Schedule (Preliminary and Subject to Change)

Tues., Oct. 29

1:00-2:30 pm NATSO Foundation Board of Directors Meeting

2:45-3:45 pm How are Truck Stop and Travel Leaders Future-Proofing Their Business?

Before we hear about disruptions rocking the travel center industry, we’ll kick off the event hearing from several industry innovators. How are they tackling the industry’s changes? Gain an inside look at their growth strategies, learn how they plan to remain relevant amidst evolving consumer habits and hear about their plans for the ongoing transition to alternative fuels.

4-4:45 pm Executive Briefing on Fuel Markets: Fast Forward Focus Exec Topic

What is happening in the fuel market that travel centers need to know? In this executive-level briefing, a fuel expert will share the outlook for petroleum supply. Political instability, conflicts, and sanctions in major oil-producing regions can disrupt supply chains and lead to uncertainty in the oil market. As we enter an election, changes in the geopolitical landscape could have a profound impact on the industry’s fuel supply. Gather the information truck stop and travel center leaders need to know as they plan their business strategies for 2025.

4:45-5:45 pm What is Happening at the State Level Policy-wise?

Speakers: LeeAnn Goheen, NATSO’s Senior Director of NATSO’s Government Affairs
Due to the gridlock in Washington, state and local officials continue to wield disproportionate influence over consequential energy policy decisions. Join LeeAnn Goheen, NATSO’s Senior Director of NATSO’s Government Affairs, and a panel of state execs for Fast Forward Focus’ annual conversation about opportunities for engagement at the state level by travel center industry leaders.

6-8:30 pm Cocktail Hour and Networking Dinner

Wed., Oct. 30

8-8:30 am Breakfast Buffet with Table Work: What stood out to you from prior day?

8:30-9:15 am Hydrogen for Heavy Duty: Travel Center Industry’s Burning Hydrogen Questions

Speakers: Mike Roeth, NACFELast year’s Fast Forward Focus participants unearthed many questions on hydrogen. Who are the key players emerging in the hydrogen space? What equipment, safety measures, and driver needs are important to understand?  What are OEMs monitoring as they look to scale up production?  Hydrogen is emerging as a contending fuel to meet regulatory demands for new technology to reduce tailpipe emissions in the heavy-duty sector. While some industry advocates and researchers are confident that the costs of trucks and hydrogen production and distribution will be reduced through scale and innovation over time, what is the timeline that travel centers can expect for this to become a reality? Mike Roeth, executive director of NACFE, will answer these questions and more on Wednesday morning. 

9:30-10:15 am As Trucking Embraces AI to Optimize Routes What Does it Mean for Travel Centers?: Fast Forward Focus Exec Topic

Automation is becoming more common in the trucking industry as companies see what technology can do to boost performance and efficiency. AI route optimization tools help drivers save time, fuel, and resources by assessing multiple factors when selecting routes, including distance, traffic conditions, delivery windows, and historical data. What does this mean for truck stops and travel centers? Route optimization is a critical aspect of the trucking industry. What will it look like in the coming years as AI rapidly advances?

10:30-11:15 am Travel Center Industry Disruptions: So What? Now What?: Working Session

Moderators: Christine Schoessler, COO, NATSO; Amy Toner, Executive Director, NATSO Foundation

Now that you are up to speed on the breaking trends shaping highway businesses’ future, what does it mean for your company? During the working session facilitated by Chris Schoessler, COO of NATSO, and Amy Toner, executive director of the NATSO Foundation, attendees will reflect on the lessons learned and create new insights together with the industry power players at their table.

11:30-12:15 pm Sponsored Focus Groups with Lunch Buffet

12:30-3:30 pm NATSO Board of Directors Meeting