Jodie Teuton, vice president of Kenworth of Louisiana and Southland Truck Leasing, has been elected chairwoman of American Truck Dealers at the ATD show in Las Vegas. She is the first woman to be elected chair of ATD which was founded in 1970.
She spoke to members at the ATD Show outlining the challenges that face medium- and heavy-duty truck dealerships in the U.S., such as changing technologies, legislative and regulatory issues, and cultivating the next generation of dealership employees.
“We’re seeing the advent of new power sources,” said Teuton. “We need to understand how autonomous and assisted-vehicle legislation will affect our industry in the future, and how new technology will impact customer demand.”
She also urged dealers to take an interest in legislative issues, such as the infrastructure bill, changes to the tax code and regulatory burdens.
“Let’s continue to build bridges with our lawmakers and regulators,” said Teuton. “Invite them to the dealership. Let them see the faces of your business. Help them understand our challenges. And let them know the rules affecting our business should be practical for both dealers and the customers we serve.”
Teuton advocated for widening employment pools in order to address challenges in recruiting, hiring, and retention.
“Women and millennials are untapped resources in our industry,” she said. “As a parent of a 17-year-old in Generation Z, I know there’s a dynamic job force that’s coming on the heels of millennials. We just need to attract them to our business. Let’s get everyone excited about dealership careers.”