Chapter Election & Looking Ahead To The 2014 Model Year

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How’s this for a chapter meeting recipe?  A pinch of business; a spoonful of election; a dollop of networking and a heaping cup full of new car preview.  Those topics (and a fine lunch) were on hand at the Crown Plaza Edison hotel as the New Jersey Chapter of NAFA met for it’s March meeting.

Kristin Leary (Chapter Chair) and Frank Memolo (Chapter Vice Chair) ran the meeting together taking turns with introductions and the agenda.  We began with part one of our 2014 Model Year Review, followed by chapter business and the election of officers for the coming year (which begins at the I&E in Atlantic City, NJ), lunch, and then finished with the balance of speakers for the preview.

Frank Memolo opened the business portion of the meeting by announcing the slate of officers running for office in the coming year, and held the election.  The following people were elected unanimously (with no nays or abstentions) :

Chair: Kristin Leary

Vice Chair: Frank Memolo

Secretary: Julia McIver

Treasurer: Louise Davis-Lopez

Kristin Leary reminded everyone that the I&E would be held in Atlantic City, NJ from 4/22 through 4/26, 2013.  She said that they still need volunteers to help at the welcoming tables and that anyone interested should e-mail her at Leary18@aol.com.  She also asked that anyone attending send her an e-mail as she would like to organize a pictures of all the NJ attendees as a group.

We want to thank all the OEM’s that participated in our meeting.  They did a terrific job and presented our group with valuable incites into the new model year.  OEM participants this year were (in the order they presented):

Audi – Michael Stafford

Chrysler – Kevin Krychear

Marc Sears & Ray Sciarappa – Nissan & Infinity

General Motors – Mark Harris

Subaru – Tina Kourakos & Ron Lasman

Mercedes-Benz – Rich Makesym

Volvo – Gerry Merrits

Volkswagon – Kurstan Sexton

There will be no meeting in April so we look forward to seeing you in Atlantic City at the I&E!  There will be no May meeting so our next chapter meeting will be held the 2nd week in June.  We’ll be announcing the meeting date and details soon!

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NAFA NJ Addresses Driving Options

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Greetings!

The NAFA New Jersey Chapter met on February 12, 2013 at the Crown Plaza Edison Hotel and our topic this month was titled “Evaluating Business Driving Options – A look into fleet, reimbursement, motor pools and car sharing”.  Our guest speaker was Suzanne Wilson, Market Research Manager for ARI.

Frank Memolo, Chapter Vice Chair opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and giving an update on upcoming events.  Our next meeting will be held on March 12 and will also be held at the Crown Plaza Edison.  He explained that chapter elections were coming up and that anyone interested  can contact him as there are board positions available.  Frank also reminded everyone that the I&E was coming up soon (April 22 – 25) in Atlantic City.  The Chapter (along with the Philadelphia Chapter) would be hosting welcome tables at the I&E.  Anyone interested in signing up to help can contact David Hayward at 484-961-0033.

As our speaker began, she reviewed the different options available to provide vehicles for employees: assigned, motor pools, car sharing and reimbursement.  Suzanne explained that they surveyed 500 companies that have fleets – 45% also have employees on reimbursement programs.  She reviewed different cost scenarios for company and driver – as gas prices rise, over reporting of business mileage increases.  She reviewed ways of mitigating risk through policies, MVR checks, operating condition and driver training.  Lastly, she outlined when each of the different methods of providing driver transportation made the most sense:

When does a fleet make sense?  A fleet is best when it meets the companies functional and competitive needs.  Annual miles driven is also a key factor.

When does reimbursement make sense?  Reimbursement is best when the driver needs are temporary, when annual mileage is low and when high turnover of employees is expected.  It also works best when a company is “thinly capitalized”, such as in the case of a start up company.

When does a motor pool make sense?  Motor Pools work best when driving is geographically concentrated and miles driven are less than 10,000 per year.  Motor Pools also require a management resource (computer program) to track usage.

When does car sharing make sense?  Car sharing can only work if your usage is consistently light and availability of the service is plentiful enough to meet your employee needs.

Please mark your calendars for our next meeting!  It will be held March 12, 2013 at the Crown Plaza Edison.

