Photo by Vince Taroc.

Photo by Vince Taroc.

Automotive Fleet magazine and the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) are proud to announce the 2014 nominees for the Fleet Hall of Fame.

Instituted to recognize fleet industry leaders and pioneers who have contributed significantly to the commercial fleet management profession, Hall of Fame inductees must have fleet careers spanning 10 years or more. They are selected by their peers via an online ballot.

Established in 2008 with 20 founding members, the number of annual inductees will decrease by one each year, until three are installed in 2015. Thereafter, three honorees will be inducted in the Fleet Hall of Fame at AFLA's annual conference.

There are currently 65 members of the Fleet Hall of Fame to date. This year's list of industry veteran nominees is as follows:

Bob Berke, NAFA Executive Director

Dates in Fleet: ca. 1965-1985 (Deceased)

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.

Patsy Brownson, CAFM

Remco TV Rental, Cox Enterprises, UCB

Dates in Fleet: 1976-2011 (Retired)

Brownson has been in fleet management since 1976, beginning with Remco TV Rental, moving to Cox Enterprises, Inc. in 1987. At her early retirement in 2009, the Cox fleet consisted of more than 15,000 vehicles. She went to back to fleet, working for pharmaceutical company UCB, Inc. She managed UCB's Fleet, Relocation, and Travel programs for two-and-a-half years. During her fleet management tenure, she was an active member of several client advisory boards. Brownson has worked with EPA and DOE on clean air and energy issues and served on a presidential task force that inspired the Clean Cities program. In recognition of her accomplishments and leadership, President Clinton appointed her to the Policy Dialogue Advisory Committee to Develop Options for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Personal Motor Vehicles. She is the current treasurer of Clean Cities – Georgia. Brownson was the second woman president of NAFA (from 1993 to 1995) and AFLA president from 2005 to 2006 (the only woman to be president of both). She received the NAFA Distinguished Service award in 1998 and was named AF's Professional Fleet Manager of the Year in 2001.

Tom Callahan

Ford, GE Commercial Finance, Donlen

Dates in Fleet: 1987-Present

Callahan is currently president of Donlen, setting the strategic focus and driving the execution of key initiatives. He began his career at Ford Motor Company where he held various sales and management positions. Additionally, Callahan held global leadership positions in general management, sales management, product development, quality, and operations in North America, the UK, Japan, and Australasia with GE Commercial Finance ‑ Fleet Services and GE Consumer Finance. As Donlen president, Callahan introduced the Net Promoter Score into operational performance metrics, and, in 2013, Donlen achieved a score of 65 — more than three times the U.S. industry average — due to the importance placed on customer satisfaction throughout the organization. Callahan is a member of the Hertz Executive Committee and served as president of AFLA 2012-2013.

Mark Conroy

LMV Leasing, LeasePlan USA, Union Leasing

Dates in Fleet: 1978-Present

Conroy has been in the fleet management industry funding and managing fleets of vehicles to companies since 1978. His experience has included duties in direct B2B sales, sales management, marketing, and international marketing/coordination. He has managed national sales forces for both large- and medium-sized fleet management lessors during his 34-year career. As VP of sales & marketing for Union Leasing, he manages a sales force that assists companies seeking solutions to reduce costs and keep their fleets innovative. He was also president of AFLA from 2007-2008.

Dave Dahm

LeasePlan USA

Dates in Fleet: 1981-Present

Dahm is EVP and CFO for LeasePlan USA. A 33-year industry veteran, he began his career at LeasePlan as controller in 1988, working his way up to the role of CFO, becoming president and CEO in 2000. During that time, Dahm oversaw LeasePlan's successful acquisition of Consolidated Service Corporation (CSC), which more than tripled LeasePlan's market share at the time. In late 2008, Dahm returned to his former position as CFO. Dahm serves on the AALA Board of Directors and is treasurer of the Association. Dahm was named a CFO of the Year Award finalist in 2011 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle for his contributions in improving processes and profitability for LeasePlan.

Warren Feirer

Standard Brands/Nabisco (Retired)

Feirer served as NAFA president from 1979 to 1981, is a past president of the 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 1970s fuel crisis.

