BIG RAPIDS, MI - The next generation of fleet managers may be among those in attendance at NAFA's Michigan Chapter meeting September 2 at Ferris State University (FSU) in Big Rapids, Mich. The meeting will discuss the partnership between FSU and NAFA, the curriculum associated with the school's Fleet Management minor, a look at the program from the experiences of a recent graduate, how one employer is utilizing the school's internship program, and how others may utilize internships for their business as well. 

FSU and NAFA announced their partnership in 2008. The arrangement includes a four-step degree plan that begins with awarding NAFA CAFM program participants 12 semester hours of college credit for the successful completion of the program and ends with a Bachelor of Science Degree with a Minor in Fleet Management.

Speakers will include:

  • Gary Maike, assistant professor at FSU, who will discuss the Ferris State/NAFA Partnership and curriculum.
  • Toni Kailing, maintenance supervisor for Mecosta County Road Commission, who will offer a unique perspective on the FSU experience from that of a recent graduate.
  • John Talbot, customer support manager for W.W. Williams Company, who will provide an example of a business that has successfully utilized the internship program at FSU.

"We're trying to show the members that there's a big link here between Ferris State University and NAFA and that there's something in it for them as fleet managers. In addition, they can offer something back to the community at large by providing some internship opportunities for students," explained Steve Pederson, chair of NAFA's Michigan Chapter and vice president Fleet & Risk Management for VPSI, Inc.

Prior to the lunch meeting, Pederson and fellow NAFA member Christy Coyte will make a presentation to FSU students about fleet management and NAFA and possibly forming a college sub-chapter at FSU. Coyte, global fleet manager for Johnson Controls, Inc. was named Automotive Fleet's 2009 Professional Fleet Manager of the Year.

Registration for the chapter meeting is $25 for members and $35 for non-members.  The meeting will take place at the Ferris State West Campus Community Center (1414 Family Drive) in Big Rapids, Mich. from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Following the meeting, Gary Maike of FSU will lead an optional tour of the Ferris State Heavy Technology Center where attendees can see first-hand what the students are being taught.

Transportation will be provided for those leaving from Southeast Michigan.  One vanpool will leave Troy and head out through Lansing towards Big Rapids.  The other will leave from Detroit and head out through Ann Arbor towards Big Rapids.  Attendees can contact Steve Pederson ( if they would like to meet one of the vanpools en route to FSU or would like additional information on the meeting.