NationaLease holds its largest annual meeting ever

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The 2010 Annual Meeting of the NationaLease organization of 175 independent truck leasing companies drew a record number of attendees, making it the largest gathering of its kind in the organization’s 66-year history.

“The future is bright for the truck leasing industry, especially in light of positive indicators which include a manufacturing sector which is experiencing strong growth, a rebuilding of inventories after drastic 2009 cuts and stable energy prices,” says Gene Scoggins, president of NationaLease. “The increased demand on the transportation industry has been good news for our NationaLease members.”

One of the purveyors of promising news at the annual meeting was economist Jim Meil of Eaton Corp., a regular presenter at the annual NationaLease gathering. “Trucking continues as the cost-effective transportation alternative for high-service high-product value freight,” Meil said. He pointed to a continuous stream of stories of how truckload pricing is firming and capacity is tightening within the industry. “People in the industry are saying it feels a lot like it did in early 2004 before the ‘capacity crisis’ of the summer and fall of 2004.” Dr. Barry Asmus from the National Center for Policy Analysis also presented an equally cautiously optimistic opinion of the economic outlook.

NationaLease Chairman of the Board Bill Hicks of FirstLease Inc., a NationaLease member based in Norcross, Ga., welcomed the group of more than 200 people on the first day of the event and introduced keynote speaker Dan Baker. A transportation industry speaker and consultant, Baker provided an entertaining and informative presentation on the generational difference in the work force. His message to the group was the necessity to bring members of the younger generations up to speed in the transportation work force, while softening the perceived tough approach of the Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964).

The NationaLease Young Executives group took center stage as Terry Young of Advantage Truck Leasing, a NationaLease member based in Shrewsbury, Mass., conducted the Industry Panel. The panel included Mike Breeden of Cummins Inc., Kirk Gavaghan of Detroit Diesel, Rommel Miranda of Navistar Inc. and Herb Broadmeadow of Volvo Trucks North America, as well as NationaLease member representatives including Bill Hicks of FirstLease Inc., a NationaLease member; Ryan Flynn of TCI Leasing/Rentals, a NationaLease member, and Mark Miller of Miller NationaLease.

Other presenters included Bill Bosco, a consultant to the truck leasing industry, who gave an update on the Lease Accounting Project, known as FASB 13, an ongoing project to create a common standard on lease accounting to ensure that the assets and liabilities arising from lease contracts are recognized in the statement of financial position. An update on Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 was led by Frank Molodecki of Diversified Truck Leasing, a NationaLease member headquartered in Billings, Mont., and Don Van Witzenburg of Reyes Holdings. Additional highlights of the event were a presentation on the activities of the Truck Renting and Leasing Association, several breakout sessions and an awards dinner.