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TWA Fall Meeting Recap: Here’s What You Missed

By Michele Schueler on Nov 14, 2019 at 05:49 PM

Here’s a synopsis of the engaging speakers and topics featured at this fall’s meeting: 

  • First Class (Ret.) Greg Stube opened up our program with an emotional and motivational pep talk to inspire both our professional and personal lives. Sgt. Stube spent 23 years in the army, 19 of which as a Green Beret. During Operation Medusa in Afghanistan, Sgt. Stube was wounded by an IED and enemy gunfire, but was ultimately saved by an army medic that initially failed out of the training course Stube had taught. This experience, among many others during his time in the Armed Forces, taught Stube many important life lessons:
    • “Hug a turd”- love everyone, even those you initially dislike, you don’t know their true measure
    • Our culture is what we make of it and starts at home, so don’t blame others for society’s ills
    • Believe in something bigger than yourself. If you don’t, you’ll serve nothing greater than yourself
    • “Be in the business of putting yourself out of business” i.e. give to others and be selfless 
  • Rates are at an all-time high, vacancies at an all-time low. That was the view of James Ewing of commercial real estate giant, Colliers International. James gave a succinct overview of the industrial real estate market in the U.S., noting that the Dallas-Ft. Worth area leads the market for industrial space, thanks to its booming population, wide open land, and access to a vast network of airports and highways. 
  • Lucy Garcia of the S. Department of Labor briefed attendees on their obligations as employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This included a run through of regulations regarding minimum wage, deductions, overtime, break times, youth employment and defining the employer-employee relationship. 
  • Steve DeHaan, President & CEO of the International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA), led an open discussion about preparing your warehouse in the event of death or retirement. He explained that for an effective succession plan, you need to be able to ask the right questions to get your affairs in order, give realistic valuations, keep your attorneys and senior management in the loop, and anticipate the questions that others, both internally and externally, will ask of you in the future. 
  • According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Texas greatly outperforms the rest of the U.S. in economic growth. The low cost of living and business climate is attracting large migration to the state, with Texas serving as the #1 net importer of jobs from the rest of the country. The warehouse/transport employment sector grew 1.7% so far in 2019 in Texas and construction leads all sectors in state job growth at 6%. Despite the positive economic outlook for the Lone Star State, risks to this growth include trade uncertainty and disruption and any sharp decline in oil prices. 
  • Jessica Attas of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, who aided TWA during our trip to Austin in the spring, gave a recap of the 86th Texas legislative session. This term, legislators passed a $250.7 billion biannual budget that adds more money for schools, infrastructure and buys down local property taxes. Unfortunately though for our industry, only two franchise tax bills passed, but were narrowly focused and none of the bills aimed at preempting local jurisdictions from mandating employee benefits passed. This last issue will certainly come up again in the future. 
  • Steve DeHaan of IWLA, along with TWA members Brett Mears and Ken Johnson held a panel discussion on the latest from the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB), the current state of railroad-shipper-receiver relations, and strategies to achieve better rail servicing and avoid unnecessary demurrage charges.  

Watch this space for information about our next meeting in Ft. Worth in April 2020!