ATSSA Opening General Session kicks off with former Harley-Davidson executive

ATSSA celebrates its 50th year of advancing roadway safety at Convention & Traffic Expo

The American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) holds the Opening General Session of its 50th Anniversary Traffic Convention & Expo on Jan. 26 with keynote speaker Ken Schmidt, former director of communications for Harley-Davidson Motor Company.

“I love to startle people by exposing them to proven ideas and concepts they’ve never imagined, and I often use motorcycles to do that because they lend themselves to great, memorable imagery,” Schmidt says in his company bio. “I always find that when hearts and minds are in perfect synch, real learning happens.”
Schmidt, author of “Make Some Noise: The Unconventional Road to Dominance,” currently operates his own firm, the Ken Schmidt Company.
The Opening General Session also includes farewell remarks by longtime President and CEO Roger A. Wentz and a panel covering ATSSA’s half-century history in a discussion of the past, present and future of traffic safety.

Greg Schwem, whom the Chicago Tribune called the “king of the hill in the world of corporate comedy,” will lend a lighter note to the morning as he serves as master of ceremonies for the event.

ATSSA’s 50th Annual Convention & Traffic Expo takes place in New Orleans, kicking off on Jan. 24 with two activities in support of The American Traffic Safety Services Foundation, which provides programs that support injured or fallen roadway workers and their families.

This year’s golden anniversary event also features the Chairman’s 50th Anniversary Reception and Gala on Jan. 25 and three days of training, exhibits and new products offering the latest tools for achieving roadway safety.

The Opening General Session officially starts the training and expo portion of the event and takes place at 10 a.m. on Jan. 26 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.
ATSSA’s annual convention began as a white-top table event, drawing fewer than 100 people and has increased its attendance to more than 3,500 in 2019.

“Over the past 50 years, ATSSA has continuously worked to stay at the forefront of the roadway safety infrastructure industry and there’s no better place to get a full picture of those efforts than at our annual convention and, more specifically, at our OGS event,” said ATSSA Director of Meetings & Conventions Necoya Tyson. “Once again, we’ve completely revamped the session, which kicks off the start of our traffic expo, where guests can see thousands of roadway safety devices and products.”

Opening General Session also includes:

•    A report on ATSSA developments from Board of Directors Chair Juan Arvizu
•    Passing of the gavel to incoming Board Chair Greg Driskell
•    A report on The ATSS Foundation from Board President Dave Krahulec

ATSSA was incorporated as an international trade association in 1970 and today has more than 1,500 members. Nearly 1 million people have been trained since the association established its training emphasis in 2001.

As ATSSA drives into 2020, it remains committed to its members and the roadway safety infrastructure industry with the philosophy, “Safer Roads Save Lives.”

“This will be my final time attending convention and Opening General Session as ATSSA president & CEO so the start of 2020 will be bittersweet,” said Roger Wentz, who retires in February after 22 1/2 years at the Association. “I’m honored to be able to celebrate ATSSA’s 50th anniversary and am proud to say we’ve held true to our mission ‘To Advance Roadway Safety.’ The Opening General Session will be a prime opportunity to get a glimpse into the future and how we will continue to fulfill ATSSA’s core purpose.”

For more information about ATSSA’s 50th Annual Convention & Traffic Expo, visit  #TrafficExpo2020

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