Founded in 2008 with 30 members (20 founding and 10 new honorees), AF’s Fleet Hall of Fame was established to recognize fleet industry leaders and pioneers who have contributed significantly to the commercial fleet management profession. Inductees must have had fleet careers spanning 10 years or more and are selected by their peers through an online ballot.
Produced by Automotive Fleet and sponsored exclusively by the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA), for 2012, six new inductees will be added to the roll of honor out of the 21 nominees selected by the industry. Since 2008, the number of inductees has been decreased by one each year, until three are installed in 2015. Thereafter, three honorees will be inducted into the AF Fleet Hall of Fame at AFLA’s annual conference.
In addition to receiving a plaque, each honoree’s name and photograph are displayed at the Torrance, Calif.-based headquarters of Bobit Business Media, the publisher of AF. Currently, there are 54 members in the Fleet Hall of Fame. Who will be next?
Port Authority of New York & New Jersey; Lorillard Tobacco
Anselmi started as an apprentice automotive mechanic with the Port Authority of N.Y. and N.J. in 1965. In 1986, he became fleet manager and joined the NAFA Fleet Management Association. Anselmi started with Lorillard Tobacco in 1996 as the director of fleet and travel. He was the first public service fleet manager to be elected NAFA President in 1995, is a recipient of the NAFA Distinguished Service Award, and is currently president of the NAFA Foundation. He served a term as the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) president and was the 2002 AF Professional Fleet Manager of the Year.
NAFA, Executive Director
Berke took over full-time management of the NAFA Fleet Management Association as its founding executive director in March 1965. He spent his entire career with the Association during its growth years, until retiring from NAFA in 1985. Berke passed away in 2000.
U.S. Fleet Leasing
Bosman began his career in the fleet leasing industry working for several years in sales in the Pacific Northwest for GELCO Fleet Management Services. In 1964, he and several partners started Vehicle Lease and Management Services with zero vehicles and expanded to more than 80,000 before the company was purchased in 1972 by parent company U.S. Leasing. He retired from U.S. Leasing in 1989.
Bosman passed away Aug. 13, 2009, at the age of 80.
Crimi was one of the principal contributors in the establishment of the Lee Myles National Fleet Transmission replacement program. Later, with his partner Alex Gianoupolos, he created SALEX, a combination of their two first names. SALEX was designed to provide to corporate America the first nationwide collision and major mechanical programs exclusive for fleets. At a later date, the company added standard and preventive maintenance services. The addition of these services established SALEX as the first full-service supplier of collision and full-maintenance programs to the fleet industry. He was an honorary NAFA Fleet Management Association lifetime member.
Feirer served as the NAFA Fleet Management Association president from 1979-1981, is a past president of NAFA Foundation, and recipient of NAFA’s Distinguished Service Award. During his career, he accepted an award on behalf of NAFA from President Jimmy Carter for NAFA’s efforts in planning fuel conservation during the height of the fuel crisis in the 1970s.
GM Fleet & Commercial Operations
Hansen joined GM in 1965 after graduating high school, working in a GM assembly plant during the summer while attending college. After graduating college with an engineering degree, he worked in several roles, including chief engineer for the Chevrolet Division. Hansen often comments that the highlight of his career was serving as general manager of GM Fleet & Commercial Operations in the late ’90s and into the 21st Century. After leaving GM, Hansen became COO for Tecstar, a second-stage manufacturer for GM. He is now retired, but provides pro-bono support for the North Carolina Center for Automotive Research (NCCAR).
Ron MawakA Sr.
Mawaka Sr. left his mark on the fleet industry when he created Rental Concepts, Inc. in March 1986. A unique rental consortium and first of its kind, it provided temporary cars, trucks, and specialty vehicles to fleets nationwide. His vision was to be a centralized place for fleet managers so they didn’t need to have multiple vendors, relationships and bills to manage. Today, Mawaka’s vision has become Fleet Response — a fully customized accident management, maintenance management, salvage, subrogation, and safety service provider in addition to continuing to offer rental services.
