With a record 837 attendees, record sponsorship, and record overall vendor support, the Used Truck Association’s (UTA) 18th Annual Convention, held last week at the Paris Las Vegas, broke all previous UTA Convention records. As of the convention, UTA membership stands at 1,126, another record.
Beginning with a welcome reception at the base of the Paris Hotel’s Eifel Tower, the next few days saw speakers Steve Tam, of ACT Research; and economist Donald Broughton, describe an improving used truck marketplace.
“I’m delighted to say we have a better outlook today than we had a year ago, and much better than two years ago,” Broughton told the audience.
Lou Ferrigno, aka “The Incredible Hulk,” was the inspirational keynote speaker. Not only was he the youngest Mr. Universe, winning the title at the age of 21, he then achieved the same feat the next year. Ferrigno described the many challenges he overcame in his life as someone who suffered a severe hearing loss at a very early age.
“Find your passion, overcome your fears, and be the best you can be,” Ferrigno said. And to stay fit (he still looks Hulk-like at 65): “You can work out from womb to tomb, but you have to control the fork and spoon.”
The convention’s Vendor Fair was packed and fun from beginning to end, and received excellent notices. The UTA thanks all the exhibitors and sponsors for their generous support.
The convention this year was dedicated to the late Jerry Nerman, who passed away earlier this year. A founder of Arrow Trucks, Jerry had been an ardent supporter of the UTA since its inception. He also created the UTA/Jerome Nerman Family Foundation Scholarship to support students. His son Lewis spoke of the tenants by which his father lived his life.
“Your word is your bond. Tell the truth. If you tell a lie and you have to remember what you said,” he told the gathering. The UTA also lives by these tenants, and Nerman will always be the soul of and inspiration for the UTA, the group says.
Rick Clark, vice president at National Truck Protection, was voted UTA president for 2018, and Terry Hebron of Heavy Truck and Equipment Wholesalers (HTAEW.com) won the UTA’s Marvin F. Gordon Lifetime Achievement Award.
UTA says next year’s 19th annual convention will be held in Orlando.