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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 John Dmochowsky, 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 the award will be announced during the 2017 Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) Conference at the M Resort & Spa Casino in Las Vegas, on Sept. 18. The award is presented by Automotive Fleet and sponsored by Wheels Inc. and AFLA. 

The finalists are as follows:



John Dmochowsky

CAFM, Senior Global Fleet Manager, Mondelez International

  • Total vehicles: 10,000
  • Staff supervised: 1
  • Years with current fleet: 16
  • Years in industry: 16
  • Replacement policy: Varies

Primary responsibilities

Dmochowsky oversees the Mondelez International strategic global fleet initiative for regions across the globe. He also leads global strategic development in regards to policy administration, budgeting, vehicle acquisition and disposal, driver safety programs, auditing, greenhouse gas initiatives, and more.

Notable achievements

Comparing 2016 total global fleet spend results versus 2015, Mondelez had a spend reduction of $19.5 million, resulting from a change in the global vehicle selection process, policy implementation, continuous savings initiative, and TCO reduction. Mondelez International also delivered a 21% improvement and achieved best-in-class results in fuel, maintenance, depreciation, and accidents. In 2016, Dmochowsky conducted global regional fleet seminars, resulting in a synergistic meeting of regional cross-functional leaders to drive rigor on training, accident reduction, and cost savings. As a result, preventable accidents decreased by 10% and CO2 emissions decreased by 12% in 2016. He also serves on the AFLA Board of Directors and GM Commercial Sounding Board. Since 2011, He has been a Fleet Management Seminar instructor for NAFA. During the global regional fleet seminars trips, he was a guest speaker at the Global Fleet Conference in Brussels and another global conference in Sao Paulo. He was a finalist for the AF Fleet Manager of the Year Award in 2012 and 2015



Lee Jezek-Pierce

Global Fleet Manager, Weatherford International

  • Total vehicles: 4,100
  • Staff supervised: 7
  • Years with current fleet: 1 year and 5 months.
  • Years in industry: 18
  • Replacement policy: 4 years or 125,000/150,000 miles

Primary responsibilities

Pierce is responsible for managing the rolling stock along with additional assets such as trailers and forklifts. She also oversees programs that include maintenance, fuel, collision, tolls, registrations, and permitting for approximately 8,500 assets.

Notable Achievements

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. Within two years of joining, Pierce implemented new programs to address maintenance, fuel cards, tolls, registrations, and IFTA/IRP reporting. In her first year, Pierce and her team sold 1,600 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 $10 million. Also, she implemented a maintenance program which provided cost savings/avoidance of $150,000 during its first two months of utilization. Leveraging fuel and telematics data to create operational efficiencies within the organization and drive out excess cost, she has transitioned the company’s semi-decentralized fleet and to a fully centralized model.



Phil Samuelson

Fleet and Capital Asset Manager, USIC

  • Total vehicles: 9,050
  • Staff supervised: 2
  • Years with current fleet: 13
  • Years in industry: 28
  • Replacement policy: 60 months/120,000 miles

Primary responsibilities

Samuelson provides innovative and cost-effective fleet solutions for USIC’s U.S. and Canadian operations. He oversees all fleet activities, procurement, budgeting, policies, and DOT compliance. He manages vehicle lifecycling by partnering with USIC’s FMC, suppliers, and service providers.

Notable Achievements

Samuelson looks to automation, telematics, and aggressive safety programs to help bring cost savings and improved safety to USIC’s fleet. The USIC fleet grew by over 6% in 2016 through acquisitions and new business contracts. USIC’s service fleet drives nearly 170 million miles annually, and has a consistently decreasing operating cost per mile year over year. 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. Two years ago, USIC adjusted its cycling policy, resulting in more than $1.8 million in lifecycle savings. Samuelson holds a seat on the Donlen Client Advisory Board, as well as several OEM commercial sounding boards.


2017 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), Adient
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, (Retired)
Gage Wagoner (2014), Philips Electronics
Brenda Davis (2015), Baker Hughes
George Survant (2016), NTEA

Russ Cass, Piemonte Network
Rick Nicoletti, Napleton Group

Tom Kontos, 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 DePace, EMKAY
Tom Callahan, Donlen
Jeff Schlesinger, 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

About the author
Andy Lundin

Andy Lundin

Former Senior Editor

Andy Lundin was a senior editor on Automotive Fleet, Fleet Financials, and Green Fleet.

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