Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.
The "Women in Fleet" profile series aims to introduce fleet managers to some of the most influential women in fleet. Every month, we will get to know another positive force in fleet.
This month, we get to know Michele Bartlett, the general manager of commercial and government sales for Ford Motor Co. An employee for 28 years, Bartlett has been involved in fleet in some way her entire career at Ford.
“This is my third rotation in our North American Fleet, Lease and Remarketing Organization (NAFLRO). I have been in my current general manager position for 17 months,” Bartlett said.
Bartlett knows her way around Ford fleet. Her first position at the automaker was in the daily rental activity in the late 1990s and she was fleet’s general marketing manager in 2012.
“The fleet business is core to Ford Motor Company. During 28 years and with several leadership positions, I have been fortunate enough to connect with and influence so many exceptional and talented people. At Ford, people have always been the source of our strength and I am always energized and motivated by the team surrounding me,” Bartlett said.
People are core to Bartlett’s motivation to succeed.
“What makes the fleet business so fabulous is the direct interaction with customers. I love making those direct customer connections, and I love selling a lot of Ford vehicles! I am also driven by a desire for increased leadership and business ownership during such a vibrant time in the fleet industry,” Bartlett said.
With 28 years at Ford, Bartlett has some advice: “I love how dynamic the fleet industry is and I feel very fortunate to be a part of it. My overarching advice to anyone in the industry is to be authentic. Create your own personal brand and stay true to it. Get to know yourself, identify and understand your strengths and weaknesses, and importantly, celebrate what makes you unique. Nobody can do you better than you!” she said.
Experience doesn’t tell the whole story. What we like to read, watch, and listen to helps paint a clearer picture. To help get to know her outside of work, we’ve asked Bartlett to tell us about some her favorites:
- Book: “I like all sorts of books — from fiction to non-fiction. Of late, I have been reading books on the United States Marine Corps. My son, William, recently graduated from boot camp. I am anxious to learn as much as I can about his chosen vocation and I am a very proud Mom!” Bartlett said.
- Movie: “There are a lot of movies I like but the dearest movie to me is The Wizard of Oz. Not only does it remind me of my wonderful childhood … it engenders so many memories of special times watching it with my children — William and Mackenzie,” Bartlett said.
- Song: “We always have music on in our house and there is nothing like a song to transport you to special time or place. My most memorable song has to be “It Had to Be You,” (I love the Frank Sinatra version). My husband, Eric, and I danced to this song at our wedding in 1993. We celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary in November,” Bartlett said.
- You may not know: “Those that know me would probably find it hard to believe that I love vacationing in a tent! Some of our best family vacations — Isle Royale & Algonquin Provincial Park — were spent off the grid. We created so many special family memories on those trips!” Bartlett added.