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Wednesday, January 25, 2006 

Vol. 2 No. 5

Going to NAFA Carolina in my Mind

It had been almost a month since I had been to a NAFA Chapter Event (see Dec. 15, 2005 entry) so it felt like I was overdue for a visit. Being from the Northeast, it’s a welcome turn of events when a particularly relevant agenda crops up in a place like Myrtle Beach.

The Carolinas chapter held a meeting last weekend. I couldn’t resist attending, since a good portion of the event centered around a presentation on upstream remarketing and included an Affiliate Fair for those of us who are not fleet managers, but vendor or supplier companies: manufacturers, lease management companies, remarketing firms, etc.

This two-day event began with the annual business meeting and election of new officers (congratulations to Debi McClendon, Syngenta Corporation, by the way, on becoming the new Chapter President). Motivational speaker Petesy Reynolds addressed the topic, “Life’s Main Ingredients and Personality Communication Insights.” Now, I must admit I’m listing the speaker and title from the agenda, since a late flight landed me at the hotel well after midnight. I came in at the tail end of the first item in the morning presentation, but I was early for the next speaker since he focused on my favorite automotive topic -- upstream vehicle remarketing. The talk was presented by my old friend and colleague Bryan Calloway, Senior Vice President of LeasePlan USA.

Once again, remarketing, particularly upstream remarketing (the merchandising and contract sale of a vehicle before it comes off of an opened corporate lease or slated “grounding”) utilizing the benefits of a Web based platform, is one of the hottest topics in fleet management these days, since it’s the area in which astute fleet managers can add the most value and accrue the most savings for their company by implementing new remarketing techniques and operations. Bryan gave a great presentation, complete with the metrics and statistics on actual savings per vehicle, both for the underlying fleet operating companies ($800-$1,200 per vehicle) and their purchasing drivers and employees (roughly $2,000 savings per vehicle below retail book). [Note: if anyone out there wants more detail on this subject, just drop me an e-mail, and I’ll be glad to talk on about upstream remarketing for as long as you can stand it…days and days…]

Bryan’s presentation was followed by an outdoor, tent-covered Affiliate Fair, with displays from manufacturers, fleet management companies, and servicing companies, complete with networking, lunch and lots of prizes. The next day began with a well done presentation by PHH Attorney Sheela Kosaraju on commercial lease vehicle contract terms & conditions (I wonder if I can get continuing legal education credits for that?).
The day concluded with a “Fleet Manager Interactive Forum,” a game show-style program in which public (government, municipal) vs. private (corporate) fleet managers answered moderator and audience questions, facilitated by Debi McClendon, the new Chapter President and general host for the event.

Of course, this was really just the end of the core of the event, as, being at Myrtle Beach’s Kingston Plantation, there was organized golf all afternoon at the Myrtlewood Golf Club, but I’m afraid by 1pm I was back in the air…

On behalf of us “on-the-road” NAFA affiliates, thank you to Debi McClendon, Jay Massey, Bob McElheney and everyone at the Carolinas Chapter who had a hand in putting on this event. It was a fun escape from traveling.

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Motivational speaking is one of the most sought after things in the business world today. This speaker can take a poor performing company straight to the top of the corporate climate. They can simply wow and astonish all the people around them and drum the standard person into a motivated frenzy.

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