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 the fleet industry.
This month, we spoke with Katie Keeton, Commodity Management Professional for Siemens USA.
Getting Into Fleet
Keeton has been involved in the fleet industry for the past 16 years. She started her fleet career with Siemens USA in 2003 and has been with the company ever since.
Keeton is one of Siemens USA's fleet managers and remains very active in the fleet community. In fact, she was a part of the Wheels Steering Council and currently holds a position as Vice President of AFLA.
"The Siemens USA Fleet team utilizes innovation and expertise to evolve our fleet with a focus on safety, sustainability, and cost savings," Keeton explained. "I'm proud to be part of such a highly regarded team that coordinates and guides the development and execution of a strategically managed fleet program. At Siemens, we work alongside managers, controllers, and our internal Fleet Committee to ensure employees are provided with the most efficient and cost-effective tools to remain focused and productive. Additionally, our team drives behavior modification through ongoing communication to ensure the effectiveness of policy, programs, and products."
Keeton started at Siemens USA as a contractor supporting the fleet department with various projects. Her work ethic and energy, coupled with her willingness to learn, proact, and challenge herself, were noticed by former department head Jim McCarthy. He offered her a permanent position with the company. "I will always be grateful to Jim for giving me the opportunity to join his team," Keeton remarked.
Keeton is proud of the investments Siemens USA has made to realize a more sustainable and safer fleet.
"In the past six model years, we introduced hybrids in our passenger vehicle segment and more fuel-efficient, light-duty options where we could. We also incorporated safety technology within the past three model years. The fact that we were able to make these investments to reduce CO2 and collisions despite the relentless push for year-over-year savings is a big accomplishment," she said.
She is motivated for continued success first and foremost by the people.
"I have been fortunate to build relationships with really smart, hardworking, fun professionals at Siemens and within the fleet industry and their passion is contagious," Keeton said. "I'm also motivated by the changes that we are experiencing in fleet. Technology is playing a huge role in how we do our jobs, and as things evolve, we get to wear different hats along the way. I started out in a customer service focused role which taught me a lot in my first 10 years or so, but now working in a fully strategic capacity I find there is so much more to learn."
For anyone looking to join the industry, Keeton offered this advice: "If you haven't figured it out already, learn to adapt and embrace change because we are swimming in it! Also, it's so important to get involved. I know we're all swamped, but when you can take the time to get involved with an association, advisory board, or council it can make a world of difference for you and for the industry," she concluded.
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 Keeton's favorites:
- Book: "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn because it moved me and reminds me of the importance of tenacity," she said.
- Movie: "My Cousin Vinny because I love comedy and this movie will always make me laugh no matter how many times I watch it," Keeton said.
- Songs: "This Train is Bound for Glory (Sublime Acoustic version) because it makes me think about my strong husband and our story," she said.
- You May Not Know: "When I'm not giving my all to fleet, I'm laughing, dancing, skating, reading, swimming, skiing, and so much more with my husband and our three awesome children," Keeton shared.