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AFMA leading lights to step down

Dynamic duo: Ken and Marja Thompson have been an integral part of the Australasian Fleet Management Association since the mid-to-late 1990s.

Mace Hartley takes on key role at AFMA as Marja and Ken Thompson prepare to retire

15 Jun 2015

THE two leading lights behind the Australasian Fleet Management Association (AFMA), Marja and Ken Thompson, are retiring at the end of this month after a combined 36 years’ service with the key industry body.

A highly experienced senior manager in the recruitment and transport industries in Australia and Europe, Ms Thompson has been an integral part of the association since its inception in 1995.

She hands over as executive director to Mace Hartley, who brings to the position more than three decades’ commercial experience spanning retail automotive, general insurance and fleet management.

Mr Hartley also takes on Mr Thompson’s responsibilities as director of research and communications, which includes media and government liaison.

Mr Thompson, who has a background in telecommunications and project management in both Europe and Australia, joined AFMA in 1999 and has been a driving force behind key initiatives such as the ‘Greener Motoring’ and ‘Safer Motoring’ national campaigns and the forthcoming new ‘AFMA Fleet Management Guide’ – “a complete ‘how to’ manual covering strategic, financial and operational fleet management” due to be launched in July.

Mr Hartley, meanwhile, has worked closely with AFMA over the past two years, presenting at the association’s state ‘fleet forums’ around the country and at its annual Fleet Conference and Exhibition last year.

80 center imageLeft: AMFA executive director Mace Hartley.He has also spent the past two years as general manager of Smartfleet Management Australia, joining in 2013 when Smartfleet purchased Tailored Automotive Insurances, a company he established in early 2012.

Prior to that, Mr Hartley spent more than five years with Swann Insurance in a range of positions including national sales manager (fleet, broker and new markets) and state sales manager (Victoria/Tasmania).

Earlier in his career, he spent eight years at Summit Investment Australia, rising to chief financial officer, and from 1990 to 1998 worked for the Alto Group in Sydney in various roles across multiple dealerships.

Ms Thompson told GoAuto this week that AFMA was sticking to its original objectives, which include providing information to members and a forum to discuss issues, delivering education, training and professional development services, and acting as a lobby group and advocate for fleet management.

“I was part of the team setting the association up back in 1995 and it was launched in Melbourne and Sydney in October of that year,” Ms Thompson said.

“While we have enjoyed a lot of support from members over the years I am proud to say that some members who joined back in 1995 are still active in the association today, including our current president Alan Reed, who is fleet executive with Toowoomba City Council.”

As well as the ‘Greener Motoring’ and ‘Safer Motoring’ campaigns, Ms Thompson said that one of the association’s major achievements over the period was the creation of a fully customised Postgraduate Certificate in Fleet Management, in partnership with Swinburne University.

The course was launched in 2012 and is a one-third pathway to study for a Master in Business Management.

Looking ahead, Ms Thompson said the new Fleet Management Guide would be an important new initiative – members will be able customise it to fit their own organisation – and that AFMA was also preparing to launch a completely new website “which will be very ‘member friendly’ to use as well as providing interactivity with a range of mobile devices”.

She also said the association was also working on “a number of new face-to-face professional development options for members who are not in the position to commit to the postgraduate certificate course”.

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