Education at NATSO Connect

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Educational focus: See, interact and learn from each other


NATSO Connect Retail Tour SOLD OUT!
Hosts: Chad Stanford, vice president of real estate, QuikTrip; Mohamed Sharaf, vice president, Victron Energy

NATSO retail tours provide NATSO members with an opportunity to tour best-in-class retail locations, gather great ideas from successful truckstop operators and network with other truckstop and travel plaza operators in attendance! Attendees will tour Victron Energy’s Texas Best Smokehouse, QuikTrip and Buc-ee's in the greater Dallas area.

Please meet to depart on the bus at the Conference Center Circle at 9:30 a.m. sharp. The Conference Center Circle is in the Conference Center on the floor below NATSO’s exhibit hall, by the Hertz desk.

Lunch will be provided at Texas Best Smokehouse, Denison, TX. Expect a long bus ride but! also time to see and learn from best-in-class operators when you arrive at your destinations. 


Charge Ahead Partnership: Electric Vehicle Charging Meeting
Hosts: Jay Smith, Executive Director of Charge Ahead Partnership, and Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman, Vice President of Public Affairs, NATSO

The Charge Ahead Partnership (CAP), a national coalition leading the effort to expand the EV charging network, and NATSO will host the Electric Vehicle Charging Meeting. With the number of electric vehicles on America’s roads poised to grow exponentially in the future, the challenges and opportunities around EV charging, and how those issues play out, will define what role retailers will play in serving EV drivers’ recharging needs. This informative session will center on the Partnership’s key policy issues and how to effectively bring the industry's concerns to lawmakers, regulators and the public. Understanding these issues and being confident in advocating for your business in this emerging market is critical to our industry’s, and your company’s, continued success. Come and learn about how you can participate in the Charge Ahead Partnership. 

Closed to press.


NATSO’s Roadside Repair/Shop Safety Sharegroup Meeting

With support from Love’s Travel Stops, the NATSO Foundation created the NATSO’s Roadside Repair/Shop Safety Sharegroup to address critical issues involving truck repair and roadside assistance. The group’s top priorities are to reduce accidents involving disabled trucks and roadside assistance personnel and to identify the implications of trends driving change in truck repair/roadside assistance.

Closed to press.


Great Ideas! Workshop
Speakers: Stephanie Stuckey, Stuckey’s Corp, Dale Elks Oasis Travel Center, located in Robertsdale, Alabama
Facilitator:  Amy Toner, Executive Director, NATSO Foundation

NATSO’s popular Great Ideas! Workshop is returning to NATSO Connect 2023. This year’s session will feature opportunities for idea sharing as well as a fireside chat with Stephanie Stuckey, CEO of Stuckey’s Corp. and a former politician from Georgia, and Dale Elks, general manager of Oasis Travel Center, led by Amy Toner, executive director of the NATSO Foundation.  

Stuckey and Elks will share insights into creating and curating a unique brand-building experience and reinventing a brand when it needs a reboot. They will also dig into how operators can differentiate themselves from their competitors as well as how to make a splash on social media and effectively market on a shoestring budget. 

The session will include dedicated time for independent operators to share great ideas that have helped their business and hear about the great ideas their peers have implemented. The Great Ideas! Workshop, which is designed to get operators’ creative juices flowing, is one of the most popular sessions at NATSO Connect.

The Great Ideas! Workshop is open to truckstops, travel centers and sponsors only. Closed to press.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Educational focus: Emerging Alternative Fuels 


NATSO Connect Chairman and CEO Welcome Keynote and Breakfast on the Show Floor
Speakers: Jim Hays, NATSO’s 2023 Chair of the Board, Lisa Mullings, NATSO CEO & President

Join us at the Center Stage for a warm NATSO Connect welcome and kick off from Jim Hays, NATSO’s 2023 Chair of the Board and Lisa Mullings, NATSO’s CEO & President.


What’s Next in Washington: Keynote on the Show Floor
Speakers: David Fialkov, NATSO; LeeAnn Goheen, NATSO; Jessica Frend, NATSO

NATSO’s government affairs team offers their take on the political landscape in 2023 and what it will mean for travel centers and the off-highway fuel retailing industry in the years ahead. Having worked closely with federal policymakers on energy and transportation issues, NATSO’s government affairs team has a sharp grasp of the political and policy agendas for the 118th Congress.

Join for a robust discussion of the national political environment as well as take a “deep dive” on some of the key issues NATSO members will face. Plan to attend and learn how operators and vendors can work together to advance our shared advocacy goals.

Generously sponsored by:

Food and beverage sponsor:


Is Hydrogen the Fuel of the Future?: Emerging Alternative Fuels Keynote and Lunch on the Show Floor
Confirmed Panelist: Bill Zobel, Director Alternative Fuels at Pilot Flying J; Randy Gard, COO at Bosselman Enterprises

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are advancing zero-emission vehicle technology, including hydrogen fuel cells, as they react to increasing regulatory demands for new technology. In this session, a panel of alternative leaders will examine the future of hydrogen-fueled vehicles and the infrastructure needed to fuel them. While some industry advocates and researchers are confident that the costs of hydrogen, vehicles and hydrogen production will be reduced through scale and innovation over time, what is the timeline that travel centers can expect for this to become a reality? What are OEMs looking at as they look to scale up production? And, most importantly, what can truckstops do to prepare for their arrival? Panelists will probe the dynamics shaping investments in hydrogen and discuss what the market will need to meet future expectations.

