The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

11 Nominated for Fleet Manager of the Year

July 2017, by Staff

File photo
File photo

Automotive Fleet has announced the nominees for the Professional Fleet Manager of the Year Award.

The award recognizes an experienced and proficient fleet manager who has demonstrated special business acumen in developing and executing key management policies in all areas of his or her field. 

Qualified nominees are full-time commercial fleet managers, control a company-owned or leased fleet in excess of 100 cars and light trucks combined, and who are also recognized nationally among their peers for their unique abilities and accomplishments.

This year’s group of highly qualified nominees share their accomplishments and compete for the annual recognition, to be presented at the AFLA 2017 Annual Conference in September.

The nominees are as follows:

John Dmochowsky

CAFM, Senior Global Fleet Manager, Mondelez International

Dmochowsky
Dmochowsky

● Total vehicles: 10,000
● Staff supervised: 1
● Years with current fleet: 16
● Years in industry: 16
● Replacement policy: Varies

Primary responsibilities

Dmochowsky oversees Strategic Global Fleet initiative for regions across the globe. He also leads global strategic development in regards to policy administration, budgeting, vehicle acquisition and disposal, driver safety programs, auditing, greenhouse gas initiatives, and more.

Notable achievements

Comparing 2016 total global fleet spend results versus 2015, he had a spend reduction of $19.5 million, resulting from a change in the global vehicle selection process, policy implementation, continuous savings initiative and TCO reduction. Mondelez International also delivered an 21% improvement and achieved best-in-class results in fuel, maintenance, depreciation, and accidents. In 2016, he conducted Global Regional Fleet Seminars, resulting in a synergistic meeting of regional cross-functional leaders to drive rigor on training, accident reduction, and cost savings. As a result, preventable accidents decreased by 10% and CO2 emissions decreased by 12% in 2016. He also serves on the AFLA Board of Directors and GM Commercial Sounding Board. Since 2011, He has been a Fleet Management Seminar Instructor for NAFA. During the Global Regional Fleet Seminars trips, he was a guest speaker at Global Fleet Conferences in Brussels and San Palo. He was a finalist for the Fleet Manager of the Year Award in 2012 and 2015.

Lee Jezek-Pierce

Global Fleet Manager, Weatherford International

Pierce
Pierce

● Total Vehicles: 4,100
● Staff Supervised: 7
● Years with Current Fleet: 1 year and 5 months.
● Years in Industry: 18
● Replacement Policy: 4 years or 125,000/150,000 miles

Primary responsibilities

Pierce is responsible for managing the rolling stock along with additional assets such as trailers and forklifts. She also oversees programs that include maintenance, fuel, collision, tolls, registrations, and permitting for approximately 8,500 assets.

Notable Achievements

In early 2016, Pierce joined Weatherford in the midst of the worst downturn in the oil and gas industry’s history and was faced with a shrinking budget, limited resources, and a company-wide directive to better utilize assets and reduce expenses. Within two years of joining, Pierce implemented new programs to address maintenance, fuel cards, tolls, registrations, and IFTA/IRP reporting. In her first year, Pierce and her team sold 1,600 leased and company-owned assets while doing a balancing act of time versus return to receive optimal sale proceeds, resulting in an estimated operating cost savings of $10 million. Also, she implemented a maintenance program which provided cost savings/avoidance of $150K during its first two months of utilization. Leveraging fuel and telematics data to create operational efficiencies within the organization and drive out excess cost, she has transitioned the company’s semi-decentralized fleet and to a fully centralized model.

Phil Samuelson

Fleet and Capital Asset Manager, USIC

Samuelson
Samuelson

● Total Vehicles: 9,050
● Staff Supervised: 2
● Years with Current Fleet: 13
● Years in Industry: 28
● Replacement Policy: 60 months/120,000 miles

Primary responsibilities

Samuelson provides innovative and cost-effective fleet solutions for USIC’s U.S. and Canadian operations. He oversees all fleet activities, procurement, budgeting, policies, and DOT compliance. He manages vehicle lifecycling by partnering with USIC’s FMC, suppliers, and service providers.

