The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Top Fleet Personalities Share All

May 2002, by Staff

Top fleet in industry players share what they do in their off hours, who they admire in the industry, and what advice they wish someone had given them before entering the fleet business.

Jim Anselmi, Director, Fleet Operations & Travel, Lorillard Tobacco Co.

What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?

I love to snow ski, cycle, golf, exercise, and play with my 110-lb. golden retriever "Harry." My new passion is to ride my Harley with the wind in my "hair" and my wife.

What is your favorite book and/or movie?

My all-time favorite movie is the The Sting. I read books by Robert Ludlum, John Grisham, Ken Follet, and James Patterson. These authors and their books are all pretty much the same.

What do you consider to be your top personal achievement?

The top personal achievement is my family, including two grandchildren, two daughters, and my wife Diane who has tolerated me for 34 years.

Who do you consider to be the best fleet manager, other than yourself?

There are too many to list. I've been fortunate to meet and know many top fleet professionals, who also include suppliers and affiliates. I would like to think that I have learned a lot from them and continue to learn.

What advice do you wish someone would have given you before entering fleet?

I've always been involved in some function of the car or fleet business, first as a mechanic, then automotive engineer, and finally fleet manager. I thought each of these was challenging and rewarding. No one ever advised me of the diversification of the fleet industry.

 

Ray Fisher, VP, Fleet & Remarketing, DaimlerChrysler Fleet Operations

What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?

I love to practice golf. I practice more than I play, although you wouldn't know it. I also enjoy family time at our lake house in northern Michigan.

What is your favorite book and/or movie?

The last book I read is usually my favorite. I've been reading David Baldacci's books. I also enjoy World War II books and just finished Flags of Our Fathers.

What do you consider to be your top personal achievement?

Raising there teen-age boys whom I am very proud of, although my wife would give me a tough time for taking credit for it.

What has been your most interesting experience in life?

A few years ago, my wife and I had a private audience with the Pope. It was a remarkable experience to have a conversation with him.

What advice do you wish someone would have given you before entering fleet?

The fleet business is very competitive and demanding, so you better come prepared. It's also a fascinating business with tremendous people and the opportunity to build great relationships.

 

Kim Brown, Fleet Manager, Heidelberg USA Inc.

What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?

In the summer, vacationing at the beach and snorkeling. In the winter, skiing and ice skating (without breaking any bones!). I enjoy working in the yard and renovating the house. I love spending time with my family and friends.

What is your favorite book and/or movie?

My favorite recent movie is Lord of the Rings.

What do you consider to be your top personal achievement?

Personally, raising three great children, Daniel, Michael, and Nicole, and my recent marriage to a wonderful man, Curtis. Professionally, enjoying the challenges of being Heidelberg's fleet manager for the past seven years.

Who do you consider to be the best fleet manager, other than yourself?

There are many good fleet managers, but it's impossible to choose one because of the variety of fleets in the industry. You have to consider the private and public sector and the type and size of the fleet managed.

What advice do you wish someone would have given you before entering fleet?

Always remember there are two sides to every story. Expect the unexpected.

 

Gino Francescangeli, Director, National Accounts, Pep Boys

What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?

Coaching my kids' basketball and soccer teams is a great thrill. My passion is spending as much time as possible at the beach with my family. I especially enjoy fly fishing with the girls.

What is your favorite book and/or movie?

My favorite book is Customers for Life, by Carl Sewell. I use it routinely to remind me to accept the challenges our customers present to us and deliver on them so they become lifetime customers.

What do you consider to be your top personal achievement?

Getting Colleen to marry me 21 years ago. Through this loving partnership we are experiencing the joys and challenges of raising our four children. It was my greatest sale.

 

What has been your most interesting experience in life?

Getting involved in coaching my children. It allows me to spend time with them in an environment where I am something other than their "dad."

What advice do you wish someone would have given you before entering fleet?

Twenty years ago, I became a national account manger in the fleet arena. I had no idea that once you "get in" and combine your love of people, service, and cars that you can't "get out." There have been days when I wanted out, but the spirit of the relationships you have with the very special people in this industry, customers and competitors alike, won't allow you to leave.

 

David Carr, Manager, Motor Pool Operations, University of Washington

What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?

Mostly my family! I have a wife and three kids. The kids are 4 months, 3 and 5 years old. I love to get down of the floor and play with them. We make up stories, act out plays and dances, and just have a great time. I play basketball twice a week and just love the competition. I golf when I can but don't get to play enough.

What is your favorite book and/or movie?

