The Oklahoma Fleet Managers Association will meet on Dec. 5 after a four-year hiatus in an effort to turn the informal group into an official association and discuss topics specific to fleet managers in the state.
Brian Franklin, CPFP, administrative manager for the City of Tulsa Equipment Management Department, is leading the revival. He came up with the idea of an Oklahoma-specific association after speaking to Jesse Beeks, fleet manager at the City of Fayetteville, Ark., and president of the Arkansas Public Fleet Managers Association (APFMA), at the Government Fleet Expo & Conference (GFX) in June.
After doing some research, he discovered that this association had already existed, and he got in touch with Leon Fourcade, fleet administrator at the University of Oklahoma, who organized meetings in the past.
Fleet managers had formed the Oklahoma Fleet Managers Association in May of 2007. At the time, members did not want to create a formal organization that required membership, fees, and contracts. They simply wanted to have a brief presentation with some time afterwards to talk. After about six meetings spanning across two years, however, the association disbanded, Fourcade said.
The group ran out of reasons to meet routinely, and Fourcade had problems finding new vendors to discuss topics. Some fleet professionals found it hard to get authorization to attend the meetings unless the subject was immediately relevant.
Franklin said that while the South Central Chapter of the NAFA Fleet Management Association regularly meets in Texas, and he is involved with the national American Public Works Association (APWA), he felt that an Oklahoma-specific group would be useful because of travel distance to meetings and the fact they could talk about regional issues.
The goal of the association is to "promote collaboration among all the government fleets, share best practices, and just to work together. There's an association in Arkansas and in Texas, the Rocky Mountain Fleet Management Association (RMFMA). There's nothing in Oklahoma that’s close by," he said.
Franklin expects the composition of the association will include municipal fleet representatives, state fleet representatives, federal fleet representatives, Tulsa Area Clean Cities representatives, Central Oklahoma Clean Cities representatives, and fleet vendors. Oklahoma state fleet representatives have also expressed an interest in participating.
The APFMA will be assisting the Oklahoma association. APFMA officers have already sent Franklin the association's bylaws to review. Franklin is using this to create a draft of bylaws for the Oklahoma association, which he hopes to have ready for review during upcoming meeting on Dec. 5 in Tulsa. Beeks and Barbara Olsen, fleet operations support manager at the City of Fayetteville and APFMA treasurer, will talk to Oklahoma fleet professionals about how to start an association, and discussion will also focus on organization structure.
"We're going to ask participants their preference about how the association should be structured, how often we should meet, who is interested in serving as an officer in the association, and deciding the next steps, the bylaws, all the paperwork that needs to be completed," Franklin said.
Franklin noted that one topic of future discussion especially important in Oklahoma is transitioning to compressed natural gas (CNG). Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin is leading a coalition of 22 states that are seeking to use more CNG in their state fleets. The state ordered 242 CNG pickup trucks this year, and the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Oklahoma State University are some fleets that have invested in CNG.
Interested parties can contact Brian Franklin at (918) 596-9810 or [email protected] to learn more about the Dec. 5 event at the City of Tulsa's Mohawk water treatment facility.
By Thi Dao