NAFA New Jersey Chapter Hosts its Annual Holiday Meeting

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Editor’s Note:  Special thanks to Susanna Brennan from PHH for reporting on this meeting and for all the pictures!  Managing a chapter blog is truly a team effort!  MP

Always one of the most festive and well-attended meetings of the year, the New Jersey Chapter hosted the annual holiday meeting at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Bridgewater. We enjoyed a sumptuous 4 course lunch, showcasing Maggiano’s fine Italian food, and the genius of executive chef  Jim McGrady, while networking  and sharpening out fleet knowledge.

Frank Memolo, Fleet Manager with Panasonic and Interim Chapter Chair, opened the meeting by greeting all the attendees as he called the meeting to order.  Frank warmly welcomed the return of our Chapter Chair, Kristin Leary, Fleet Manager with Mars, who has been on a leave of absence. Kristin is not yet back to work, but is feeling better and hopeful will be able to return soon.  The Chapter Board presented Frank with a Jets football jersey to thank him for stepping in to lead the chapter while Kristen has been out.  Frank then introduced our speakers, Adam Draizin and Charles Territo from American Traffic Solutions, Inc.

ATS is the nation’s and region’s leader in road safety cameras, including red-light cameras and speed cameras. Adam and Charles provided an overview of how red-light and speed cameras work and the rapidly advancing trends and deployment of photo enforcement cameras in NJ, NY, and PA. They helped us better understand the benefits, opportunities and financial risks that road safety cameras present for ours fleets. Some key take-aways from the presentation:

Why are Road Safety Cameras needed?

o    With Police Departments being asked to do more with less, road safety cameras have become an important tool for enhancing road safety, allowing our police to spend less time on traffic enforcement at high risk intersections and roadways, and more time focusing on other law enforcement needs

o    Running red lights is among the most common cause of all urban crashes, as well as the most dangerous. Over the last decade, red-light running crashes have killed nearly 9,000 people furthermore; half of the people killed by red-light runners are not the violators but rather other motorists, vehicle passengers, cyclists and pedestrians.

o    Speeding is a deadly and costly problem on U.S. roadways. In 2010, speeding was the contributing factor in almost one-third of all fatal crashes, taking the lives of over 10,000 people, according to the NHTSA. Speeding-related crashes also are estimated to cost society more than $40 billion every year.

o    Road Safety Cameras have been proven to reduce the frequency of dangerous red-light running- and speed-related crashes.  In a recent study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, researchers found that the rate of red-light running fatalities in 14 large U.S. cities with Red-Light Safety Cameras was 24% lower than it would have been without the cameras. This finding translated to 159 lives saved over a five-year period. Based on those figures, had all 99 large U.S. cities used Red-Light Safety Cameras, 815 deaths could have been prevented.

How do Road Safety Cameras Work, and what are some of the common misconceptions?

o    ATS provided detailed information on how road safety cameras work, and cleared up many misconceptions.

o    Did you know that every red-light violation is reviewed not only by ATS, but also the local law enforcement agency? Many “borderline” violations are actually dismissed without ticket.

o    Other common myths were debunked, such as, “Do local authorities shorten yellow light timing in order to trap more drivers?” or “Do Red-Light Safety Cameras cause an increase in rear-end collisions?”

ATS, the market leader in Road Safety Camera installations in North America, has more than 3,000 installed Red-Light and Speed Safety Cameras in 21 states, serving more than 30 million people. Road Safety Cameras are here to stay, and we, as fleet professionals, must develop strategies and polices to address violations and educate drivers to reduce violations.

An important aspect of our holiday meeting is to support a charitable cause. This year, we chose the Wounded Warrior Project. Through the generosity of this chapter’s members and affiliates, almost $10,000 was raised in support of this important organization. The Wounded Warrior Project serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, as a result illness or wound, while serving in the military in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom. With advancements in battlefield medicine and body armor, an unprecedented percentage of service members are surviving severe wounds or injuries. For every US soldier killed in World Wars I and II, there were 1.7 soldiers wounded. In Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, for every US soldier killed, seven are wounded. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured service members aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members. If you would like to join us in support of this very worthy cause, please visit http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/.