Mouse Soup and Independence Day

What do you consider to be your top personal achievement?

Having a family and getting my education.

Who do you consider to be the best fleet manager, other than yourself?

It's a tie between Bill DeRousse, city of Everett, and William Roberts, University of Minnesota.

What advice do you wish someone would have given you before entering fleet?

Apply at Microsoft (just kidding). Make a point to establish good relationships with senior management and remind them from time to time just how important the fleet is to the operation. Don't let them take you for granted.

 

Brenda Davis, Fleet Manager, Baker Hughes

What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?

Spending time with my great nieces and nephews, Erin, Jackie, and Zack. Also, when I'm not at Chuck E. Cheese's, my husband and I enjoy kicking up our heels to country-and-western music.

What is your favorite book and/or movie?

The Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye.

What do you consider to be your top personal achievement?

First and foremost, being married 21 years to my wonderful husband and the close relationship I have with my family. Second, my invitation as an advisory board member for Ford North American Fleet, Lease & Remarketing Operations.

Who do you consider to be the best fleet manager, other than yourself?

If I have to name one person, I would say Patsy Brownson, CAFM. We actually started out in fleet at the same company. Patsy has shown her dedication by serving on many committees, and as president of the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA). I admire her greatly for her accomplishments.

What advice do you wish someone would have given you before entering fleet?

I wish I had been told sooner how much I would love working in fleet! Look at all the time I wasted. No two days are alike, and I have had the opportunity to meet and form new friendships that will be with me after my career ends.

 

David Maxsimic, Senior Vice President of Sales and Lines of Business, Wright Express

What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?

My children and family, I have two girls, Mae, who is 12 and Stephanie, who is 8. Both are very active and enjoy softball, snowboarding, and skiing. I have a great time coaching their softball teams, and the girls keep me very busy.

What is your favorite book and/or movie?

I just finished reading Jack: Straight from the Gut, a biography of Jack Welch at GE. Also, I am an avid John Grisham fan and have just finished reading The Summons.

What do you consider to be your top personal achievement?

One of my most enjoyable personal achievements was to give a presentation to Jack Welch when he was the chairman of GE. The presentation was well-received by Jack and his team.

What has been your most interesting experience in life?

My most interesting experience was being a market maker at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. Trading in "the pit' each day was an extremely competitive, challenging, and fast-paced experience.

What advice do you wish someone would have given you before entering fleet?

I've been involved into the fleet business for more than 15 years. I've truly enjoyed the people that I've had the opportunity to work with and have found the business extremely rewording. Developing partnerships and friendship with customers and finding unique solutions to their needs is an exciting, ongoing challenge. I just wish somebody would have told me about fleet earlier in my career.

 

Charlie Gibbens, Fleet Manager, County of Henrico, VA

What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?

My favorite hobbies at the moment are playing my Martin HD-28 acoustic guitar and fresh water fly fishing for small-mouth bass on the James River in Richmond, VA.

What is your favorite book and/or movie?

My favorite book is A Bridge Too Far by Cornelius Ryan, and my favorite movie is Top Gun with Tom Cruise.

What do you consider to be your top personal achievement?

My top personal achievement would be the renovation of our 1936 "fix it up home" that my wife and I purchased 10 years ago and that we still occupy. I love to work with my hands and we always wanted a two-story brick house on a couple of acres. I've touched every part of that house to include painting, wiring, plumbing, and grounds work. I stand back and marvel that I really did it all, but I don't think I would do it again!

What advice do you wish someone would have given you before entering fleet?

Network with other fleet managers to find out how they dealt with or solved many of the same problems you will experience - don't reinvent the wheel! The sharing of information with my colleagues ahs been one of my most pleasant and rewarding experiences as a fleet manager.

 

Jerry Frick, Commercial Fleet Sales Manager, Ford North American Fleet, Lease and Remarketing Operations

What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?

Sports (golf, tennis, running), travel, reading, and theater. I am most passionate about spending time with my wife of 32 years and three children.

What is your favorite book and/or movie?

Favorite book: Shogun. Favorite movie: The Shawshank Redemption.

What do you consider to be your top personal achievement?

Balancing a career with Ford Motor Co. while helping to raise three terrific children. As a family, we moved 12 times in the first 26 years to both domestic as well as international assignments.

What has been your most interesting experience in life?

To live in England and work as director of truck sales and marketing for Ford of Europe. It was very special to travel for the company and personally throughout Western and Eastern Europe in the early '90s.

What advice do you wish someone would have given you before entering fleet?