Mawaka’s sons, Ron Jr. and Scott, proudly carry on his work at Fleet Response. He has been a member of the NAFA Fleet Management Association since 1984. Mawaka graciously gives credit for his success to his friend and mentor, Pat Starr, retired CEO of Consolidated Service Corporation.
GM Fleet & Commercial Operations
McCallum was employed at General Motors for 37 years before retiring in November 2008. He began working in the fleet department in 1979, serving in a number of roles before eventually taking on the title of director of GM fleet dealer operations. McCallum also worked in the Chevrolet Division Fleet Department. He is a NAFA Fleet Management Association Affiliate and member of the Affiliates Committee, and serves on the NAFA Foundation Board of Directors.
Leary joined Motorlease in 1960, working in sales and general management. With his partner, Charles O’Neill, he helped pioneer the concept of outsourced fleet management and was instrumental in developing new remarketing strategies for Motorlease. He took full control of the company in 1976. During his tenure, Motorlease expanded from about 10 employees and a fleet of 600 to about 30 employees and a fleet of 3,000 at his retirement in 1993, when he turned company management over to his son Jack, CEO, and daughter Beth, CFO. He remained on Motorlease’s Board of Directors, was an active member of American Automotive Leasing Association (AALA) throughout his career, and served on its Board from 1981 through 1993.
GELCO/GE Capital Fleet Services
Mayfield was the only two-term Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) president, serving from 1998-2000. Among his achievements, he handled the GELCO/GE Capital Fleet Services largest select accounts and received the GE Fleet Services salesman of the year award three times.
Fleet Street Remarketing
McGrath entered the auto business in 1980 while working for a multi-line dealership in St. Petersburg, Fla. After selling used cars, working in the finance department, and ultimately buying autos and trucks at wholesale for the dealership, McGrath struck out on his own in 1985 and formed a wholesale auto business, called RAM Auto Leasing, with friend Bob McDevitt. Along with one employee who handled administrative tasks, the three bought and sold 20-40 used corporate cars per month. RAM soon transitioned to Eastern Fleet Remarketing after McDevitt moved on to another venture, and ultimately the company was rebranded as Fleet Street Remarketing to better capture the company’s new remarketing focus and global reach. As owner of Fleet Street Remarketing, McGrath helps businesses achieve maximum returns on the resale of each vehicle. McGrath has also been a member of the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) for more than 20 years and has served on the board of directors for the association.
Meckler was founder and CEO of LeasePlan International (LPI) in the U.S. in Great Neck, N.Y. LPI was set up as a finance lease operation and a managed truck maintenance program. Meckler set up and sold the finance lease package to banks in the U.K., South Africa, France, and the Netherlands. Meckler was deeply involved in managing LPI, which had grown from 20,000 vehicles in 1962 to 75,000 by 1967. PepsiCo, one of its biggest accounts, bought LPI in 1968 and Meckler joined its Board of Directors. He resigned from the Board shortly after and moved to London. There, Meckler set up an office equipment leasing business, which he ran as a two- to three-man operation until he retired and moved to Long Boat Key in Sarasota, Fla. Meckler passed away May 9, 2000.
Miller was AF’s 1998 Professional Fleet Manager of the Year and began her industry career in 1979 at ServiceMaster Industries. She implemented a new fleet program from the ground up with A.B. Dick Company. Miller was the fleet manager for Keebler Corp., before joining McDonald’s Corp., where she has been the fleet manager for 26 years. She was the recipient of the McDonald’s President’s Award, which recognizes the outstanding achievements of the top 1 percent of global staff employees. She has participated on client boards for GELCO, LeasePlan, and Ford Motor Company. Miller has been an Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) member for 24 years and served as vice president and president from 1996 to 1998. Miller currently chairs the AFLA Commercial Fleet Manager Sounding Board. She has also been a NAFA Fleet Management Association member for 33 years, served as Chairperson and Secretary of the Chicago NAFA Chapter in the 1980s, and is a founding member of the Women in Fleet Management (WIFM) Association.
