Photo via Wikimedia.

Photo via Wikimedia.

Commercial fleet managers can expect to get a wide variety of information at the 2014 Green Fleet Conference & Expo running from Oct. 29-30 in Schaumburg, Ill. The four sessions, among other session tracks, will be led by industry experts covering topics ranging from how to coach drivers to selling sustainability to C-level executives.

Coaching Drivers & Solutions to Maximize Your Fuel Efficiency
Simply making the switch to alternative fuels is not enough to become a sustainable fleet. One of the critical factors is good driver practices which stems from coaching drivers on how to implement these practices. During the first commercial session of GFC techniques on coaching drivers and solutions to maximize your fuel efficiency will be highlighted. Bob Cavalli of Volkswagen of America will moderate this session highlighting solutions on how to become more fuel efficient.

“Fleet managers have always sought to minimize fuel expense, and maximize fuel efficiency, both of which lead to reduced emissions.   And although alternative fuel vehicle technology continues to advance apace, the ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle is and will remain for the foreseeable future the primary vehicle for most fleets, and thus coaching drivers to drive more efficiently is a critical element of any green efforts,” said Cavalli.

He has worked as a fleet manager, president of the fleet leasing division of Figgie International, with fleet suppliers such as Consolidated Service Corp., and US Bank Voyager, and for OEMs American Isuzu, Mitsubishi Motors. Currently, Cavalli is the fleet program consultant for Volkswagen of America, Inc. Panelists for this discussion are Janis Day Christensen of Mercury Associates, Tony Eiermann of Coca-Cola Refreshments USA and Abe Stephenson of Dish. Christensen is a senior manager and director of Corporate Fleet Management Consulting Services and has more than 30 years of experience under her belt. Eiermann is a fleet asset manager and has more than 13 years of experience planning and tracking fleet assets. Stephenson will be presenting on two of the commercial sessions at this year's conference. He has worked with Dish for the past seven years and is responsible for a variety of tasks from vehicle selection to execution of Dish's alternative fuels strategy.

How to Implement a Fleet Efficiency Program with GPS/Telematics Technology
The second commercial session looks into how telematics technology is making it easier for fleet managers to keep track of drivers and become more fuel efficient. Greg Miller of DHL and Kyle Tassone of Rollins, Inc., will be discussing the varying types of GPS and telematics systems in the market, and how to customize these systems for any type of fleet. Miller was formerly the president and CEO of FleetLogik and has experience leading international and domestic efforts for public, private and municipal enterprises. Tassone’s experience is centered around risk and safety management. He will discuss how a GPS system has benefitted his company.                                                            

Hybrids, Electrics, and AFVs: Volumes, Resale & Variances
The alternative fuel landscape is changing rapidly. The third commercial session will recap some of the pivotal moments in alternative fuel history, including legislation that would force manufacturers to reimagine how they designed cars, trends and fluctuating prices on these cars.

With more than 30 years of experience in the automotive industry, Ricky Beggs of Black Book will share some of the value trends of the green vehicles which confirms residual forecast necessary in fleet lease payments. Although it is his first time at the GFC, Beggs is not just excited for his session, but to attend others. 

“The conference is a key piece of getting multiple views of products and services that are factors for many fleets that are the primary drivers of growth in the number of hybrid, electric, plug-ins and natural gas powered vehicle,” said Beggs.

Selling Sustainability to C-Level Executives
Regardless whether a fleet manager wants to make the switch to using alternative fuels, he or she must also prove this case to corporate executives. Abe Stephenson of Dish is one of the three panelists discussing how to sell sustainability. Stephenson emphasizes that a fleet manager should not go at this alone and to use his or her resources. Other advice Stephenson suggests is to back up your case with financial data, build your credibility with external sources and industry trends.

“I’m a firm believer in bringing in other parts of your company to champion your story. You want to be able to present your ideas with integrity,” said Stephenson.

Joining Stephenson will be Jim Florio of Click Wholesale Distributing, Inc., and Pete Silva a fleet and procurement consultant. Florio is the chairman and CEO of Click Wholesale Distributing and his fleet consists of 21 CNG trucks. Silva worked at PepsiCo for more than 30 years as senior director of Fleet Procurement. Mary Stitcha of GE Capital Fleet Services will be moderating the final session. Stitcha is the senior vice president and general manager at GE Capital. She is responsible for small fleet, rental and OEM markets.  

The conference also features session tracks focused on government fleet and heavy duty trucking throughout the course of the two days.  

For more information on the Green Fleet Conference click here.

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