CHARLOTTE. The new president of the NAFA Fleet Management Assn. plans to launch a national campaign to highlight the value vehicle fleet managers bring to the corporate and government entities they serve – especially in terms of reducing the cost of those operations.

Douglas Weichman, director of fleet management for Palm Beach County, FL, began his two-year stint by emphasizing the need to raise the profile of the fleet management profession via a program he termed “Operation Value Plan.”

“For many years now, this organization has focused on the educational needs of the fleet manager community,” he said in a speech he gave here at the NAFA 2011 Institute & Expo . “Now we need to add to that an effort to remind the employers you serve of the vital role the fleet manager plays in making any business or government entity a success.”

Weichman , a 31-year fleet management veteran, serves as an excellent example of the important function fleet managers fulfill.

Professional honors he and his fleet have received include Palm Beach County being named the FleetOwner “Vocational Fleet of the Year” in 2006 and he being honored as the 2009 Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year. The county’s fleet operations have also been an ASE Blue Seal-designated facility for the past nine years and has ranked in the top 20 of the 100 Best Fleets for the past three years.

He pointed out part of NAFA’s new campaign will focus on developing a “tool kit” to help sell the value of the fleet and the fleet manager within corporations and government entities.

“We want to help you explain to your employer the value of the assets you manage and the strategic importance of your role,” Weichman explained.

“You as a fleet manager are more than just the vehicle ‘guy or gal’ in your organizations,” he added. “You have vital expertise that corporations and government need for their business strategies.”