The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

18 Nominees Vie for 2014 Professional Fleet Manager of the Year Award

This year's group of highly qualified nominees manages a total of more than 72,760 vehicles and has a combined 273 years of industry experience.

July 2014, by Lauren Fletcher - Also by this author

This year's group of highly qualified nominees manages a total of more than 72,760 vehicles and has a combined 273 years of industry experience.

Brad Bohnen, Head of Fleet Management for North America, Ericsson Inc.

  • Total vehicles: 1,721
  • Staff supervised: 2
  • Years with current fleet: 5
  • Years in industry: 21
  • Replacement policy: 85,000-100,000 miles/40-50 months (can vary).

Primary responsibilities: Providing cost-effective fleet vehicle solutions in support of all North America (U.S. & Canada) operations, as well as fleet sourcing activities, procurement, establishment and governance of fleet policies, operational oversight, DOT compliance, safety programs, driver training, and driver eligibility management.

Notable achievements: Delivered consistently lower costs for comparable quarter for the past three years. Year-over-year, fleet spend fell 10 percent from Q1 2013 to Q1 2014 largely due to a 19-percent decline in fuel spend, 6-percent decline in maintenance spend, and 52-percent decline in accident spend. These declines are the result of fewer miles driven, a lower per-gallon cost of fuel, idle reduction, and implementing safe-driving techniques such as backup cameras and telematics. Reduced total fleet carbon emissions by 33,912 pounds per month since Q4 2010 through effective controls on vehicle selection, maintenance adherence, driver training, fuel performance monitoring, and telematics performance management. Reduced preventable and non-preventable accident rates in 2013 by 0.14 pmm per month due to vehicle safety enhancements and new driver safety inspection processes.

Bonnie Brown, Manager of Administrative Services, Roche Diagnostics

  • Total vehicles: 1,441
  • Staff supervised: 2
  • Years with current fleet: 30
  • Years in industry: 35
  • Replacement policy: Unleaded 80,000 miles/5 years; Diesel 90,000 miles/6 years.

Primary responsibilities: Managing the day-to-day operation of the Roche fleet department. This includes the creation of selector lists of the safest, most fuel-efficient vehicles, studying market trends to ensure Roche has the most efficient fleet; and working with the company's fleet management company in search of cutting-edge technology.

Notable achievements: Transformed the Roche fleet department from a low mpg fleet, consisting of SUVs and minivans, to a high mpg fleet, increasing overall fleet mpg from 26.6 mpg to 34.9 mpg, which is a 30-percent increase in fuel economy. Worked to lower the net depreciation rate of vehicles to less than 1.5 percent by shortcycling the existing fleet to more fuel-efficient models. Ordered 1,010 vehicles in 2013, which was a little more than 60 percent of the existing fleet. Since 2003, fleet size has increased by 75 vehicles and the capitalized cost of new vehicles also increased by 19 percent; however, even with the increase in capitalized cost, fleet is currently being run for slightly less than 39 cents per mile. Finalist for the 2014 NAFA Fleet Excellence Awards in the category of corporate fleet sustainability.

Randy Burwell, Lead Buyer and Fleet Specialist, Valero Energy

  • Total vehicles: 1,489
  • Staff supervised: 1
  • Years with current fleet: 16
  • Years in industry: 16
  • Replacement policy: Sedans 85,000 miles; trucks 115,000 miles.

Primary responsibilities: Fleet operations for Valero Energy Corporation, including U.S., Canada, Aruba, and Wales. He negotiates and implements all fleet programs concerning company provided vehicles, including maintenance, manufacturer pricing, cost containment, and safety. 

Notable achievements: Past and present strategies include buying vehicles when most other fleets were leasing, captivating the advantage of accelerated depreciation, purchasing used trucks for refinery use, implementing a vehicle cascade program, purchasing 75 percent of new vehicles in the fall, extending vehicle life as quality increases, converting to four-cylinder sedans from six-cylinders, saving 6.5 cpm, and exchanging ideas with other fleet managers and capitalizing on the best ones. A change from minivans to sedans saved several cents per mile. Adopted car rental utilization concepts acquired on a previous job to gain the maximum return on each vehicle and changed amortization schedules for leased units to reflect the estimated fleet life of each vehicle.

Mike Butsch, Director of Global Fleet Operations, Joy Global

  • Total vehicles: 1,700 global
  • Staff supervised: 3
  • Years with current fleet: 14
  • Years in industry: 14
  • Replacement policy: Varies

Primary responsibilities: Oversight and management of all global fleet operations, strategic fleet alliances with OEMs, and DOT compliance for each of the five Joy Global business units, plus Canada.

