Eligible Fleet Hall of Fame nominees must have at least 10 years fleet management experience and have contributed significantly to the industry. - Photo: Bobit

Eligible Fleet Hall of Fame nominees must have at least 10 years fleet management experience and have contributed significantly to the industry.

Photo: Bobit

The Fleet Hall of Fame honors and recognizes fleet industry leaders and pioneers who have contributed significantly to the commercial fleet management profession. Eligible nominees must have at least 10 years fleet management experience and have contributed significantly to the industry. Inaugurated in 2008 with 20 founding members and sponsored by AFLA, the Hall of Fame will receive three new members this year.

Click on the link below to select your three choices to be inducted in the 2023 Fleet Hall of Fame:


Marty Betagole

CEO, Mike Albert Fleet Solutions
Years in Fleet: 45

“She believed she could, so she did.”

This is Marty Betagole’s, CEO of Mike Albert Fleet Solutions, favorite quote—and one she lives by.

For 45 years, Marty has championed women in the transportation and fleet industries, which have long been male-dominated. In 1982, women made up just 20% of Mike Albert’s workforce, and there were no women in management. Under Marty’s leadership, Mike Albert’s female workforce grew to 45% in 2019, with seven women in the CSuite/senior management team. Even today, Mike Albert has a higher ratio of women in its workforce and leadership than most fleet management companies.

Marty’s time in the fleet industry began in 1977 when she started as an assistant controller at Mike Albert Fleet Solutions. While her family owns the company, a non-family member hired Marty and she had to climb the ladder herself, working her way up to management and then to the C-Suite. This upward climb allowed Marty to understand how every associate at Mike Albert contributed to the company, from those with no experience to those who had been there for decades. This formed the basis for Mike Albert’s core value of “One Team”—the understanding that every associate brings something unique to the company and can work with the broader team to serve clients and deliver excellence.

Marty also ensures she gives hard-working and dedicated associates — especially women — a chance to grow and learn by offering mentorship opportunities. She introduces her mentees to her own personal and professional connections, discusses their career goals, gives advice from her own experience, and trains associates to become managers and beyond at Mike Albert.

One of her mentees is Heather Chambers, a technical sales specialist who has been with Mike Albert for six and a half years. Their relationship began when Heather won the Client Support Associate of the Year award her first year; as she continued to climb the ladder at Mike Albert, Marty asked to mentor her, which surprised Heather. “It just doesn’t happen. To have someone whose name is on the smokestack recognize my work, speak to me about it, and then ask to mentor me and call out that she’s lucky to have me work at her company, it blows your mind. I think it takes a really special person to do that.”

Under Marty’s steadfast leadership, Mike Albert has grown exponentially into a nationally known, top-10 fleet management company. Associates at the company enjoy long tenures and continued success, with some clocking in more than 50 years of experience. Half of the C-Suite have been with Mike Albert for at least a decade, and four members  have been part of the company for over 25 years.

Sherry Calkins

VP-Connected Car and Platform Services, Geotab, Telogis, University of Ohio, Wendy's
Years in Fleet: 25+

Sherry Calkins has been in fleet her entire career, beginning as a fleet administrator working in both government and corporate fleets, overseeing the entire fleet operations, ranging from acquisition, leasing, remarketing, maintenance facilities, fueling, alternative fuels, safety, and partnering with various vendors.

She was an operations manager for Penn State University, then moved to Ohio University as director of transportation and parking, where she implementing a driver training program that ultimately reduced the number of crashes. She joined Wendy’s, applying her fleet and operations knowledge at the international corporate fleet level with five global fleet divisions.

Calkins has been active in NAFA and AFLA and has promoted women in fleet. An industry leader, she has served as a reliable and knowledgeable mentor for many fleet professionals. She is a member of the board of the Hourglass Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to providing educational scholarships for first-generation and underserved students in the areas of auto tech, automotive engineering tech and skilled trade programs, such as HVAC, electrical, plumbing and construction.