We’d also like to thank our Affiliates who were generous (as usual) and donated gifts for the meeting:

Subaru of America – 2 outback gift cards
ADTS – AmEx gift card
ARI – Dunkin Donuts gift card
Auto Driveaway – under cabinet cd/radio 
Ford – Golf Balls
GE Capitol – 2 itunes gift cards
Toyota – Bose head phones

At the close of the meeting, Frank announced that our next meeting will be February 12, and the topic will be “Evaluating Business Driving Options”.  Attending your local NAFA Chapter meetings provides you with opportunities to expand your business knowledge, and network with other fleet professionals so that you can bring fresh ideas and cost-savings ideas to your employer, and advance your own skills and knowledge. This blog is no substitute for attending a meeting in person! Whether you’re a first time attendee, or haven’t attended one of our meetings recently, please visit our website,http://www.nafanewjersey.com, and sign up for our next meeting. We all look forward to seeing you February 12!

NAFA New Jersey Chapter Hosts it’s Annual Education Day

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A week after superstorm Sandy ravaged the area and the day before a nor’easter took it’s best shot at the state, the NAFA New Jersey Chapter hosted a well attended day of educational sessions for it’s members.  Frank Memolo, Fleet Manager at Panasonic and acting Chair of the chapter (while Kristin Leary is out on disability leave) opened the meeting by greeting all the attendees as he called the meeting to order.  Frank filled us in on the most recent chapter and national NAFA news:

– He shared the details on the holiday meeting which will be held next month on December 11 at Maggiano’s in Bridgewater, NJ.  Details will be announced soon!  (UPDATE!!!  The meeting date has been changed to Wednesday, December 19 and our speaker will be from American Traffic Solutions.  Watch your e-mail for the meeting notice).

– Atlantic City is open for business and the storm will not have an effect on the I&E in April 2013.

– Frank announced that the new chapter website will be up and running by the time the December meeting notice is issued.  He provided us with a sample of the home page.

The first part of our meeting was a round table discussion titled “Fleet Policy Dialogue: What are the Best Practices in various Fleet Policy Areas”.  The session was moderated by Sarah Mallonga of PHH’s Strategic Business Services.  Sarah had prepared an extensive list of policy areas as possible areas of discussion.  The areas the group focused on included:

– Fleet policy vs company policy – Does your fleet policy include the appropriate quotes from your company policy or just a reference to it?

– Mobile policy – Hands free usage vs cell phone prohibitions;  no texting rules;  Sarah pointed out that state laws provide some precedence for policies.

– Policy vs Procedure – Discussion focused on policy vs a fleet/driver manual (i.e. cell phones);  When a policy is updated, do you highlight where the changes to policy have occurred;  Is there a company wide fleet policy or multiple divisions and subsidiaries?

– Personal Use – Is it allowed; Do drivers know they must report, what their limits are and so on.

– MVR’s – When do you do them (new hires and once a year?); Is it a fleet policy or an HR policy; One suggestion was that MVR’s should be covered in a separate Safety policy.

Our next speaker was Jack Hanley, who serves as the Executive Director of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS).  Jack’s presentation was titled “Fleet Safety…Road Safety is NOT a competitive advantage”.  NETS was founded by the DOT in 1985 and has become an association was major national and global companies that share data compiled from the fleets.  Jack explained that 1.3 million people a day die in crashes; 25 to 50 million are injured in crashes – this is compiled from around the world in countries that report crash data.  Many countries do not report their crashes.  Of 200 countries in the world, only 15 have rules for driving.  Jack explained that NETS has partnered with the United Nations on their Decade of Action safety campaign.  This initiatives runs from 2011 to 2020 and is rooted in their 5 Pillars of Road Safety:  1. Safer Roads & Mobility; 2. Build Capacity; 3. Safer Vehicles; 4. Safer User Behavior; and 5. Post Crash Response.  You can learn more about the Decade of Action at http://www.who.int/roadsafety/decade_of_action/.

Jack went on to explain that the single most dangerous thing employees do today, regardless of their job, is to get behind the wheel to get to work!  He also explained the NETS Company Road to Safety Evolution:

1. Needs awareness

2. Program development

3. Business drivers

4. All employees

5. Employee families

6. Community outreach

7. Corporate social responsibility

So what can you do?  Benchmark!  NETS members, regardless of size, benchmark their global data and share it with NETS.

Our last speaker of the day was Phil Moser of Advanced Driver Training Services (ADTS).  Phil’s topic was titles Personal Safety.  In Phil’s presentation, he reviewed topics that included what you should do when you find yourself in certain situations that may threaten your safety:

– The police – what to do when stopped

– carjacking

– street safety – your surroundings!

– hotel safety

– fire safety

– and the hazards of leaving your belongings visible in your car.

