The Government Solutions Team (GST) and Government Fleet magazine partnered to provide Public Fleet Summits (PFS), regional education and networking events that take place around the country. The summits address the need for high-quality professional fleet training while recognizing that budget restrictions are making travel difficult for many.

GST is a new group formed by Dave Seavey, CAFM, currently director of fleet operations for Pacific Gas & Electric Company and previously fleet management division director for the City of Seattle, and Greg Haglin of Haglin & Associates.

At the summits, fleet professionals offer educational sessions about leadership, change management, calculating return on investment, business management, and even ethics. In addition to educational sessions, the two-day summits provide plenty of networking opportunities and introduce participants to industry leaders and fleet technologies.

Combining Education & Networking

The structure of the summits allowed for frequent interaction between attendees.

“The summit was one of the best I have attended,” Randy Winders, manager, King County Metro Transit in Washington, said. Winders attended the inaugural event on August 14-15, 2013, in the Portland, Ore., area. “The agenda was structured in a way that allowed great training but more importantly, interaction between vendors and fleet managers.”

The events also allow newer fleet professionals to connect with more experienced peers. Clint Harmon, fleet and facilities manager at the City of Watauga, Texas, was one of these new fleet managers, having been at the job for less than a year. He attended the Nov. 20-21, 2013, summit in Austin, Texas.

“I think the biggest thing being new in this is the relationships you build with other people and having the resources to go back and talk to them when you run into situations that you’re unfamiliar with,” Harmon said.

The summits also bring fleet leaders and ideas about best practices to fleet professionals who are unaware or not involved with the community.

John Avilez, fleet manager for the City of Harlingen, Texas, was one of these people. Avilez has held the role of fleet manager for two years, but in Rio Grande Valley where the city is located, the fleet community is not active, and a fleet manager has to look hard to get information about the industry. He drove more than 300 miles to get to the summit and said he was interested in the technologies presented.

Public Fleet Summits take place six times per year. The next summit will be held in March in Southern California.

2014 PFS Schedule

Date Region City
March 5-6 Southwestern Santa Ana, Calif.
April 9-10 Mid Atlantic Raleigh, N.C.
May 7-8 South Central  Dallas, Texas
August 13-14 Pacific Northwest Vancouver, Wash.
Sept. 24-25 Great Lakes Chicago
December 3-4 Southeastern Orlando, Fla.

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