Notable Achievements

Samuelson looks to automation, telematics, and aggressive safety programs to help bring cost savings and improved safety to USIC’s fleet. The USIC fleet grew by over 6% in 2016 through acquisitions and new business contracts. USIC’s service fleet drives nearly 170 million miles annually, and has a consistently decreasing operating cost per mile year over year. Maintenance costs per mile continue to decline, despite mileage accumulation growth of 16%. Deploying an optimal vehicle selection and cycling strategy has allowed USIC to operate below industry benchmarks. Samuelson has overseen cost mitigation that has exceeded $2.2 million. Two years ago, USIC adjusted its cycling policy, resulting in more than $1.8 million in lifecycle savings. Samuelson holds a seat on USIC’s fleet management company’s Client Advisory Board as well as several OEM Commercial Sounding Boards.

Clark Trebesch

Fleet Manager, Christensen Farms

Trebesch
Trebesch

● Total Vehicles: 721
● Staff Supervised: 0
● Years with Current Fleet: 9
● Years in Industry: 9
● Replacement Policy: Class 8, 500,000 miles/Light fleet, 140,000 miles.

Primary responsibilities

As a fleet manager for Christensen Farms, Trebesch manages a fleet of light duty pickups, SUV’s, Class 8 tractors and live and feed haul trailers.

Notable Achievements

Trebesch changed the cycling parameters for his light duty and tractor trailer fleet, saving his company in reduced maintenance cost, better fuel economy and higher resale proceeds. He also leverages telematics to measure the amount of time technicians are spending at their locations. He utilizes technology to understand his cost structure and works to find ways through technology to reduce cost and be more proactive in his recommendations to his management team. Trebesch is an expert for all assets within his span of control and understands how to optimize each asset, and he constantly refines his specifications across the fleet to leverage new technology to not only gain efficiency but to provide the best vehicles.

Demond Hammond

Fleet Manager, Service Corporation International (SCI)

Hammond
Hammond

● Total Vehicles: 6,500
● Staff Supervised: 6
● Years with Current Fleet: 4
● Years in Industry: 18
● Replacement Policy: 4 years/70,000 miles (sedans); 5 years/90,000 miles (vans/light trucks); 6 years/75,000 miles (professional vehicles)

Primary Responsibilities

Hammond leads policy administration, managing strategic vendor relationships, budgeting, vehicle acquisition and disposal, driver safety programs, and more. He works to provide fleet drivers the best, safest, and cost-efficient vehicles and fleet services.

Notable Achievements

SCI has seen continued year-over-year cost savings in fleet operating expense from several initiatives led by Hammond, including short cycling, internal transfer/refurbishment program, and Niche Remarketing of professional vehicles (Hearses/Limos). Recently, SCI replaced over 200 vehicles in its fleet that were less than two years old with comparable vehicles. These vehicles were identified as being worth more than remaining lease value. As a funeral and cremation corporation, SCI’s specialized fleet is diverse, consisting of specialty hearse and limousine vehicles. Putting brand new hearses in smaller markets was cost prohibitive. To resolve this challenge, he removed older vehicles out of major markets, refurbished them, and moved them to smaller markets. As a result, he was able achieve an overall annual decrease to SCI’s operating cost and netted savings in excess of $1 million. Performing leading supply chain practices, he was able to work with the hearse/limo providers on demand planning new vehicle purchases, reducing overall acquisition costs. Hammond and his team developed an automated vehicle ordering system hosted on the existing procurement P2P software, which streamlines the order process.

Vic Stewart

Dir. Corporate Purchasing, Fisher Auto Parts

Stewart
Stewart

● Total Vehicles: 2,361
● Staff Supervised: 1
● Years with Current Fleet: 2.5
● Years in Industry: 15
● Replacement Policy: 5 years, 120,000/150,000 miles

Primary responsibilities

Stewart is responsible for developing and implementing the strategy and manages all aspects of the Indirect and MRO Procurement for the organization. As part of this responsibility he is directly involved in Fleet Management, as well as the procurement of capital expenditures and other expense related supplies and services for the company.

