The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Three Nominees Compete for AF's 2007 Fleet Manager of the Year Award

March 29, 2007

TORRANCE, CA – The 23rd annual Fleet Manager of the Year award, sponsored by Automotive Fleet, Wheels Inc., and the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA), honors an experienced and proficient fleet manager who has demonstrated special business acumen in developing and executing key management policies. The winner will be announced May 6 in Houston. Eligible nominees are full-time fleet managers who control a company-owned or leased fleet of more than 100 trucks and cars combined, and are recognized nationally among their peers for their unique abilities and accomplishments.

Name: Christy Coyte
Title: Global Fleet Manager
Company: Johnson Controls, Inc.
Total Vehicles: 14,500
Number Supervised: 3
Years in Fleet: 12
Replacement Policy: N/A


Over the past year, JCI’s North American fleet has added more than 2,000 vehicles – an increase of almost 50 percent. To integrate the acquired fleet into the existing one, Coyte changed fuel providers, leveraging the increased volume to save thousands of dollars on its fuel program. Coyte and her team also introduced a quarterly internal fleet-review process to manage increasing fleet costs, operational efficiencies, and trend analysis. Other cost-saving measures included a comprehensive analysis of OEMs and upfitters, leading to changes in the JCI vehicle selector that delivered cost savings and efficiencies. This year, Coyte is conducting an RFP in Europe and finalizing a competitive bid in South America. She is also investigating telematics opportunities, reducing lead time on new vehicle deliveries, and cutting preventive maintenance costs.

Name: Lynda Dinwiddie
Title: Associate VP, Fleet & Travel
Company: Laboratory Corp. of America
Total Vehicles: 4,300+
Staff Supervised: 4
Years in Fleet: 18
Replacement Policy: 2 years / 100,000 miles


Recently promoted to associate vice president, Dinwiddie manages a courier fleet with an annual per-vehicle average of more than 50,000 miles. Through cost management she has decreased effective monthly depreciation by $114 annually over the past five years. Under Dinwiddie, LabCorp’s has increased by 20 percent with no out-of-stock purchases. She maximizes resale dollars by generating 40-percent employee sales. She has also lowered depreciation and overall cost per vehicle over the past three years by starting the fall ordering cycle in late June. Dinwiddie successfully introduced an online fleet safety program and rewrote LabCorp’s automobile policy manual.

Name: Joe LaRosa
Title: Associate Director, Worldwide Fleet Administration
Company: Bristol-Myers Squibb
Total Vehicles: 5,000+
Staff Supervised: 4
Years in Fleet: 11
Replacement Policy: 3 years / 60,000 miles


LaRosa was one of the first in the industry to manage order cycles to take advantage of the strong fall resale market. He decreased average cost per vehicle over the past three years, and saved the company nearly $4 million over the past two model years. LaRosa continues to manage effective depreciation rates at less than 1.6 percent, making his fleet the benchmark by which pharmaceutical fleets are measured. During his tenure as fleet manager, LaRosa is credited for streamlining operations to support growth from 2,700 vehicles to more than 5,000. BMS has a firm fleet policy, strong safety programs, effective fuel cost management practices, and complete maintenance program.

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