The Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) was founded in 1969 and has grown to a dynamic organization that promotes growth, expansion, and professionalism within the commercial fleet management industry by providing education, networking, research, technical standards, representation, and advancement of member interests. Today, AFLA has more than 300 member companies representing all industry segments, including: fleet managers and sourcing professionals; auto manufacturers and dealers; remarketers; fleet lease; management; maintenance and repair companies; safety, transporting, upfitting, and many other specialized suppliers.
Since its founding, AFLA has emerged as a dynamic organization that promotes growth, expansion and professionalism within the fleet industry by providing education, research, technical standards, representation and advancement of member interests.
AFLA has brought unity to an industry so fragmented in 1969 that it had no networking forum for fleet buyers and sellers to exchange reliable industry information or education.
In 1969 in Toronto, Canada, Edward J. Bobit, assembled a group of fleet-minded professionals, which included M.C. (Bud) Morrison, Konner Chevrolet, Levittown, NY, president; Don Fenton, Tom Edwards Chevrolet, Elmhurst, Ill., executive vice president; Jack Rosenbaum, Park Circle Chevrolet, Baltimore, Md., first vice president; E. Woody Woodard, Al Piemonte Ford, Melrose Park, Ill., second vice president; Mark Rosenstock, Dale Oldsmobile, Bronx, NY, third vice president; and Ed Bobit, Automotive Fleet magazine, Glenview, Ill., executive secretary-treasurer.
These pioneers discussed some changes in the commercial fleet management industry they felt were needed. Afterwards, Bobit met with an attorney who helped put together a set of association bylaws. Later in the year, a group of 12 individuals which included Ed Bobit of Automotive Fleet, Don Fenton of Long Chevrolet, Bob McGarvey of Beach City Chevrolet, Jack Rosenbaum of Legum Chevrolet, and Mark Rosenstock of Dale Oldsmobile met at the New York Sheraton and elected Bud Morrison president, as well as designated additional board members. AFLA was born.
Click here for a list of AFLA's past presidents, 1969-present.
AFLA works with member companies to address key issues facing the entire commercial fleet industry and deliver leading-edge programs from the commercial fleet perspective, which advance member skills and enhance the environment in which they buy and sell products and services.
A link to AFLA's photo gallery is available here.
Watch the AFLA 40th Anniversary video.
The following articles by Automotive Fleet show how AFLA has grown and developed since its start in 1969.
1969 to 1979
- Ed Bobit, Chairman of Bobit Business Media and one of the founding members of AFLA, reminisces about the start of AFLA in 1969. [Ed Bobit Time Capsule]
- Pierce Walsh (AFLA past president - 1975-1976), discusses his experiences with AFLA and his time as president. Pierce is interviewed by Rick Nicoletti of Napleton Fleet. [Pierce Walsh Time Capsule]
1980 to 1989
- 1980: AFLA Conference
- 1981: AFLA Conference
- 1984: AFLA Conference
- 1985: Sam Lee, one of the pioneers in fleet and leasing, passed away in Huntington Beach, Calif. He started his automotive career in 1929.
- 1986: AFLA Conference: The 18th Annual Conference was held in Chicago from April 17-19, 1986. It included a record 415 attendees from 215 companies. Greg Janik was AFLA president. The Keynote Address was given by Douglas Fraser, former president of the United Auto Workers, Douglas Fraser passed away in Feb. 2009, he was 91.
- 1989 AFLA Conference: The 21st Annual Meeting was held at the Sheraton Centre in New York City and attracted 250 attendees. AFLA held its fall conference Oct. 5-7, 1989 at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead Hotel in Atlanta.
- Helene Kamon (AFLA past president - 1988-1989) interviews Mark Conroy (AFLA past president - 2006-2007) [Mark Conroy Time Capsule].
1990 to 1999
2000 to 2009
- An interview with Rick Nicolleti (AFLA past president - 2004-2005). Rick chats about AFLA with Sue Miller, fleet manager of McDonald's. [Nicolleti Time Capsule]
- Mark Conroy (AFLA past president - 2006-2007) interviews Helene Kamon (AFLA past president - 1988-1989). [Helene Kamon Time Capsule]
For a current list of AFLA's Past Presidents, click here.
Fleet Hall of Fame
Presented by Automotive Fleet magazine and exclusively sponsored by the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA), the Fleet Hall of Fame award recognizes fleet industry leaders and pioneers who have contributed significantly to the commercial fleet management profession. Eligible nominees must have at least 10 years fleet management experience and have contributed significantly to the industry. Of these 27 nominees, a slate of nine inductees will be announced at the AFLA annual conference, Sept. 9-11 in Phoenix.
The Fleet Hall of Fame was inaugurated in 2008 with 20 founding honorees. Ten additional 2008 inductees were selected by an industry ballot.
Additional inductees will be installed with one fewer inductee each year, until three are installed in 2015. Thereafter, three honorees will be inducted in the Fleet Hall of Fame annually.
Time Capsule Videos
1. Ed Bobit, Chairman of Bobit Business Media and one of the founding members of AFLA, reminisces about the start of AFLA in 1969. [Ed Bobit Time Capsule]
2. Helene Kamon (AFLA past president - 1988-1989) interviews Mark Conroy (AFLA past president - 2006-2007. [Mark Conroy Time Capsule].
3. An interview with Sue Miller, past President of AFLA (1997-1998). [Sue Miller Time Caspule]
4. An interview with Jim Rallo, past President of AFLA (2001-2002). Jim discusses significant changes during his tenure, including the first website and the consolidation from two meetings a year to one. [Jim Rallo Time Capsule]
5. Matt Betz (national VP, sales at AmeriFleet) interviews Patsy Brownson (AFLA past president - 2005-2006). [Patsy Brownson Time Capsule].
6. Mark Conroy (AFLA past president - 2006-2007) interviews Helene Kamon (AFLA past president - 1988-1989). [Helene Kamon Time Capsule]
7. Pierce Walsh (AFLA past president - 1975-1976), discusses his experiences with AFLA and his time as president. Pierce is interviewed by Rick Nicoletti of Napleton Fleet. [Pierce Walsh Time Capsule]
8. Rick Nicolleti (AFLA past president - 2004-2005), chats about AFLA with Sue Miller, fleet manager of McDonald's. [Nicolleti Time Capsule]
Spec Sheet Newsletters
Watch the AFLA 40th Anniversary video.