Education at NATSO Connect

Monday, Feb. 21, 2022


Renewable Fuels Workshop with NATSO's Alternative Fuels Council
Speakers: Ginger Laidlaw, Alternative Fuels Council, Steven Hove, Alternative Fuels Council

Part 1: Intro to Renewable Fuels Blending: Thinking about investing in blending biodiesel or ethanol?  The Alternative Fuels Council will walk through what economic benefits are available and what steps to take to determine what profit margins could be gained at your location.

Part 2: Advanced Renewable Fuels Blending:  A deeper dive into blending renewable fuels including: how feedstock costs and availability play into biodiesel costs, supply logistics and strategies, as well as a look at new viable alternative fuels from an operator's perspective


Great Ideas! 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! Workshop provides a forum for independent operators to learn what is working for their peers, hear presentations from industry experts and rejuvenate their creative juices!

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


Kick-Off Keynote on the Show Floor
Speaker: Lisa Mullings, NATSO President and CEO

Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022


How are Government Decisions Today Shaping Your Tomorrow?: Keynote and Breakfast on the Show Floor
Speaker: David Fialkov, NATSO
David Fialkov, NATSO’s executive vice president of government affairs, offers his take on what the political landscape in 2022 will mean for the business community and travel centers in particular. Having represented fuel retailers and the convenience store industry in Washington, D.C., for almost ten years, Fialkov brings an understanding of not only the business environment and legal issues confronting travel plazas, but also a sharp grasp of federal policymakers’ political and policy agendas.

Fialkov will discuss the national political environment as well as take a “deep dive” on some of the key issues relevant to the travel plaza industry that will be on the table in 2022. 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.

Tueday mornings breakfast is sponsored by: 


Professional Drivers Workshop
Speakers: Gina Bonafede, DAS Distribtuors 
Panel of Road Pro professional drivers
In this interactive workshop, a panel of Road Pro professional drivers will provide insight into the professional drviers wants and needs on the road. 


Panel Discussion: Alternatives Liquid Fuels
Transportation Energy Track
Alternative liquid fuels producers and NATSO members discuss considerations for continued investment in liquid alternative fuels.


Trucking Economy and What it Means for Truckstops and Travel Centers: Keynote on the Show Floor
Speaker: Bob Costello, American Trucking Associations
Bob Costello, senior vice president and chief economist at the American Trucking Associations, is back by popular demand to provide insight into the latest on the future of the trucking industry at NATSO Connect. Costello will discuss the economic factors that will influence the trucking industry throughout the coming year and how it will affect truckstop and travel center operators.


Succession Planning & Combatting New Tax Proposals: Assuring the Successful Continuation of Your Truckstop: Learning Lab
Speaker: Lee Resnick
In understandable language, business owners will learn needed tools and strategies in the areas of business succession and wealth preservation and eventual transition of assets (with special focus on their business). Typically, the more successful business owners become, they also become more vulnerable. Accordingly, techniques will be discussed showing how to combat those vulnerabilities and assure that the successful business remains just that – successful! Among the areas of focus will be why successful businesses ultimately fail, the importance of coordinating estate plans with succession plans, addressing active vs. inactive children within a family business (does it make sense to leave the business to all the children?), liquidity issues, valuation methodologies that will satisfy the IRS while lowering the tax bill, the proper type of buy-sell agreements that allow for maximum tax savings and most cost efficiency and insurance funding mistakes that often result in millions of dollars in taxes paid that could have been legally avoided and solutions to avoid this scenario. The seminar wraps up by tying in many of the areas of the seminar discussion into a real life compelling family business case study that is sure to strike a chord with everyone in the audience!  Special attention will be given to the impending proposed changes to the federal estate tax and capital gains tax, and how this can adversely affect your business along with solutions how to combat this challenge!


Learning Lab

Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022


Fleet of the Future: Keynote and Breakfast on the Show Floor
Panelists: David Heller, Truckload Carriers Association and Wiley Deck with Plus
On Wednesday morning a panel of trucking leaders will discuss the changes to date within the heavy-duty sector; both in terms of refueling needs and vehicle technology. 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? The group will probe the dynamics shaping investments in alternative transportation energy, including hydrogen, and discuss what the market will need to meet future expectations. Panelists include David Heller, vice president of government affairs for the Truckload Carriers Association and Wiley Deck, vice president of government affairs and public policy at Plus, a company specializing in self-driving truck technology.

Sponsored by: 


Kiosks, Self-Checkouts and Augmented Self-Checkout Are Here: Keynote and Lunch on the Show Floor
During the last two years, the use of kiosk ordering and self-checkout lanes has gone from a novelty to a must-have for all retailers, but especially for retailers in the convenience business like truckstops and travel centers. Today customers expect to be able to order and checkout easily and quickly. By investing in the latest technology, travel center operators are able to enhance that convenience, allowing for customers to not only get in, get out and get on their way even faster, but also reassign their labor and improve order accuracy. A recent study found that almost half of all consumers report that they use self-checkout “basically all the time,” and that six out of 10 consumers have been using self-checkout more often than they did at the start of 2020. On Wednesday, Feb. 23 a panel of technology leaders will dive into speed of service technology.

1:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. EST NATSO Government Affairs Committee
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. Open to everyone.