FLAGFA leaders and conference organizers are pictured here at the association's conference.  Photo courtesy of FLAGFA

FLAGFA leaders and conference organizers are pictured here at the association's conference. Photo courtesy of FLAGFA

As they say, “The show must go on.” The Florida Association of Governmental Fleet Administrators (FLAGFA) held its fall conference Sept. 20-22 — more than 300 plus members registered to attend, but 44 were unable to show up due to damages and work related to Hurricane Irma, which engulfed the entire state the previous week.

For many fleets in the state, preparation allowed the local governments to protect and serve their citizens before and after the storm passed. Others were harder hit, and preparations were unable to prevent severe damage. Daryl Greenlee of the City of Orlando and association vice president, filled in for FLAGFA President Sean Williams from the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, which took a direct hit from Irma and was left with severe damage and flooding. Greenlee kicked off the conference by asking attendees to keep the victims from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in their thoughts.

One of President Williams’ goals is to expand the FLGAFA scholarship program by four scholarships. The group has partnered with the National Automotive Technician’s Education Foundation’s (NATEF) accredited technical colleges, and it presented scholarship checks to two colleges. The association is working to expand the program to three additional schools.

The conference featured Mike Alstott, Super Bowl XXXVII Champion running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as the keynote speaker. He spoke about how his coach treated players with respect and love while creating a competitive environment that raised each player’s abilities, ultimately resulting in a team that was able to reach the pinnacle point of professional football.

Educational session topics included innovative plans to create heavy equipment technicians, the fringe benefits of take-home car programs, ethical purchasing, tire management, and benchmarking.

Edwin Erhke, superintendent, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, was recognized as member of the year for his involvement in candidate selection for the FLAGFA scholarship program.

Mark Smith, NAPA IBS area manager, was recognized as the affiliate member of the year for his dedication and endless promotion of the association.

The next FLAGFA conference is scheduled for March 22-24, 2018 in Daytona Beach Shores, Fla.