Fifteen fleet managers have been nominated for the Professional Fleet Manager of the Year award. 

Fifteen fleet managers have been nominated for the Professional Fleet Manager of the Year award.

Fifteen fleet management professionals have been nominated for the 2019 Edward J. Bobit Professional Fleet Manager of the Year award. The nominees have diverse experience, but share the common qualities of passion and drive for excellence.

The Fleet Manager of the Year award recognizes a proficient fleet manager who has demonstrated special business acumen in developing and executing key management policies in all areas.

Qualified nominees who are full-time commercial fleet managers, 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 Edward J. Bobit Professional Fleet Manager and Fleet Executive of the Year awards will be announced at the 2019 AFLA conference, which will be held Sept. 16 to 18 at the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona.

The winner of the Edward J. Bobit Professional Fleet Manager of the Year award will be profiled in an issue of Automotive Fleet later this year. Last year Phil Samuelson, fleet and capital asset manager of USIC, was honored with the award at the 2018 AFLA conference.

Here are the nominees:

Brad Bohnen

Head of fleet management for North America, Ericsson Inc.  -

Head of fleet management for North America, Ericsson Inc.

●  Total vehicles: 1,300

●  Staff supervised: 2

●  Years with current fleet: 11

●  Years in industry: 28

●  Notable achievements: In 2009, Bohnen joined Ericsson to develop and implement a comprehensive fleet program in North America. Over the next 10 years, he developed many best-in-class programs which resulted in cost savings, process efficiencies and management of driver risk. Bohnen has served the NAFA Mid-America chapter as treasurer, vice-chairman, chairman and secretary and is an officer on the Board of Directors for the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) where he serves as treasurer.

Dave Dahn

Corporate fleet program manager, Erie Insurance Group  -

Corporate fleet program manager, Erie Insurance Group

●  Total vehicles: 1,250

●  Staff supervised:  1

●  Years with current fleet: 5

●  Years in industry:  40

●  Notable achievements: Dahn recently restructured the Erie Insurance Group fleet, resulting in a cost savings of over $1.4 million. First he implemented an aggressive update to the fleet inventory. He worked to cycle out 1,200 vehicles in just three order cycles, managing market resale vs. vehicle equity. He redesigned their fleet structure to improve the billing process and championed a project to create a new reporting structure. He introduced a comprehensive risk mitigation strategy to ensure driver safety and fleet visibility and upgraded the existing MVR review process to enhance the hiring process. Recently, he implemented a toll management program to curb violations and instituted a telematics program. 

Clay Gaudet

Fleet manager, AutoZone  -

Fleet manager, AutoZone

●  Total vehicles: 15,958

●  Staff supervised:  2

●  Years with current fleet: 10

●  Years in industry: 41

●  Notable achievements: In 2017 Clay identified opportunities to trim significant cost from his fleet through telematics (risk reduction), moving and parking violations, and fuel cost through vendor negotiations. He has also recovered millions of dollars in positive equity through strict management of the remarketing/salvage process. He continues to search and utilize the right vehicles for his fleet that provide low cost acquisition and manages his fleet's replacement cycle for large wins in the auctions lane. His insight and willingness to explore new opportunity and products means his fleet is constantly evolving and looking to adopt the next best thing. Clay's hard work, dedication, and forward-thinking approach to fleet result in an expertly managed fleet.

Erin Gilchrist

Director of fleet, Safelite AutoGlass  -

Director of fleet, Safelite AutoGlass

●  Total vehicles: 8,505  

●  Staff supervised: 4

●  Years with current fleet: 13

●  Years in industry: 13

●  Notable achievements: 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, alt-fuel vehicle piloting, and more which have together yielded more than $8 million in savings and reduced gallons consumption by more than 5 million.

Karla Guajardo

Fleet manager, Honeywell International  -

Fleet manager, Honeywell International

●  Total vehicles: 3,257

●  Staff supervised: 0

●  Years with current fleet: 3

●  Years in industry: 3

 ●  Notable achievements: In 2017, Honeywell's fleet was tasked to focus on specific initiatives – operational effectiveness, productivity and cost savings/avoidance – for its multiple business units. To address, she and Honeywell developed three key components for the fleet strategy: operate as one North American team; simplify the ordering process, OEM and upfitter negotiations; and focus on cost savings. As a result, ordering timeframes were reduced by three months, Honeywell saved $1.5 million through vehicle optimization and rightsizing, and an additional $4.8 million from opportunities within telematics, driver policy, and more.