David Funston

Manager, National Fleet Operations, Mazda N.A. Operations (posthumous nominee) 
Years in Fleet: 33+

Dave Funston, manager of national fleet operations for Mazda North American Operations, passed away in 2021 at the age of 61, following a three-year battle with colon cancer. Funston joined Mazda North American Operations in January 2013 and holds the distinction, to date, of longest-reigning fleet manager in the history of Mazda N.A. During his tenure, Funston re-established the commercial fleet arena within the company's fleet operations.

Prior to joining Mazda, Funston was president of his own company — Funston Fleet Services, Inc — which he founded and operated from 2002 to 2013. Funston Fleet Services served as a “middleman,” assisting small daily rental licensees in vehicle acquisition negotiations with OEMs, managing license and title, and remarketing of rental vehicles at auction. Funston’s mother worked at an auto dealership and was instrumental in drawing him into the automotive industry.

His first big job was working for General Motors as a region service rep. Funston left GM in 1988 to serve as Hyundai Motor America’s national manager, fleet/remarketing & distribution. He worked at Hyundai Motor America until 1998. In 1998, Funston was hired by American Isuzu Motors, as executive manager, fleet & remarketing, a position he held until 2002.

While working with daily rental companies, Funston recognized a need among smaller daily rental licensees for assistance in vehicle acquisition and disposal — the catalyst for founding Funston Fleet Services, which he operated for 11 years until recruited by Mazda, where he worked for the final eight years of his life. In November 2018, while working at Mazda, Funston was diagnosed with colon cancer. Despite the pain associated with his illness, Funston remained active in both his personal and professional life, continuing to work at Mazda up to a week before his death.

Dick Malcom

Fleet Administrator, State Farm Insurance (posthumous nominee) 
Years in Fleet: 30

Richard “Dick” L. Malcom, former fleet administrator for State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., passed away in  at the age of 67. He retired in 2017 as fleet administrator at State Farm. Previously, Malcom worked for Country Companies as a leasing agent for 17 years. In 2013, Malcom earned the Automotive Fleet Fleet Manager of the Year award. A member of AFLA, he served on the organization’s Board of Directors while working in the fleet industry and was also a member of the General Motors Commercial Sounding Board.

Malcom’s accomplishments with State Farm included rightsizing the company fleet; creating a State Farm fleet card designed to reduce internal costs and provide internal income; introducing a rental option to the company’s pool car fleet; and increasing fleet oversight and accountability. He also oversaw policies and procedures relating to the purchase, lease, sale, and operation of the company’s fleet, and monitored and managed vehicle expenses of cars and trucks.

Ed Peper, U.S. vice president of General Motors Fleet, said of Malcom: “Dick’s fleet management skills were widely recognized. His partnership, his advice, his ideas, his friendship, and his many contributions benefited GM Fleet immensely. He will be missed.”

Ron Shoemaker, founder of The Hourglass Foundation and formerly of Flexco Fleet Services, spoke of Malcom: “We became the best of friends. Dick had such a calming spirit about him that you just wanted to spend time with him whenever you could.”

Another close friend, Michael Sims, global fleet planning and acquisition manager for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, said of Malcom: “He was a kind and gentle man with a huge personality and a delightful sense of humor. Dick was pleasant, respectful, and professional. The greatest compliment I can give Dick is that he was easy to be around. He loved his family, his friends and had great faith."

Carl Nelson

Motor Vehicle Administrator, Fleet Manager; AT&T, AM Liner East, Inc.
Years in Fleet: 21

During his career at AT&T, Carl Nelson directed fleet of more than 5,000 vehicles in all 50 states and managed a $21 million budget. He developed and presented training programs; worked with vendors to create new upfitting packages, later adopted by other fleets; and streamlined the fleet selector. Nelson created one of the first right sizing programs saving $3.7 million in first year, which earned him a Larry Goill Award.

He initiated a new insurance card distribution program reducing distribution time from two weeks to overnight, for which he received a second Goill Award. Nelson’s other accomplishments at AT&T included providing consultation services for several major companies, serving as a featured speaker for local meetings, and developing and presenting a course for NAFA’s annual Institute and Expo.

At AM-Liner, Nelson managed fleet of 150+ vehicles ranging from compact sedans to class 8 tractors. He created a comprehensive training program, including DOT Certification, Confined Space, Flagger, and developed new policies covering hiring and drug testing. Nelson instituted a "How's My Driving?" program and MVR checks.

