NAFA CEO Phillip E. Russo, CAE: NAFA's 2018 I&E From My Perspective

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Release date: 7/19/2018

NAFA CEO Phillip E. Russo, CAE: NAFA's 2018 I&E From My Perspective

A Daily Diary of Highlights from the World’s Largest Fleet Conference & Expo

Fleet and mobility professionals from around the globe flocked to Anaheim in April, eager to learn, network, and be part of the world’s largest and best conference and trade show for fleet and mobility professionals: NAFA’s annual Institute and Expo (I&E). Here are some of my more memorable personal recollections from the four days.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

To start the conference, NAFA President Bryan Flansburg, CAFM® – addressing a ballroom packed with more than 800 people – reached into his pocket and produced his cell phone. He held it up for all to see and proclaimed, “A few years ago, this was just my phone. Now, this is my phone, my email device, my texting device, my television, my camera, my music library and my stereo, my document holder, my computer, my GPS tracker so my wife can find me, and sometimes it’s a dispatcher that will send a car to me.”

That car, Flansburg noted, is undergoing some of the biggest changes the industry has ever seen. “The vehicles of tomorrow’s fleet will be self-driving – or autonomous. They will be connected, transmitting data and information to
each other and to the infrastructure to speed the flow of traffic and enhance safety,” Flansburg said. “They will be
electric, reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and they will be part of a shared economy, where you summon the vehicle – as we can with our phones – when you need it.”

Flansburg asserted, “This means…that we as fleet managers are experiencing a paradigm shift from managing assets
- four wheels on the road – to a wider perspective of mobility management. We must get out of the mindset of ‘doing’
fleet management and consider all of the possible ways to move things…which may or may not include a vehicle.”

“Someone will need to control the mobility ‘spend’ in your organization and direct the shift to Total Cost of Mobility,
instead of Total Cost of Ownership,” Flansburg added. “Who is in a better position than you? You, the Mobility
Manager, will understand and manage the full impact and implementation of this shift. And NAFA is ready to help you
make this change.”

Later that same day, Claude Masters, CAFM, President of the NAFA Foundation, NAFA’s “sister, charitable arm,” tagged on to Flansburg’s remarks by announcing the NAFA Foundation had teamed up with international mobility expert Lukas Neckermann to develop a series of deliverables on the subject of fleet and mobility. “Over the next few months, Lukas will develop the first piece, an in-depth white paper that will include immediate steps for fleet managers to take to embrace mobility options.”

Masters also officially announced the re-launch of the Foundation’s fundraising efforts to provide critical, objective,
industry research. “In the past, the Foundation funded research to answer the age-old question of ‘Lease versus Buy
versus Driver-Reimbursement’ (because) that was the critical question of the day. In a few weeks, the Foundation Board will be getting together for a strategic planning session to identify today’s and tomorrow’s critical questions that need to be answered.”

Masters’ fundraising announcement was met with rousing enthusiasm and a $15,000 matching challenge from Element Fleet Management. We are happy to announce that the Foundation raised nearly $12,000 in a few short days, and Element kindly donated the full $15,000 pledge. Thank you to all donors, and especially to Element Fleet Management.

For more information about the NAFA Foundation’s support of the fleet industry, and to donate, please visit

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