Coming to your local NAFA Chapter meetings provides you with terrific content and unparalleled networking opportunities.  This blog can only summarize how useful going to a meeting can be.  If you haven’t attended one of our meeting recently, check out the meeting schedule tan of this blog and come to a meeting.  What you will learn and who you will meet are well worth the price of entry AND the investment of your time!  We’re all looking forward to seeing you at our next meeting!

New Jersey NAFA Teams with NAFA’s New York – Inter-County Chapter for it’s Annual New Model Car Show Ride & Drive

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Starting with a continental breakfast during registration the chapters hosted their annual show at the gorgeous Birchwood Manor in Whippany, NJ.  The event, well attended as always, gave fleet managers, affiliates and guests the opportunity to do lots of networking while first viewing, then driving a variety of new models from our generous OEM’s.    This year, vehicles were provided by Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Volkswagen and Volvo.

Once we had all had our chance to drive all those great new vehicles through the streets of Whippany, we gathered in the ballroom for a delicious buffet lunch.  Personally, I’ve been attending functions of all sorts at Birchwood Manor for over 30 years and the food and the decor are very impressive.  And the desert table was a great feast by itself!

Following lunch, the chairs of both chapters gave updates and announced upcoming meetings through the end of the year.  Lastly, there were door prizes!  The prizes included gift bags, speaker sets, car kits and many, many gift cards.  We’d like to thank our very generous Affiliates, Members and OEMs for their contributions.  Those contributing prizes included Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, Hourglass Management, Subaru, Volkswagen and Volvo.

Following the general meeting, both chapters broke off to hold chapter board meetings.  For the New Jersey Chapter, interim Vice Chairman Frank Memolo, acting as Chair in Kristin Leary’s extended absence (for medical reasons) called the meeting to order and went over what we need to do to get the chapter meeting schedule fleshed out, and cemented some committee assignments so we can continue to move into the new year.  The chapter, while in transition is strong and committed to bringing the membership the best possible schedule of speakers and meeting topics in the coming year.  Keep an eye on the MEETING SCHEDULE tab on this blog for updated information.

For now, mark your calendars!  Our November meeting with be on November 13 at the Crowne Plaza hotel on Rt. 46 in Fairfield, NJ.  A full day of education meetings, with the morning reserved for a fleet managers only forum, will be followed by to excellent safety topic speakers: Phil Moser of ADTS and Jack Hanley from NETS.  The meeting notice for November has already been transmitted via e-mail so if you haven’t received it make sure you check your spam folder!  You can also get meeting details and register on our website:  http://www.nafanewjersey.com/meetings.html  The December Holiday meeting is scheduled for December 11 and we are looking at several possible meeting venues.  We’ll be announcing details soon!

New Jersey NAFA Combines Fleet Scorecards and Baseball

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Greetings NJ NAFA Members!

On Tuesday, September 18 2012 the New Jersey Chapter held it’s monthly meeting at TD Bank Ball Park in Bridgewater NJ.  Our plan was to start the meeting with a presentation from Scott Edidin of Wheels, followed by dinner and a baseball game with the Somerset Patriots.  Alas, the weather was not willing to cooperate and the game was called because of the weather.  Something about thunderstorms and tornadoes in the area.  Can you imagine?

We in the New Jersey Chapter are a resilient and flexible group and we rolled with the changes!  As I mentioned above, our speaker was Scott Edidin of Wheels.  Scott is a Senior Account Manager and his task at our meeting was to present “The Importance of Using a Fleet Scorecard”.

Scott states: “A well-run fleet program hinges on the successful undertaking of three fundamental tasks: identifying opportunities, driving initiatives and delivering results.  While it is likely that your fleet has established key performance metrics to help facilitate these practices, there may be additional opportunities for you to develop a defined way to consolidate and report on them.  “Scorecarding” is one method that can help you establish a succinct, category-by-category visual snapshot of your fleet’s performance that not only keeps you focused on what’s most important to your fleet, but also helps you communicate internally on program progress and successes.”   Scott’s presentation included case studies from two very different kinds of fleets to give us a practical example of how the system works.  This was followed by a robust Q&A session.  As expected, our group is never at a loss for questions!

