Is Board service for you?

By Matt Wilson, NTEA President, Chairman & CEO
Switch-N-Go, AmeriDeck & Bucks Divisions of Deist Industries Inc. (Hadley, Pennsylvania)

This article was published in the September 2016 edition of NTEA News.

Well, this is a fun one for me. I like to look back at my time on the NTEA Board — partially because I can’t believe I have less than six months left and partially because it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, both personally and professionally.

I came in knowing I could effectively represent small manufacturing business and that my experience in finance and accounting would be beneficial. That said, I believe listening and having an empathetic mindset have also served me well and will do the same for Board members to come.

I’ll save all of the reminiscing for a later article, though. Right now, I’m going to make a call for you to serve. 

This month, NTEA is opening up the election cycle for the 2017 Board. Let’s talk a bit about the nomination process. You can be nominated for one of the open positions by either someone within the industry, a person at your company or even by yourself. Based on results of the Executive Committee election in October, there will be a position available for one Associate Trustee, and openings are anticipated for Distributor and Manufacturer Trustees.

Nominations must be submitted to NTEA by Sept. 30, 2016. All main member contacts should have received a ballot — which can be returned by fax, email or mail. Members can also nominate by visiting

Next comes the evaluation period. Yes, almost anyone can be nominated, but the Board must ensure all candidates meet certain requirements, which are listed at the site referenced above.

After qualifications are met, nominees are assigned to Board members for a brief phone interview. This helps us build a profile to share with all current Trustees. Next, candidates are reviewed during the fall Board meeting and a slate is voted on to be presented to the membership.

While the aforementioned requirements all have their purpose, I think one of the most important is the ability and willingness to spend time away from your own business to serve. Like anything, the more time and energy you can dedicate, the more impactful your service will be.

During the election cycle, member companies will have from Dec. 15, 2016 to Jan. 12, 2017 to cast votes. As part of NTEA’s recent Bylaws revision, the election is being held earlier than before, so main member contacts should be prepared to go online and vote in that timeframe.

Shortly after the election closes, all candidates are contacted with their personal results, enabling them to align travel schedules for the annual Board meeting held in conjunction with The Work Truck Show® 2017. While this can be an exciting time for the newly elected, it may be frustrating for anyone who is not. Don’t be discouraged by the prospect of not being chosen for an open seat. Some of the best Trustees I have served with were not selected the first time around — but I believe their initial run was an important element in their ultimate election and success as Board members.

I wish 2017 candidates all the best in the election and know that because of the process described in this article, the Board is and will be in good hands for many years to come.