October 2019
Grow your career with industry events
By Michael Thompson, vice chair, Generation Next
Reading Truck Group

Fresh on the heels of the  Executive Leadership Summit , NTEA caught up with Generation Next Vice Chair Michael Thompson, Reading Truck Group ( LinkedIn profile ). Here, he shares his takeaways from the event, as well as insights into professional development opportunities. Michael attends approximately 4-5 training events per year, including his fifth Executive Leadership Summit.

What keeps you coming back to Executive Leadership Summit?
The Executive Leadership Summit is always very well put together. The program never disappoints with its presenters, who are able to share from their vast wealth of knowledge. The new connections I am able to make, along with existing relationships I am able to grow, make this event worth every penny. The Summit is the perfect opportunity for industry leaders to meet, unburdened with booth set-up/tear-down and blocking-off an entire week on our already crowded calendars.

What were your key takeaways from this year’s event?
  1. The economy is not slowly stopping, in spite of news reports and geopolitical unrest.
  2. Customer “service” yields average results. Creating a positive “experience” will yield a more enthusiastic customer base that can create new business through word-of-mouth, not to mention an energized team.
  3. Millennials will be the group to solve many of our pressing problems, whether we embrace this fact or not.

Path to leadership: A conversation with Eric Jones
Eric Jones, global sales director, Onspot - VBG Group Truck Equipment ( LinkedIn profile ), joined Generation Next's leadership team in 2010 and later served as chairman. He was  recently named  to NTEA's 2019/2020 Board of Directors.

What have you been up to since you chaired Generation Next?
It’s amazing how quickly your life can change! After completing my second term as Chairman, I transitioned to VBG Group to take over as Global Sales Director for the Onspot organization. We’ve been taking advantage of robust market conditions and growing the brand at a fast pace all over the world.

I’ve enjoyed working with new cultures and learning the differences in how our industry functions outside of North America. I've since been elected to serve on NTEA’s Board of Directors and have enjoyed every minute of the experience. 

How has your time with Generation Next influenced your professional development or contributed to industry knowledge? 
I highly recommend Generation Next for transitioning or young professionals entering the industry. For me, it served as the conduit to develop relationships that have lasted long after my service to the group. I remember walking through my first Work Truck Show wondering how to make connections and learn the ropes. 

Nominees sought to serve on Generation Next Board

Have you been considering ramping up your involvement in Generation Next, or are you looking into leadership development opportunities for yourself?

Generation Next's Board of Governors has an open seat for a Governor at Large. Interested parties must be members of Generation Next. To nominate or self-nominate, please email Generation Next Vice Chair Michael Thompson at mthompson@readingbody.com, Luci Pfaff at luci@ntea.com, or Derek Eng at derek@ntea.com. Please indicate your interest by Friday, Nov. 15.

NTEA News articles of note
Opportunities
Training programs

Truck Equipment 101
Covering all aspects of work trucks and the industry - from chassis and powertrains to bodies and cab styles - this introductory course is comprised of 15 video-based modules. It provides an industry overview, insight into systems that make up a truck, and basic requirements applicable to U.S. and Canadian markets. Learn more

Truck Equipment 201 (newly released module)
Truck Equipment 201 is a series of online course modules designed for those with a technical knowledge seeking a deeper understanding of certain topics. The newly-released second course addresses commercial vehicle powertrains, including horsepower and torque, engine function and alternative propulsion, power and torque transfer by the transmission, and driveline and axle. Learn more

Upcoming webinars

Wednesday, Nov. 20: Looking forward - New model year changes and implications for body builders
NTEA's Director of Technical Services Bob Raybuck will recap key information presented by leading OEMs at the 2019 Truck Product Conference. Learn more

Wednesday, Dec. 11: Get ready for the Post-Millennial Workforce
Amy Hirsh Robinson, principal, Interchange Group will provide critical insight into the post-millennial generation and highlight key strategies to attract and engage them as future employees. Learn more

Wednesday, Jan. 15: Understanding market dynamics influencing the work truck industry in 2020
Join Steve Latin-Kasper, NTEA's data expert, as he reviews key factors affecting the commercial vehicle market in the year ahead and more. Learn more

Wednesday, Feb. 5: Finding potential markets for work truck and truck equipment sales
Steve Latin-Kasper will outline a solution for determining potential product sales to 106 application (end-use) markets in all 50 states and 383 metropolitan statistical areas. Learn more
Welcome, Matthew Prochot

We welcome Matthew Prochot, product support manager, Runnion Equipment Co., to the Generation Next community.

Browse NTEA's Networking Directory for thousands of industry professionals at member companies.
Referrals welcome
Generation Next provides professional development opportunities to its members -- employees of NTEA member companies who have less than 10 years' work truck industry experience. If you would like to recommend a colleague for membership, complete and return the  application. Or share our presentation.