your thoughtful, measured decision-making, combined with a willingness to take calculated risks has been a key element to some of the dynamic changes over the past few years. Adam Keane, you have shown the ability to work at the highest of levels and then pick apart the smallest details as needed — all the while earnestly speaking up when necessary and demonstrating along the way your love of this industry.
I have not been the best at staying in touch after I’ve moved on from a project or relocated to a new city. Maybe it’s because of my work experience or my personality. That said, I’m hopeful I can keep the lines of communication open with Board members and NTEA staff. They have all made this experience one I will not be able to replicate.
As I wrap up, I look at my time as a Trustee like many of us look at our own businesses. Simply put, when we leave, we want things to be in as good or better shape than when we arrived. I’m proud to say I believe the Association is in a great position under Steve’s leadership. The staff is engaged at a level any of us would want at our respective companies. The Board is composed of a well-rounded group of individuals who will continue to represent the industry thoughtfully and proactively under the capable guidance of Adam Keane.
In closing, I want to thank my family and all of the people at Deist Industries for adjusting your lives so I could fully participate in this valuable volunteer experience. Lastly, I want to say thank you to all of our members for the opportunity to serve on this Board and as your 2016–2017 president. I wish you all the best and look forward to seeing you at The Work Truck Show in March and other NTEA workshops this year.