Generously sponsored by:


Travel Center Roadmap to Navigating Electric Vehicle Charging Stations and NEVI Grants: Emerging Alternative Fuels Keynote on the Show Floor
Confirmed Panelists:  Michael Chamberlain, Director TPP- Data Management Texas Department of Transportation​, Kim Okafor, General Manager, Zero Emissions Solutions, Trillium Energy of the Love’s Family of Companies; Paul Hardin, President and CEO of the Texas Food and Fuel Association; Jay Smith, ChargeAhead Partnership
Moderator: Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman, Vice President of Public Affairs, NATSO

A panel of industry leaders will discuss the current electric vehicle (EV) charging landscape and the availability of federal funds under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) grant program. Panelists will discuss successful grant applications, what a favorable regulatory landscape for investment should look like, the complex nature of utility rate structures, and more. The panel also will address current barriers to deploying EV charging infrastructure and steps that the industry is taking to overcome those challenges.

Travel centers are the optimal location for many alternative fuels, including EV charging stations due to the convenient locations of their real estate and the highly competitive and transparent pricing they offer. Yet several market impediments make it challenging for travel centers and off-highway fuel retailers to locate a pathway to profitability with respect to EV charging. More than $7.5 billion will be distributed in the next five years by state transportation departments to install EV charging infrastructure and help close that profitability gap. 

NATSO Vice President of Public Affairs Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman will discuss NATSO’s efforts to ensure that travel centers and fuel retailers can profitably invest in EV charging stations. Panelists will include Paul Hardin, President and CEO of the Texas Food and Fuel Association; Jay Smith, Executive Director of the Charge Ahead Partnership; and Kim Okafor, General Manager, Zero Emissions Solutions, Trillium Energy of the Love’s Family of Companies.  

Generously sponsored by:


Alternative Fuels Case Studies:

Make the Case for Renewable Fuel 
Speaker: Ginger Laidlaw, NATSO’s Alternative Fuels Council; Randy Gard, COO at Bosselman Enterprises

The Alternative Fuels Council is offering a workshop led by Ginger Laidlaw, the council’s vice president, which will include real world renewable fuel use case scenarios. This one-hour session will engage attendees to understand the benefits as well as challenges to overcome in the blending/renewable fuel business. From the experienced blender looking for a competitive edge within their current operation to someone just getting started, this workshop will serve all levels.

Make the Case for How to Best Add Electric Vehicle Stations 
Speaker: David Parker,Gilbarco Veeder-Root

David Parker who leads retail e-mobility market development efforts in North America for Gilbarco Veeder-Root will answer NATSO members’ most frequently asked EV charging station equipment and infrastructure questions.

Listeners can expect to walk away with answers to these questions and more to be prepared for this growing fuel.

  • What type and mix of charging equipment makes the most sense for truckstops and travel centers?
  • What additional services does the EV driver need?
  • What are the best practices for installing equipment? 
  • What does the typical installation process look like? 
  • What will the market look like in five years?


NATSO Government Affairs Meeting
Speakers: David Fialkov, NATSO;  LeeAnn Goheen, NATSO; Jessica Frend, NATSO

Each 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. The Committee will hear an overview of the issues impacting the industry and subsequently make a recommendation to NATSO's Board of Directors on its policy priorities for 2023. 

Travel center operators and industry partners are welcome to observe the meeting, but it is closed to press. 


Friday, March 10, 2023

Educational focus: Innovative Retail Technology


Don’t Get Left Behind: What Innovative Retail Technology Travel Centers Should Embrace Now: Keynote and Breakfast on the Show Floor
Moderator: Angela Coppler, NATSO Foundation Board
Gerald Danniel, Chief Operating Officer, OnvoJeremie Myhren, Founder, OnRamp; Sean Register, President, Port Fuel Center
A panel of truckstop and travel center technology leaders will offer an inside look at their companies' technology roadmaps.

Food and beverage sponsor:


Retail Technology Hosted Table Boxed Lunch

Future-proof your business by grabbing a seat during the Retail Technology Hosted Table Boxed Lunch. These share sessions will provide an opportunity for truckstops and travel centers and innovative retail companies to share their experiences in a small group over lunch on the show floor. Operators will grab a boxed lunch and choose a table to learn and grow with fellow operators.

Table Hosts: Contact Pamela Hayes, NATSO’s vice president business development, at to inquire about hosting a table.

1:00p.m. – 2:15p.m

Travel Center Technology Forum
MC: Christine Schoessler, NATSO 
Moderators:  Peter
Rasmussen, CEO and Founder, Convenience and Energy Advisors;  Jeremie Myhren, Co-Founder, OnRamp

New! The Travel Center Technology Forum is designed to facilitate interactive discussion among truckstops and travel centers operators regarding their top technology priorities for improving customer experience and brand loyalty, while driving efficiencies throughout their organizations.

The 2023 forum will focus on:

  • Point-of-sale technology 
  • Data competency

The Travel Center Technology Forum is open to truckstops, travel centers and sponsors only. Closed to press.

Contact Amy Toner, the NATSO Foundation’s executive director, at (703) 739-8570 or to inquire about speaking opportunities.