“NAFA’s International Fleet Academy got started a couple of years ago when NAFA CEO, Phillip E. Russo, CAE, reached out to a group of commercial fleet managers and asked them what NAFA could do for them to make their jobs easier and more productive,” said Peter Egan, partner at FleetVision and a co-sponsor with NAFA for the Academy’s development. He continued, “one of the things at the very top of their lists was global fleet management. What do I do when I have to manage vehicles, drivers, programs, and fleets that are based outside of North America? And from that came the first International Fleet Academy.
“This year, NAFA will hold its (IFA) July 14–16 at the beautiful Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida. During the course of the Academy you can expect to attend workshops on the differences among fleets in North America and the rest of the world. There will be experts in attendance from Latin America, Europe, and other places that are of interest to the attendees.
“One thing that is really great about IFA is the compact size of the group. There is a great deal of very casual interaction among fleet managers who have actually managed international projects and fleet managers who are about to embark on the international scene. Time and time again we have seen that the experiences that these veteran fleet managers bring to the discussions are absolutely priceless. IFA is really a great place for a newer fleet manager to gain confidence in their initial steps to organize global fleet programs.”
This plan resonated with the attendees at last year’s IFA. Joe LaRosa, US-based Director of Global Fleet Administration for Merck & Co., Inc. and NAFA’s International Vice President, said, “The workshop setting was superb as each of the attendees interacted at the tables as well as moved around and discussed many of the topics during breaks and meals.”
“The International Fleet Academy is also a great place for people who have been in the global fleet arena for a while to get refreshed on the ever-changing trends in terms of taxation, fleet environmental issues, vehicle offerings, policy changes, insurance, driver satisfaction, safety, etc., that go into running a great fleet operation.” added Egan.
“We are never too old to learn new things as well as to deepen our understanding of the multitude of fleet topics we are familiar with,” said Joe Carreira, UK-based EMEA Fleet Manager at Merck & Co, Inc. and 2012 International Fleet Manager of the Year. ‘This event represented an excellent opportunity to improve our fleet knowledge and develop a wider net of fleet contacts as a source of future knowledge and assistance.”