The latest personnel moves in the commercial fleet space include (from top left) Andrew Wrobel at NTEA, Will Mitchell at OPENLANE, Jerry Zielinski at Nissan, Suzannah Hicks at Merchants Fleet, Jeff Kommor at Stellantis, and Makela Owens at Frito-Lay.  -  Photo: NTEA/OPENLANE/Nissan/Merchants Fleet/Stellantis/Makela Owens

The latest personnel moves in the commercial fleet space include (from top left) Andrew Wrobel at NTEA, Will Mitchell at OPENLANE, Jerry Zielinski at Nissan, Suzannah Hicks at Merchants Fleet, Jeff Kommor at Stellantis, and Makela Owens at Frito-Lay.

Photo: NTEA/OPENLANE/Nissan/Merchants Fleet/Stellantis/Makela Owens

Companies across the commercial fleet industry are making personnel moves. Automotive Fleet has a roundup of some of the recent personnel-related announcements in fleet, including:

  • Makela Owens named Sr. Fleet Resource for Frito-Lay's northern California market
  • Merchants Fleet hires Suzannah Hicks as AI Strategist
  • Nissan's Jerry Zielinski promoted to Senior Manager of Fleet & Commercial Sales
  • NTEA appoints Andrew Wrobel as Commercial Vehicle Insight Strategist
  • OPENLANE promotes COO Will Mitchell to lead AFC
  • Stellantis appoints Jeff Kommor Senior VP of Commercial Sales

Makela Owens Named Sr. Fleet Resource for PepsiCo's Northern California Market

Makela Owens has been hired by PepsiCo as a Senior Fleet Resource for the Northern California market. She serves as the fleet manager for fleet sites in the region.

Most recently, Owens served as fleet manager for the city of Stockton, California.

In her new role, Owens oversees 29 shop locations. Her coverage area is everything north of Bakersfield and the Reno, Nevada, area.

"I am very excited about this new opportunity and hope to bring the fleet knowledge and skills I have learned to this organization and keep them to successful," Owens said.

Merchants Fleet Hires Suzannah Hicks as AI Strategist

Merchants Fleet has hired Suzannah Hicks to lead its first company-wide artificial intelligence (AI) strategy. Hicks will work closely with cross-functional teams to develop and implement AI-driven solutions that optimize operations, enhance efficiency, and drive cost savings for the company and its clients throughout North America, according to a news release.

"As the fleet management landscape continues to evolve, it's imperative that we stay ahead of the curve and leverage the latest technologies to drive value for our clients," Merchants Fleet Vice President of Enterprise Solutions & Architecture Ben McIntyre said. "Adding an AI expert of Suzannah’s caliber reflects our dedication to innovation and underscores our commitment to delivering unparalleled fleet solutions."

Prior to Merchants, Hicks served in roles including data strategist and scientist at the International Association of Privacy Professionals, data scientist consultant at Martin’s Point Health Care, and lead data scientist consultant at the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability.

She is a frequent speaker on the big data conference circuit and serves as an Ambassador with the Enterprise Big Data Framework Alliance.

Hicks also authors the “Data is Everything and Everything is Data” blog which focuses on data and AI topics including the benefits and challenges of adopting an organizational data culture, AI strategy, and compliance.

"I am thrilled to join the Merchants Fleet team, a company that is renowned for its commitment to innovation," Hicks said. "This is an exciting opportunity to leverage the transformative potential of AI to push the boundaries of fleet management and redefine industry standards."

Nissan's Jerry Zielinski Promoted to Senior Manager of Fleet & Commercial Sales

Jerry Zielinski, National Sales Manager – Fleetail, for Nissan, has been promoted to Senior Manager of Fleet & Commercial Sales.

Zielinski will report to Rob Warren – Director, Fleet Sales & RV. He joined Nissan in 2015 and has held several positions with increasing responsibility in fleet as well as the light commercial vehicle department.

Read more about Zielinski here.

NTEA Appoints Andrew Wrobel as Commercial Vehicle Insight Strategist

NTEA – The Work Truck Association, has appointed Andrew Wrobel as commercial vehicle insight strategist. Wrobel was selected for this position based on his commercial vehicle industry knowledge and experience.

“The most valuable resource NTEA can provide its members is practical, actionable insight,” NTEA Managing Director Kevin Koester said. “Andrew brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the commercial vehicle market to the Association, and his experience will further our mission of serving our members.”

Wrobel has a range of experience and has held previous positions at Escalent, Rhein Associates, Eaton Corporation and IHS Automotive (now S&P Global Mobility), according to a news release. 

“Enabling member companies to gain an even greater understanding of work truck industry data will significantly contribute to their success moving forward,” Wrobel said. “By leveraging existing and new data, my goal is to help the Association continue to provide the most valuable insights, analysis and resources for the commercial vehicle community far into the future.”

OPENLANE Promotes COO Will Mitchell to Lead AFC

OPENLANE promoted Will Mitchell to president of Automotive Finance Corporation (AFC), the digital auction company’s auto finance arm, effective April 1.

Mitchell has served as chief operating officer for OPENLANE since April 2021.

In his expanded role, Mitchell will oversee the vision, strategy, and all operations for AFC, including business development, sales, field, and commercial operations. Mitchell will also become a member of OPENLANE’s executive leadership team and report to OPENLANE CEO Peter Kelly.

Since joining the company in 2015, Mitchell has held roles of progressive leadership and responsibility, culminating most recently with his promotion to COO in 2021.

Read more about Mitchell's promotion, plus his industry experience here.

Stellantis Appoints Jeff Kommor Senior VP of Commercial Sales

Jeff Kommor has been appointed Senior Vice President of Commercial Sales for Stellantis North America. 

Effective March 1, Kommor is responsible for fleet, government, and other growing B2B sales opportunities. Kommor was prevoiusly head of U.S. sales and has served in various roles with increasing responsibility in the U.S. sales organization since joining the organization.

Kommor's new role came as part of an announcement by Stellantis about a new sales organization structure bringing a renewed focus to the two primary sales channels – B2B and B2C – while streamlining responsibilities as the company continues its transformation. 

You can read more about the restructuring here.

Did You Catch Our Last Personnel Roundup? Read it Here.

About the author
Christy Grimes

Christy Grimes

Senior Editor

Christy Grimes is a Senior Editor at Bobit, working on Automotive Fleet and Government Fleet publications. She has also written for School Bus Fleet.

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