(Note: The following appeared as "A Message From the Chairman of Associates" on page 11 of the recently published Spring / Summer 2016 issue of TMC's Fleet Maintenance and Technology).

What are the hallmarks of TMC? What type of image does TMC have in the industry? Is it Flashy? Substantive? Invisible?

As I write this column, the political convention season is at its peak. The next two weeks propose to be very “entertaining”. Media outlets are expected to focus as much on protests in Cleveland and Philadelphia as they do on the speeches and policy issues inside the convention halls. It says something about the general public, doesn’t it? Apparently the belief is that we, as a whole, are not interested in detailed analysis or thoughtful dialog. Nope. We want drama with a capital “D”.

If TMC meetings were designed for public consumption, I suppose there would be more loud music, neon lights, and celebrity appearances alongside of the tradeshows, banquets, and technical presentations. If our value proposition depended upon public opinion, we’d publish endless surveys and establish a provocative social media presence. That is definitely not how we roll.

TMC has a steady, quiet presence in the industry. I for one find this to be appropriate. TMC is a thoughtful, professional organization, dedicated to rational discussion and persuasive, technical influence in an important industry, one that is arguably the backbone of the North American economy. In an environment where the safety of our entire highway system is the top concern, you want people to engage intellectually, not necessarily emotionally. Passionately yes … but certainly without egos and acrimony. So perhaps it makes sense that the public profile of TMC is in many ways … subdued.

If however I can point a finger at myself and fellow TMC leaders for just a moment … there is a downside to maintaining a quiet disposition. In today’s world, full of noisy static and distraction, how are you going to get anyone’s attention, let alone convince them of your value? How do you make joining, attending, and contributing to TMC easy and engaging? How do you communicate our legacy and mission to a broader audience? Isn’t it time for TMC to be a little less … quiet?

TMC is in transition, not at its core, but in the way it conveys its brand to the rest of the industry. Our marketing strategy needs a collective reboot, as we determine how to reach a younger audience, and how to bring more engineers and product planners into our activities. Now is the time to invest in a social media strategy, supported by an updated web site. Now is the time to increase our visibility at fleets, vehicle OEM’s, and Tier 1’s. In short, now is the time to invest in a strategic sales and marketing plan, while TMC still stands apart as the best forum for fleets and suppliers to address current challenges and future opportunities related to the design and operation of transportation equipment.

While TMC continues to cultivate its unique strengths, please consider how you and your company can help pump up the volume in the industry. Improved marketing strategies are great; your positive word-of-mouth remains the most compelling message the industry will ever hear regarding the value of TMC. Remember the boombox scene with John Cusack in Say Anything? We can all be Lloyd Dobler. We can all be more proactive in letting our contacts know the unique value of involvement in TMC. We don’t have to be quiet … not about the value of TMC.

John Adami, P.E., is the current Chairman of Associates for TMC, and Principal at Northwest Heavy Duty Inc. He can be reached at or via the company

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  • Response
    True politics now become too much entertainment and drama. In political events in spite of discussing some important issues but we saw them doing jokes because for me their fake speeches are just jokes nothing else. They are making fool to their society, and it’s time for TMC not to be ...

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