Education at NATSO Connect

See the education offered at NATSO Connect 2019. NATSO Connect 2020 education will be announced in late summer.

Monday, Feb. 11, 2019

8:00a.m.-2:00p.m. NATSO’s H.R. Sharegroup
Cape Cod A
To help truckstop human resources professionals succeed, NATSO has developed an H.R. Sharegroup.

NATSO's H.R. sharegroup brings together H.R. professionals throughout the truckstop and travel plaza industry to learn from their shared experiences and prepare for the future. The Sharegroup is open to any NATSO member that works on H.R. issues. Facilitated by top professionals at Ernst & Young, NATSO's H.R. Sharegroup involves both tax and H.R. policy and political updates regarding how the latest developments in Washington, D.C. will affect day-to-day business operations, as well as an opportunity to network and engage with other professionals.

There is an additional fee of $599 for participation in NATSO’s H.R. Sharegroup. Closed to press.

Renewable Fuels Master Class
Cape Cod B
On Monday morning, the Alternative Fuels Council is offering an in-depth workshop on the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and Renewable Identification Number (RIN) credits. The workshop will be offered by renewable fuels experts Jeff Hove and Ginger Laidlaw of NATSO’s Alternative Fuels Council.  The workshop will focus on blending and selling renewable fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol.

The master class will kick off with a RFS overview that features detailed information on the purpose of the RFS, who the players are and how renewable fuel blenders can benefit from the standard as well as RIN credits. It will also cover how RIN credits are reported, audited and traded.

In the second-half of the session, Hove and Laidlaw will get into a more advanced renewable fuels discussion, giving attendees a deep understanding of sourcing fuels, finding supply, logistics hurdles and storage needs. They will also cover fraud and non-compliance while providing specific guidance on how operators can manage RIN credits, which RINS are marketable and which ones are not marketable. Because fuel quality is paramount, the session will provide detailed guidance on how to ensure fuel quality when blending.

Paul Nazzaro of Advanced Fuel Solutions, Inc. will also dive into biodiesel fuel management and quality control steps to optimize your customers satisfaction.

David Fialkov, NATSO’s vice president of government relations and legislative and regulatory counsel, will wrap up the workshop with an overview of the latest policy issues surrounding RFS.


What Are the Changing Needs of Truckstops’ Customers and Their Employees and How Can Smart Truckstops Meet Them: Opening Kickoff Keynote
Center Stage, Grand Harbor Ballroom
What are the changing needs of customers?
What influences employee engagement and where can truckstops do to increase employee engagement?
Why is experience increasingly important during shopping trips and how can smart retailers satisfy customers’ growing desire for experiential shopping?

Michael Sansolo, research director, Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America, will combine years of work with some of the world’s most innovative companies with research from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America to explore the changing needs of truckstop customers and their employees.

Then, Sansolo will join NATSO’s President & CEO Lisa Mullings and NATSO’s Vice President, Membership Darren Schulte in a discussion on what the research means for the truckstop and travel plaza industry. Attendees will walk away with a better idea on how their business fits into current customer and employee trends and how to create a winning solution to satisfy the increasingly changing customer and employee.

2:15p.m.-4:45p.m. Great Ideas! for Independent Operators Workshop
Do you have a great idea that has helped your business? Wouldn’t you like to hear the great ideas your peers have implemented? The Great Ideas! Session provides a forum for independent operators to learn what is working for their peers, hear presentations from industry experts and rejuvenate their creative juices!

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019


How are Government Decisions Today Shaping Your Tomorrow?: Keynote and Breakfast on the Show Floor
Center Stage, Grand Harbor Ballroom
On Tuesday morning operators and vendors will join together over breakfast to take part in a government affairs town hall meeting. Attendees will learn the inside-the-beltway scoop on some of the biggest government affairs issues facing NATSO members. Plan to attend and learn how operators and vendors can work together to advance our shared advocacy goals.


Trucking Execs Explore Changing Driver NeedsKeynote and Lunch on the Show Floor
Center Stage, Grand Harbor Ballroom
Speakers: Dave Manning, TCW Inc.; Lisa Mullings, NATSO; Dan Murray, American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI)
Facilitator: Dan Ronan, 
Associate News Editor, Transport Topics; Anchor, Sirius XM, Road Dog Trucking  
The state of the trucking industry has a significant effect on the nation’s truckstops and travel plazas. So staying current on trucking trends is vital for businesses that serve commercial drivers.  Successful truckstop and trav­el plaza operators know that changing market dynamics often result in new opportunities. On Tuesday afternoon, join us as American Trucking Associations’ Former Chairman and President of TCW Inc. Dave Manning joins NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings and American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) Vice President Dan Murray to discuss the latest trends among truck drivers in a fireside chat. Grab your s'mores stick and pull up a chair by the fire to hear their thoughts on what changing drivers needs could mean for the truckstop industry.


How to Influence Truckstop Shoppers on the Path to Purchase: Learning Lab
Speaker: Derek Lehman, DAS
Asbury Hall D

Consumers are shopping differently than they did just a few years ago. Truckstops need to create an incredible instore experience to remain competitive in this ever evolving retail world. Learn a wide range of techniques to influence shoppers on their path to purchase from lighting to messaging to more.


