Emmitt J. Posey, a 24-year veteran of the railroad industry, jumped career tracks last week.

Posey left his position as vice president of Pacific Fruit Express Co. in San Francisco to become president and chief operating officer of Fleet Management Inc. of Alexandria.

Posey said that with the changing railroad industry, "fleet management is the place to be right now" -- and FMI is the company for him.

Since the deregulation of the industry, railroads have faced stiff competition from other transportation industries. In order to compete against trucks, barges and other modes of transportation, the railroads must market themselves. They have to provide packages to customers that combine low cost and good service, Posey said.

"There has been a recent trend in the rail industry to view its fleets more from a marketing perspective rather than from an operation point of view," Posey said.

FMI enables railroads to do this, Posey explained, by concentrating exclusively on managing other companies' rail fleets, thus making them more efficient and marketable. Under this system, FMI said, companies can cut down on "empty miles" (distances traveled without a load of cargo) and save money. The company manages 3,000 cars for 15 railroads.

Unlike railroad companies, FMI manages, rather than owns, rail cars. Posey is the company's first president. Thomas R. Foster, who was overseeing operations, will remain vice president and general manager.

FMI, a subsidiary of Fruit Growers Express Co., was formed in 1982 and manages a nationwide pool of insulated boxcars. Under a grant from the Interstate Commerce Commission, the company is able to gather information from its member railroads and use the data to coordinate freight loads for its members.

Posey worked to reorganize the car management divisions at both Consolidated Rail Corp. (Conrail) and Southern Pacific. In his last position, he combined the operations car management division and the marketing department. At FMI, he also plans to strengthen the marketing aspect of the company.

"In this industry, there are three marketable components: the vehicle, the price and the time. By helping the railroads reduce 'empty miles' and costs, we are helping them place a better product for their customers," Posey said.

In July, the company will petition the ICC to operate two additional fleets -- a boxcar fleet to transport paper goods and a covered hoppers fleet to transport grains and other commodities. If the petitions are granted, the company expects to triple its revenue. BANKING, FINANCIAL SERVICES

Robert J. Levin was named assistant to David O. Maxwell, chairman and chief executive officer of the Federal National Mortgage Association. Levin, 30, joined the company in 1981 as a financial analyst and has since received five promotions. He most recently served as senior vice president for corporate finance.

The Student Loan Marketing Association named five new officers last week, three of whom were promoted from within the company. Sallie Mae promoted Ron E. Guzinski to assistant vice president of human resources, Michael S. Piemonte to assistant vice president of capital markets and Betty Forrest Robinson to assistant vice president of loan administration. New employes included Ronald H. Gorka of Bankers Trust Co., named vice president of loan servicing centers, and June M. McCormack of Cybernetics and Systems Inc., named assistant vice president of product management.

First Fidelity Bank of Rockville hired Michael J. Consalvo as vice president and supervisor of the bank's Clinton Branch in Prince George's County. COMMUNICATIONS

Hager, Sharp & Abramson Inc., a public relations firm in the District, hired Stephen Push as a senior associate. Push will oversee several client accounts, including the Group Health Association and the National Cancer Institute accounts. GOVERNMENT

The Virginia Port Authority named John D. Covaney senior managing director of marketing effective June 16. Covaney replaces Joseph A. Dorto, who was promoted to international marketing director for the operating affiliate, Virginia International Terminals.

Lynda J. South was named information services administrator for the Northern Virginia district of the Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation. South will replace Cheryl D. Jenkins, who was named special assistant to the department's commissioner. INSURANCE

Michael J. Sluka joined Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co.'s Washington office, where he will head the audit department's insurance practice. Sluka has worked for Peat, Marwick, Mitchell since 1974 and became a partner of the company in 1985.

Kaiser Permanente Health Care Program, one of the nation's largest health care programs, named Kay Marshall director of marketing for the Baltimore-Washington area. Before coming to the East Coast, Marshall was the senior marketing representative for the Northern California region. NONPROFIT

The National Geographic Society named J. W. Marriott Jr. and Floretta Dukes McKenzie to its board of trustees last week. Marriott, chairman of the board and president of the Marriott Corp., succeeds Curtis E. LeMay, who retired after 35 years. McKenzie, superintendent of the District of Columbia Public Schools, takes the place of Laurance S. Rockefeller, who retired after 29 years.

Ellis E. Meredith came out of retirement to become president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He will oversee the board of directors. Meredith, the former president of the American Apparel Manufacturers Association, had retired in 1984. PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Questech Inc., a diversified high-tech holding company in McLean, named Paul J. Ahrens, David O. Edewaard and George M. Nygaard assistant vice presidents of its subsidiary, Quest Research Corp. Prior to the promotions, each of the employes served as program directors for the same division.

CACI Inc., a high-tech service company based in Arlington, named James F. Topping operating division president of the systems design and integration group. Topping joined the company in 1977.

Gordon Andrew McKay joined the Fairfax Group Ltd. as vice president and general counsel last week. McKay, who had worked for the U.S. Attorney's Office's criminal division since 1982, was a senior member of the chronic offender unit before he joined the Fairfax Group.

The Rouse Co., one of the nation's leading real estate developers, promoted several of its employes to vice presidents. Ronald L. Bergman, Philip T. Duffy, Peter J. Gruber, Anthony T. Hawkins, Jay P. Matera, John C. McLaughlin and James B. McLean Jr., who work in various locations across the country, were named vice presidents.

John T. Squire, a former partner of Aronson, Greene, Fisher & Co., joined the Washington CPA firm of Sarfino and Rhoades as a partner.

Richard Wyron and Peter Turner joined the Washington law firm of Lerch, Early, Roseman & Frankel. Wyron, formerly with Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, will specialize in commercial litigation, and Turner, formerly with the Air Force's Area Defense Counsel, will specialize in the rights of military personnel.

ORS Associates, a division of Office Relocation Services Inc., promoted Edward F. Westrick to senior vice president of operations and Charles M. Rives III and C. Farrell Ruppert to vice presidents.

Glen Construction Co. Inc. of Gaithersburg named William J. Lamir executive vice president. Lamir, a 13-year veteran of the company, is a past president of the Metro Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Constructors. UTILITIES

Potomac Electric Power Co. named Thomas Bisset plant manager of the Benning Generating Station. He will replace Rex Kelly, who is retiring.