Charles 'Chuck' Husby

GM Fleet & Commercial Operations

Dates in Fleet: 50 Years (Retired)

Husby started his career with the Chevrolet Nodular Iron Foundry as a General Motors Institute student at age 17. He spent most of his career in Chevrolet field operations, then moved to the North America Operations Fleet Department and then to GM Fleet & Commercial Operations. He retired from his last position with the company as a fleet account executive in Dallas at the end of February 2013, with 50 years of service.

Don Kolb

McCormick; Peterson, Howell & Heather (PHH); McDonald's; Fleet Management Services, Inc.; GE Auto Auctions

Dates in Fleet: 1963-2003 (Retired)

Kolb's fleet career began in the fleet sales control department at McCormick & Co. reviewing "turn-in reports" for sales vehicles being returned to a local leasing company. He later joined PHH as and Account Executive serving large bases of customers and clients in the Northeast and Midwest markets. McDonald's Corporation hired Kolb as Director of Fleet Operations in 1976, where he developed a computer system that enabled the fleet management team to review and analyze virtually all processes of their fleet operations, among the very first of its kind to be run on a mainframe computer. He was later promoted to Director of Transportation for the company. Kolb went on to create Fleet Management Services, Inc., a technology company providing automation for the fleet management industry. He also served with the renowned Chicagoland Dealers Group. As VP Sales for GE Auto Auctions, Kolb and his team served OEM fleet and remarketing departments, leasing companies, banks, and fleet managers who remarked their fleet portfolios. Kolb went on to serve many senior roles for Manheim following their acquisition of GE Auto Auctions. He retired as VP, Manheim Automotive Financial Services (MAFS) providing dealers with automotive financing.

Stephen Levine

Alexander's Rent a Car, Guardsman LeasePlan, Warner/Amex Cable TV, Upjohn Phamacia/Pfizer

Dates in Fleet: 1968-2009 (Retired)

Levine started at Alexander's Rent A Car, moving on to Guardsman LeasePlan, where he sold open-/closed-/individual/fleet leases working in every department. He moved on to Warner, Amex Cable TV, then Upjohn/Pharmacia/Pfizer (via mergers). He served as the Michigan NAFA Chapter Chair. Levine was appointed to MIOSHA to write fleet safety rules/regulations for the state and selected to represent NAFA in testifying before the House Energy Subcommittee regarding clean air legislation. At Upjohn/Pharmacia, he implemented "zero tolerance for DUI infractions." He was selected as a member of GM's first Sounding Board and served on Wheels' Steering Council. Levine was awarded the AF Professional Fleet Manager of the Year in 1999.

Ron Mawaka Sr.

Fleet Response

Dates in Fleet: 1986-Present

Mawaka Sr. created Rental Concepts, Inc. in February 1986. A unique rental consortium and first of its kind, it provided temporary cars, trucks, and specialty vehicles to fleets nationwide. His vision was a centralized service for fleet managers to eliminate multiple vendors and invoices. 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 the rental services). Mawaka's sons, Scott and Ron Jr., carry on his work at Fleet Response. He has been a member of NAFA since 1984. Mawaka gives credit for his success to his friend and mentor, Pat Starr, retired CEO of Consolidated Service Corporation (CSC).

Bob Mayfield

GELCO, GE Capital Fleet Services (Retired)

Mayfield was the only two-term 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.

Jim McCallum

GM Fleet & Commercial Operations

Dates in Fleet: 1979-2008 (Retired)

McCallum was employed at General Motors for 37 years before retiring in November 2008. He began working in the Chevrolet Fleet Department in 1979 under the legendary George Frink. He served in a number of areas of GM Fleet including fleet distribution, field operations, GM global fleet, and fleet dealer operations. He was a NAFA Affiliate and member of the Affiliates Committee, and served on the NAFA Foundation Board of Directors. At GM, he helped to establish the first fleet secondary codes, convened the initial Chevrolet Fleet Sounding Board, expanded Chevrolet's in-shop warranty presence and guided its initial efforts in global fleet.

Kevin McGrath

Fleet Street Remarketing

Dates in Fleet: 1980-Present

McGrath entered the auto business in 1980, working for a multi-line dealership in St. Petersburg, Fla. After selling used cars, working in the finance department, and 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.

