Education at NATSO Connect


Important Note: This is the education that was offered in 2018. Speakers and topics for 2019 will be announced very soon!

Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018

1:00p.m.-2:30p.m. Top Trends Disrupting the Truckstop Industry: Opening Kickoff Keynote
Speakers: Stephanie Kowitz, Coca Cola; Lisa Mullings, NATSO; Heather Meade, Ernst & Young
In less than a decade, a new heavy-duty truck will consume 25 percent less diesel than today’s trucks due to due to federal regulations. Twenty-eight percent of retailers anticipate implementing robotics, cognitive computing and artificial intelligence (AI) within the next three to five years. Retail stores could see a shift in their primary purpose, serving as showrooms and places for consumers to pick up packages ordered online. These major changes in technology and consumer demand are shaking up the retail industry. In this Kickoff Keynote, we will hear from four executives on highly relevant trends disrupting the industry. Truckstop operators will walk away with the analysis they need to navigate the future of both their trucking and four-wheel costumers as well as their own employees.
3:00p.m.-5:30p.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!

Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018


How E-Commerce is Transforming the Truckstop Industry: Keynote and Breakfast on the Show Floor
Speaker: Ken Cassar, Slice Intelligence
E-commerce is disrupting the traditional retail world, growing faster than bricks-and-mortar retail and accounting for a greater percentage of consumer spending. Today e-commerce is growing six times faster than brick and mortar, accounting for almost 10% of consumer spending. On average, Amazon Prime members spend $1,300 a year on Amazon. To continue thriving as retailers, truckstops must understand these shifts in consumer spending habits. On Sunday morning, Ken Cassar, principal analyst, vice president, Slice Intelligence, will take a deep dive into e-commerce trends and pinpoint disruptive trends NATSO members need to understand.  He brings analysis from the more than two million digital transactions Slice Intelligence has culled. Growth in e-commerce will alter the mix of products truckstops and travel plaza operators sell inside the stores and increase shoppers’ expectations of service. Attend this session to be ready.

Sponsored by: 


Fleets Discuss the Autonomous and Electrical Truck Future: Keynote and Lunch on the Show Floor
Speakers: Dave Manning, TCW Inc.; Lisa Mullings, NATSO; Dean Newell, Maverick Transportation, LLC
Autonomous, connected and electric trucks are expected to be commonplace within the next decade. How quickly will they arrive? What are the possible impacts on the trucking and truckstop industries? On Sunday afternoon, American Trucking Associations’ Chairman and President of TCW Inc. Dave Manning, NATSO CEO and President Lisa Mullings and Dean Newell, VP, Safety and Training, Maverick Transportation, LLC will unpack this very quandary in a fireside chat. Grab your s'mores stick and pull up a chair by the fire to hear their theories on what it means for the industry and what the world of autonomous and electrical trucks could look like in the future.

Lunch sponsored by: 

1:45p.m.-2:45p.m. See Killer Customer Experiences that Most Customers are Willing to Pay More For: Learning Lab
Moderator: Michael Lawshe, Paragon Solutions
Businesses don’t compete on price. They compete on relationships and customer service. In fact, a recent survey reported that 86 percent of customers are willing to pay up to 25 percent more for a good experience. This need for exceptional experience is especially true for truckstops because of their home away from home status for over-the-road customers. Spend time learning how to differentiate your business by tailoring your offerings and their delivery to provide a killer customer experience that brings customers coming back time again.
3:00p.m.-4:00p.m. Make More Money and Beat Your Competition to the Punch with Modern Fuel Buying Techniques: Learning Lab
Speaker: Cathy Duncan, DTN

Fuel buying has become more sophisticated over the years, and in fact, is not the same as it was just a short five years ago. Today’s combination of demand, supply, terminal operating status, rack price rules and more all add up to a complicated equation for fuel buying success. To beat your competition to the punch and make more money, you must use more than just one fuel buying technique. If you don’t, you will fall behind. In this session packed with detailed, specific advice, DTN’s Cathy Duncan will give attendees exactly the steps they need to take to stay relevant in the fuel buying game.

