The Association of Car Fleet Operators has appointed Damian James as its chairman, replacing Julie Jenner who has spent the past seven years in the role.

The changeover also sees ACFO board member and fleet manager at Barclays Bank Caroline Sandall take up the role of deputy chairman.

James, whose day job is head of operations at Bracknell Forest Council, has been deputy chairman for the past year and was unanimously voted into the role for the 2013/2014 term.

Speaking to BusinessCar, James, who has been an ACFO member for more than a decade and a board member for the past three years, said: “It’s an excellent opportunity for me and hopefully for ACFO. As a fleet operator I think I can bring a lot to the organisation.

“The priority is trying to attract more members, particularly people who aren’t full-time fleet operators. We’re becoming a smaller bunch and there is a myriad of people who have different roles and manage a fleet. I’m keen to contact them.”

Julie Jenner was elected to remain on the board – her 10th year – at the organisation’s AGM last month. She takes on a new role, which involves working with Government departments such as HM Treasury and the Department for Transport as well as automotive groups such as the BVRLA and the SMMT to raise ACFO’s profile and improve its relationships with such organisations.

Speaking of the role change, Jenner, who became chairman in 2006, said: “The fact that the board’s workload is increasing is reflective of a vibrant and forward-thinking organisation that is playing a major role in fleet-related decision-making at the highest level.

“We are frequently asked to provide – both formally and informally – views on a wide range of issues to Government and we work with many other organisations on formulating responses pertaining to an array of fleet matters.

“Essentially that will be my role moving forward, while relinquishing the wide range of day-to-day responsibilities that the chairman has to handle.”

Sandall added: “Strengthening ACFO membership and improving the service offering are interlinked.

“If we deliver further benefits to the existing membership through the website and increase our seminar programme then we can attract new members.”

Fellow board members comprise Phil Redman, fleet manager for IBM UK, John Pryor, car and travel manager for Arcadia Group and recently elected Richard Baird, head of new business development at Marshall leasing.