By: Adam Keane, NTEA President
Executive Vice-President, Allied Body Works Inc. (Seattle, Washington)
This article was published in the March 2017 edition of NTEA News.
It’s an honor to serve as your 53rd NTEA president. I’m grateful to the membership and my fellow Trustees for entrusting me with this important responsibility. In the year ahead, I look forward to advancing the Association’s mission to further industry knowledge, growth and profitability.
To share some background on my company, Allied Body Works Inc. is a fourth-generation, family-owned business, founded as a small garage shop in 1947. We offer everything from light-duty truck accessories and cargo van interiors to medium- and heavy-duty flatbeds, dump bodies, contractor bodies, service bodies, van bodies, cranes, electrical and lighting accessories, liftgates, and more.
I joined Allied Body Works in 2004 and now serve as executive vice-president. In my current role, I oversee a wide variety of functions within the company. Essentially, I bridge the gap between sales and operations, utilizing industry resources to find solutions when technical issues arise. A key part of my job is managing strategic alliances with business partners to expand company product lines. In addition, I determine ways to reach new customers by identifying and implementing innovative marketing tactics.
In 2000, I went to Eastern Washington University on a football scholarship and studied business. From 2001–2003, I served as a seasonal intern on the Seattle Seahawks coaching staff. Though interested in pursuing a career in the National Football League, I ultimately chose a path in the work truck industry and haven’t looked back.
So far, my experience has been highly rewarding. Participating in the family business, I’ve been able to help continue the legacy of my great-grandfather who originally started the company. From distributing truck products to performing in-house fabrication, I’m proud to say our operation is top-notch.
Allied Body Works has been an NTEA member since 1987. My connection to the Association grew when I joined its Young Executives Network Steering Committee (now known as Generation Next Board of Governors), eventually becoming chairman in 2010. Later the same year, I was appointed to fill an open Distributor position on NTEA’s Board of Trustees — a term which concluded in 2012. However, I was elected to the Board for a standard three-year term starting in 2012, so my service continued. My Board involvement is a perfect complement to my leadership role at Allied Body Works, giving me the opportunity to give back to the industry that has been so central to my family for the last 70 years.
Looking ahead, I plan to prioritize the employee recruitment and retention challenges members face. NTEA has created a dedicated taskforce to address hiring difficulties, providing strategies for finding high-caliber workers, and there’s more to come. The goal is to engage more young professionals, encouraging them to build careers in the industry.
In addition, I firmly believe in using data to back decision-making processes. From my perspective, analytics are becoming increasingly important to business planning. NTEA has several research initiatives in the works. I’m eager to encourage these efforts and communicate findings with the membership, when available.
Thanks for your support as I assume the role of 2017–2018 Association president. Given my family history, I have a long-term commitment to the success of this industry, with utmost respect for its many stakeholders (including my fellow Board members, Association staff and NTEA’s membership). I’m looking forward to taking on this position and continuing to help ensure NTEA remains the undisputed resource and advocate for the North American work truck industry. It’s going to be a great year.