Notable Achievements

Some of Stewart’s achievements include replacing the fleet’s old, fuel-inefficient, high maintenance vehicles with over 800 newer vehicles. This generated approximately $710,000 in downtime maintenance savings for the company. He also recommended and helped finalize the decision to lease fleet vehicles rather than purchase them, increasing Fisher’s cash flow by $9.4 million from 2016-2017. He works very closely with the Fisher team whose focus on safety has reduced the amount of accidents and preventable accidents. The company was able to reduce preventable accidents from 2.7 to 1.5 per million miles. He also helped to implement a Driver ID program over the past eight quarters to decrease both acceleration and deceleration events. As a result of some of these changes, Vic managed to save his fleet $180,000 between the first and third quarters of 2016. Stewart is known for sharing his expertise and he most recently appeared as one of the subject matter experts for a panel at the NAFA Institute and Expo.

Jeff Menheer

Fleet Administration Team Lead, Takeda

Menheer
Menheer

● Total Vehicles: 1,750
● Staff Supervised: 0
● Years with Current Fleet: 8
● Years in Industry: 8
● Replacement Policy: 3 years/70,000 miles

Primary responsibilities

Menheer manages his fleet through exception reports including fuel, maintenance, collision, MVRs, vehicle recalls, and more. He also runs an onsite pool vehicle program, which is made up of surplus vehicles, which helps reduce storage fees and daily rental costs for visiting employees and allows quick deployment for hires. He instructs new drivers through a monthly safety and fleet orientation program that includes an on the road safety training provided by “Smith System Safety”.

Notable Achievements

Despite being a team of one in Takeda’s fleet department, Menheer has managed to reshape the fleet. Takeda has traditionally used its selection of company vehicles as an employee incentive. With over 40% of its 1,750 vehicles being SUVs and minivans, that added up to high fuel costs. His challenge was to persuade drivers to move to more fuel-efficient vehicles. Takeda and its FMC annually conduct an extensive TCO analysis before the new model year, with a focus on driver productivity and satisfaction. Menheer took this opportunity to add higher MPG vehicles by keeping the current broad choice of vehicles but adding high-MPG sedans, hybrids, frugal wagons and a small SUV. Then he gave employees an incentive of reducing the personal use fee by two-thirds for drivers who selected fuel-efficient sedans. This offset total fleet spend by 15%. Takeda has boosted the fuel economy of its fleet by 27%. Also, fuel costs were reduced 22%. TCO has improved with resale values up, excellent depreciation, and a minimal credit at disposal time.

Jeremy Muoio

Director of Fleet and Asset Management, MasTec

Muoio
Muoio

● Total Vehicles: 4,500
● Staff Supervised: 10
● Years with Current Fleet: 2 
● Years in Industry: 3
● Replacement Policy: 7 1/2 years/165,000 miles

Primary Responsibilities

Muoio is responsible for all elements of fleet management and driving safety in a fleet that travels nearly 100 million miles a year.

Notable Achievements

Muoio has revolutionized operations at MasTec by using data from different sources like telematics, fuel, and HR systems. Also, his background in technology and operations has helped him address challenges in fleet. He helped launch a SmartAssign system to assign drivers to vehicles with the help of geo-fencing, improving administrative accuracy dramatically and reducing workload. He also developed SmartFuel, a system designed to eliminate theft and enforce proper fueling habits, leveraging fuel transaction and telematics data. Muoio has also done significant work for MasTec’s driving safety culture. A “red driving” program was put in place using telematics data, applying remedial action monthly to any driver who falls below a minimum score. SmartAlerts were put in place to detect flagrant “red driving” violations and alert the right safety and operations managers in real time. “Red driving” in MasTec has declined by 60%, and accidents have dropped 20%.

