When I look back on 2016, I am reminded of the Dr. Seuss book Oh The Places You’ll Go “with your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet.”

While I am a proponent of social media — NACFE has a Facebook page, LinkedIn presence and I have been tweeting as @mikeroeth — as great ways to get the word out about the work we do, I am old school enough to know that there is a great deal that can be accomplished from face to face meetings with people.  Imagine that!  Discussions become fuller and deeper. More nuanced. And I for one love the opportunities to talk one-on-one with someone or to a group of people about what we do.

In 2016 someone from NACFE has been at some obvious places like a Meritor fleet event, Heavy Duty Aftermarket Dialogue, TMC’s spring and fall meetings, ACT Research Seminars, MATS, NPTC, Alternative Clean Transportation Expo, Allison Ride and Drive, DOE Annual Merit Review, Schneider Leadership Team Meeting, I95 Corridor DOT Connected Vehicles, Ruan Leasing meeting, Ohio Conference on Freight, Michigan Trucking Association, Michelin Fleet Event, PSI Fleet event, the Midwest Green Fleets Forum, the Navistar Dealer Fleet Workshop, ATA Management Conference, SAE 2016 Commercial Vehicle Engineering Council, NTDA Annual Convention, FTX, Duke Energy Week, and the Used Truck Association meeting and a Dana Fleet event.  Whew!

And some not so obvious ones like the Northwestern University’s Business Advisory Council, the Software Integrity Council and 12 Shell Aspire Road Show stops across the US and Canada.

And that does not include the workshops we’ve sponsored or the meetings I have had with our board to get their input on how to best reach our goal of doubling the freight efficiency of U.S. fleets.

At first glance reading that list makes me tired. We’ve logged a lot of airline and car miles. But when I stop to think about it, all those trips and speaking engagements have been an opportunity to present our findings from Confidence Reports, and perhaps more importantly, to bump them up against real world experience.

NACFE is not about pie in the sky fuel saving that are only achievable under tightly controlled circumstances. We do not feel we are making a difference if the savings are not seen in every day use where the rubber meets the road, to use a trite expression.

All of us at NACFE use these industry events to reach out to people who have not heard about our work and to touch basis with those who have chosen to follow one or more of our recommendations to see what kind of results they have gotten.

To paraphrase the good doctor, “So whether your name is Mike, Dave, Jack or Denise, Yunsu, Sue, Rob, Rick, John, Andrew or Jim, You’re off to Great Places. Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way.”

See you around the industry! And make sure to share your thoughts — good or bad — about the work we are doing. Otherwise all those miles my team has logged will have been wasted.