In Memoriam: Who We Lost in Fleet in 2017
(clockwise from upper left) Janik, McNulty, Nyland, and Conner
With each passing year, the commercial fleet industry loses several leading people who left a legacy, and 2017 was no exception. Among those who died were three past presidents of the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA), the voice of the retreading industry, and several fleet sales managers from the Detroit automakers.
The past AFLA presidents included Jim Conner, founder of James W. Conner Fleet Services; Jim McNulty, who was also the owner of Lone Star Auto Auction in Lubbock, Texas; and Greg Janik, who was also the retired president of Reliable Outsourcing Inc.
The fleet industry also lost Katherine Nyland, retired fleet manager for The Clorox Company.
Detroit automakers and fleet dealers lost former fleet sales personnel. Fleet dealers lost Diana Reed, who worked for Tom Naquin Chevrolet and several other fleet dealerships, as well as William Gambrell, a longtime Cadillac manager. Ford lost Brian Grozier, a fleet zone manager in Massachusetts. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles lost Ed Abratowski, a fleet account specialist, and John MacDonald, who ran the Chrysler fleet unit in the 1990s.
Several former fleet management company associates died, including Mary Olson, who was a retired sales manager for Wheels, Inc., and Dana Gaffney, a former strategic account manager for Merchants Fleet Management.
Harvey Brodsky, the longtime managing director of the Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau and Retread Tire Association, passed away in September.
Other notable fleet people who died included Jake McLaughlin, a co-founder of Canadian Automotive Fleet magazine and Earl Miller, the founder of Corporate Collision, Inc.