In Memoriam: Terry Flesia – 1940-2006
IRVINE, CA – Terry Flesia, former fleet manager and president of Autocross Associates, a fleet consulting company, died at his home on Dec. 6, 2006, of lung cancer. He was 66. Flesia was also a long-time contributing editor to Automotive Fleet, Fleet Financials, and Business Fleet magazines. During his career as a fleet manager, he managed fleets for three Fortune 500 companies.
Flesia was born on Sept. 10, 1940, in Long Beach, Calif. He started his fleet management career in 1967 with Rockwell International Corp. At that time, the company decided to centralize its 1,000-unit Space Division fleet and appointed the Traffic Department the responsibility to accomplish it. As Flesia related, the head of the Traffic Department called for ‘volunteers’ to take on the task among his 10 supervisors and assistant supervisors. Flesia was assistant supervisor for the “Building One Dock,” which consisted of 10 truck drivers and 19 in-plant drivers. No one volunteered. As the junior supervisor with just over a year in supervision experience, he was ‘picked to volunteer’ to consolidate the Rockwell International Space Division fleet.
The second Fortune 500 fleet that Flesia managed was Ingersoll-Rand, which, at the time, had a fleet of 2,500 vehicles. He worked at Ingersoll-Rand from 1972-1982.
In 1982, Flesia joined Wickes Companies, Inc. (WCI), which had a fleet 5,200. Flesia was recruited by the WCI senior management turnaround specialist group to join the just-bankrupt WCI corporate (comprised of 23 subsidiaries) to consolidate the company’s 5,200-vehicle fleet and reduce costs. During his three years with the then-Fortune 500 company, Flesia reduced fleet expenses $500,000 in the first year, $10 million in year two, and $11.4 million in year three.
After leaving WCI, Flesia started in 1986 Autocross Associates, a fleet consulting company in Irvine, Calif.
Flesia is survived by his daughter Pam Jones and two granddaughters, all of whom live in Seattle, and Pam Lessin, his companion of many years.