No one knows change quite like Alfred J. Cavalli.
Starting with NAFA Fleet Management Association before it actually existed in 1958, Cavalli was a member of its progenitor organization, the Round Table Group. That collective of just 20 individuals met to discuss fleet issues and concerns of the day. A comment was made that regulatory bodies and automakers did not respect the needs and opinions of fleet professionals. Determined to change that, the founders of NAFA signed the articles of incorporation not long after.
Just over 60 years later, the Association has swelled to nearly 3,000 members, vehicles have changed drastically, and the world in which they drive has evolved as well. In fact, fleet and mobility now straddle two worlds: the physical and the digital, and is fast becoming dependent on the well-being of both.
“I think the most important highlight, not only of my career but of NAFA, was the NAFCAR/NAFVAN project,” said Cavalli in 2013. “It’s amazing how that impacted the automobile industry. Cars that came out – the sub-compacts and compacts – were very close to the image produced from that survey. And it’s a shame there hasn’t been a follow-up.”
The NAFVAN concept provided the vision that yielded minivans and, years later, sport utility vehicles which presently dominate the United States automotive market. So drastically has the market shifted that prominent OEMs are ceasing the construction and sales of domestic sedans in deference to the will of the public.
(Pictured left-to-right: From 2013, NAFA Past President Ray Breault, Al Cavalli, NAFA Past President A. Warren Feirer, and Former NAFA New York Chapter Chair and NAFA New York/Intercounty Secretary Don Rittenhouse)
He was recognized by NAFA as a recipient of the Association’s Distinguished Service Award, in part because of his efforts with the NAFCAR/NAFVAN work. Mostly, however, Al Cavalli was honored for his legendary commitment to fleet, a position that sometimes found him on opposite sides of industry trends. In all his 60 years with NAFA, his devotion to the profession has been unimpeachable.
NAFA thanks Al Cavalli for his stewardship of the fleet industry, for seeing the way forward, and for recognizing the need for the close community our Association has become. For this, we’re in his debt.