Oleg Cytowicz

Global and Americas Fleet Lead, Unilever

Cytowicz
Cytowicz

● Total Vehicles: 650
● Years with Current Fleet: 27
● Years in Industry: 27
● Replacement Policy: Flexible

Primary Responsibilities

Cytowicz’s responsibilities include implementing global safety standards, driver training and sustainability initiatives; collaborating with procurement in the development and administration of global fleet sourcing projects; and evaluating fleet technology with possible global application.

Notable Achievements

In 2015 Cytowicz was appointed the Unilever global fleet lead, and in 2016 was also assigned the role of the Americas fleet lead. He has helped create the Global Fleet Service platform at Unilever, which is responsible for addressing and servicing fleet topics across the business. He also developed and implemented the Unilever Global Fleet Policy. He draws on his years of full-service fleet administration to support and develop educational opportunities for his colleagues by creating a benchmark global fleet organization with cradle to grave operational experience. He has strong relationships with his drivers, suppliers, OEM’s, local dealerships, and provides services for Unilever’s non-fleet drivers. He acts as the fleet resource for his North American colleagues and supports internal/external fleet colleagues. Cytowicz has been a NAFA member for 20 years and held numerous positions within NAFA National and his local chapter where he is currently curriculum chair. He was awarded NAFA’s Larry Gioll award in 2005.

Brian Wielgosz

Manager of Fleet and Ground Transportation Services, North America, Sanofi

Wielgosz
Wielgosz

● Total Vehicles: 4,500
● Staff Supervised: 5 (1 with fleet responsiilities)
● Years with Current Fleet: 11
● Years in Industry: 11
● Replacement Policy: Flexible (typically 80,000 miles/36 months in service)

Primary Responsibilities

Wielgosz leads the North American Fleet and Travel programs, which include strategy development and execution, stakeholder management and business partnering, policy administration, overall accountability for the customer experience and operations, and people development.

Notable Achievements

Wielgosz continues his mission – and that of Sanofi – to operate a fleet program that gets their people and products where they need to be, efficiently and effectively. In 2016, net of remarketing, he successfully managed a 1% increase in total fleet spend despite an 8% increase in managed units and achieved a cost per mile decrease by 3%. Collaborating with Sanofi’s Health, Safety and Environment Team, he focused on safety through new hire orientation, and driver engagement, resulting in a 23% decrease in preventable accident rate in 2016 versus 2015. In 2016, he continued to increase adoption of the Sanofi driver mobile app “Contact Us”, allowing drivers to have access to contact numbers based on the category of help they need. He also oversees relationships with key stakeholders in global, finance, and sourcing.

Thurman Register

Fleet Manager, Southern States Cooperative

Register
Register
● Total Vehicles: 2,500
● Staff Supervised: 10 Direct, 11 Indirect
● Years with Current Fleet: 5
● Years in Industry: 26
● Replacement Policy: Varies by business division & vehicle application

Primary responsibilities

Thurman is responsible for strategic, enterprise level, fleet management serving all business units. Implementation and management of: fleet policy, vendor relationships, fleet/asset budgeting, the vehicle life cycle from acquisition to disposition, asset utilization and efficiency standards, and more.

Notable Achievements

Thurman has lead a cultural change that transformed the fleet landscape at Southern States Cooperative. He developed and implemented an enterprise-level fleet management program for over 2,500 vehicles. His ability to incorporate new technology and turn data into actionable information has increased the utilization and efficiency of Southern States Cooperative fleet. This effort began with telematics, then progressed to maintenance management through vendor relations, fuel cost reduction strategies, fleet optimization, and the creation of a proprietary labor cost recovery process. The tangible result of these initiatives is a cost reduction and avoidance of over $1.45 million this past year. With buy-in from all levels within the organization from drivers to executives he has implemented cost saving initiatives including idle time reduction, proactive vehicle inspections, vehicle replacement strategies, and more.

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