Medium- and heavy-duty truck dealers from across the country will gather in New Orleans this weekend for the 51st annual American Truck Dealers Convention and Expo.

Keynote speakers include Philip Byrd, chairman of the American Trucking Associations; Lt. General Russel L. Honore (Ret.), commander of the Joint Task Force Katrina and Global Preparedness Authority, who led the Department of Defense response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana; ATD Chairman Dick Witcher, chief executive officer of Minuteman Trucks in Walpole, Mass; and Eric Jorgensen, incoming ATD chairman and president and CEO of JX Enterprises in Hartland, Wis.

Dealers will have the opportunity to meet with their manufacturer executives at 11 franchise meetings and with exhibitors in the ATD Zone on the expo floor. ATD-NADA University will be offering seven workshops for truck dealers and their managers.

 The event will also include announcing the winner of six dealers who were nominated by their peers for the National Truck Dealer of the Year award presented by ATD and Heavy Duty Trucking magazine. It will be announced during the opening general session on Saturday, Jan. 25.

The nominees are Timothy J. Fyda, president and CEO of Fyda Freightliner, with multiple locations in Ohio and Pennsylvania; William Don Larson, CEO and owner of Allstate Peterbilt Group, Wayzata, Minn.; Michael P. McMahon, CEO of McMahon Truck Centers, Charlotte, N.C.; William K. Reilley, Sr., CEO of Lakeside International Trucks, Milwaukee, Wis.; Donald L. Sherwood, dealer principal of Sherwood Freightliner, Sterling and Western Star, Dunmore, Pa.; and R. Kyle Treadway, president, dealer principal and legal counsel of Kenworth Sales Co., in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The ATD convention runs concurrently with the NADA convention from Friday, Jan. 24 to Monday, Jan. 27, at the recently renovated Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.