The 2012 annual conference for the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) was held Sept. 10-12 at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country in San Antonio, attracting more than 370 fleet professionals, which included 83 commercial fleet managers. This year’s conference theme was “Innovation: Shaping Our Future for Growth.”
You can view a photo gallery featuring highlights from the event here.
One of AFLA’s past presidents, Lori Rasmussan, president of PARS, Inc., echoed the conference theme, noting that “attendance at the conference continues to grow. I think the commercial fleet industry is lucky to have an association like AFLA to keep us updated on the latest trends and updates affecting our industry.”
One of the highlights of the conference was the award presentations. Six fleet professionals were inducted into the Automotive Fleet Fleet Hall of Fame, which was presented by Ed Bobit, CEO of Bobit Business Media. The award is exclusively sponsored by AFLA. (See the September 2012 issue for details on the newest inductees.)
Also presented were the President’s Recognition Awards, honoring the achievements of AFLA members who provided exemplary service to the organization. Outgoing AFLA President Theresa Belding, senior manager – Fleet Services for Forest Pharmaceuticals, presented this year’s awards to:
● Lisa Kneggs, fleet manager, Associa Inc.
● Tom Callahan, president and COO, Donlen.
● Lori Rasmussen, president, PARS Inc.
The conference’s educational agenda covered a broad range of industry issues.
The opening day keynote speaker was Terry Jones, founder of Travelocity.com. His keynote address was entitled, “The Business of Innovation.”
Josh Linkner, New York Times best-selling author, presented a fun, interactive session entitled, “Executing Imagination: Turning Creative Fire into Real Results,” during which attendees were energized into driving everyday creativity.
“The trio of keynote presenters delivered the goods. Terry Jones helped us kick off the conference with an inspirational discussion on the impact of technology and change; Josh Linkner’s passion around innovation and how it can be learned resonated with the audience; and Tammy Darvish’s provocative salute to the great American entrepreneur — the automobile dealer — was heartfelt,” said Callahan, who is also the incoming president of AFLA. “AFLA keeps raising the bar, and I truly hope each and every attendee can implement some of the speaker takeaways.”
Additional sessions included a safety presentation by Jack Hanley, executive director of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) and an automotive outlook by John McElroy of Autoline Detroit.
This year’s conference was a resounding success, according to Belding. “The energy at the 2012 AFLA Conference was high. The feedback regarding the venue, speakers, and the networking opportunities has been extremely positive,” she said. “The AFLA Conference Committee outdid themselves again this year. I am grateful for all of the attendees and especially grateful for all of our sponsors who make this all possible.”
Next year’s AFLA Conference will be held Sept. 11-13, at the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz.