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CPFP Certification: Bridging the gap from private to public fleet management

U David Gonzales

David Gonzales, CPFP Equipment Services Superintendent Washoe County Community Services Reno, Nevada

nlike many of my public fleet professional counterparts who, like our current APWA president, worked their way up through their respective organizations to achieve their current position, I began my career in the private sector. After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in Business Administration, I spent the next 17 years in the private sector. About ten of these years were at a construction equipment dealership where I worked as a parts person, an equipment salesman, the rental/ machinery manager and finally the general manager. I also spent a few years in retail management and, just prior to coming to the county, I managed a trucking company that provided both material hauling and transport services in northern Nevada and northern California. I share this as a point of reference to what I did in the private sector that qualified me to be offered a position as a public fleet professional. Shortly after I was hired as the Equipment Services Superintendent for Washoe County in 2005, I experienced the first glaring www.apwa.net

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difference between private and public fleet management. When managing a P&L (budget) in the private sector, my primary consideration was the bottom line. If the last number on the page wasn’t in parentheses then I had a good year. Imagine my surprise when I sat in on my first budget meeting, not knowing what in the heck an internal service fund was, and was told that as long as I didn’t overspend my budget authority that the bottom line wasn’t critical. This was the first of many situations in the following months that made me acutely aware that not all of what I had done or learned in my previous 17 years prepared me for the challenges of being a public fleet professional. A more welcome surprise early in my career was the opportunity to become a member of a public fleet professional organization called Rocky Mountain Fleet Management Association, now FleetPros. My involvement in FleetPros afforded me opportunities to network on a regular basis with local public fleet professionals at quarterly chapter meetings and with fleet professionals from around the country at our annual conference and expo; many of whom February 2018

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APWA Reporter

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APWA Reporter, February 2018 issue  

February 2018 issue of the APWA Reporter, the official magazine of the American Public Works Association

APWA Reporter, February 2018 issue  

February 2018 issue of the APWA Reporter, the official magazine of the American Public Works Association