Following Scott’s presentation, interim Chapter Vice Chair Frank Memolo stepped to the podium to brief us on ongoing chapter activities, asked everyone to reserve October 9 for the annual Ride & Drive meeting (being held at Birchwood Manor in Whippany, NJ) and the 2013 NAFA I&E which will be held in Atlantic City on April 23 through 26.  Frank also updated us on Chapter Chair Kristin Leary’s absence (due to illness) and reinforced the need and importance of more volunteers to help keep the chapter headed in the right direction.  Anyone interested in volunteering, whether it be to help with one meeting or with the chapter planning and leadership, can contact Frank or anyone of the chapter leaders listed on the Chapter Board tab of this blog.

See you in October at the Ride & Drive!!!

New Jersey NAFA Meets in St. Louis!

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Yes I do realize that the title does sound a little corny, but it’s true!  Beginning on Friday, April 20, 2012 members and affiliates alike began arriving in St. Louis MO for NAFA’s Annual Institute & Expo (the I&E).  The I&E officially began with the business meeting which took place on Saturday morning (April 21) and continued at America’s Center Convention Center which was conveniently located right across the street from the Renaissance St. Louis, the I&E’s Headquarter hotel.  Many attendees also had the option to stay at The Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark which was just a 10 minute walk or a quick courtesy shuttle ride to America’s Center.

The I&E this year was very well attended and the Expo sold out long before the I&E was even near!  That all added up to lots of fresh faces anxious to meet, network and learn everything there is to learn from sessions, peers and exhibitors.  But wait there was much more!  This year, NAFA provided extended networking breaks between some of the sessions, allowing everyone to grab a coffee or tea and continue conversations started in the educational sessions they just completed.  There was also a terrific Networking Reception held after the first day of the EXPO.  There where refreshments and food and a very fun picture booth which continued the theme at this year’s NAFA booth with the many hats fleet managers wear.  Did you get your picture taken?  Why not send me a copy at mpetersen@hourglassmc.com?  I’ll post a special blog with all the pictures we receive!

One of the really fun events at this year’s I&E was the NAFA Chapter Challenge.  Once every hour, the association played “In It to Win It” .  Chapter members had the opportunity to sign up and represent their chapter in several different kinds of games of skills – competing against members from other chapters!  The competitions were fast and hilarious!  It just goes to show you how competitive (and what good sports) we all are in this fine group!  Our incoming New Jersey Chapter Chair, Kristin Leary competed in furious competition against the members of the Greater Hartford Chapter, the New York/Inter-County Chapter and the Philadelphia Chapter (represented by Tom Larkum, Arthur Kappel and David Hayward).  The competition was intense but our intrepid leader ruled the day as Kristin captured the game crown!

It was the Chapter Recognition Luncheon that was the real highlight for me though.  This luncheon, held to recognize the chapters we work for and belong too has recently become the closing event of the I&E.  This year the luncheon was very well attended and we all had the chance to cheer for our chapter chairs as they paraded into the ballroom decked out with straw hats, paint cans and brushes, Ala Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer.  And our guest speaker was none other than Mr. Mark Twain (aka Richard Garey)!   This is also the venue used to recognize a member and an affiliate for their outstanding service for and on behalf of the chapters.  I was honored (and very surprised) to receive the affiliate award.  The thing that made it even more special for me was that two chapters nominated me for this award:  Our New Jersey Chapter, and the Rocky Mountain Chapter.  That’s rare for multiple chapters to nominate together, and the first time it’s happened from chapters so geographically removed from each other!

Next year the I&E will be held in Atlantic City, NJ.  If you didn’t make it this year (and even if you did), I hope we’ll see you there!

New Jersey Chapter March Education Day & Fleet Fair

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On March 20, 2012, the New Jersey Chapter of NAFA hosted its annual Education Day at the Crown Plaza in Fairfield, NJ.  This well attended meeting featured two educational sessions, a mini fleet fair which included your favorite service providers, and a business meeting which included the election of the chapter’s new slate of officers.

Donna Bibbo, Chapter Chair opened the meeting and introduced the first speaker: Patrick O’Connor from Wheels.  Patrick’s topic, “State of the used vehicle market now and in the future” gave the audience a glimpse into the world of remarketing used vehicles.  Using market analysis reports from Manheim and Adesa auctions Patrick illustrated areas of the strength and weakness in multiple car segments and reviewed some of the regulatory changes that could affect equipment content in future model year vehicles.  Because of these changes, equipment such as rear back up cameras and audible alarms for obstructions could become standard.  In addition, information systems may steadily become more standard, partly due to the demand by a younger generation of car buyers.  Patrick also noted that fuel price increases do affect the wholesale market, and that it is important to understand the secondary market – think about where your used vehicles belong.