Notable achievements: Developed a centralized fleet/DOT policy to standardize all company vehicle activities, documented cost avoidance and savings of more than $41 million since 2000, and rightsized the fleet to boost fuel and operating cost savings and resale values with a projected lifecycle savings of $5.3 million on rightsized units. Lowered accident rates from 20 percent in 2007 to 5 percent in 2014, implemented telematics/GPS technology across the fleet (resulting in more than $2.73 million in savings), and reduced fuel consumption by 560,000 gallons (2012-2014) for net savings of $867,000 and a 2-percent reduction in total fleet emissions. Maximized supplier relationships, resulting in longer-term agreements and increased incentives. In addition, he has authored nine top-viewed articles published in Work Truck magazine on DOT compliance.

Matt Chinn, Fleet Administrator, QEP Resources

  • Total vehicles: 615
  • Staff supervised: 0
  • Years with current fleet: 3
  • Years in industry: 3
  • Replacement policy: 3-4 years; 120,000 miles

Primary responsibilities: Developing upfitting and vehicle specifications for new-vehicle purchases, manages the procurement of all company vehicles, disposes of retired vehicles, manages the maintenance and fuel programs, and generates and distributes KPI reports to field management.

Notable achievements: implemented a vehicle maintenance policy and program for all vehicles and equipment and developed and implemented a natural gas vehicle (NGV) replacement program for the fleet.  

Kim Cregar, Fleet Associate, Eli Lilly and Company

  • Total vehicles: 3,851
  • Staff supervised: 0
  • Years with current fleet: 15
  • Years in industry: 15
  • Replacement policy: 24 months/50,000 miles.

Primary responsibilities: Managing relationships between Eli Lilly, its fleet management company, OEMs, and its safety vendor. Enforces and updates fleet policies as needed, and ensures that drivers are able to focus on their job, not the vehicle. Additionally, must be continually being mindful of the fleet's budget, green footprint, and safety initiatives.

Notable achievements: Awarded the Lean Six Sigma project of the year for 2013, which entailed cost savings projects in several areas of fleet. Oversaw a fleet reduction of 1,600 vehicles in 2013 and the rollout of a new program offering drivers a choice of upgrade vehicles to help meet (personal) vehicle needs at additional PUTB charges while keeping the company cost neutral. Met green fleet initiatives with a switch from six- to four-cylinder base vehicles, for a savings of $1.5 million.

Brenda Davis
, Fleet Commodity Manager, Baker Hughes, Inc.

  • Total vehicles: 18,000
  • Staff supervised: 3
  • Years with current fleet: 17
  • Years in industry: 25
  • Replacement policy: 5 years/125,000 miles gasoline; 5 years/200,000 miles diesel

Primary responsibilities: Supplier sourcing and negotiations, RFI and RFP development, contract development and program implementation, cost impact analysis, as well as measuring, monitoring, and reporting supplier performance. Responsible for a center of expertise that supports all aspects of vehicle management from acquisition to disposal with a staff of three fleet professionals. 

Notable achievements: In 2013-2014, achieved reductions in excess of $12 million by the continual review of TCO, contracts, best practices, and program enhancements. Strategic resale planning and performance have effectively resulted in lowered operating expenses on average of 3 cpm. A 2014 rightsizing project is underway, resulting in $2 million in savings to date. Due to an acquisition, the fleet size doubled and included heavy equipment, adding complex management requirements; however, using technology and innovation, fleet absorbed the workload without adding headcount, which was previously supported by four individuals. Customized technology enhancements allowed fleet to streamline the ordering process, thereby eliminating all paper processing, filing, and any manual intervention while ensuring a consistent audit trail and increasing productivity by 30 percent and improving fleet's end-user experience.

John Dmochowsky, Senior Sales Fleet Manager, Mondelez International

  • Total vehicles: 3,300
  • Staff supervised: 2
  • Years with current fleet: 13
  • Years in industry: 13
  • Replacement policy: Varies

Primary responsibilities: Leading policy administration, strategic partner relationships, budgeting, vehicle acquisition and disposal, driver safety programs, auditing, GHG initiatives, fuel management, and all cost-saving/avoidance projects. Providing fleet drivers the best, most cost-efficient vehicles and fleet services that allow them to do their job in the most productive and safe manner.

