Michael Naletko, a vehicle technician in the Sarasota County (Fla.) Fleet Services Department, has won the 2016 Technician of the Year Award for public sector fleets.

The Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) Education Foundation made the award announcement at its 34th Annual Management Conference and Annual Meeting recently in Houston.

“For me, the heroes in the field are the older generation of technicians that have helped me throughout my career,” Naletko said in a statement. He said he hoped he could do the same in years to come for other young technicians getting started.

Naletko added: “I feel that winning this award isn’t just a win for me, but a win for my profession, and I couldn’t be more proud to now be a member of an organization that spotlights and celebrates our career field.”

Naletko’s education and training has included courses at Bergen Community College in Paramus, N.J., and at the Community College of the Air Force at Travis AFB, Calif. He has achieved ASE and EVT certifications. He was trained in the U.S. Air Force as a Special Purpose Vehicle and Equipment Mechanic. The award-winning technician demonstrates his belief in safety by being accident free for his entire five years with Sarasota County.

In its nominating statement, Naletko's team said: “He is willing to accept any challenge, see it through to the end, and provides a superior product or repair that is fully operational, reliable, safe and fully mission-capable. Mike has taken numerous steps to improve or enhance the image of the technician professional. He never hesitates to work with a new hire and helps to train and mentor less-experienced technicians in improving their abilities.”

Each award winner was presented with the grand prize of a custom-built John Deere rolling toolbox, embroidered jacket, $500 continuing education scholarship and plaque.

For the past 26 years, the AEMP Education Foundation has partnered with John Deere to honor the heavy equipment industry’s outstanding Technician of the Year (TOY) in both public and private fleets. Recipients were honored at the AEMP 34th Management Conference & Annual Meeting in Houston, earlier in March.

The Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) was formed in 1980 and is based in Glenwood Springs, Colo. The organization is for professional
asset managers who oversee off-road fleets and represents fleet professionals who work in construction, government, utilities, energy, and mining. AEMP maintains
relationships among manufacturers, users, governmental agencies, educational institutions, equipment dealers and others involved in the design and management of heavy equipment. For more information, visit this site.

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