The Women in Fleet Profile series introduces fleet managers to some of the most influential women in fleet. Every month, we will get to know another positive force in fleet.
This month, we spoke with Diana Holland, director of sales, northeast for Merchants Fleet Management.
Getting into Fleet
Holland has worked for Merchants for the past 20 years. She is currently responsible for a team of sales representatives in the northeast and key vertical markets in the fleet management space.
“I’ve held numerous roles within fleet during my tenure. I started in entry-level administration and customer support roles. I then advanced to management in marketing and sales administration and subsequently to leadership roles in product development and sales,” Holland explained.
Holland’s attraction to fleet can be attributed to a program that she participated in during her younger years.
“I interned at several organizations through ‘Women in Technology’ designed to encourage young women to explore careers in engineering and technology fields. Through the program, I had the good fortune of participating in a roundtable discussion with President Clinton, where I vowed to become a strong, successful woman in a male-dominated field. Through my college years, I found that my core skills were better aligned with marketing and sales rather than engineering, so I pursued my education in that field, but sought out an industry that would allow me to stay closely connected with technology. Fleet was a natural fit,” Holland said.
Holland takes great pride in her contributions to Merchants, which helped transform the company from a regional lessor to a nationally recognized fleet management company.
“A good part of my career was spent listening to customers responsible for fleet, what works well for them and what doesn’t. I took that feedback and launched the product offerings we have today. Standing those products up allowed me to contribute to our clients’ needs by improving some of the traditional offerings in the fleet management space,” she said.
Holland’s work also introduced her to many industry partnerships, which served as a launch pad to participate in industry functions including NAFA local chapters, Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA), the Women in Fleet Management (WIFM) task force, and more.
Holland stays motivated to succeed through competition and being a role model.
“A core value of mine is to make it count in whatever it is that I commit to. Drive plays a huge role in what gets me moving in the morning. And, lots of coffee. Competition is also a great motivator. I’m not afraid to roll up my sleeves and work hard. I don’t want to just fill a need in fleet, I want to revolutionize the way we optimize the use of vehicle assets. I believe it is important to be a role model for the generation entering the workforce today. The best way to accomplish that is to lead by example,” she said.
Holland advises others in the fleet industry to look for a mentor; maybe even more than one. “Your mentor can be someone you admire and aspire to be like or neither of those things. A mentor needs to be someone you are comfortable hearing uncomfortable things about yourself from. Rely on them for help with the things that challenge you the most and that keep you up at night,” Holland advised.
Get to Know Me
Experience is only part of our story and what someone likes to read, watch, and listen to can help paint a fuller picture of their personality. Here are some of Holland’s favorites:
- Book: “'Outliers' by Malcolm Gladwell. I love that this book profiles so many highly successful people and connects the common traits among them. There’s something to be learned from the extreme self-discipline that these individuals exhibit,” Holland said.
- Movie: “My favorite movie would be 'Rocky II'. It’s a story about perseverance. And it’s a classic!” she said.
- You May Not Know: “Most people already know I’m a die-hard Boston Bruins fan. But, many do not know that each year, my sisters (I am one of six girls) and I bake holiday cookies. It is a two-day event for us. In our record high year, we baked 2,000 cookies!” she said.