Notable achievements: In 2013, on a cost-per-unit basis vs. a benchmark of similar fleets, delivered a 21-percent improvement and achieved best-in-class results in all major categories (cpm, fuel, maintenance, deprecation, and accidents). Through continuous improvements, delivered 17 percent in cost savings since 2011 and a 45-percent cost per mile decrease since 2008. In 2013-2014, focused on safety, which resulted in a synergistic cross-functional leaders meeting to drive rigor around training, accident reduction, and cost savings. The Safety Summit went beyond fleet safety, bringing awareness and an improved safety culture that contributed to accidents rates that were 29-percent below the benchmark of similar fleets.

Dean Dunton, PMP, Global Procurement and Global Fleet Manager, NCR Corporation

  • Total vehicles: 5,100 global
  • Staff supervised: 2 NCR employees; 6 dedicated
  • Years with current fleet: 4
  • Years in industry: 9
  • Replacement policy: 60 months/150,000 miles

Primary responsibilities: Develop and execute strategic programs for fleet and fleet management commodities deployed in support of NCR's global infrastructure. Deliver "best-in-class" tool vehicles, support services, and vehicle experience to NCR's customer engineers with a focus on enabling them to provide an exceptional customer experience.

Notable achievements: Implemented telematics in the U.S. in 2013-2014 and improved fuel consumption by reducing idle time by 11 percent, and speeding events by 8 percent. Improved NCR's fleet cashflow by $2 million through the restructuring of vehicle amortization and lifecycle policies to better align actual usage to end-of-life expectations. Extensive analysis around parts management and service delivery strategy resulted in deployment of 600 Ram ProMasters in the U.S. with upfits to maximize engineer efficiencies at jobsites by allowing them to access parts more easily.  The size of the vehicle also allowed fleet to reduce travel time back and forth retrieving parts from our stocking locations, subsequently reducing our fuel consumption. Currently exploring global OEM strategies to provide the best low cost vehicle over multiple regions.

Erin Gilchrist, Fleet Manager, Safelite AutoGlass

  • Total vehicles: 6,400
  • Staff supervised: 3
  • Years with current fleet: 8
  • Years in industry: 8
  • Replacement policy: Varies

Primary responsibilities: Managing fleet program for 6,400 vehicles nationwide with a budget responsibility of more than $65 million annually. Areas of responsibility include vehicle selection and acquisition and oversight of all fleet programs to include leasing, fuel, alternative fueling and GHG emissions reduction, driver safety programs, maintenance, auto licensing and tax, DOT compliance, and national tolls.

Notable achievements: By March 2013, fully deployed telematics for 5,800 vehicles and established individual driver scorecards by the end of April, which provide a performance rating for each driver for speeding, seat-belt usage, and harsh driving. In the first month, approximately 33 percent of drivers scored as high risk, which was reduced to only 3 percent by the end of 2013. Reduced fuel consumption by 800,000 gallons in 2013 and saved approximately $3 million. The 800,000 gallons of fuel saved in 2013, as a result of driver behavior modification and idling improvements, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 7,100 metric tons. Also lowered idling (expressed as a percentage of total engine hours) from 31 percent in March to 24 percent by the end of 2013. From November 2012 through December 2013, Safelite completed seven acquisitions. Gilchrist successfully led the efforts to integrate each company's fleet operations into the existing fleet. Saved close to 5 percent of annual operating cost of a vehicle in the repair business by moving to a more fuel-efficient model for repair associates, which has saved $500,000 annually. Took the lead for Safelite in recycling power inverters and glass racks reducing waist and consumption which saved a collective $300,000 in 2013. 

Tim Harteau, Director of Fleet Operations, Integrys Energy Group

  • Total vehicles: 2,400
  • Staff supervised: 67
  • Years with current fleet: 5
  • Years in industry: 5
  • Replacement policy: 10-percent of assets annually (150,000 miles or 10 years).

Primary responsibilities: The performance, results, and overall direction for the Integrys network of fleet assets. His operational responsibilities include vehicle procurement, investment recovery, maintenance, operating and capital budgets, vehicle chargeback rates, vehicle utilization and optimization, and vehicle regulatory compliance for six Midwest utilities. 

Notable achievements: Managed the efforts of the fleet team to establish processes and structure to support the fleet needs of six utilities with different operating models. Managed the implementation of fleet system upgrades and functional process changes that created the foundation to support the demands of a decentralized fleet. The changes integrate and support three utilities that outsource their fleet maintenance in parallel with three utilities that perform in-house maintenance. Data is currently being collected that will allow Integrys Fleet Services to better manage its 4,000 fleet assets and perform internal fleet benchmarking. Championed the fleet acquisition efforts that established long-term agreements for purchasing light-duty vehicles and complex truck builds, which provided vehicle standardization support from partners and reduced our risk of delayed deliveries and price increases for custom truck builds.

