Jerome “The Bus” Bettis and Emmitt Smith, two of the National Football League’s greatest running backs, will team up as Work Truck Week® 2024 keynote speakers at NTEA Annual Meeting on Thursday, March 7, 2024. With four Super Bowl victories between them, the pair have plenty to share about teamwork, persistence, and success.
Work Truck Week, North America’s largest work truck event, returns to the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis March 5–8, 2024. It encompasses The Work Truck Show®, Green Truck Summit, NTEA Annual Meeting, Ride & Drive, educational sessions, and more. Green Truck Summit is March 5, educational sessions run March 5–7, and Work Truck Show exhibits are open March 6–8. Registration opens in October at worktruckweek.com. Work Truck Week is produced by NTEA – The Work Truck Association™.
The Annual Meeting keynote will be a question-and-answer conversation between Bettis and Smith moderated by Jason Ritchey, 2024 NTEA Convention chair, and president and owner of Curry Supply Co.
Both Bettis and Smith left college after junior year to enter the NFL Draft. Each was selected in the first round.
Bettis was drafted by the L.A. Rams in 1993. In his first season, he was named NFL Co-Rookie of the Year, Sporting News Rookie of the Year and Rams MVP. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1996. In his first season with Pittsburgh, he won NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Over the course of his career, he was voted to the Pro Bowl six times and was named first-team All-Pro twice. In 2001, he won the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award for his work with The Jerome Bettis Bus Stops Here Foundation that assists underprivileged inner-city youth. In 2006, Bettis retired from the NFL after helping the Steelers win Super Bowl XL in his hometown of Detroit. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015. Bettis wrote two autobiographies and has had a successful broadcast career as a football analyst for national sports networks and as host of The Jerome Bettis Show in Pittsburgh on WPXI-TV. Bettis returned to Notre Dame to complete his education, graduating on May 15, 2022, with a business degree.
Smith, who remains the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1990. He spent 13 seasons with the Cowboys and two with the Arizona Cardinals, returning to the Cowboys for a day to officially retire with the team in 2005. Smith is the only running back to ever win a Super Bowl championship, NFL Most Valuable Player award, NFL rushing crown and Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award in the same season. He led the league in rushing and won the Super Bowl the same year three times, in 1992, 1993 and 1995. Smith was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010. Since retiring from professional football, he has built companies spanning real estate, construction, technology and renewable energy. His current businesses include E J Smith Enterprises; E Smith Legacy, a premier real estate development firm; E Smith Advisors, a majority-owned joint brokerage firm; EJ Smith Construction, a Dallas-based commercial and civil construction management and general contractor; PROVA Group, Inc., an enterprise providing technology-based authentication solutions for memorabilia and high-value items; and Notable Live!, a mobile social platform connecting celebrities and notables with their fans. He earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Florida.
“Jerome Bettis and Emmitt Smith reached the pinnacle of their first chosen career – professional football – and then went on to build successful careers off the field, as well,” says Ritchey. “From football to TV to business, I can’t wait to hear their stories and perspectives… and maybe Emmitt will even share some dance tips he learned on Dancing with the Stars!”
This will be the third pairing of NFL legends to entertain and inspire NTEA Annual Meeting attendees. In 2017, two of professional football’s most colorful analysts, former quarterbacks Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long, shared the stage. They were followed in 2019 by the father and son duo of Archie and Peyton Manning.
Tickets for NTEA Annual Meeting, sponsored by Ford Pro, will be available for purchase when registration opens in October.
Every year, the commercial vehicle industry comes together at Work Truck Week to see new products, learn and network. The Work Truck Show exhibit hall includes the latest from all industry segments, including truck and van chassis, bodies, aerial devices, snow and ice control equipment, accessories, and components. Green Truck Summit features intensive programs led by industry experts and fleet managers covering advanced commercial vehicle and fuel technology trends, as well as operational insights for vocational truck fleets. A full event schedule will be released in the weeks ahead.