While managing internal vehicle repairs and mechanics, he also handled all liability, worker's comp and accident claims. A driver log program he created eliminated citations and earned Nelson an unprecedented third Goill Award. Twice nominated for AF's Fleet Manager of the Year, Nelson was recently awarded an “Esteemed Listing” in the Marquis Who's Who in America publication.

Ed Peper

Vice-President, GM Envolve, General Motors
Years in the industry: 39

Ed Peper, having served nearly four decades in the industry for General Motors, recently announced his retirement, effective September 1.

Peper started as a Cadillac sales trainee in 1984 and has held 17 positions at GM, including U.S. Vice President, Fleet & Commercial Sales, where his extensive experience and deep understanding of fleet were critical to shaping the success of GM Fleet. Before his tenure at GM Fleet and GM Envolve, Peper served as general sales manager for Cadillac, general manager and vice president for Chevrolet, general manager for GM’s Northeast Region, and VP-Sales for Saab Cars USA.

During his career at GM, Peper and his teams sold nearly 23 million vehicles. He was instrumental in creating GM’s new business-to-business brand, GM Envolve, which launched in May. The new unit is described as a "one-stop" experience for vehicle sales and access to GM’s portfolio of commercial products and services across multiple divisions.”

Peper was noted for his excellent relationship with dealers, customers, and GM internals, earning consistently high “Workplace of Choice” engagement scores.

Phil Schreiber

Fleet Manager, Schindler Elevator / Otis Elevator
Years in Fleet: 42

Known in the industry as the “Mayor of Fleet,” “The Godfather of Fleet,” and “a legend,” Phil Schreiber’s knowledge and depth of passion for the fleet industry is widely recognized. Colleagues cite his “unparalleled” knowledge and dedication to the industry and his promotion of quality, service, innovation, and integrity. Managing OEM relationships through 40 years of changes, Schreiber continuously found ways to improve operations.

An expert in supply chain management, he has been known for his network of relationships throughout the industry. He frequently provides mentorship to new fleet industry members in fleet; his willingness to share his knowledge has positively impacted unknown numbers of people. Quick to aid to aid the fleet community in any way possible, “He wears a smile to every meeting no matter how bad the news,” according to colleagues.

His impact on and contributions to both the fleet and elevator communities are “countless,” say industry members.

Mary Sticha

Senior roles; Gelco Corporation, GE Capital Fleet Services, Element Fleet Management
Years in Fleet: 32

Mary Sticha’s ability to adapt and embrace change was illustrated in her eagerness to provide whatever the business required, regardless of complexity or difficulty, throughout the many corporate changes she experienced. Advancing through the ranks in multiple disciplines — operations, customer service, product management, sales, integration, and finally, senior vice president of operational excellence, she led the six sigma, business analyst, project management, and data stewardship teams. Her leadership skills, team building, and collaborative style compliments her strong technical proficiency in operations, process improvement methodologies, and customer service.

A NAFA Honorary Lifetime Membership Award winner, Sticha chaired the Affiliates Committee and was a Curriculum Committee member, a two-time NAFA Affiliate Trustee, and Affiliate Representative to the Board of Governors. An ardent supporter and graduate of the CAFM program, she mentored others on their journey to CAFM certification.

She served on AFLA’s Membership Committee and the AFLA Board, eventually becoming the organization’s executive vice president and the 2017-2018 AFLA president. A six-year member of the AALA Board, she actively contributed to discussions about autonomous vehicles, vehicle safety and vehicle data ownership. She passion for coaching and developing the next generation of leaders — particularly women — is well-known. Sticha was named one of Automotive Fleet's top women fleet professionals,

John Ruppert

General Manager, Commercial Vehicle Sales and Marketing, Ford Motor Co.; Director of New Business Development, Adrian Steel Company
Years in Industry: 35+

John Ruppert worked 33 years with Ford Motor Company, of which the last 17 years were in Ford’s fleet and commercial sales operations. Ruppert retired from Ford in 2020 as General Manager Commercial Vehicle Sales & Marketing. When Ruppert joined the Ford fleet organization in 2004, Ford was No. 2 in commercial and government fleet sales, but during Ruppert’s tenure Ford regained the No. 1 position and maintained this position for over a decade.

