— LeasePlan USA announced on May 16 that Mike Pitcher, senior vice president of corporate fleet, and the company’s Customer Contact Center have been selected as finalists in the 2005 American Business Awards. Pitcher, who joined LeasePlan in 2003 and is responsible for fleet sales, sales administration, client relations and operations, was named a finalist in the “Best Turnaround Executive” category. Pitcher’s leadership and vision have significantly improved the company’s sales performance and positively affected its bottom line, said LeasePlan. He has successfully transformed LeasePlan’s business by restructuring the sales team to better serve customer needs and introducing a new sales strategy, which emphasizes new growth opportunities and superior customer satisfaction. In addition, LeasePlan’s Customer Contact Center was selected as a finalist in the “Best Customer Service Team” category. The Center, considered the “voice” of the company to the thousands of callers who dial in each day, operates 24 hours a day, every day, year round. The team processes more than a half million calls each year and works diligently to ensure no incoming calls are dropped and that all issues are handled quickly and accurately. The Center leaves no one waiting on hold for more than four seconds and all callers are greeted with a live voice – there are no phone trees or automated voice systems, said LeasePlan. The American Business Awards – also known as the Stevie Awards – were created to honor and generate public recognition for the efforts, accomplishments and positive contributions of companies and business leaders throughout the world. Founded in 2002, the American Business Awards are the first national, all-encompassing business awards in the United States. The 2005 Stevie Award winners will be announced during a dinner gala in New York City on Monday, June 6.