The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Off the Clock: The More Personal Side of Fleet

The fleet industry is filled with tons of interesting personalities. Get to know personal details about some familiar faces in the business.

April 2012, by Grace Suizo - Also by this author

Matt Arnold

  • Director Commercial Services Group
  • Ally Financial
  • Atlanta

Hobbies & passions outside of work: My primary passion revolves around my family. Hobbies include golf, tennis, and watching college and professional sporting events.

Favorite books: I read a lot of books focusing on American history and spy/thriller novels (currently reading Brad Thor’s Full Black).

Favorite TV show: You can never go wrong with Seinfeld!

Favorite musician: Classic rock from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s; however, living in Georgia, my daughters are trying to pull me into country. You just can’t beat the original Van Halen for energy and a good time.

Top personal achievement: My family, which started by convincing my wife, Mary Lee, to marry me.

Most interesting life experience: Playing golf with my father as a kid. Looking back on it now, he was teaching me a lot more than just playing golf.

What advice do you wish someone had given you before entering fleet? Get to know your customers and develop relationships beyond just the business side of things. Spending the additional time to listen and truly understand the specific needs of your customers from a personal level will pay dividends many times over.

Tom Callahan

  • President & COO
  • Donlen
  • Northbrook, Ill.

Hobbies & passions outside of work: Trying to stay in shape; world history and politics; the great outdoors — specifically enjoying our summer cabin activities in the Wisconsin northwoods; rock/alternative music; and travel.

Favorite books: Several regarding our financial crisis, including Boomerang by Michael Lewis; currently reading On China by Henry Kissinger and Dylan Ratigan’s Greedy Bastards.

Favorite movies: Current favorites include The Artist and The Help; all-time favorite is Casablanca.

Favorite musicians: Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello

Top personal achievement: Marrying my wife, Maribeth.

Most interesting life experience: Getting a chance to be an “expatriate” businessperson in Japan, Australia/New Zealand, and the UK.

What advice do you wish someone had given you before entering fleet? It’s not a “simple” business!

Dan Hannan

  • Director Strategic Consulting
  • Merchants Leasing
  • Hooksett, N.H.

Hobbies & passions outside of work: I love technology because it never stops getting better. When I’m not working or playing with technology: travel, dogs, and grilling.

Favorite book: The Complete Meat Cookbook — watching friends and family smile as they devour something that had hooves is priceless.

Favorite TV show: Rome (Titus Pullo should be President!).

Favorite musicians: Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam.

Top personal achievement: Personally: Awesome family and friends that support me. Professionally: Creating Web-based lifecycle management tools that have saved fleets millions of dollars while reducing tons of emissions.

Most interesting life experience: Ten days in Italy: the culture, the history, the sites, the food, the wine — all made better with great friends.

What advice do you wish someone had given you before entering fleet? “It’s not who you work for, it’s who you work with.” I have worked at some interesting places and helped many organizations and colleagues meet challenges in this industry; having professional, experienced, and caring friends is the most important thing.

Eric Guenther

  • General Marketing Manager, North American Fleet, Lease and Remarketing Operations
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Dearborn, Mich.

Hobbies & passions outside of work: I love to run, and put in a lot of miles at a couple beautiful parks close to my home. I also really enjoy skiing (mostly alpine, but a little bit of cross-country), biking, hiking in the mountains, reading, and watching movies.

Favorite books: Anything related to history and historical fiction. You can learn a lot about leadership, strategy, and human nature by studying the past. I just read Empire of the Summer Moon, a factual account of the Comanche nation in the mid-19th century. My favorite novel is probably a Civil War book titled Andersonville, partly because it was written by an Iowan, like me.

Favorite movies: Saving Private Ryan or maybe Gladiator.

Favorite TV shows: The Office, but I’ll watch Seinfeld reruns anytime.  

Favorite musician: Counting Crows (great way to get the kids out of bed on Saturday mornings). I also really enjoy jazz from the 1940s.

Top personal achievement: Marrying a wonderful lady and raising two great kids rank at the top of the list. I’m also proud of a fantastic 26-plus year career at Ford, including assignments in nine different cities. Finally, running 16 marathons and countless other road races has been a lot of work and a lot of fun.

Most interesting life experience: Two weeks in southern Africa would rank high on the list. Flying into isolated safari camps in the Okavanga Delta on a four-seat plane to experience wildlife up close and personal was pretty amazing. Second on the list would be a 50K extreme adventure race called “Dances with Dirt” that I ran last fall.
What advice do you wish someone had given you before entering fleet? “Fleet” is a very broad concept and there’s a lot to learn. Look to people who have experience in the industry for insight and guidance. Ask a lot of questions, listen more than you talk, and learn to appreciate unique and diverse opinions.

Robert Donat

  • Founder & CEO
  • GPS Insight
  • Scottsdale, Ariz.

Hobbies & passions outside of work: Time with family, snowboarding, and trying to stay in shape.

Favorite book: Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.

Favorite movie: Arthur (the original).

Favorite TV show: Arrested Development.

Favorite musician: Lately, I can’t get enough of Rodrigo y Gabriela, but overall, maybe The Rolling Stones.

Top personal achievement: Haven’t achieved it yet, but getting through Army Officer Candidate School (the second time) was a once-in-a-lifetime achievement that almost killed me.

Most interesting life experience: I’ve done 110 skydives (starting in the Army) and 150 or so scuba dives, but nothing as exciting as the birth of two of my three kids (I was out of the country scuba diving when my second kid was born, which was a different, interesting experience when I got home).

What advice do you wish someone had given you before entering fleet? Go to as many conferences as possible. We spent a few years not really understanding what our customers wanted until we got really involved with NAFA, AFLA, etc. Also, get into fleet sooner! It's filled with much more interesting and nicer people than the trading world where I previously came from.

Drew McClelland

  • Corporate Sales Manager
  • BMW of North America
  • Woodcliff Lake, N.J.

Hobbies & passions outside of work: Cooking and fishing with my boys, in particular a good marlin or albacore run and subsequent BBQ on the dock or beach; shooting sports such as skeet or clays; and spending time with my wife Barbra and three sons, the oldest of whom is a U.S. Marine.

Favorite books: Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and Boone, A Biography of Daniel Boone by Robert Morgan.

Favorite musicians: Herb Albert and The Tijuana Brass, as well as The Allman Brothers Band.

Top personal achievement: Being a father and husband.

Most interesting life experience: Being with my grandfather and living with the Navajo Indians on a reservation when I was young.

What advice do you wish someone had given you before entering fleet? Learn what displacement and torque means and how that relates to cost of funds.

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