Smolka named Chairman of Strategic Board
LeasePlan USA executive, Felipe Smolka, begins two-year term.
Tech Alpharetta, the nonprofit organization helping the City of Alpharetta lead in innovation, announces Felipe Smolka as the new Chairman of its Strategic Board of Directors. Smolka, who joined the Board in May 2019 and was elected as Vice Chair in January 2020, succeeds Ryan Hollenbeck as he concludes his 28-month term.
“I’m honored to have been selected to lead Tech Alpharetta’s Strategic Board,” shares Smolka, EVP and Transformation Officer for LeasePlan USA. “The accomplishments that Ryan and the rest of the Board have achieved over the past couple of years is truly remarkable. I look forward to continuing to build on their momentum and further establish Tech Alpharetta and the city of Alpharetta as a global technology hub.”
As Chairman, Hollenbeck, who is SVP of Marketing for Verint, worked with CEO Karen Cashion, the Board of Directors and City leaders to help expand Tech Alpharetta’s impact as a tech economic development engine for the City of Alpharetta – home to more than 700 tech companies. Tech Alpharetta’s incubator continues to help foster innovation, while bringing new technology companies and jobs to the community. Through Tech Alpharetta’s local programming, which supports and grows Alpharetta’s thriving tech ecosystem and its many key partnerships, the organization assists the city in continuing to attract and retain tech companies and a skilled workforce.
“Ryan has been a tremendous leader, generously volunteering his time, his ideas, and his enthusiastic support to Tech Alpharetta. During his tenure as Chairman, Tech Alpharetta has substantially grown the footprint of our programming, our Board and our incubator,” says Karen Cashion, CEO of Tech Alpharetta.
Tech Alpharetta’s Board, which focuses on ideating and implementing strategies for growing the local tech community, features local c-suite and senior executives, along with community partners – ATDC, Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), Gwinnett Technical College, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce (GNFCC). Since its establishment in 2012, Tech Alpharetta and its Board have advised the city of Alpharetta on tech infrastructure and ecosystem expansion.
For more information about Tech Alpharetta, its mission and it programs, or for information about the Tech Alpharetta Innovation Center, visit techalpharetta.com.
More drivers hit wild animals during the fall season, according to AAA — and that can mean anything from a mild fender bender to a serious collision. Deer mating season runs from October to early January. Now is a good time for fleet managers to remind drivers how to avoid hitting a deer, and what to do in the event that it does happen.
Experts offer the following advice for avoiding a collision with wildlife crossing:
It's all about the money
"Ten or even five years ago, electric driving seemed out of reach for anyone not earning a 6 figure salary. Today, there is an electric car to fit every budget, from zippy city cars like the Mini Cooper SE or Nissan Leaf, to big luxury electric Sedans like the Porsche Taycan. Additionally, most governments offer subsidies to purchase or lease electric vehicles. But it’s in the daily running costs where electric vehicles really outshine their combustion engine cousins. Not only do EV’s have lower road taxes and sidestep urban congestion and emission zone charges, electric engines have fewer moving parts, which saves 20-30% on servicing and maintenance costs compared with a petrol or diesel car. And best of all, mileage costs are significantly lower. Depending on your electricity tariff, plugging in will save drivers 50 - 70% in refuelling costs.
Slow down: This provides you with a longer reaction time in the event a deer or other wild animal runs in front of your vehicle. Heed warning signs: Many rural roads feature deer crossing signage. Be on the lookout for signs and be extra vigilant when traversing those roadways. Be cautious at dawn and dusk: This is when there is high animal movement, but low visibility. Be extra cautious when driving in the early morning or after dark. Use high beams: When driving at night, make sure to use your high beams, which increase viewing distance of the road ahead. They can help you spot deer in advance. Pay attention to the side of roads: Deer and other wildlife can suddenly dart into the road, so look off to either side from time to time. Look for shine: Anything reflective or shiny up ahead could be “eye shine”—that is, a deer looking in your direction. Eliminate all distractions: As always, set the cell phone, coffee cup and anything else aside and stay focused on the road.
If you are caught off guard and think you are going to strike a deer, experts offer the following advice:
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- Do not swerve: It’s better to strike the deer than to hit a tree or pole.
- Brake firmly: But just before you make impact with the animal, take your foot off the brake. This technique reduces the risk of the deer smashing through your windshield.
- Seek help: After hitting a deer, if possible, leave your vehicle and head to a safe place on foot where you can call for help. If the vehicle is disabled or you are in a remote area, turn on your hazard lights, call the police, and keep your seat belt fastened.
Source: Automotive Fleet
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