Michael Sims, Jim Christiano, and Bob Brown were inducted into the Fleet Hall of Fame in October as the latest fleet veterans to achieve the honor.
The three honorees were recognized during the 2018 Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) Conference at the JW Marriott Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 1.
The honorees were selected through a public survey online. Following their induction, the Fleet Hall of Fame is now comprised of 81 members. AFLA is the exclusive sponsor of the Automotive Fleet Hall of Fame.
"Mike Sims has set a very high bar for managing an efficient and complex fleet around the globe, while Jim was the fleet face of Buick and founded a well-regarded vehicle logistics firm," said Mike Anitch, associate publisher/editor at Automotive Fleet. "Bob Brown was instrumental in the launch of several fleet publications and an important voice for the fleet industry in Detroit."
Sims has been the global fleet planning and acquisitions manager for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints since 1983. A 43-year industry veteran, he is responsible for the vendor relations and acquisition of the Church’s global fleet, which contains vehicles in 144 countries. His overall responsibilities include planning, sourcing vehicles, and manufacturer relationships. He has led initiatives to increase the Church’s efficiencies and maximize operational cost effectiveness globally.
Sims was named Fleet Manager of the Year by Automotive Fleet in 2010. He has served as a member of the GM Domestic Advisory Board (Chair), GM Global Sounding Board (Chair), Ford Advisory Board, Chrysler Advisory Board, and AFLA Sounding Board. Sims considers this as a recognition of the organization he works for and the tremendous fleet team he works with.
Christiano joined Buick in 1971, serving in service and sales roles for the Buick Motor Division at locations across the United States. In 1981, he transferred to Buick’s home office in Flint, Mich., and took on the role of director of fleet sales, his first official role in fleet. He led Buick’s Olympics project, placing 10,000 Buicks on the ground in Los Angeles.
After leaving Buick in 1986, he opened a dealership for a time, which he sold in 1991. He later managed sales for a drive-away business, and founded PARS in 1998. In its first year, PARS quoted 50 moves a day and received 10 orders. Since then, the company has grown dramatically, recently moving into new 10,000 square-foot headquarters in Gainesville, Va. He led PARS until 2006 (when his daughter, Lori Rasmussen, took over), but remains active in the business.
Brown, former VP and later Great Lakes sales manager for Bobit Business Media, was a member of the Automotive Fleet Leasing Association (AFLA) and NAFA.
He served as a resource for OEM fleet managers in Detroit for more than three decades, and had a hand in launching several fleet publications, including Fleet Financials, Business Cars and Trucks, and Business Vehicle Management. Brown sold the first ever VHS tape insert for a B2B magazine for a project with Buick that appeared in Automotive Fleet in 1984. He was also the first person to ever sell a CD insert as well in 1992.
The Fleet Hall of Fame honors and recognizes fleet industry leaders and pioneers who have contributed significantly to the commercial fleet management profession. Eligible nominees must have at least 10 years fleet management experience.