Berkstresser elected 2011 NATSO chairman

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NATSO, the national trade association representing truckstops and travel plazas, announced that it has named Robert Berkstresser, owner of Lee Hi Travel Plaza and White’s Travel Center, as its 2011-2012 chairman of the board. Berkstresser, who succeeds Scott Paulson, has served on the NATSO board of directors since 2008 and has been an active member in the organization since 1991.

Berkstresser takes the helm of the NATSO board at a time when a number of state legislatures are pressuring Congress to overturn the federal prohibition on commercial services at rest areas. Allowing states to sell food, fuel and other retail services at interstate rest areas would devastate the thousands of businesses nationwide that operate near the interstate and the small-town communities they support.

The truckstop and travel plaza industry also is tackling such critically important issues as the future of highway funding and rising interchange fees. Berkstresser says he is committed to helping the truckstop and travel plaza industry face the challenges of today while building better businesses for tomorrow.

“The new year brings new opportunities, and I couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of serving as NATSO’s chairman,” Berkstresser says. “I look forward to tackling the challenges facing the truckstop and travel plaza industry and helping my fellow business owners and operators to succeed.”

Berkstresser began his career in the truckstop business in 1981, when he purchased Lee Hi Travel Plaza. Previously, Berkstresser owned a towing and road-service business. In 2010, Berkstresser purchased White’s Travel Center, which he recently updated and reopened.

Paulson, owner of Silco Oil, now serves as chairman of NATSO’s Steering Council Committee.