This past week, NationaLease hosted the 2013 Spring Maintenance Managers Meeting in Schaumburg, IL. Every year, this event brings together maintenance managers from NationaLease member companies to meet, network, and discuss the issues affecting their business. The annual event also offers the chance for attendees to meet their suppliers in a comfortable, informal setting.
Although the meeting officially began on Wednesday, May 15, those who arrived early and attended the 3rd Annual Tech Challenge on Tuesday saw an awesome hands-on competition from the nine regional participants. The Aim NationaLease’s Elmhurst, IL facility hosted this year’s event and they, along with the judges, helped make the event a huge success. Thank you Aim NationaLease for all your help.
On Tuesday evening, our First-Timer Reception was attended by over 70 first-time attendees, volunteer mentors, and NationaLease staff. This was a great way to set the tone for the next three days of learning, networking, and celebration.
Welcome to Schaumburg and our largest attendance to date!
Wednesday’s session began with welcomes and introductions of the record number of attendees. Over 180 member attendees representing over 120 member companies, along with suppliers, NationaLease staff, and speakers, packed the room for the kickoff to the Spring Maintenance Managers Meeting and the culmination of the Reciprocal Service Rally.
Ken Anderson, Director of Operations for DeCarolis Truck Rental, Inc., a NationaLease Member, and this year’s meeting chair, opened the meeting by introducing Dean Vicha, President of NationaLease, who welcomed attendees and reviewed some of the initiatives NationaLease has implemented over the last year, as well as some of the plans currently underway. I began the day’s presentations by reminding everyone of the origins of the Reciprocal Service Rally, and the results that have been accomplished by each member’s recommitment over the past nine months to the Reciprocal Service system.
Attendees then had the pleasure of listening to renowned drag racing coach Frank Hawley, who shared his insights on motivation and leadership gleaned from his career, and how to use these principles in our daily lives. Ken Anderson moderated a lively panel discussion on engine issues with representatives from the major engine OEMs. Byron Lay, Maintenance Director for NationaLease, updated us on the NationaLease Road Rescue program. The afternoon session concluded with a hands-on workshop led by Dan Guzman, PDL Enterprises, focusing on practical techniques to improve employee retention.
The evening concluded with a welcome dinner, followed by a spirited Road-Rally themed evening of entertainment.
A day of ideas, information, and lots of awards.
Thursday’s action-packed day started with the always-popular Idea Session. This year NationaLease provided the prizes, including an iPad mini for the top idea, a $300 gift card for 2nd place, and a $200 gift card for 3rd place. We heard some fantastic ideas!
I then moderated a panel of recruiting professionals who discussed their thoughts and best practices for recruiting technicians, with some great ideas and input from members. After a short break, we returned for a members-only session kicked off with Shop Talk, moderated by Ken Anderson and Kenny Watts of Carco NationaLease. That was followed with an update on the Supply Management programs and a review of the Buyer’s Guide by David Nitzsche, Senior VP of Supply Management for NationaLease, and Rob Garcia, Director of New Business Development for NationaLease. The afternoon continued with our Product and Technology Fair, where members had the opportunity to meet with many of the suppliers who participate in our Supply Management programs.
Thursday evening concluded with our Awards Dinner, where both the Exceptional Service Awards and the Top Techs were awarded.
A fine finish and a race to next year!
The last day’s events began with the announcement of the Idea Session winners:
First Place: Kenny Watts, Carco NationaLease
Second Place: Tom Boyer, Hogan Truck Leasing, Inc., a NationaLease Member
Third Place: Jack Hernandez, Suppose-U-Drive Truck Rental Service, a NationaLease Member
Then as the final chapter of the Reciprocal Service Rally, we presented a review of the Reciprocal Service standards, procedures, and best practices. I was joined by Andy Stopka, VP of Maintenance for Nationalease; Kelly Kordowski, Member Services Advocate; and Kimberly Black, Member Services Administrator. The meeting closed out with a very informative discussion of best practices for lowering running costs, moderated by Andy Stopka, with the help of Tom Boyer, VP of Maintenance, Hogan Truck Leasing, Inc., a NationaLease Member; John Campese, Service Manager, Leroy Holdings Company, Inc., a NationaLease Member; Hayes Conn, Hub Truck NationaLease; Dan Coutu, Operations Manager, Old Dominion NationaLease; Chuck Miller, Head Maintenance Director, Parrish Leasing, Inc., a NationaLease Member; and Bill Steinert, Maintenance Director, Carmichael NationaLease.
It was a great week in Schaumburg and a great way to conclude our Reciprocal Service Rally. A special thanks to our meeting chair, Ken Anderson for all of your hard work!
We look forward to seeing everyone next year in Frisco, TX on May 14-16!