Julie Jenner has been re-elected as chairman of ACFO, one of the leading UK representative bodies for fleet decision-makers, with Damian James elected to the newly created post of deputy chairman.
ACFO has a six-strong board of directors and the duo were unanimously elected to serve in 2012/13 by their colleagues: John Pryor, car fleet and travel manager, Arcadia Group; Phil Redman, fleet manager, IBM UK, Caroline Sandall, fleet manager, Barclays Bank, and Brian Ingham, fleet manager at T W Birk & Sons who also serves as ACFO’s finance director.
Ms Jenner, key solutions manager at GE Capital Fleet Services, has served as chairman since being first elected in 2006. She was elected to the ACFO board in 2003.
Mr James, head of operations at Bracknell Forest Council, joined the ACFO board two years ago having been involved with the organisation for more than a decade through its South West and Wales Region.
Creation of the post of deputy chairman reflects the ever-increasing workload faced by board members as ACFO becomes more involved in fleet industry-related talks, notably with Government departments such as HM Revenue & Customs and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
Ms Jenner explained: “ACFO board members’ work is voluntary and it has to be combined with full-time jobs.
“The creation of the role of deputy chairman along with other board members taking on key roles and responsibilities eases the workload.
“The fact that the board’s workload is increasing is reflective of a vibrant and forward-thinking organisation that is playing a major role in fleet-related decision-making at the highest level in Whitehall while continuing to provide fleet decision-makers with individual help and advice and a wide range of benefits.
“ACFO is, for example, increasingly asked to provide – both formally and informally – views on a range of issues to Government ministers and officials notably connected with the practical implementation of policies and possible changes in tax and legislation. While important, it can be very time consuming in terms of gathering member views, submitting responses to questions and attending meetings.”
ACFO holds six board meetings a year in addition to four national council meetings, which are attended by regional representatives as well as directors. The chairing and preparation for the meetings will now be shared by Ms Jenner and Mr James. Additionally, the duo, who performed a ‘double act’ in presenting this year’s ACFO Conference and AGM, will do so again in 2013.
In addition all the directors are taking on responsibility for key ACFO and industry issues as they crop up. For example, Mr Pryor is leading on compiling ACFO’s future seminar programme and in relation to on-going dialogue with the DVLA on issues relating to proposed driver licence changes.
Ms Jenner said: “Sharing the chairman’s duties and responsibilities and delegating greater responsibility for key issues to fellow board members means that the workload does not fall largely on one person.
“The fact that we have taken this course of action is reflective of a hugely successful organisation that is continuing to recruit new members.
“It is also very important to note that four of the six directors are practising fleet decision-makers heading up major transport operations and so have a raft of knowledge and expertise that is freely accessible.”
The vibrancy of ACFO is further highlighted by the fact that earlier this year it announced that it was forging closer links with a number of other transport-related organisations to deliver a range of added benefits to members. Those organisations include the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, the Freight Transport Association and the Institute of Travel and Meetings. Additionally, ACFO already has a tie-up with fleet manager training body the Institute of Car Fleet Management.
Looking to the future the ACFO board is planning to launch a number of new initiatives in 2013. Initiatives currently under consideration include: a series of best practice white papers on key issues which will form part of a ‘member pack’, a comprehensive seminar programme on topical subjects, and webinars enabling members to dial-in from their office and quiz board members on a range of issues and find out the latest news and developments.
For more information: www.acfo.org