Former fleet manager and president of Giacchi & Violi Transport Ltd., Sal Giacchi, CAFM, CFM, died Nov. 2 after a long illness. He was 65 years old.
Giacchi had an illustrious career in the fleet industry, including being named Automotive Fleet’s Professional Fleet Manager of the Year in 1996, and serving as Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) president from 1987 to 1988 and NAFA president from 1999 to 2001.
Giacchi began his career in the automotive business at age 16 working part-time at a service station, rising up the ranks and becoming a service manager, while, at the same time, studying accounting and business administration.
He started his business career with Borden Inc., working as a cost accountant. In 1971, Giacchi became assistant fleet administrator with GAF, working with 12 business groups, running more than 1,500 cars. When the gasoline crisis of 1972 resulted in the sharp dive of the price of full-size cars, Giacchi began investigating the company’s used-car marketing program. In 1974, he was selected to head the used-car operation and implement a used-car marketing network.
When he was promoted to manager of Automobile Fleet Administration in 1977, Giacchi worked closely with information systems’ staff to plan and implement a vehicle management system. Codenamed FAST for Fleet Administration System Terminal, the system aided in controlling vehicles and related costs.
In 1981, Giacchi moved from GAF to Lorillard Tobacco, a division of Loew’s Corp.
In 1996, Giacchi was named AF's 11th Professional Fleet Manager of the Year for his accomplishments at Lorillard, including netting $22.7 million in savings for the fleet.
In a 1996 interview with AF Giacchi said, “I feel very fortunate to have gotten hired at Lorillard when I did.”
Giacchi served as AFLA president from 1987 to 1988. He also served as NAFA president from 1999 to 2001. He resigned as NAFA president in February 2001 to join Anthony L. Violi Sr. in forming a new company, Giacchi & Violi Transport Ltd. Giacchi later became president of this new venture while Violi became CEO.
"Sal was the first real fleet manager I ever met. He was the consummate fleet professional possessing a wealth of knowledge who was always willing to give back to the industry. I viewed Sal as one of my mentors and he will be missed," said Mike Antich, editor and associate publisher of Automotive Fleet.
Giaccchi is survived by his wife Carol, his two children, four grandchildren, and his two sisters. Information about the service and condolences can be found at www.fjohnramseyfuneralhome.com.