In this season of giving, NAFA Fleet Management Association was once again acknowledged for its contributions. On December 11, NAFA was recognized by the Mid-Atlantic Society of Association Executives (MASAE) for the Association’s ongoing commitment to its community and the needs of others. “NAFA considers this to be one of the highest honors it has ever earned,” said NAFA’s Executive Director Phillip E. Russo, CAE.
The holiday mantra of “it’s better to give than to receive” has been one NAFA has believed for quite a while. NAFA’s involvement with Habitat for Humanity began in 2009 when the Association’s annual conference was held in New Orleans as the city continued to recover from Hurricane Katrina. Providing new housing for those affected by the hurricane led to an annual pre-conference ritual. Since then, NAFA and LeasePlan have taken part in Habitat for Humanity projects in Detroit, MI; Charlotte, NC, St. Louis, MO; and Atlantic City, NJ. In addition, monetary contributions from NAFA, combined with matching donations, have added up to more than $25,000 presented to Habitat for Humanity during the last five years.
In addition to the Habitat for Habitat projects, NAFA’s annual conference also found a way to tie charitable work in with the exhibitors on the Expo Floor. A silent auction allowed exhibitors to gain extra traffic to their booth by providing gifts and prizes sold to the highest bidder. All proceeds from the auctioned items went to Saint Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Since 2010, NAFA’s donations to St. Jude’s have exceeded $20,000.
Closer to home, when Russo watched the images of Hurricane Sandy on the news, he knew the Association had to help. NAFA’s headquarters are not only located in New Jersey (one of the states that was badly hit by the storm) but, as luck would have it, Atlantic City, NJ was the site for the annual conference in 2013. Between NAFA’s own contributions, those from NAFA chapters, and those from industry partners, over $8,000 was raised for the recovery efforts.
“No one at NAFA went into these activities with the idea of getting recognition for doing this work,” said Russo. “We have so much to be thankful for and we consider it an honor – and a duty – to share our gifts with others.”