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More Education, More Interactivity

Autosphere » Fleet » More Education, More Interactivity
Bill Schankel, CAE, serves as Chief Executive Officer for NAFA Fleet Management Association. You can reach him at [email protected]. Photo NAFA

NAFA continues to look for ways to add value to both its members and the fleet industry.

As we head into summer, it’s a good time to reflect on what’s been happening at NAFA over the last several months and what’s in store. Looking back, our Institute & Expo (I&E) conference in San Antonio, Texas was a huge success. From April 21-24, we saw more than 2,100 people attend, and the feedback we’ve had from this year’s I&E has been very positive. There was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm around the event and people have told us how much they enjoyed being there.

Wide range of programs

The content from I&E scored very favourably this year and our goal was to have a little bit of everything. While there was a lot of focus on EVs and charging infrastructure, as well as safety practices, additional programs that we hosted with the help of the Environmental Defense Fund, Black Fleet Network as well as technician training with ASC and Garage Gurus proved extremely popular.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway was how fleet professionals, by coming together are driven by a common purpose, to make their fleets better and every fleet better. This is also reflected in our 100 Best Fleets of the Americas program, in which this year’s awards were presented in San Antonio at I&E. Each winner has demonstrated remarkable ability in elevating themselves and the fleets they represent, and it was fantastic to be able to share those achievements with other fleet professionals and the industry. There really was a sense of being “better together,” at I&E in 2024 and we look forward to continuing that momentum.

Ride & Drive

Another aspect of I&E that proved very popular in 2024, was the onsite Ride & Drive program. These types of events have always been very well received at the regional and local level and it was great for NAFA to be able to work with Bobit and the OEMs to put this together on a national scale in San Antonio. The fact that the Ride & Drive event came at the tail end of the conference and so many people chose to participate, demonstrated how well it resonated with attending fleet professionals. It also added a great interactional dimension to an I&E which was our best attended since 2018. Additionally, it provided a great platform on which to build for next year’s conference, which will be held in Long Beach, California, April 28-30, 2025.

At I&E we also had the opportunity to recognize the most recent graduates from our CAFM (Certified Automotive Fleet Manager) program, and we had live CAFM training onsite, with volunteers working on item writing prior to the event. We’ve also been working to add new modules for each of the certificates that make up CAFM and will be releasing them in an online platform designed to make the program more interactive. We’re also continuing to push out more opportunities through our CAFM office hours, enabling groups to get together and look at the best ways to study for the program—this includes at the regional level to see if we can get people from each of our regions to come together and work effectively and achieve CAFM status.

Hands-on training

As we look further into the summer and beyond, we continue to work with JJ Keller on DOT online training courses and on June 24-26 we have our Fleet Safety Symposium in Chicago. It proved very popular last year, and it will be a very collaborative and training-focused event, with a lot of hands-on opportunities for those who attend.

We’re also launching some new enhancements to our Essentials for Fleet Management (EFM) seminars, which will provide an accelerated program in addition to the traditional multi-day format. Additionally, we have our 100 Best Fleets in the Americas webinar series coming up, highlighting this year’s winners as well as presenting some key findings, plus our Green Fleet Program—the winner of which will be announced at the Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference at NC State, August 13-15. Looking to Canada specifically, we have two golf tournaments this year and a Ride & Drive event in Toronto for September.

Besides national events, there is a lot going on at the regional level and our goal is to continue planning and hosting more local networking opportunities and educational events. By doing so, we can help ensure that our members and the fleet management industry can continue to grow, enhancing their performance and success at the individual, organizational and industry levels.

 

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