A Distant Observation
You might find a view from an observer unveils some of the myths and “inside” water-cooler appraisals of some of the hot fleet topics.
Hi, my name is Barbara.
Ed (the Coach) is my father, whom I have always referred to as "Pop" when I used to occasionally write this column many years ago.
Apparently, Pop has been over-scheduled this past month (and probably over-served, as well) with almost back-to-back meetings and conferences. Gloria, his assistant, sent me some of his notes so you may get a potpourri of his personal thoughts.
- A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.-Gloria Steinem
- Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.-Charlotte Whitton
- Women are like elephants to me. I like to look at them, but I wouldn't want to own one.-W.C. Fields
I'm happily living in Paradise Valley, Ariz., but Pop has had one heck of a month traveling. He actually felt badly about missing both AALA (fleet management companies) and NTEA (the Work Truck show), but that same week our company (Bobit Business Media) produced three of our own conferences.
Pop, our staff, and our Events department were dashing between the Hilton and Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for the Car Rental Show, the Conference of Automotive Remarketing (CAR), and the Agent Summit. The Agent Summit is new, and since Pop still works a bit on our dealer magazine, he had to make an appearance. Fortunately, all were successful so all those martini bars on the show floor got to know Pop well.
His itinerary followed with the Fleet Product Preview by Chrysler down in Austin, Texas, where you were almost required to show up in boots and jeans to be admitted to the bar. He said it was a particularly informative show on product and a very positive message from the automaker; first-class all the way.
The Chrysler folks honored his close friend, Joe Gholston, Chrysler's "Mr. Fleet," for 40 years of service and a standing ovation from the 300 in attendance. Pop probably had a hard time not reminding Joe that our company (and Automotive Fleet) is celebrating 50 years in business. Yes, Pop admits that he's "older than dirt," but he somehow keeps going.
My brother, Ty, has been running the company for years now and Sherb Brown totally runs the Auto Group, so even though Pop may get in at 7:30 every morning, he does leave at noon. They have to wonder when he'll stop bothering them.
Still in late March, as I'm writing this, Pop managed to take a long weekend to go wild turkey hunting in northern California with two office buddies and Russ Cass from Piemonte Group. The report is that each of them bagged a good Tom (and probably vodka hangovers).
The month ended with some sales calls in Detroit with Bob Brown (yes, it's a family affair), and Pop making the Ford Fleet Advisory Board meeting in Dearborn where they are kicking butt in fleet sales. Then he only gets a week back at the office before he heads for the NAFA I&E in Charlotte where we honor our Fleet Manager of the Year award winners. His liver's got to be completely wrecked like it nearly was when he had his second divorce 15 years ago.
There's one thing Pop has wanted to do for some time: identify the two fleet managers (one among commercial fleets and one from the public sector) who have the longest continuous service in managing fleet. (He probably wants to buy them a drink.)
If you know a long-time veteran fleet manager, please take a moment and e-mail Pop at firstname.lastname@example.org with your candidate and we'll research it and honor those individuals.
It's been fun being on the PC and sharing Pop's travels and thoughts. I just hope he slows down a bit (oh, he continues to enjoy life to its fullest) and releases the pressure on all of us.