[PAGEBREAK]Brian McVeigh

GM Fleet & Commercial Operations (Retired)

McVeigh spent almost 40 years working in sales and marketing at General Motors. Ten years spent in the fleet and commercial world — four as the director of fleet in Canada and the last six as the general manager of Fleet & Commercial Sales in the U.S. During the time spent in fleet, he recognized the importance of developing relationships with both the end-user customer, as well as working with the commercial leasing organizations, to meet the customer's fleet requirements. He put new emphasis on supporting GM's commercial truck dealers, putting in place resources for them to grow this business. In addition, there were many upgrades to the auction business with new people put in place to recognize the importance of residual values. There was a strong emphasis put into vehicle content in working with daily rental business partners that was beneficial to both parties.

Henry Paetzel

General Mills

Dates in Fleet: 1970-2007 (Retired)

In charge of the General Mills fleet for 30 years, Paetzel was the winner of the 2004 AF Professional Fleet Manager of the Year Award. In 1967, he accepted a position with General Mills. In 1968, Paetzel began his career in the corporation's management-training program, which ultimately placed him in the transportation department to work on an automobile tracking system (at that time, the system used IBM cards). In 1970, the fleet supervisor left the company and Paetzel was offered the position. The fleet size was about 1,100 units and all vehicles were leased. In 1976, he was promoted to manager, automotive fleet services, and was responsible for the purchase, administration, and sale of the growing fleet (about 1,400 vehicles). In 1985, supervision of the employee automotive service center was added to Paetzel's responsibilities, and, in 1988, he assumed responsibility for the car rental program for the business traveler. In addition, Paetzel was instrumental in helping to merge the Pillsbury fleet into General Mills following the acquisition of the company in 2001.

Gerri Patton

LeasePlan USA

Dates in Fleet: 1985-Present

As director, client activation, Patton is responsible for the continued development and enhancement of processes for activating new clients as well as implementing new services for existing clients. In addition, she has been a key advocate for LeasePlan's HealthyU Program, an employee-run wellness committee, which helped land LeasePlan on the Atlanta Business Chronicle's 2013 Healthiest Employers list. Under her direction, the client activation team was named a finalist in the 2006 American Business Awards for the "Best Customer Service Team" category. A 29-year industry veteran, she has served as manager, client activation for LeasePlan prior to her current role. Previous positions held at LeasePlan includes manager, license and title department.

Ron Pink

Xerox Corp.

Pink joined Xerox Corp. in June 1963 and entered fleet management in January of 1964. According to Pink, "it happened by circumstance."  During a staff meeting, the company's executive vice president noted that he moved the 700 service technicians into leased cars. Pink spoke up and took over the fleet, in addition to his other responsibilities. The 700 vehicle fleet grew to a fleet of 11,000-plus under his leadership. Additional fleet policies he created included a preventive maintenance coupon program in the late 1960s, a vehicle safety program, and the implementation of a computerized vehicle tracking system. Xerox also started the "mass-buy" concept in 1974, according to Pink. He was named the 1989 AF Professional Fleet Manager of the Year.

Phil Procida


Dates in Fleet: 1960-2005

Procida joined ARI in 1960 working as a clerk in operations and administration. After holding various positions, he joined ARI's sales team in 1979. When ARI expanded into Canada in 1989, Procida advanced from overseeing various Midwestern sales offices to having responsibility for all Canadian operations. In 1992, he served as the scout to find dealerships in Mexico that would handle vehicle deliveries to ARI clients. There, he met the Zapata family, who operated their dealerships quite similarly to how the Holman family ran ARI and its dealership operations.  Procida fostered that relationship, which led to the formation of ARIZA, the joint venture between ARI and Zapata, in 1993. The following year, Procida traveled the globe to find the best fleet companies outside of North America, helping ARI establish and introduce Global Fleet Services (GFS), the first alliance of leading global fleet companies. Procida retired from ARI in 2005 as vice president, International Operations and GFS President and Chairman of the board.

Josie Sharp, CAFM

Bell & Howell Phillipsburg Co., Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceutical Co., Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Commonwealth of PA, Shire Pharmaceuticals

Dates in Fleet: 1987-2012 (Retired)

Sharp began as a fleet coordinator at Bell & Howell managing around 500 vehicles in the U.S. She was then offered a position with Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (RPR) managing a 1,500-vehicle fleet, growing to around 3,500 vehicles, and fleet safety was added to her responsibilities. After a merger, RPR became Aventis, and Sharp was offered the position of manager of fleet and safety with about 5,000-plus vehicles. In 2003, Sharp won AF's Fleet Manager of the Year; later that year, she was offered the position of Bureau Director for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. At Shire Pharmaceuticals, she handled fleet, fleet safety, and field-related programs. She held positions on fleet advisory boards including Ford, GM, OnStar, and was a member of groups including AFLA, National Safety Council, and the National Conference of State Fleet Administrators (NCSFA). She is an active member of NAFA, holding all positions on the NAFA Philadelphia Chapter Board.

