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.
 - File photo

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.

File photo

The three finalists for the Professional Fleet Manager of the Year award include Lee Jezek-Pierce, Phil Samuelson, and Erin Gilchrist, Automotive Fleet magazine has announced. A judging panel will decide the winner.

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 2018 Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) Conference at the JW Marriott in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 1. The award is presented by Automotive Fleet and sponsored by Wheels Inc. and AFLA. 

Phil Samuelson, fleet and captial asset manager, USIC -

Phil Samuelson, fleet and captial asset manager, USIC

Phil Samuelson, Fleet and Capital Asset Manager, USIC

  • Total vehicles: 9,350
  • Staff supervised: 2
  • Years with current fleet: 14
  • Years in industry: 28

Notable Achievements

Phil Samuelson utilizes the latest technologies, telematics offerings, and advanced safety features/programs to bring cost savings and improved safety to USIC’s fleet. The USIC fleet grew by over 4% in 2017 through acquisitions, new business contracts, and increased business volume.

USIC’s service fleet accumulates nearly 184 million miles annually, and has a consistently decreased or maintained an industry low operating cost-per-mile year over year. Deploying an optimal vehicle selection and cycling strategy has allowed USIC to operate below industry benchmarks. Samuelson has strategically overseen cost mitigation that exceeded $1.2 million over the last two years. 

Samuelson looks to automation and aggressive safety programs to help bring cost savings and improved safety. The USIC fleet grew by 6% in 2016 and 4% in 2017, through acquisitions, new business contracts, and increased business volume. 

Erin Gilchrist, director of fleet, Safelite AutoGlass -

Erin Gilchrist, director of fleet, Safelite AutoGlass

Erin Gilchrist, Director of Fleet, Safelite AutoGlass

  • Total vehicles: 8,200
  • Staff supervised: 4
  • Years with current fleet: 12
  • Years in industry: 12

Notable Achievements

Erin Gilchrist has been instrumental in leading Safelite’s long-term sustainability and innovation strategy with the company’s fleet of more than 8,000 vehicles.

She introduced telematics and driver safety/behavior management to Safelite in 2013 and has since implemented other initiatives like idle reduction, engine calibration technology, CNG and electric hybrid vehicle piloting, significant light-weighting of the box truck fleet which have together yielded more than $8 million in savings and reduced gallons consumption by more than 5 million.

The discovery, review, piloting, and implementation of a telematics program at Safelite has been one of Gilchrist’s top fleet successes. 

The program has been successful in the areas of reductions across all KPIs to include fleet cost per mile and mobile customer served, gallons, fleet cost per vehicle, and has improved discipline, innovation, and driver engagement in tangible ways. 

Lee Jezek-Pierce, global fleet manager, Weatherford International -

Lee Jezek-Pierce, global fleet manager, Weatherford International

Lee Jezek-Pierce, Global Fleet Manager, Weatherford International

  • Total vehicles: 3,800
  • Staff supervised: 7
  • Years with current fleet: 2
  • Years in industry: 18

Notable Achievements

In early 2016, Lee Jezek-Pierce implemented new programs to address, maintenance, fuel, tolls, registrations, and IFTA/IRP reporting. Created standardized vehicle specs, streamlined process and procedures while bridging the relationship between Fleet and Operations. In her first year, Pierce and her team sold 1,600 leased and company-owned assets resulting in a gain of $14 million, and a global solution to sell heavy equipment.  

In addition, she implemented a maintenance program which provided cost savings/avoidance of $150,000 during its first two months of utilization. By creating  more transparency for Operations, the results have provided better management of their own P&L. 

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 into a fully centralized model. 

She is a member of the Commercial Sounding board for General Motors.

2018 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, a GE Company
George Survant (2016), NTEA
John Dmochowsky (2017), Mondeléz International

Dealers

Russ Cass, Hawk Fleet
Rick Nicoletti, Napleton Group

Auctions

Tom Kontos, KAR Auction Services
Pierre Pons, ServNet

Manufacturers

Ed Peper, General Motors
Kevin Koswick, Ford 
Frank Dankovich, FCA US LLC

Fleet Management Companies

Dan Frank, Wheels Inc.
Bob White, 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

Media

Sherb Brown, Fleet Financials
Mike Antich, Automotive Fleet

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