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ACFO appoints new chairman and deputy chairman

ACFO has elected Caroline Sandall as its new chairman and Stewart Lightbody as deputy chairman, as well as two new directors to the board.

ACFO's newly apointed chairman Caroline Sandall and deputy chairman Stewart Lightbody

ACFO’s newly apointed chairman Caroline Sandall and deputy chairman Stewart Lightbody

Sandall, a specialist consultant at LeasePlan who has worked in the fleet industry for 25 years including 23 years as a fleet manager, steps into the role previously held by industry veteran John Pryor, who held the post for the past five years.

Stewart Lightbody, fleet director, M Group Services Plant & Fleet Solutions, was unanimously elected at the 2019 AGM to join the board and takes Sandall’s place as deputy chairman. Lightbody has 25 years experience in the industry, including 18 years in fleet.

Ryan Coles, global travel and fleet manager at leading insurer Aviva for the past six-and-a-half-years, has also been elected to join the board, while ACFO also unanimously re-elected Richard Baird, new business development director at Marshall Leasing, to serve a third three-year term.

The ACFO board is completed by Debbie Floyde, group fleet and risk and facilities manager, Bauer Media; and Denise Lane, head of group fleet at Capita.

The six-strong board met for the first time following the AGM and elected Caroline Sandall, who first joined the board in 2012 and has served as deputy chairman since 2013, as chairman in succession to John Pryor. Mr Lightbody was elected deputy chairman.

Mr Pryor stood down as chairman and from the ACFO board having served since 2006, as he retires this year from his job as fleet and travel manager at Arcadia Group, the leading fashion retailer.

Mr Lightbody had been co-opted on to the board following the decision of Phil Redman to retire as an ACFO director at the end of 2018.

Ms Sandall said: “The pace of change we are witnessing across the fleet industry is unprecedented so it is good that ACFO has board consistency in terms of fleet operator representation as well as that from the wider industry. There is significant practical experience among the directors to keep members advised, provide insight on the impact of taxation and legislation changes as well as future fuels and the move towards plug-in vehicles and the fast-evolving issue of employee mobility.

“Combining my experience of being on the board for the past seven years with the enthusiasm and breadth of experience of Stewart as a new board member in the posts of chairman and deputy chairman will continue to drive ACFO forward.”

Mr Lightbody said: “I bring day-to-day fleet manager experience to the board and the post of deputy chairmen. However, it is important that Caroline’s ACFO board knowledge and experience as well as that in the industry – as a fleet manager for many years and now as a consultant – continues to benefit the organisation.”

Mr Pryor said: “I am delighted that two experienced fleet decision-makers in Stewart and Ryan have joined the board. Their experience is across the end-user fleet management spectrum of cars, commercial vehicles and ‘grey fleet’ as well as travel management, which is important as both ACFO and the entire fleet industry continues to evolve with an increasing focus on employee mobility.

“I wish Caroline and Stewart in their respective posts and the entire board all the best for the future and leave ACFO in strong and very capable hands. I have been proud and honoured to serve the organisation.”

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Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.