I wish I had the advice or opportunity to enter the fleet industry earlier. It is an exciting and dynamic business and one where friendships as well as professional relationships are highly valued by all who are in it.

 

Joe Clark, Fleet Manager, Qualex Inc.

What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?

Golf, watching ACC college basketball/football games. Relaxing at the family beach home at the Carolina.

What is your favorite book or movie?

A Few Good Men and most recently John Q.

What do you consider to be your top personal achievement?

Starting the Carolina NAFA Chapter in 1979. Raising a loving family with my wife of 28 years. Hiking in the Arizona mountains with my wife and son (I don't like hiking).

Who do you consider to be the best fleet manager, other than yourself?

Carl Gloutnay, Imperial Tobacco; Sam Visintine, Mallinckrodt; Bob Ward, Gelco; Elvie Pizzo, Hiram Walker; and Bob Mayfield, Gelco.

What advices do you wish someone would have given you before entering fleet?

'Buckle up" and enjoy the best ride of your life.

 

Dennis LaLiberty, VP, International Marketing, Wheels Inc.

What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?

I enjoy traveling. My hobby is golf. I am also interested in all aspects of the car business, especially classic cars.

What is your favorite book and/or movie?

My favorite book is F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. My favorite movie is Casablanca.

What do you consider to be your top personal achievement?

Personally, raising my four children, now grown and out on their own. Professionally, growing with Wheels and our industry from the early days in the late 1950s to today's high-tech world.

What has been your most interesting experience in life?

Observing the changes in our society and our workplace over the last 60-plus years. We are, after all, the sum of our experiences.

What advice do you wish someone would have given you before entering fleet?

Over the years, it has become more important to understand many other elements of our business, e.g., finance, accounting, economics, information technology, human resources, etc. But no matter how proficient one becomes in these areas, I don't think they can ever be completely happy and successful in our business without a deep interest in cars.

 

Debbie Mize, Fleet/Relocations Manager, Hallmark Cards

What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?

I love to be outdoors, Flower gardening, fishing (especially being on the lake at sunrise and sunset), water skiing, golfing, and my 2-mile daily walk with my dog are some of my favorite outdoor things. I also enjoy and value spending time with family and friends and traveling.

What is your favorite book and/or movie?

Dirty dancing.

What do you consider to be your top personal achievement?

Completing my undergraduate degree and MBA while working full-time at Hallmark. Also being named Automotive Fleet's "Fleet Manager of the Year."

Who do you consider to be the best fleet manager, other than yourself?

There are truly so many great, talented people in this industry, it is impossible to name one. The most unique aspect to fleet is that everyone is so willing to help and to share his or her knowledge and experience.

What advice do you wish someone would have given you before entering fleet?

That is an ever-changing industry. I feel very fortunate to have had the national experiences and exposure which have greatly increased my knowledge and also resulted in many wonderful friendships. There are many opportunities both at the local and national levels. My advice to someone starting in fleet would be to join industry organizations and take advantage of any volunteer or learning opportunities - the knowledge and satisfactions you receive back is unbelievable.

 

Bob Martines, President, Corporate Claims Management

What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?

I am a fanatic for sports: baseball, softball, soccer, and racquetball. I still play and coach softball. I enjoyed coaching my daughters in soccer and softball. It was especially rewarding when we were able to get all of the girls to work as a team, and winning the championship with them just proved what great things can happen when you work together rather than as individuals.

What is your favorite book and/or movie?

It's a Wonderful Life for me epitomizes the underdog, nice guy who somehow makes it all work. I have an old-fashioned work ethic that you need to push yourself every day to prove you belong. I believe in commitment and loyalty, which in the long run usually don't let you down, very similar to the end of the movie.

What do you consider to be your top personal achievement?

I truly believe that I have quite a bit to be thankful for, such as my business, my long-term relationships with people I have worked with - and still do - for more than 26 years. More important than anything else, though, is the incredible support of my wife Emily and three daughters, Tara, Lisa, and Terese.

What has been the most rewarding experience in your life?

Seeing my daughters come into this world and what they have become is wonderful. Also, having Pat Summerall Productions singling me out of thousands of business owners across the country for my accomplishments makes me very proud.

What advice do you wish someone would have given you before entering fleet?

Unless you are willing to commit 100 percent of yourself to learning your job, taking full responsibility for your actions (such as not being ashamed to sign your name to everything you do regardless of the outcome), then don't get involved. This job is not easy, so if you're not determined to apply yourself, you will be demoralized by failure.

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