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 Ruth Alfson, manager of fleet and travel for EG Retail (America).
Getting into Fleet
Alfson has been involved in the fleet industry for the past 29 years. She started her fleet career with Follett Corporation in 1990 and has worked in fleet for Seminole County, Fla., Exelon, and Serco, Inc.
EG Retail (America) is a brand-new company in the U.S., and Alfson is working to help build up its fleet.
“My responsibilities include setting up a new fleet to support the business. This means setting up new vehicle procurement, writing policies, setting up maintenance plans, working on fuel reimbursements, and all the other associated tasks with setting up and running a new fleet,” Alfson explained.
In a story familiar to many, she entered the world of fleet on accident.
“After starting at Follett, the VP of Operations wanted to concentrate on real estate acquisitions and asked me to handle fleet full-time. I knew nothing about fleet, so I turned to NAFA for the information and guidance I needed,” she said.
Alfson is thankful for and proud of her involvement in NAFA.
“I think my proudest moment was taking the stage at the NAFA Institute & Expo (I&E) in Orlando in 2015 to become the 34th president of the Association. It was a humbling experience, and I was so honored to be elected to this office on behalf of all NAFA members,” she said.
Alfson looks to the people in the fleet industry for her continued motivation to succeed.
“I know that fleet managers, no matter the industry or job, are the most friendly and knowledgeable people regarding their profession. They contribute so much to advancing education regarding fleet, and I continue to want to be a part of it. I learn so much from my peers, and I hope I can contribute as much as they do in educating the next generation on fleet,” she added.
For anyone looking to join the industry, Alfson offered this advice: “Use the resources available to you at NAFA and other industry associations. They are a wealth of information and can help you gain the education you need to succeed. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to other fleet managers at industry events. Some of the best education can come from the smallest of conversations you have with someone. Plus, the more you know how other people handle difficult fleet issues, the better you can make informed decisions about your own fleet,” 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 Alfson’s favorites:
- Book: “The Prodigal Daughter, by Jeffrey Archer. He’s a wonderful storyteller and has strong female characters that overcome obstacles to be the best they can be,” she said.
- Movie: “Tora! Tora! Tora! It’s a fantastic movie that really explains the events leading up to December 7, 1941, and does so without adding unnecessary secondary storylines,” Alfson said.
- Songs: “Everyday Is Halloween, by Ministry. It reminds me of a misspent youth that wasn’t all that misspent!” she said.
- You May Not Know: “I am a WWII history buff, and I absolutely love Formula One!” Alfson shared.