Education at NATSO Connect

Monday, Feb. 21, 2022


Renewable Fuels Workshop with NATSO's Alternative Fuels Council
Speakers: Ginger Laidlaw, Vice President, Alternative Fuels Council; Steven Hove, Business and It Development, 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.

View the slides from the Renewable Fuels Workshop with NATSO's Alternative Fuels Council here.


Great Ideas! Workshop
Moderator:  Amy Toner, Vice President, Publishing and Digital Content, NATSO
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: Bob Bolduc, NATSO’s 2022 Chairman; Austin Johansen, Commercial Sales and Marketing Director, ExxonMobil Synergy Diesel Efficient; Lisa Mullings, NATSO President and CEO

Attendees will receive a warm welcome to NATSO Connect 2022 from NATSO's Chairman Bob Bolduc. Following Bolduc’s remarks, the audience will hear from Austin Johansen, Commercial Sales and Marketing Director for title sponsor ExxonMobil Synergy Diesel Efficient. 

Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022


How are Policy Decisions Today Shaping Your Tomorrow?: Keynote and Breakfast on the Show Floor (Transportation Energy Track)
Speaker: David Fialkov, NATSO; Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman, NATSO, LeeAnn Goheen, NATSO, Jessica Frend, 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 more than 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.

Tuesday morning’s breakfast is sponsored by: 

View the slides from How are Policy Decisions Today Shaping Your Tomorrow? here.


Transportation Energy Breakout Share Sessions with Boxed Lunch: Exhibit Hall A (Transportation Energy Track)
Facilitators: Electric Vehicle manufactors 
Share Sessions provide an opportunity for fuel retailers and equipment manufacturers to share their experiences in a small group over lunch on the show floor. Grab your boxed lunch and choose a table to learn and grow with fellow operators. 


Professional Drivers Workshop 
Speakers: Gina Bonafede, DAS Distributors 
Panel of Road Pro Professional Drivers:  Kenyette Godhigh-Bell,Brita Nowak, Fred Weatherspoon​
In this interactive workshop, a panel of Road Pro professional drivers will provide first-hand insights from professional drivers to learn more about their wants and needs on the road. A panel of DAS Distributors’ Road Pro professional drivers will discuss what matters most to them while they are on the road.

DAS regularly solicits input from drivers and has valuable insights that can help truckstop and travel plaza operators with their short- and long-term goals. During the session, drivers are expected to cover the importance of cleanliness, customer service and lighting as well as their thoughts on parking reservations and social media.

The information is designed to help NATSO members prioritize their business goals, especially as many businesses across the country struggle with labor challenges.

Panel of Road Pro professional drivers provided by: 

View the slides from the Professional Drivers Workshop here. 




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 of International Trade Policy & Cross-Border Operations and chief economist at the American Trucking Associations, is back by popular demand at NATSO Connect to provide insight into the latest on the future of the trucking industry. Costello will discuss the economic factors that will influence the trucking industry throughout the coming year and how they will affect truckstop and travel center operators.

View the slides from the Trucking Economy and What it Means for Truckstops and Travel Centers presentation here.


Learning Labs:

Succession Planning & Combatting New Tax Proposals: Assuring the Successful Continuation of Your Truckstop: Learning Lab General Track
Speaker: Lee and Terry Resnick, Resnick Associates 
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 on how this can adversely affect your business along with solutions on how to combat this challenge!

For copies of the presentation, please send a request to

Employee Recruitment and Retention
Speaker: Gloria Miller Sinclair, Divisional Director for the Western Region, Society for Human Resources Management

Like all retailers across the country, truckstop and travel are struggling with labor shortage. Gloria Miller Sinclair, Divisional Director for the Western Region, Society for Human Resources Management, will share the top recruitment and retention trends impacting your business. Attendees will leave her session equipped with best practices to attract and keep employees in today’s tough labor market.

View the slides from the Employee Recruitment and Retention presentation here. Miller Sinclair also shared a Recruiting and Retention Strategies Workbook Resources.



3:15p.m.-4:45p.m. Transportation Energy Panel:

Alternatives Fuels and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Grants: Learning Lab Transportation Energy Track (Transportation Energy Track)
Speakers: Joe Annotti, Senior Vice President, Programs Gladstein, Neandross & Associates; Ginger Laidlaw, Vice President, Alternative Fuels Council; Mike Roeth, NACFE (North American Council for Freight Efficiency)
Alternative fuels producers and NATSO members will discuss considerations for continued investment in alternative fuels.

Now is the time to start thinking about how your business can avail itself of the forthcoming grant opportunities established in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Joe Annotti, Senior Vice President, Programs Gladstein, Neandross & Associates will discuss the grant opportunities, what is the best way to secure a grant, and how to best partner with your state and local government.

View the slides from the Alternative Fuels and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Grants presentation here.

Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022


Fleets of the Future: Keynote and Breakfast on the Show Floor
Panelists: Wiley Deck with Plus; Alan Marder, Hyzon Motors; David Heller, Truckload Carriers Association; Dave Williams, Knight Transportation
On Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022 a panel of trucking leaders will discuss Fleets of the Future and some of the latest changes taking place within the heavy-duty sector, including  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? Panelists 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: 


Checkout Technology: How Your Customers Want to Checkout Has Changed: Keynote and Lunch on the Show Floor
Speaker: Greg Buzek, IHL Group
Panelists: Jack Hogan, Mashgin; Darren Schulte, NATSO; Michael Suswal, Standard AI; Chase Thomason, CEO, Skip

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. Greg Buzek, IHL Group, will provide a deep dive on checkout technolgy and lead a conversation with technology leaders on checkout technology.

View the presentation on Checkout Technology: How Your Customers Want to Checkout Has Changed here.