Ron Shoemaker

Flexco Fleet Services (FFS), Innovative Funding Services (IFS), Hourglass Management Corp.

Dates in Fleet: 1989-Present

Shoemaker incorporated Flexco Fleet Services in 1992, which, in the past 22 years has grown to become one of the industry's largest privately held remarketing companies. Flexco's services and cutting-edge technology have helped its clients better understand the importance of remarketing as a major part of fleet vehicle lifecycles. In 2009, Shoemaker co-founded Innovative Funding Services, a top-tier finance company working with Fortune 100 companies, banks, and OEM's. He joined AFLA in 1992 and has served on AFLA's board asDirector of Remarketing.

Michael Sims

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Dates in Fleet: 1974- Present

During college, Sims worked as an assistant store manager for the KMART organization, on the fast track to becoming a store manager. But, his love for the church and family, and realizing that retail meant working many Sundays, life took him in a different direction. He started in the fleet business in 1974 working for IML Freight. He was promoted to manager with the responsibility of writing tariffs for the ICC. During this time, he also taught fleet classes at the LDS business College. After IML closed its doors in 1983, Sims became the fleet manager of UI Group. He joined the LDS Church fleet team in 1984 after UI Group was sold. 

Bob Ward

GELCO, Avis, USFL, Fleet Advisors

Dates in Fleet: 1971-Present

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 (then-owned by Ford) and became president of its business unit 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.

Bret Watson, CAFM

GE Capital Fleet Services, Sprint

Dates in Fleet: 1984-Present

Watson began working at GELCO in 1984, which became GE Capital Fleet Services in 1987. In 1989, he joined Sprint and has worked for the company more than 24 years, all of which have been in fleet. He started first as a fleet administrator, then became fleet manager a few years later. He operates a fleet of 2,200 vehicles with one direct report and many outsourced suppliers for additional support. Sprint had been with GELCO, GE Fleet before Watson joined Sprint in 1989. About 90 percent of Sprint's fleet are cars and SUVs, with about 10 percent of the vehicles being medium- to heavy-duty trucks. Sprint fleet has a personal-use program, safety program, and a DOT program. Watson also served as Chapter Chair of the NAFA Mid-America Chapter, Chair of NAFA's Editorial and Certification Committees, and served one year as AFLA treasurer.

Harley Westfall

Adrian Steel

Dates in Fleet: 1976-2001 (Retired)

Westfall joined Adrian Steel in 1976 and took over after his father, Adrian Steel founder Bob Westfall, passed away in 1980. Westfall led Adrian Steel as president for 25 years. He instilled the values of a team effort throughout the company and his strategic decisions to create subsidiaries, expand distribution, expand the product line, and modernize the manufacturing line not only created growth at Adrian Steel, but positioned the company to become an industry leader in offering cargo management solutions for commercial vehicles. In 2013, the Adrian Steel Company celebrated its 60th anniversary.

David Zuidema

PHH Arval

Dates in Fleet: 1981-Present

Throughout his 33-year career in the fleet industry, Zuidema has been a key leader in development of new and exciting breakthroughs in fleet service and technology. In the 1980s, he led a project to create PHH FleetLine, the first PC-based system to manage a fleet, and led the PHH team that developed the first data warehouse in 1996. He also led the team that developed PHH InterActive and formally introduced the concept of customer experience in 2010, opening the industry's first innovation center, according to PHH. Under his leadership, PHH recently launched Clarus, a platform for delivering fleet management information and functionality that uses an "app-like" approach for personalization and integrates guided analytics to identify and take management actions automatically. 

About the author
Lauren Fletcher

Lauren Fletcher

Executive Editor - Fleet, Trucking & Transportation

Lauren Fletcher is Executive Editor for the Fleet, Trucking & Transportation Group. She has covered the truck fleet industry since 2006. Her bright personality helps lead the team's content strategy and focuses on growth, education, and motivation.

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