Volkswagen of America has hired Debbie Struna, Rite Aid's fleet manager, as its fleet account manager for the Pacific Region and promoted Martin Kiel to the role of national fleet sales manager.
Struna, who managed a fleet of about 1,700 vehicles for the Camp Hill, Pa., corporation, is "a huge VW enthusiast" and managed a corporate fleet that is one of the automaker's key fleet accounts.
Struna reports to Kiel, and begins her new role on March 24. She replaces Doreen Paris, who has left the company. In early 2013, the Rite Aid fleet consisted of about 800 cars, 400 vans, and 400 SUVs. The company has begun its search for a replacement for Struna, Rite Aid spokeswoman Kristin Kellum said.
Kiel is taking on additional sales responsibilities in his newly created role. He has served in the automaker's fleet unit since 2008. Prior to joining Volkswagen, Kiel worked for Enterprise Rent-A-Car for 17 years.
In his new role, Kiel will manage "all customer facing aspects of the commercial fleet sales team," according to a VW release. He will also manage operational activities of the four fleet account managers.
Kiel's "operational experience with VW Fleet and Enterprise, and his customer relationship skills, provide him with a great foundation for leading the commercial fleet sales team," said Chris Hoehner, general manager for corporate sales with the automaker.
The new role allows Kiel to expand his responsibilities into a more sales-driven role, he said in an email to Automotive Fleet.com.
"While I have supported each of our four commercial fleet account managers in the field for the past four years plus, I've also been closely involved with daily rental sales as well as significant operational activities," Kiel said. "My new role allows me to focus solely on growing Volkswagen commercial sales and to work closer with our fleet account managers and our customers."
In related news, Volkswagen has promoted Dan Sugrue to fleet distribution specialist. Sugrue has been with the automaker's fleet unit since June of 2012.