Meet NTEA’s 55th Board chairman

By Wm. Craig Bonham, NTEA Board Chairman
Vice President, Commercial Vehicle, Safe Fleet
Belton, Missouri

This article was published in the March 2019 edition of NTEA News.

It’s a privilege to serve as NTEA Board chairman. Transitioning into this unique role, I recognize the weighty responsibility the membership and Board have entrusted to me, and I’m eager to get started. During the next year, my goal is to make a tangible difference in the industry by prioritizing the issues that matter most to Association members and the commercial vehicle sector at large, advancing our collective knowledge, growth and profitability.


First, allow me to introduce myself and share a bit about my lifelong passion for all things automotive. I was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, and spent my early years in the Poconos, before moving to Nashville, Tennessee, and eventually Sugarloaf, Pennsylvania, where I currently reside with my wife Melissa and our two boys Jayden and Teagan. My family loves to camp and travel, and we’re dedicated Pittsburgh Steelers, Penguins and Pirates fans, attending several games each year. In my free time, I coach youth hockey and teach safety courses as a certified hunter-trapper instructor.

As long as I can remember, I’ve been infatuated with vehicles and machines. As a teen, I could tear down an air compressor and rebuild it at my Uncle Gary’s Taylor Rental Center where I worked growing up. You might be surprised to learn I’ve spent some time on the NASCAR racing circuit, assisting my father representing Purolator Oil Filters and Country Time Lemonade race teams.

I am a high-energy, cross-functional sales executive with extensive background in manufacturing and distribution channels, and I’m passionate about building mutually beneficial business relationships. My professional career started in 1982, and since then, I’ve covered all aspects of the work truck industry, including automotive parts, OEM franchise dealer networks, sales and product training for some of the largest chassis manufacturers, chassis pool and ship-thru environments, and manufacturing and distribution of truck bodies. The experiences I’ve accrued in the last 36-plus years have shaped my perspective on business and sales in the commercial vehicle sector.

My resume includes positions at America’s Body Company Inc., Reading Truck Group and Safe Fleet — where I’m currently vice president of the commercial vehicle division, leading the work truck and truck & trailer teams that service Class 2–8 commercial and fleet vehicles.

I was elected to the Board in 2015 and quickly discovered my passion for supporting the Association’s goals. In recent years, I’ve been actively involved in the Data, Finance & 

Investment and Education Committees and chaired the Workforce Development Task Force. These collaborative efforts have raised my awareness of critical industry issues, and it’s been rewarding to help position NTEA as the resource and advocate for the North American work truck community. I’ve found the interaction with fellow Board members incredibly stimulating, and our resulting work meaningful and effective.

In the year ahead, I will strive to emphasize employee training (aspects related to recruitment, education and retention), grow available NTEA member benefits, expand data and economic offerings, and highlight options to meet regulatory guidelines. I look forward to the journey and trust we’ll continue making great strides.