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MARYLAND ON THE MOVE MMTA 2016 Annual Conference takes place at Turf Valley Resort


BY SELENA GRIFFIN Managing Editor


MMTA’s “Boosting Your Business” workshop kicked off on Thursday, September 29.


Valuable workshops were held again this year - ironically the weather forecast was just as rainy and dreary as last year. Despite the gray skies, we had a strong turnout of 150 guests and once the first speaker took the podium it didn’t matter what was happening outside that room. This year’s topics were so essential and the top-notch presenters so knowledgeable that all eyes stayed focused inside for what turned out to be some of the most relevant presentations industry leaders may have heard in a long time.


When he was elected Governor Hogan proclaimed “Maryland is open for business.” His top economic advisor, Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Mike Gill gave members the rundown on what the state is doing to improve the business climate. The next guest speaker, Mark Luterman of Primax Ventures, expounded on practical ways to manage your time wisely despite the technology information overloads we face daily. The letters E-L-D have become a buzz word in the trucking industry that


12 BEHIND THE WHEEL — Q4 Winter 2016


can raise blood pressure, elevate heart rates and incite the infamous eye roll from executives as they prepare for the mandatory use of electronic logs. Luckily our panel of experts was able to discuss virtually every aspect of actual implementation. And finally, MMTA’s general council Bert Randall schooled attendees on the Department of Labor’s new Overtime Rule slated to take effect December 1, 2016 and what company leaders can do now to prepare.


Highlights of the workshops included:


• Secretary Gill highlighted Governor Hogan’s decrease of the state’s tolls – the first time in Maryland history that tolls were lowered – as well as a meaningful reduction of the many regulations that businesses must follow.


• Mark Luterman challenged us to identify our purpose, not only in big picture style, but for each day and for each role we play. He encouraged members to create a task list every day and prioritize each task. Break your list into four categories, things you can eliminate, things you can automate, things you can delegate, and then you can concentrate. Mark reminded attendees that “busyness” does not equal “productivity.”





The ELD panel consisting of Gene Funk (Cowan Systems), Anthony Triggs (DM Bowman) and moderator Dennis Morgan discussed everything from selecting an ELD provider based on what you want to get out of the system, implementation, training, ongoing challenges, productivity impacts, and driver response. The panel agreed that even resistant drivers have gotten so used to electronic logging that they now say they would hate to go back to paper logs.


• Randall explained how the OT rule will affect many companies and what steps employers should take now to prevent it from hurting your bottom line. Examples include evaluating the exempt class of your existing employees to see if any need reclassified, reviewing employee salary levels to determine which employees could remain exempt from OT with a modest salary adjustment and/or a reduction in hours worked per week.


The daily workshops wrapped up with the election of new MMTA officers and directors. Those who stayed for the Chairman’s Banquet were surprised to see the skies clearing, but even better was the performance happening inside.


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