The next item on the agenda was the chapter election.  Donna announced that she would be stepping down as Chapter Chair at the end of her term.  Donna announced the slate of officers for the new business year and asked for a vote.  The new panel of officers was voted in unanimously.  You’re new slate of officers for the 2012-2013 business year are:

Chapter Chair – Kristin Leary, Mars Chocolate

Chapter Vice Chair – David Zimmerman

Chapter Secretary – Julie McIver, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield

Chapter Treasurer – Louise Davis Lopez, Johnson & Johnson

The officers new term officially begins at the NAFA I&E in St. Louis (April 21-24, 2012).

Following lunch, everyone adjourned to the mini fleet fair.  Service providers from all over the country where in attendance, with services as diverse as auto transport, accident management, leasing companies, OEM’s, remarketers, and driver training.  In no particular order, these companies displayed their services:  LeasePlan, GE, PHH, AutoDriveaway, Fuji Electric, Hourglass Management Corp., Amerifleet, Volvo, Volkswagen, Audi, Pep Boys, Fleet Response, CEI, Chrysler, Subaru, Ford, ADTS, Corporate Claims Mgmt, Mitsubishi, GM, ARI, Adelson Solutions and Eaton Hall.

The 2nd speaker of the day was Steven Weinstein – Global Supplier Enabled Innovation at Johnson & Johnson.  Steven’s topic was “Sharing business needs to better leverage supplier capabilities to enable targeted innovation solutions and growth for both companies”.    Steven’s presentation focused on how J&J’s Procurement Department has shifted it’s focus to promote growth and profitability.

“We are all customers and we are all service providers” said Steven.  He went on to say that success was all about relationships and partnerships.  For procurement to help lead growth at your company, there are several things that you would need to change:

–          Trust supplies and involve them early

–          Share your needs with your suppliers

–          Incent  your suppliers to focus on innovation

–          Incent your employees to think growth

Donna and Kristin closed the meeting and announced that the next meeting will be an outing, probably sometime in June and that details will follow soon.  Kristin explained that the chapter is aiming to use the outing this year as a service project.  That’s something we can all look forward to for late Spring!

New Jersey NAFA Gets Serious about Ethical Issues

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The New Jersey chapter of NAFA met on February 21, 2012.  The featured discussion topic for the meeting was Ethics and the challenge presented when fleet managers, affiliates, or vendors are confronted with decisions that may have ethical consequences.

The discussion was facilitated by Kristin Leary (Mars Chocolate North America) and Frank Memolo (Panasonic Corporation of North America).  Kristin and Frank began the presentation by reviewing concepts and definitions of ethics to give all participants a basis for workshop exercises that followed.

Ethics were defined in 2 ways:

  • Standards of conduct indicating how one should behave, based on moral duties and virtues arising from principles about right and wrong.
  • The system, or code of morals, of a particular religion, philosophy, or group.

Core ethical principles may include:

  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Fairness
  • Caring and concern for others
  • Respect for others
  • Civic duty
  • Pursuit of excellence
  • Personal accountability
  • Loyalty

When faced with a decision that may have ethical consequences or impact, it is often helpful to take into account 3 items:

  • Stakeholders – those who have an interest in, or can be affected by, the decision-maker’s decision
    • For example, a fleet manager’s stakeholders include the employer, all users or drivers, all suppliers, and the public
    • Principles – a code of conduct fundamental to the decision-maker’s being
      • Ethical values always take precedence over non-ethical values and principles
      • The challenge is to figure out what is ethical
      • Choice – the ability to choose one action or decision over another
        • It is ethically proper to violate an ethical principle only when it is clearly necessary to advance another true ethical principle which, according to the decision-maker’s conscience, will produce the greatest balance of good in the long run

Fleet managers may be faced with ethical conflicts in certain situations

  • Fleet manager’s interest vs. employer’s responsibilities
  • Fleet manager’s interest or employer’s interest vs. responsibility to users
  • Fleet manager’s interest or employer’s interest vs. responsibility to public stakeholders

To give the participants at the meeting an opportunity to discuss and apply these concepts, the group was divided into two teams.  Each team was presented with a variety of scenarios where a decision might conceivably have unclear ethical implications.  Each team also was comprised of fleet managers and affiliates, to see how the perspective might be different.  All team members were asked for their response regarding how they would categorize a particular situation: ethical, unethical, or not sure.