Use Data to Find the Products Your Customer Doesn’t Know They Need and Put it In Spot that Compels Them to Buy It: Learning Lab
Speaker: Kelly Davis, McLane
Today’s successful retailers use data to offer exactly the right products at the right time in the right place. Using data from the most extensive convenience store sales database in the industry, McLane will explain what product mix and space allocations your truckstop needs to meet your customers’ needs and avoid costly mistakes. Learn how to capture your customers’ impulse interests, identify new and best-selling products and how to best promote products. Attendees will walk away with the knowledge they need to sell the right products in the most profitable way.
Sponsored by:  

Monday, Feb. 12, 2018

8:00a.m.-9:00a.m. Trucking Economy 2.0: Keynote and Breakfast on the Show Floor
Speaker: Bob Costello, American Trucking Associations
Do you ever wish you could sit down one-on-one with Bob Costello, chief economist and senior vice president at the American Trucking Associations, to dig a little deeper into a statistic? If so, plan to join Trucking Economy 2.0 where a panel of truckstop operators will ask Costello the industry's burning questions. Led by Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman, vice president, public affairs at NATSO and Sean Kilcar, editor in chief of Fleet Owner, the panel will bring NATSO members up to speed on the critical economic factors that will influence the trucking and truckstop industries throughout the coming year. Numbers without an analytical framework are often white noise. Through the panel's interaction on stage, learn what is uniquely important to truckstops in the numbers and how to translate the data into a roadmap for strategic decisions. Confirmed panelists include Jim Hays, owner of Dodge City Petro in Hanceville, Ala., Chad Stanford, vice president of real estate for QuikTrip and Elizabeth Warring, president and CEO of Busy Bee in Madison, Fla.
  Sponsored by: 

The Big AHA: How to Future-Proof Your Business Against Tomorrow’s Transformational Trends, Today: Keynote and Breakfast on the Show Floor
Speaker: Global Futurist, Jack Uldrich
The greatest change in the near future will be the rate of change itself, which is accelerating. In this enlightening, energetic, entertaining and educational session, global futurist Jack Uldrich will share the content from his forthcoming book, “Business as Unusual: How to Future-Proof Yourself Against Tomorrow’s Transformational Trends, Today,” and outline 10 trends transforming the retail industry, as well as identify a series of concrete actions truckstop leaders can take today in order to future-proof themselves, their companies and their customers against “the tides of tomorrow.” Among the topics Uldrich will discuss are: how individuals can become more aware of transformational change in the truckstop industry and then use this awareness to position their company for the future; why embracing humility and ambiguity will provide leaders increased confidence and clarity in shaping their future; and how a series of tangible actions—including taking a “think week,” finding a “reverse mentor” and conducting a “pre-mortem” (among others)—will be crucial to creating a successful future.

Lunch sponsored by: 

1:45p.m.-5:00p.m. Good to Great Show
Speakers: Michael Lawshe, Paragon Solution;Michael Ouimet, Ouimet Consulting Group and Darren Schulte, NATSO
Our three hosts, Paragon Solution’s Michael Lawshe, Ouimet Consulting Group’s Michael Ouimet and NATSO’s Darren Schulte, think learning should be funIn this bonus workshop, you can expect sessions of intensive fundamental learning interspersed with game-show inspired learning. You can expect prizes, loud buzzers and bouts of vintage game show nostalgia. Plus, of course, the scoop on how to take your truckstop business from good to great.How to Be Great at Truckstop Merchandising Darren Schulte, NATSO’s vice president of membership, has visited hundreds of truckstops and helped them improve. Specifically he’ll cover:
  • How to create a seasonal promotions program
  • Ideas from truckstops getting merchandising right
  • What you should consider when developing a rebate program
  • Best practices in product placement and ideas to grow your sales
How to Be Great at Truckstop Branding and Layout For almost 30 years, Michael Lawshe has led nationally-recognized design and merchandising firm Paragon Solutions. If you’ve walked into a truckstop and said “wow!” out loud, he probably designed it.  Specifically he’ll cover:
  • How to use messaging to maximize your sales
  • What Paragon is seeing in redesigns
  • How to renovate to boost energy
  • Ideas and video from truckstops excelling at branding
How to Be Great at Truckstop Food Michael Ouimet, president of Ouimet Resource, has almost 40 years of hands-on food service experience.  Specifically he’ll cover:
  • How to decide on a food service concept
  • How to set up a grab n’ go program
  • How to determine what your total make up of food offerings should be
  • Ideas and pictures from truckstops winning at food

Prizes sponsored by: