Automotive Fleet magazine has announced the three finalists for the fleet manager of the year award and the judging panel that will decide who the winner will be.
The finalists, Lee Jezek-Pierce, Phil Samuelson, and George Survant, all meet the requirements for nomination. Nominees are full-time commercial fleet managers who control a company-owned or leased fleet in excess of 100 cars and light trucks combined, and who are recognized nationally among their peers for their unique abilities and accomplishments are eligible.
The winner of this year's group of finalists will be announced at the AFLA 2016 Annual Conference on Sept. 20, in San Diego, Calif.
The finalists are as follows:
Global Fleet Manager, Weatherford International
- Total Vehicles: 4,600
- Staff Supervised: 4
- Years with Current Fleet: 5 months
- Years in Industry: 18
- Replacement Policy: In process of developing process. In prior years was on an “as needed” basis.
Pierce serves as the Global Fleet Manager for Weatherford International — a multinational oilfield service company — and is responsible for establishing a sustainable Fleet Management Program. She is responsible for providing cost-effective and customer-friendly maintenance and fuel programs. Pierce also oversees collision response and management and proper vehicle permitting and registration, including IRP and IFTA.
In early 2016, Pierce joined Weatherford in the midst of the worst downturn in the oil and gas industry’s history, and was faced with a shrinking budget, limited resources, and a company-wide directive to better utilize assets and reduce expenses. With a fresh perspective, she went to work, leveraging her more than 18 years of experience to manage Weatherford’s 10,000-assets and set the company on the path of establishing a best-in-class Fleet Management Program.
In the first half of 2016, Pierce and her team sold 500 leased and company-owned assets, while doing a balancing act of time versus return to receive optimal sale proceeds, resulting in an estimated operating cost savings of $5 million. With this achievement complete, Pierce has her eye on other process improvements to further enhance Weatherford’s Fleet Management Program, which includes reducing maintenance costs through a standardized fleet maintenance program and streamlining the company’s fleet billing procedures.
Fleet and Capital Asset Manager, USIC
- Total Vehicles: 8,750
- Staff Supervised: 2
- Years with Current Fleet: 12
- Years in Industry: 27
- Replacement Policy: 60 months/120,000 miles
Samuelson provides innovative and cost-effective fleet solutions for USIC’s U.S. and Canadian operations. He is responsible for overseeing all fleet activities, procurement, budgeting, establishment of fleet policies, and DOT compliance. He manages all aspects of vehicle lifecycling from acquisition to disposal by partnering with USIC’s fleet management company, suppliers, and service providers.
Samuelson strives to bring value to the USIC fleet through his analytic skills, and attention to new fleet industry technology. Automation, telematics, and aggressive safety programs (partnering with their EHS & IS Departments) continue to bring cost savings and improved safety to USIC’s fleet. The USIC fleet continues to average 12.7% year-over-year growth, through acquisitions and new business contracts.
USIC’s service fleet drives nearly 170 million miles annually, and has maintained a consistent operating cost per mile year over year, trending down for the last three years. Maintenance costs per mile continue to decline, despite mileage accumulation growth of 16%. Deploying an optimal vehicle selection and cycling strategy has allowed USIC to operate below industry benchmarks. Samuelson has overseen cost mitigation that has exceeded $2.2 million. USIC recently adjusted its cycling policy, resulting in more than $1.8 million in lifecycle savings.
Samuelson has managed fleet growth through various partners to optimize order-to-delivery lead times and to meet business needs. By adjusting cycling of vehicles based on the review of historical performance data, USIC has been able to avoid an estimated $390,000 associated with drivetrain services alone. Samuelson holds a seat on USIC’s fleet management company’s Client Advisory Board as well as several OEM Commercial Sounding Boards. He has been involved with both AFLA and NAFA.
Senior Fleet Director, Time Warner Cable
- Total Vehicles: 20,483
- Staff Supervised: Nine direct reports and a total team of 42
- Years with Current Fleet: 4
- Years in Industry: 40
- Replacement Policy: 175,000 miles and seven years for cars, pickups, vans, and SUVS. Nine years for aerial trucks and warehouse material delivery trucks.
Survant is responsible for all elements of fleet strategy, including alt fuels, vehicle selection, disposition processes, performance management, metrics development and deployment, team building, and change management.
Survant continuously looks for new advances in technology to improve his fleet. He is not afraid to step outside the familiar to try something new and innovative. He is passionate about the industry and his job. He has a hands-on approach to managing Time Warner’s fleet, using benchmarking to take the fleet to the next level. Survant has been active in fleet organizations, including as the past chair for the FPL PAC Trustees, EUFMC, and the CalStart Board of Directors.
He has served as a member of several OEM advisory boards. He is the past chair of the HTUF Utility Fleet Hybrid Development Team. Survant has been recognized numerous times by the fleet industry for his accomplishments, particularly for pursuing sustainable fleet alternatives.
He has been awarded the National Safety Council Fleet Award, the NAFA Green Fleet Award, the Sustainable Florida Award, the Blue Sky Award for Leadership, the Vocational Fleet of the Year award, the Eye for Innovation Award from the Biodiesel Board, and most recently a NAFA Fleet Excellence Award for Fleet Sustainability. He also is a co-inventor on two industry patents.
2016 Fleet Manager of the Year Judging Panel
Active Past Winners (Below are their current positions)
Debbie Mize (1995), Hallmark
Susan Miller (1998), Geotab
Patsy Brownson (2001), Consultant
Jim McCarthy (2005), Siemens (Retired)
Lynda Dinwiddie (2007), LabCorp
Joe LaRosa (2008), Consultant
Christy Coyte Meyer (2009), Johnson Controls
Mike Sims (2010), Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Theresa Belding (2011), Allergen
Lee Miller (2012), Boehringer Ingelheim
Dick Malcom (2013), State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance
Gage Wagoner (2014), Philips Electronics
Brenda Davis (2015), Baker Hughes
Russ Cass, Piemonte Network
Rick Nicoletti, Napleton Group
Bob Rauschenberg, ADESA
Pierre Pons, ServNet
Ed Peper, General Motors
Kevin Koswick, Ford
Frank Dankovich, FCA US LLC
Fleet Management Companies
Jim Frank, Wheels Inc.
Chris Conroy, ARI
Kristi Webb, Element Fleet Management
Greg Tepas, EMKAY
Tom Callahan, Donlen
Mike Pitcher, LeasePlan USA
Robert Singer, Merchants Fleet Management
Wayne Smolda, The CEI Group
Bob Martines, Corporate Claims Management (CCM)
Scott Mawaka, Fleet Response
Sherb Brown, Fleet Financials
Mike Antich, Automotive Fleet