How to Make the Most of a Forecourt Upgrade: Learning Lab
Speaker: Matt Powers, Gilbarco Veeder-Root
Asbury Hall C
Gilbarco Veeder-Root will teach you how to prepare for tomorrow's customer while maximizing your EMV upgrade today. From increasing customer loyalty to driving more foot-traffic into your store, Gilbarco Veeder-Root will share the best practices in the cutting-edge technology that makes outdoor EMV possible and the other technological advances that high-speed connectivity to the gas dispenser makes possible. Learn what upgrading your site to EMV on the forecourt and backcourt today means to you.


NATSO Government Affairs Committee
Speaker: Neil Chatterjee, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Asbury Hall A
Every year at NATSO Connect, NATSO's Government Affairs Committee has a strategic planning meeting to assess the major political and public policy issues confronting the travel center industry in the near, medium, and long term.  This year, the Committee will begin with a discussion on electric vehicles.  During this discussion, the Committee will be joined by The Honorable Neil Chatterjee, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  Among other things, Mr. Chatterjee will discuss Public Utilities Commissions' plans and motivations for increasing investment in electric vehicle recharging infrastructure, and what this could mean for fuel retailers. Chatterjee was nominated to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by President Donald J. Trump in May 2017. He served as Chairman from August 2017 to December 2017 and was again named Chairman on October 24, 2018. Prior to joining the Commission, he was energy policy advisor to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). 

3:30p.m.-4:15p.m. Solutions and Best Practice to Maintain Fuel Quality: Learning Lab
Speaker: Rebecca Monroe, GM
Asbury Hall D

As vehicle technologies evolve to meet ever increasing fuel economy and emissions standards, modern vehicles are less tolerant of fuel impurities. This session will discuss some of the solutions that the industry is working on to develop to address fuel quality problems confronting the diesel fuel supply chain, and some best practices that retailers can consider implementing immediately.
3:30p.m.-4:15p.m. Video Gaming: Is It a Fit for Your Truckstop? If Yes, Learn Best Practices in this New Profit Center: Learning Lab
Speaker: Grant Jones, ME Gaming
Asbury Hall C

Video Gaming has been heralded as a great new profit center. Is it a good fit for your truckstop’s business model? To help answer that question, ME Gaming will walk attendees through the list of considerations they should answer before adding video gaming. Then ME Gaming will walk through best practices in planning and installation and they will also discuss how to market and staff it to make it a winner at your truckstop.

Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019

8:00a.m.-9:00a.m. Fuels Expert Provides Deep Dive in Diesel Fuel Supply, Demand and Quality: Keynote and Breakfast on the Show Floor
Speaker: John Eichberger, Fuel Institute
Center Stage, Grand Harbor Ballroom

On Wednesday morning, John Eichberger, executive director at The Fuels Institute, will provide a deep dive into supply, demand and quality issues surrounding diesel fuel and provide a true look at the future of electric vehicles. As part of the session, Eichberger will provide greater context around the conversation surrounding electric vehicles. The Fuels Institute has released a series of reports titled "Tomorrow's Vehicles,” which forecasts the market shares of the vehicles, including medium- and heavy-duty equipment, expected to be sold and driven in the United States and Canada in the near future. The Institute has reported that while alternative fuel drivetrains will gain market share, traditional petroleum-powered internal combustion engines will continue to dominate. Eichberger also plans to address the fuel corrosion issue some in the industry experienced once sulfur levels were reduced in diesel fuel, providing context regarding corrosion and the general transportation market.

The Data and Details Truckstops Need to Get Ready for the Trucks and 4-Wheeler Customers of the FutureKeynote and Lunch on the Show Floor
Speakers: Susan Alt, Volvo Group North America; Frank Beard, Gas Buddy
Center Stage, Grand Harbor Ballroom

In this powerhouse closing keynote, attendees will meet the customers of the future and the technology moving them. Getting ahead of tomorrow’s disruption today will give forward-thinking truckstop and travel plaza operators the advantage in planning for the future before it is here. On the afternoon of Wednesday, Feb. 13, Volvo and GasBuddy will share how customer expectations and technology are evolving.

The session will kick off with Susan Alt, Volvo's Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, walking attendees through Volvo's plans for the trucks of tomorrow. What is coming and when? What do these changes mean for the drivers who operate these trucks? And, most importantly, what can truckstops do to prepare for their arrival? We've heard from fleets about what they've been buying in recent years and how they are adapting to technological advances, but Alt will present new and important insights from a truck maker about its future plans.

Then Frank Beard, analyst of convenience store and retail trends at GasBuddy, will share insights into customer preferences to help boost revenue beyond fuel. Four-wheel customers only go inside when fueling up their vehicle in one out of every four visits. What makes customers come inside and what prevents them from entering your location? Beard will explain the trend towards experiential retail and share an analysis of location and ratings data.

Get ready to enter the Twilight Zone because we’re traveling to the future.


Truckstop Live
Speakers: Michael Lawshe, Paragon Solution; Andrew Ouimet, Ouimet Consulting Group and Darren Schulte, NATSO
Asbury Hall A/B
Ellen Degeneres and Jimmy Fallon are out and Paragon Solution’s Michael Lawshe, Ouimet Consulting Group’s Andrew Ouimet and NATSO’s Darren Schulte, are in. In this bonus workshop, you can expect intensive fundamental learning interspersed with talk show-inspired learning. You can expect games, interviews and bouts of over the top fun. Closed to press.