February is the month to show our love and appreciation, so here at ATD, I would like to salute my fellow ATD leaders, past and present. Each seat at ATD carries enormous weight and responsibility, and I’m privileged to be working with some of the most passionate men and women in our industry.
In that regard, I want to acknowledge one of the most dedicated ATD leaders I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and learning from: Immediate Past Chairman Steve Parker. While Steve’s term has ended, the mark he made during his six and a half years on the board remains. Steve had a hand in the advent of the ATD Strategic Plan and led us through the start of a technological evolution in our industry. As chairman, he increased communication among all ATD members and industry stakeholders. Personally, it will always be my honor to have picked up the ATD torch where Steve left off. This association will forever be influenced by his tireless leadership and enthusiasm for our industry and all ATD members. If our past leadership is any indication of our greatness, then I am pleased to introduce our current ATD leaders to you.
The ATD board upholds the central mission of our association: to serve and represent the needs of truck dealer members through federal advocacy, industry relations, education and other key services. This is a mission that we all take to heart and work to advance every day. Your elected board members work hard to solidify ATD’s mission each year. I am pleased to announce that Steve Bassett is our new ATD vice chairman. And Kim Mesfin, president of Affinity Truck Center in California, is our new Volvo line representative. Kim has the distinguished honor of being one of the six nominees for 2019 Truck Dealer of the Year. Remember that every ATD leader is your advocate. And as truck dealers from around the country, we are fueled by our love of the business and integrity, professionalism, and community.
I encourage all our members to put names to faces and build a relationship with the ATD board of line representatives. Visit our ATD leadership page, and send us your feedback throughout the year. It’s our job to listen to you, so let us know about your successes and challenges; stay up to date on truck dealer issues with our core publications, ATD Insider, ATD Performance Measurement Guide, and ATD Truck Beat; and join us at the annual ATD Show and other industry events.
ATD is also your bridge with manufacturers and suppliers, so I encourage everyone to participate in the dealer attitude surveys that we circulate twice a year. The greater the participation from our members, the more meaningful our presentations are with the OEMs and suppliers.
Valentine’s Day is tomorrow so it’s fitting that I say, without reservation, how much I love ATD. As I said on the ATD Show stage, seeing the grit in all of you inspires me each day. It is a great honor to serve all our members through the highs and lows of our industry. I am forever grateful for our ATD leaders—past and present—who have influenced me and are wholly dedicated to the entire ATD family.
Teuton is vice president of Kenworth of Louisiana, a full-service dealership with locations in Baton Rouge, Houma, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, New Orleans and Shreveport; a full-service Hino dealership in Baton Rouge; and Southland Truck Leasing at all dealership locations. ATD, a division of the National Automobile Dealers Association, represents more than 1,800 medium- and heavy-duty truck dealerships.