Kim Jamme, Manager of Fleet Operations, Teva Pharmaceuticals

  • Total vehicles: 1,600
  • Staff supervised: 1
  • Years with current fleet: 2
  • Years in industry: 18
  • Replacement policy: 3 years/70,000 miles

Primary responsibilities: The oversight and management of the Teva U.S. fleet program. Since moving to Teva in early 2012, has been instrumental in delivering operational improvements by identifying, proposing, and implementing strategic initiatives for the fleet.

Notable achievements: Saved Teva $8.2 million in just one year through various methods including taking advantage of a positive used-vehicle market to turn over 80 percent of the fleet, and introducing new vehicle choices on the selectors. Additionally, surveyed drivers to further the reach in obtaining critical feedback of the fleet program. Responses from the survey were heard, and changes were made. Achieved operational excellence by redefining the purpose and mission of Teva fleet, combining contrasting fleet operations for Teva's legacy companies to come under one umbrella of streamlined fleet management activities. Used leadership skills to develop a scorecard approach for sales operations and other Teva business units, leveraging the use of strategic imperatives, goals, objectives, and accomplishments to raise relevant performance indicators for advancing Teva's interests.   

Jonathan Kamanns, Manager of Fleet & SRM, Ingersoll Rand

  • Total vehicles: 5,210
  • Staff supervised: 5
  • Years with current fleet: 3
  • Years in industry: 14
  • Replacement policy: Sales 3 years/75,000 miles; Service 5 years/125,000 miles.

Primary responsibilities: Fleet lifecycle management, vehicle acquisition, upfitting, branding, collision repair, fuel, maintenance, logistics, and disposition of more than 5,000 vehicle drivers. Directly manages three fleet and safety specialists, one compliance analyst, and one data analyst as well as 14 supplier relationships.

Notable achievements: Centralized fleet operations creating the North American companywide fleet and safety program and creating the compliance structure and processes for driver-risk management and driver-tax compliance. Standardized vehicle ordering, upfitting, and branding leading to shorter ordering and order-to-delivery times to include immediate-need vehicles. Significantly improved vehicle options and levels in the service organization to increase employee engagement and recruitment efforts, safety in the vehicle, and improve fuel efficiency and maintenance while also maximizing ROI at resale. Improved the average fuel-economy of the fleet by 2 mpg by investing in more fuel-efficient engine options and transmission technology and decreasing underutilized vehicles by nearly 200 units. The efforts have resulted in back-to-back productivity savings of $4 million-plus.

Brandon Morris, Director of Fleet Services, DIRECTV

  • Total vehicles: 6,150
  • Staff supervised: 6
  • Years with current fleet: 9
  • Years in industry: 18
  • Replacement policy: 125,000 miles

 Primary responsibilities: The management of the overall fleet operations for DIRECTV's 125-plus sites. He develops safety policies and procedures, new-vehicle specifications, green fleet initiatives, oversee vendor management, optimizes fleet utilization, creates maintenance parameters, performs expense analysis, and handles vehicle disposals.

Notable achievements: After starting as a maintenance temp in 1996 working for Ryder TRS, worked for and managed several large fleets including AT&T Broadband, Charter Communications, and now DIRECTV. Over the past six years, the original fleet has doubled in size due to acquisitions by DIRECTV, bringing the opportunity to build a team to manage the overall fleet operations of DIRECTV. Created a fleet team totally integrated with the operations they support and works closely with them to promote safety, improve tech productivity, and reduce expenses. The fleet safety policies and procedures have resulted in considerable reductions in auto claims. Incorporated alternative-fuel vehicles and modified maintenance schedules, which reduced the carbon footprint of the fleet. Developed direct relationships with leasing, damage, fuel, and remarketing companies, which has significantly reduced DIRECTV's total cost of ownership.

Jeremy Sperling, Fleet Manager, Consolidated Communications

  • Total vehicles: 750
  • Staff supervised: 0
  • Years with current fleet: 11
  • Years in industry: 16
  • Replacement policy: Varies

Primary responsibilities:  Scheduling maintenance and repairs, evaluating the overall fleet condition, developing policy, DOT and state/CARB compliance, acquisition/retirement, and other fleet-related tasks for the Consolidated Communications fleet in California. Also responsible for all of the company's environmental reporting in California as well as company-wide GPS deployment and reporting.