During the course of his career with Ford Fleet, Ruppert was involved in many product evolutions of the Ford commercial vehicle product portfolio that reshaped the commercial fleet market. The first example was the introduction of the 2010 Transit Connect, an all-new segment to the North American market. Next, Ruppert led the team that managed the transition from the E-Series van to the full-size Transit van, which debuted in CY-2014.

Also during Ruppert’s tenure, the Ford team redefined the police interceptor market, which transitioned from the body-on-frame V-8 RWD Crown Victoria to a unibody V-6 AWD Taurus and Explorer Police Interceptors. In 2019, the industry’s first hybrid pursuit-rated model debuted in the law enforcement market – the hybrid Explorer. In 2015, Ruppert’s sales team spearheaded the process of bringing the Ford medium-duty truck manufacturing back to the U.S. with the 2016 Ford-produced F-650 and F-750, powered by an all Ford powertrain that featured a choice of diesel and gasoline engines.

In addition, Ruppert was instrumental in the development of the Commercial Vehicle Center Dealer Network, the successor to the earlier Business Preferred program.

Ruppert was active in industry associations such the AFLA Board of Directors and the NAFA Foundation and Affiliates Committee; he was a member of the NTEA advisory board and long-time member of AALA and TRALA. Following his retirement from Ford in 2020, Ruppert joined Adrian Steel, another family-owned company, where he currently serves director of new business development. Ruppert is an inspirational leader with a passionate focus on building relationships with employees, customers, and industry business partners.  

Tom Voll

Fleet Field Manager, Toyota Motor North America (posthumous nominee)
Years in Fleet: 34+

Thomas Andrew Voll, fleet field manager for Toyota Motor North America, passed away April 13, 2022. He was 62. At that time, Voll was responsible for Toyota fleet vehicles sales in the Northeast for the commercial, government, and livery and taxi market segments. He spent almost his entire career working in the Northeast region, with a brief assignment as a sales administration manager at the Toyota Motor Sales corporate headquarters Southern California.

Voll supported approximately 115 fleet-minded Toyota franchised dealers in the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. He was a key member of the Toyota sales team that successfully introduced Toyota products to the New York taxi and livery commission.

Voll was active in the NAFA - New York-Intercounty Chapter and a past member of the NAFA Foundation board of directors.

“During [Tom’s] tenure, he established many strong relationships with team members, dealers and all the vendors, partners, and customers he encountered,” said Don Fordiani, general manager, fleet Sales for Toyota Division. “Tom wasn’t just a co-worker but a friend.  We will miss him more than words can express.”

Bret Watson

Fleet Manager, Sprint
Years in Fleet: 37+

Bret Watson, CAFM, began his fleet management career in 1984 at GELCO, later GE Capital Fleet Services. In 1989, he joined Sprint and worked for the company for the next 32 years, where he took an unbundled approach to outsourcing using many different suppliers to support his fleet. While at Sprint, Watson established a direct vehicle management program for the vehicle corporate fleet nationally and internationally, which at its peak reached 4,700 units.

Watson’s vehicle management experience ranged from sales cars, light- and medium-duty trucks to tractor-trailers and included custom equipment upfitting. During his career, he managed budgets of $40 million per year and total assets valued at $120 million.

Watson is a long-time member of both NAFA and AFLA. He has served as Chapter chair of the NAFA Mid-America Chapter, Chair of NAFA’s Editorial and Certification Committees, and served as AFLA treasurer. He also served on client advisory boards for Element Fleet Management and Fleet Response. In addition, Watson is an ASE Master Certified Technician. In 2012 Watson received a Sustainability All-Star award for Innovative Accomplishments in Green Fleet Sustainability.

About the author
Cindy Brauer

Cindy Brauer

Former Managing Editor

Cindy Brauer is a former managing editor for Bobit Business Media’s AutoGroup. A native of Chicago but resident of Southern California since her teens, Brauer studied journalism and earned a communications degree at California State University Fullerton. Over her career, she has written and edited content for a variety of publishing venues in a disparate range of fields.

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