Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about Nevada Trucking Association and the responsibilities of your position.
Paul Enos: Nevada Trucking Association has been around since 1932 and represents the trucking industry in Nevada, which provides 94 percent of all of Nevada’s manufactured freight. We are there to ensure Nevada’s trucks operate safely, efficiently and properly thorough advocacy on regulatory and public policy. We also do public relations and initiatives that improve the image of the trucking industry.
I am the CEO, and I am the lobbyist. I also take out the garbage. We are a small three-person office. I wouldn’t be good at what I do without a great staff.
NNBW: How did you get into this profession?
Enos: I started in politics when I was 17 years old volunteering on a campaign. I went to work for a lobbyist named Sam McMullen after college and was hired by one of his clients to be be manager of government affairs for the Retail Association of Nevada. I became deputy director of the Nevada Motor Transport Association in 2005 and was named CEO in 2006. In 2012 we changed the name to the Nevada Trucking Association.
NNBW: What’s the most important thing you have learned in your career as a lobbyist that helps you succeed in this role?
Enos: It is all about relations and representing a great client. The trucking industry is absolutely essential, and the companies that are members are the guys who do it right. They are making the investments that make them the best in the industry. That is the key to success: Representing folks that do things right.
NNBW: What are some of the primary difficulties and challenges you have had to overcome in your role as lobbying for Nevada’s trucking companies?
Enos: There is always that education factor. You are educating people on everything from the energy density of fuel to physics and what may be good in theory might not work in the practical world. That is one of the key challenges — especially with hours of service rules. Something that you think will improve safety unfortunately detracts from it. Those are the kinds of issues you have, and you have to educate folks who may not know a lot about the trucking industry. Take triple trailers, an issue we fought a couple of years ago. When you look at the data, they are some of the safest vehicles on the road. For every million miles these trucks travel they have far less fatalities than almost anything out there. The beauty is that if you have data to back it up it makes your job easier.
NNBW: What was your first job?
Enos: I was a busboy at a restaurant in Elko. I got promoted to janitor at The Hub Department Store.
NNBW: Tell us about your dream job. Why aren’t you working it?
Enos: This is a huge part of it, but my dream job would probably be to have my own nationwide syndicated radio show. But that is very hard, and there’s not a lot of money in radio — and there’s probably a hell of a lot of people who are a hell of a lot better than me.
NNBW: Do you have any advice for someone who wants to enter the lobbying profession?
Enos: Pay your dues, do your research, and understand that relationships are important, but so is the issue. Being able to talk knowledgeably about issues and policy is important, and being able to relay what the real-world impact on legislation is going to be. That’s what I’ve learned from the best people in my profession.
NNBW: What’s do you enjoy most about your job?
Enos: I enjoy meeting with my members and learning about their businesses, their challenges and their issues. I also enjoy fixing public policy where it goes wrong and impacts them in a detrimental fashion.
NNBW: How do you spend your time away from work?
Enos: I love to spend it with friends. I love to go to the gym, cycling, paddleboarding, hanging out with my kids, reading and listening to music.
NNBW: What did you dream of becoming when you were a kid?
Enos: A lobbyist. If I had to dream it over again I would dream to be a rock star.
NNBW: If you had enough money to retire right now, would you?
Enos: I think I still want to be active. The youngest “old” people I know are the people who are still in the game. I want to be in the game as long as I am physically able to.
NNBW: What’s the last concert or sporting event you attended?
Enos: I did Tough Mudder in Patterson, Calif. about a month ago. It was my third one.
NNBW: What’s your idea of the perfect vacation spot?
Enos: All inclusive, where you can eat and drink whatever you want by a pool or a beach.
NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like most about working/living here?
Enos: I love the people in northern Nevada; they are some of the most down-to-earth and real people. I love this area. It makes me smile when I look up and see Mount Rose. But it’s the people — we have a lot of great people who live in this area.