Education at NATSO Connect



Stay tuned! More education will be announced soon!


Friday, Feb. 7, 2020

9:30a.m.-12:00p.m.

Travel Center Profit Driver Study Tour
Led by NATSO’s Travel Center Profit Driver experts Don Quinn and Darren Schulte, this year’s study tour will provide NATSO members with an opportunity to tour best-in-class retail locations and network with other truckstop and travel plaza operators while learning from these two travel center powerhouses! Additional tour details to come soon. Contact Amy Toner at atoner@natso.com for more information. 

There is an additional fee of $100 for participation in the study tour. 

9:30a.m.-11:30a.m.

Renewable Fuels Master Class
On Friday 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.

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.

1:00p.m.-2:15p.m.

Opening Kickoff Keynote
The keynotes at NATSO Connect provide the analysis that truckstops and travel centers need to understand trends that are disrupting the industry. The opening keynote at NATSO Connect 2020 is sure to deliver the trend information truckstops and travel centers need to suceed. Stay tuned, details on this year’s Opening Keynote will be announced soon!

2:30p.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!


Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020

8:00a.m.-9:00a.m.

How are Government Decisions Today Shaping Your Tomorrow?: Keynote and Breakfast on the Show Floor
Speaker: David Fialkov, NATSO
David Fialkov, NATSO’s vice president of government affairs and legislative and regulatory counsel, offers his take on what the political landscape in 2020 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 2020. 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.

10:45p.m.-11:30a.m.

Trailblazers Keynote
It is a disruptive time in the fuel business, but the NATSO membership is full of truckstops and travel centers who are employing strategies to propel their business into the future. During these mid-morning keynotes, you will hear from three NATSO members on what they do best. From shop repair to food service, you’ll get an inside look at the techniques these trailblazers use to excel.

12:30p.m.-1:30p.m.

Keynote and Lunch on the Show Floor
The keynotes at NATSO Connect provide the analysis that truckstops and travel centers need to understand trends that are disrupting the industry.  Stay tuned, details on the keynote will be announced soon!

2:45p.m.-3:30p.m.

Learning Lab

2:45p.m.-3:30p.m.

Learning Lab

2:45p.m.-5:00p.m.

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.

3:45p.m.-4:30p.m. Learning Lab
3:45p.m.-4:30p.m. Learning Lab
4:15p.m.-5:15p.m.

Hack Hour Competition
This is a two-part event that spans two days. Groups of both travel centers operators and suppliers come together to pick a challenge facing the industry and start to solve it together.  The teams explore a solution to this year’s challenge and then film a 90-120 second pitch of their solution to submit for judging. After the videos are evaluated, the selected teams are notified that they will participate in the competition portion of the pitch the following day. On the second day, the team videos are shown to a panel of judges before on the keynote stage and the panel will ask the team a few questions. After each team shares their video and is questioned by the panel, a vote is taken by applause from the audience. Information on this year’s challenge will be announced soon.

Everyone welcome. RSVP required. Contact Amy Toner at atoner@natso.com for more information.


Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020

8:00a.m.-9:00a.m. Plan for Tomorrow’s Trucking Economy at NATSO Connect
Speaker: Bob Costello, American Trucking Associations
Center Stage
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.
10:45p.m.-11:30a.m. Trailblazers Keynote
It is a disruptive time in the fuel business, but the NATSO membership is full of truckstops and travel centers who are employing strategies to propel their business into the future. During these 45-minute keynotes, you will hear from three NATSO members on what they do best. From shop repair to food service, you’ll get an inside look at the techniques these trailblazers use to excel.
12:00p.m.-1:15p.m.

Keynote and Lunch on the Show Floor
The keynotes at NATSO Connect provide the analysis that truckstops and travel centers need to understand trends that are disrupting the industry.  Stay tuned, details on the keynote will be announced soon!