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New era beckons for ACFO as it holds Budget 2017 webinar

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Fleet decision-makers' organisation ACFO is motoring into a new era by holding its first webinar and an election for the post of regional chairman.

Taking place on Friday, November 24, the Budget 2017 webinar will highlight key issues impacting on fleets following Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond’s Budget Statement.

It will be hosted by ACFO deputy chairman Caroline Sandall and will enable the organisation's members to obtain a comprehensive insight into all announcements impacting on fleet operations. Furthermore, members will be able to ask questions as to how specific government decisions will impact on their own fleet operations.

The webinar is anticipated to be the first in a series that will continue throughout 2018 enabling ACFO members to obtain up-to-date information without leaving their desks on key announcements by legislators in Europe, Whitehall and at a local government level and insight as to how those measures will impact on their fleet operations.

ACFO is already planning to use the webinar platform for its spring and autumn 2018 regional briefing updates. Additionally, said ACFO chairman John Pryor (pictured), it was planned to hold further webinars on key fleet issues on an “as and when basis”.

All webinars will be recorded and then posted in the library on the ACFO website for members to access.

The organisation will continue to host its twice-a-year day-long seminars.

Pryor said: “The fleet industry and the role of the fleet decision-maker continues to evolve and so must ACFO.

“Member feedback indicates that managers are quite prepared to attend a day-long seminar where they can obtain a wealth of comprehensive information on major issues impacting on them, their organisation and their drivers and additionally quiz knowledgeable speakers and network with colleagues.

“Simultaneously, fleet decision-maker attendance at ACFO regional meetings that have already reduced to two a year has been shrinking further.

"Employer demands placed on fleet decision-makers today, which increasingly sees them combine managing vehicles and drivers with a procurement, HR or finance role, means they are finding it difficult to make the time available to attend regional meetings.

“We believe that the webinars will prove popular for our busy members and also act as a recruitment platform for new members.

"There is an unprecedented level of change taking place in the fleet industry and insight and advice is critical for employees with fleet responsibility, irrespective of their experience.

“That is what the ACFO webinars will provide starting with the Budget webinar. We hope that fleet decision-makers whatever their career background - fleet, HR, finance or procurement - will look to take part in the webinars by joining ACFO.

“We believe the introduction of webinars gives members access to unprecedented updates and reinforces the ACFO core principle of supporting them with key advice and information in the fleet and mobility arena.”

Meanwhile, as previously announced, ACFO is to reduce to one region with the chairman and secretary acting as the link between ACFO’s six-strong board of directors and its membership. They will both attend board meetings, but in a non-voting capacity. Elections to both positions will be held annually.

Two members - Julie Summerell, managing director, TR Fleet, and Lee Corrigan, car fleet manager, Skanska UK - have put themselves forward for the post of regional chairman so an election is to be held with voting closing on Friday, November 10.

Summerell is managing director of fleet services company TR Fleet, part of the SAFO Group, which delivers a wide range of fleet management services internationally.

With a career spanning more than 25 years in the automotive sector, she has held many senior positions across the supply chain including managing a fleet of 1,200 vehicles.

Corrigan is an automotive professional with more than 20 years’ experience including spells working in the vehicle finance and leasing sector and as a self-employed consultant working with organisations such as National Grid, Sodexo, JLL and Pfizer.

Currently car fleet manager for Skanska UK, he is responsible for more than 2,200 company cars and a number of light commercial vehicles.

The result of the ballot will be announced at the 2017 ACFO Awards on Thursday, November 16.

James Pestell, currently secretary of ACFO’s East Anglia Region, is the only nomination for regional secretary so is elected unopposed.

James Pestell was elected unopposed.

Pestell has more than 15 years’ fleet experience having joined Independent Fleet Consultants (now IFC Group) in 2003 as a graduate IT systems analyst and following a number of promotions is currently national sales manager across the company’s four core businesses - IFC Fleet Services, Vertivia Mileage Management, Goodwood Rental and BBS Fleet Logistics.

The positions of regional chairman and secretary will take effect from January 1, 2018.

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