Sohl founded Auto Driveaway in Philadelphia in 1952, primarily delivering cars from the East Coast to Florida, eventually adding franchised offices in Boston, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Miami. In 1960, Sohl purchased Chicago-based AAA Driveaway, which delivered used cars from the auto auctions in the Chicago area. In the early 1970s, Auto Driveaway became a regulated Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) carrier. During the 1970s and 1980s, the company expanded to more than 75 offices throughout the United States (including Hawaii) and Canada. During this period, the company had changed from private “snowbird” deliveries to corporate deliveries of vehicles for Fortune 500 companies, which had large fleet departments to control their sales forces and service vehicles. The company was also the primary motor home delivery service for Winnebago Industries in Iowa, delivering more than 5,000 recreational vehicles per year. The business became a franchisor in 1999 after the deregulation of the motor carrier industry. During its peak years, the business shipped 40,000-plus vehicles and grossed more than $18 million. From 2000 on, Auto Driveaway’s primary customers were large leasing companies, such as ARI – Automotive Resources International, Wheels, GE Capital Fleet Services, PHH Arval, and Motorlease. Sohl was actively involved in the fleet industry, supporting NAFA Fleet Management Association and the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA). Sohl retired from the business in 2002 during the company’s 50th anniversary year and passed away in 2010. Auto Driveaway was sold to its franchisees in 2004.
Harley Westfall joined Adrian Steel in 1976 and took over after his father, Adrian Steel founder Bob Westfall, passed away in 1980. Under his leadership, Adrian Steel became a QS-9000 certified company in 2000. In 2003, the company celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Mike Albert Fleet Solutions
Miller started his 45-year career with Mike Albert Leasing in 1957, helping lead it from a local leasing concern to a major national fleet management company. He was instrumental in creating and establishing its vehicle remarketing operations and vehicle purchasing department, as well as developing a national sales force. As an industry leader in closed-end operating leases, Miller established the Mike Albert Residual Committee. By pooling information from various aspects of the business, he established the Mike Albert vehicle model-year’s closed-end residuals. He retired in 2004, and is still an active Residual Committee member.
Mize, AF’s1995 Professional Fleet Manager of the Year, began her fleet career in 1977 at Hallmark Cards working with Helen Bland. She has been heavily involved in NAFA Fleet Management Association, holding all NAFA chapter offices. In addition to receiving the NAFA Outstanding Chapter Service Award in recognition from her local NAFA chapter, she also served on the national NAFA board as the national NAFA Educational chairperson. During her term as chairperson, the educational seminars were completely restructured to better serve the educational needs of members. Mize has also served on the AFLA board and is currently the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) Treasurer. In addition, she has served on the ADT Advisory Board and Ford Fleet Advisory Board, and currently serves on the Chrysler Fleet Advisory Board.
GELCO, AVIS, USFL, Fleet Advisors
Ward began his career with GELCO in 1971, working in several areas, from operations to client relations, sales to international responsibilities, and eventually president of GELCO’s Fleet Management Group. While at GELCO, the company went from a regional leasing company to an international company and eventually became a $2-billion diversified transportation company traded on the NYSE. After GE acquired GELCO in 1988, Ward returned to New York and accepted the position of president of Avis Leasing Co. He later joined U.S. Leasing in San Francisco (owned by Ford) and became president of USFL. After several years with U.S. Leasing, Ward left to start his own business, Fleet Advisors in 1995. Since then, he has worked with hundreds of companies on fleet-related consulting projects and simultaneously established a fleet management program to assist fleets.
ARI - Automotive Resources International
Wodack started at ARI in 1967 when the company was poised to change over to computerized operations. His continued advancement in the company led to his role as senior vice president of operations before retiring in 2003 as the company’s first IT executive – senior vice president, management information systems. Throughout his time at ARI, Wodack contributed to the development of the company’s customer systems, often the most advanced in the industry, including User Power, Inside ARI, ACCESS, FleetNet, PriceNet, and more, with system flexibility for customers always being the primary consideration. Wodack also put in place the industry’s first team of IT professionals dedicated to providing support for the company’s Customer Information Systems (CIS).