Notable achievements: Successfully planned and implemented SureWest's transition from a locally managed in-house fleet repair and maintenance program to an outsourced solution. The cost savings associated with the transition created meaningful shareholder value and enhanced operational flexibility company wide. Championed an exhaustive comparative pricing and service offering overview of several industry leaders in fleet repair and maintenance, which afforded the combined company deeper volume discounts, a more robust service menu, and regionally consistent policies/procedures. A commitment to continually research and explore alternative-fueling options for practicality and cost effectiveness. Additionally, ASE Master certified technician with certifications in 28 different disciplines including Master Automobile technician, Master Medium/Heavy Truck Technician, Master Truck Equipment Technician, and Advanced Level Specialist. Also possess a California smog license as well as ICC certifications.  

Abe Stephenson, Fleet & Administration Manager, DISH

  • Total vehicles: 4,700
  • Staff supervised: 7
  • Years with current fleet: 7
  • Years in industry: 7
  • Replacement policy: 7 years

Primary responsibilities: Supply chain relationships, fleet procurement and vehicle selection, bailment pool management, deliveries and replacements. Also is responsible for fleet financial analysis and planning, reporting, and billing processes as well as day-to-day management of fleet processes and policies, repair & maintenance, vehicle damage, and support of field customers/drivers. Also develops and executes the fleet's alternative-fuels strategy and leads cross-functional fleet council including general managers across regions, corporate fleet team, IT/telematics, safety, inventory, and engineering.

Notable achievements: Achieved a 17-percent cpm reduction over the past five years (equal to $12 million of cost avoidance for FY-2013. These results were realized by minimizing lease and maintenance lifecycle costs through optimized retirement/replacement thresholds, managing fleet utilization, R&M negotiations and national account utilization, and fuel-usage reduction initiatives. Including $2 million in annualized reduction in fuel consumption through fleetwide engine calibrations and top speed limiters (the equivalent of removing 300 service vehicles worth of emissions from the roadways). Continued coast-to-coast deployment of propane autogas vans with onsite fueling. Achieved highest audit rating of "Effective" based on Internal Audits' review and testing of the fleets' corporate programs and policies. Participated as a panel member on an episode of PBS' nationally syndicated television show "Autoline TV" discussing propane-autogas vehicles. Additionally, named a 2013 Sustainability All-Star by Green Fleet magazine and featured as cover story in Fleet Financials magazine in 2014.

Charlie Szymanski, Manager of Global Insurance and Auto Fleet, PPG Industries, Inc.

  • Total vehicles: 3,537 (U.S. & Canada)
  • Staff supervised: 1
  • Years with current fleet: 14
  • Years in industry: 14
  • Replacement policy: 65,000-100,000 miles

Primary responsibilities: Meeting business fleet needs in the most cost-efficient and safe manner. Analyzes opportunities and formulates implementation programs for alternative strategies, provides technical and financial expertise, negotiates manufacturer and fleet management terms, and adds transparency and accountability to fleet expenditures. Additionally, manages PPG's Global Property & Casualty Insurance Programs and Corporate Insurance Captive.

Notable achievements: Completed due diligence reports and negotiated contracts for the divestiture of PPG Chemical operations in a tax-efficient transaction. The divestiture removed 200 units from fleet. PPG's NA Architectural Coatings acquisition added 1,400 units in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Fleet negotiated assumption agreements and created separate implementation plans for the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Negotiated fleet-wide contract savings due to the increased volume and established an accounting process to transfer costs between ledgers. Fleet migrated the acquisition from a decentralized process to a centrally controlled program enhancing control and reporting. Worked to schedule replacements to capture resale gains of $1.4 million and implemented actions resulting in $300,000 of savings by containing fuel fraud, minimizing spares, renting only when necessary, creating repair alternatives, and utilizing OEM pools for new hires.

Gage Wagoner, Senior Manager of NA Fleet Administration, Philips Electronics NA

  • Total vehicles: 4,800
  • Staff supervised: 2
  • Years with current fleet: 13
  • Years in industry: 23
  • Replacement policy: Closed-end 13 months, open-end TCO/market driven

Primary responsibilities: Management of Philips Electronics' fleet in North America and is a membership of the Philips' Global Fleet Competency Team that is charged with overseeing global fleet management and Fleet purchasing. In this role, he is responsible for the strategic administration of the U.S. and Canada as well as having a growing role with Philips' Latin America.

Notable achievements: In 2014, reduced lease cost AOP in CY 2014 by approximately $2.5 million through the aggressive shortcycling of 1,200-plus vehicles. Drafted and championed the company's Global Fleet Policy, including the addition of global driver safety standards. Also centralized Philips U.S. fleet management and invoice payment (formerly decentralized to 20-plus operational units).  

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