Each year the NAFTC holds business and professional development meetings for its members. This year, for the first time in ten years, the meeting was held in Orlando, Florida and those in attendance not only gained valuable new training and information, but they also experienced a Disney Resort at its finest.

Held at the Disney Yacht Club Resort from August 6-8, the meeting’s agenda was a result of the combined efforts of many. Bill Davis, the main planner of the event and Assistant Director of Operations at the NAFTC, looks forward to these events each year.

“These meetings are a way for us to update everyone about what [NAFTC] headquarters is doing, the new curriculum and training, and new projects that headquarters is undertaking,” he said. “They help to get everyone on the same track so that we’re all working toward similar goals.”

In addition to the meeting, several professional development sessions were held, such as a presentation on biodiesel, given by Jordan Thaeler of the National Biodiesel Board and Nick Wagoner, a long time NAFTC member from Central Community College in Columbus, Nebraska.

Orlando meeting 2

NAFTC members pose with vehicles from the past (1918 Buick – center), present (Ford Fusion – right), and the future (Ford Focus hydrogen fuel cell – left). Credit: NAFTC

Another NAFTC member, Terry Wolfe from the Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville Campus, conducted a Ford Fusion hybrid training, followed by a ride-and-drive of a Ford Focus fuel cell vehicle and a Ford Fusion hybrid vehicle, which was arranged by Seminole Community College in Orlando, and provided by Ford Motor Company.

Davis said, “Some people had never had the opportunity to ride in a fuel cell vehicle before so we wanted to provide them with this experience. It’s important to not just talk about it, but to see it and understand it as well.”

While those in attendance gave positive feedback about all of the presentations, a particular crowd favorite was a presentation called Advanced Battery Technology: Trends and Applications, provided by Andrea Wesser of Planar Energy Devices in Orlando. Wesser discussed updated information on battery technology and the innovations we’re likely to see in the future.

Through the use of videos and other helpful presentation aids, Wesser and the other presenters gave members ideas of tools and programs that they could use for outreach and education in their communities.

H2 vehicle in front of hotel

Conference attendees had the opportunity to take an H2 fuel cell vehicle on a test drive around the Disney resort. Credit: NAFTC

“Overall it was an excellent meeting with lots of good training and discussion about where we’re going as an organization,” said Davis. “It’s always great to connect with our members.”

NAFTC business and professional development meetings are held throughout the year so that members can learn more about alternative fuel technology and about how the NAFTC can help them in their training and educational goals.

Past meetings have been held in San Diego, Boston, Phoenix, Portland, Vancouver and many other great locations.

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