Team #1 (self-named “Truth or Twix”) was facilitated by Doug Becker, National Sales Director for Wheels.   Team #2 (self-named “Giants-Patriots”) was facilitated by Amy DeVita, Account Executive for Eaton Hall Exhibitions.

As each scenario was discussed, it was evident that there is rarely an ethically-tinged decision that is clear cut “right” or “wrong”.  A variety of circumstances and the perspective of the decision-maker have significant impact on the answer.  Many decisions are situational and the intent of the person making the choice has a great influence.

A decision might be considered unethical if the person offering a certain option or circumstance is trying to gain advantage over another person.  There might be policy implications that affect whether a certain decision is technically acceptable, even if there is no apparent ethical conflict.  Perception also might have an impact – for example, would others think the fleet manager was “getting something out of the deal” that influenced the personal decision, even if that is not the actual case.  The historic nature of the relationship between different parties might be relevant – is a benefit being offered as a result of a long-standing business partnership, or is there an obvious (or not so obvious) intention to sway a decision one way or another that would not be supported by prudent business principles and facts.

There was excellent, and often heated, interaction among all members of both teams – and between teams when they both considered the same case study.  The one thing that everyone did agree on when trying to categorize a decision as ethical or unethical was: “it depends”.  There is no hard-and-fast answer that applies in many normal business situations and relationships.  It was a very stimulating topic that provided food for thought as we conduct our business and personal lives.

NAFA New Jersey Welcomes the Holiday Season!

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The NAFA New Jersey Chapter held its Holiday Meeting on December 13, 2011 at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Hackensack, NJ.  The meeting was very well attended, drawing from all over northern NJ, the metro NY area and even from not so local areas such as Philadelphia, Washington DC, Chicago and even Denver Colorado!

Donna Bibbo CAFM, Chapter Chair and Fleet Manager at Novo Nordisk, warmly welcomed everyone to the meeting.  She conducted a little chapter business which included upcoming chapter elections, the agenda for today’s meeting and our charities – Toys for Tots in New Jersey and New Jersey Food Pantries.

Patrick McCarren, Deputy Executive Director for NAFA, gave us an update of everything that’s been going on at NAFA – and there certainly IS a lot of news!  He said that companies need to get wheels rolling again and that NAFA is putting a renewed emphasis on members that have dropped off (haven’t renewed) or are coming up for renewal.  There will be more contact and much more emphasis on the value the whole association and the chapters bring to their companies.  The 2011 I&E held in Charlotte was a big success!  So much so that NAFA is exploring a return to the city for a future I&E.  Patrick reports that NAFA is financially healthy and is investing in improving systems, more webinars and anything else that has focus on enhancing membership.  He shared that one of these initiatives is working with Utilimarc on benchmarking data, and another is that beginning in April 2012, we will have a new International Vice President for NAFA.  Additional news included: A new Safety Council spearheaded by Chapter Chair Donna Bibbo, and the announcement of a new safety award (details to be announced soon); continued expansion of social media; I&E pricing changes, an a la carte approach; reminder that the 2012 I&E will be in St. Louis, MO and that in 2013 it will be in Atlantic City and that that HQ hotel will be the Taj Mahal!  Patrick concluded with an update of the CAFM and CAFS programs.

Don Dunphy, Communications Assistant at NAFA, was next up.  He explained that his primary responsibilities included NAFA’s Fleet Focus and the Government Update.  He reminded everyone about NAFA President Doug Weichman’s speech at the Charlotte I&E where he announced that NAFA would be expanding awareness of the importance of fleet managers and the job they do for their organiztions.  Don announced the new Beyond Fleet which will be “a series of internal and external initiatives designed to promote and advance the fleet management position”.  He explained that NAFA needs to be everywhere and that they were looking at all sorts of media to achieve that goal, including print, radio, internet and social media.  This initiative will be officially announced in St. Louis at the I&E, but we were the first chapter to get a preview!

The speakers were followed by an excellent lunch (many courses and lots of variety!) drawings for holiday prizes, candy provided by Kristin Leary, Chapter Vice Chair and Fleet Manager at Mars Chocolate, and a silent auction for a Jets replica helmet autographed by Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis.  Congratulations to winner Frank Memolo from Panasonic!  Auction proceeds were split between the two charities.

The next chapter meeting is scheduled for February.  Details will be announced after the holidays so watch your e-mail!