Five Inducted Into Fleet Hall of Fame
These recognized industry leaders and pioneers contributed significantly to the commercial fleet management experience.
Port Authority of New York & New Jersey; Lorillard Tobacco
Anselmi started as an apprentice automotive mechanic with the Port Authority of N.Y. and N.J. in 1965. In 1986, he became fleet manager and joined the NAFA Fleet Management Association. Anselmi started with Lorillard Tobacco in 1996 as the director of fleet and travel. He was the first public service fleet manager to be elected NAFA President in 1995, is a recipient of the NAFA Distinguished Service Award, and is past president of the NAFA Foundation. He served a term as the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) president and was the 2002 AF Professional Fleet Manager of the Year.
GELCO, U.S. Fleet Leasing
Bosman began his career in the fleet leasing industry working for several years in sales in the Pacific Northwest for GELCO Fleet Management Services. In 1964, he and several partners started Vehicle Lease and Management Services with zero vehicles and expanded to more than 80,000 before the company was purchased in 1972 by parent company U.S. Fleet Leasing (USFL). He retired from USFL in 1989. Bosman passed away Aug. 13, 2009, at the age of 80.
Long Chevrolet, Faul Fleet Group, Napleton Fleet Group
Nicoletti began his career in the fleet industry in 1976 when Don Fenton hired him at Long Chevrolet. By late 1978 he was the operations manager, directing a fleet sales staff that processed more than 7,800 vehicle orders per year. In 1978, with the growing use of drop-shipment rather than purchasing from regional dealers, Nicoletti developed a sight draft to reimburse courtesy delivery dealers for sales tax and registration fees. In 1982, when Fenton moved to Faul Oldsmobile, Nicoletti joined him as operations manager. With the growing trend toward dealer groups in the mid-1980s, Nicoletti took the concept one step further with the formation of the Faul Fleet Group in 1986. This provided fleet customers the ability to purchase multiple makes from a single source. In 1991, Nicoletti took over as president of the Faul Fleet Group. The following year, Nicoletti and his staff joined the Ed Napleton dealerships and formed the Napleton Fleet Group. Utilizing the Internet as a way for fleet customers to order vehicles, check order status, and obtain vehicle information, Nicoletti developed the first fleet dealer website in the late 1990s. Nicoletti has been active in AFLA for more than 25 years, serving on the board of directors and is a past president.
Leary joined Motorlease in 1960, working in sales and general management. With his partner, Charles O’Neill, he helped pioneer the concept of outsourced fleet management and was instrumental in developing new remarketing strategies for Motorlease. He took full control of the company in 1976. During his tenure, Motorlease expanded from about 10 employees and a fleet of 600 to about 30 employees and a fleet of 3,000. At his retirement in 1993, Leary turned company management over to his son Jack, CEO, and daughter Beth, CFO. He remained on Motorlease’s Board of Directors throughout his life, was an active member of AALA throughout his career, and served on its Board from 1981 through 1993. He passed away in October 2011.
Sohl founded Auto Driveaway in Philadelphia in 1952, primarily delivering cars from the East Coast to Florida, eventually adding franchised offices in Boston, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Miami. In 1960, Sohl purchased Chicago-based AAA Driveaway, which delivered used cars from the auto auctions in the Chicago area. In the early 1970s, Auto Driveaway became a regulated Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) carrier. During the 1970s and 1980s, the company expanded to more than 75 offices throughout the United States (including Hawaii) and Canada. During this period, the company had changed from private “sowbird” deliveries to corporate deliveries of vehicles for Fortune 500 companies, which had large fleet departments to control their sales forces and service vehicles. The company was also the primary motor home delivery service for Winnebago Industries in Iowa, delivering more than 5,000 recreational vehicles per year. The business became a franchisor in 1999 after the deregulation of the motor carrier industry. During its peak years, the business shipped 40,000-plus vehicles and grossed more than $18 million. From 2000 on, Auto Driveaway’s primary customers were large leasing companies, such as ARI, Wheels, GE Capital Fleet Services, PHH Arval, and Motorlease. Sohl was actively involved in the fleet industry, supporting the NAFA Fleet Management Association and AFLA. Sohl retired from the business in 2002 during the company’s 50th anniversary year. Auto Driveaway was sold to its franchisees in 2004. Sohl passed away in 2010.
AFLA Supports Fleet Hall of Fame
The Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) is the exclusive sponsor of AF’s Fleet Hall of Fame award. Since the award’s founding in 2008, honorees have been recognized during AFLA’s annual conference.
Hall of Fame members are recognized industry leaders and pioneers who have contributed significantly to the commercial fleet management experience.
Eligible nominees must have at least 10 years of fleet management experience, and are nominated by members of the industry.
“As the exclusive sponsor of the prestigious Fleet Hall of Fame awards, AFLA carries on the tradition of recognizing those pioneers and innovators whose achievements represent the finest in service excellence,” said Tom Callahan, AFLA president. “The ground breaking contributions of thesrode individuals have made an indelible mark on the fleet industry and we are proud to have the opportunity to honor them at our annual conference. The award winners truly represent the AFLA spirit and reflect our strong desire to provide our members and conference attendees with the most advanced fleet education possible and meet the highest standards in professional development.”
The Fleet Hall of Fame was founded in 2008 with 20 founding members. That same year, an additional 10 honorees were selected by the industry through online voting. Additional inductees are installed in the Fleet Hall of Fame with one less honoree each year, until three are installed in 2015. Thereafter, three honorees will be inducted annually.
Founded in 1969, AFLA’s mission for its more than 300 member companies, representing all industry segments, is to promote growth, expansion, and professionalism within the fleet industry by providing a strategic focus to fleet management through education, research, technical standards, representation, and advancement of member interests.
Click here to view the Fleet Hall of Fame past inductees.