Sarah Hansen

Director of fleet operations, Wood E&S Inc.  -

Director of fleet operations, Wood E&S Inc.

●  Total vehicles:  1,100

●  Staff supervised:  2

●  Years with current fleet: 3

●  Years in industry:  6

●  Notable achievements:  Approaching fleet management with a Lean Six Sigma perspective,  Hansen has partnered with her internal teams to implement an expansive safety policy, and was able to see improvements with the fleet. She has implemented telematics and improved attentiveness in driver training. She also faces a challenging situation; many segments of the Wood fleet are spread across various providers throughout North America. However, she successfully consolidated her Canadian fleet strategy, resulting in an annualized cost savings of $0.5 million dollars. Meanwhile, to keep her fleet moving forward, she actioned a USDOT plan that positively impacted the fleet. She developed a study to obtain executive sponsorship and help her fleet become a standard in safety; she realized cost avoidance as office managers were receptive to switching to less expensive vehicle options.

Jerome Hoes

Director of travel and fleet, GEICO  -

Director of travel and fleet, GEICO

●  Total vehicles: 4,891

●  Staff supervised:  12

●  Years with current fleet: 18

●  Years in industry:  18

●  Notable achievements: Recently, Hoes of GEICO implemented strategies and launched online safety modules to reduce accident rates and keep costs down. GEICO made the decision to purchase vehicles regardless of trim level to get the most safety equipment for associates. He views safety as an ongoing initiative, which is reviewed partly via safety dashboard meetings on driver performance. When a safety recall impacted a large portion of its fleet, he and GEICO mandated drivers repair their vehicles and secure rentals; he enlisted their FMC partner to monitor driver compliance and coordinate rentals. When hurricanes in Florida and Texas closed down gas stations he partnered with his FMC to secure eight fuel tankers to be first on the scene.

Lee Jezek-Pierce

Director of fleet and heavy equipment, Nutrien Ag Solutions  -

Director of fleet and heavy equipment, Nutrien Ag Solutions

●  Total vehicles: 15,000               

●  Staff supervised: 9

●  Years with current fleet: 1

●  Years in industry: 19

●  Notable achievements: Pierce has managed the largest fleets in multiple industries and is now in charge of approximately 70,000 assets (vehicles and heavy equipment). In her new role, less than a year, she has already made an impact on the way her organization does business. She is restructuring fleet, moving from a decentralized model to centralized, demonstrating leadership and cost savings opportunities. She has identified millions in opportunities such as streamlining ordering and sales processes. In addition, she has worked on cleaning up the IRP processes and payment method for fuel and maintenance to achieve TCO. She is alos leveraging size with vendors to establish strategic partnerships going forward.

Raymond Jozwiak

Global fleet manager, Sedgwick  -

Global fleet manager, Sedgwick

●  Total vehicles: 2,000

●  Staff supervised: 1

●  Years with current fleet: 4

●  Years in industry: 5

●  Notable achievements: Jozwiak started managing the North America fleet for Cunningham Lindsey in November 2015 and promoted to Global Fleet Manager in August 2017. He has continued in that role since Sedgwick's acquisition of Cunningham Lindsey in 2018. He is responsible for fleet category management across a global fleet of 2,000 vehicles – including cost reduction, safety, and carbon emissions reduction. Much of his focus over the past year has been on consolidating fleet leasing companies by region and implementing new vehicle grading policies to align with current trends and the  Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure regulation, which measures fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from passenger cars and LCVs.

Jeremy Muoio

Director of fleet and asset management, MasTec  -

Director of fleet and asset management, MasTec

●  Total vehicles: 4,000

●  Staff supervised: 10

●  Years with current fleet: 4

●  Years in industry: 5

●  Notable achievements: Muoio helped MasTec transform its fleet by building business processes that leverage data from sources like telematics, fuel, FMC and HR systems to engage drivers directly with responsibility for their vehicle. Fleet management processes include systems that automatically assign drivers to vehicles, eliminate theft and enforce proper fueling habits, and limit idling and force adherence to maintenance schedules. Administrative accuracy, fleet utilization and maintenance compliance improved dramatically, and fuel savings from theft and idle reduction have reached $5 million a year. 

Adam Orth

Fleet services manager, General Mills  -

Fleet services manager, General Mills

●  Total vehicles: 1,642

●  Staff supervised: 4

●  Years with current fleet: 3.5

●  Years in industry: 15

●  Notable achievements: When Orth became General Mills' Fleet Services Manager he had an opportunity to make a dramatic and immediate change. In a few years his innovative strategies for the U.S. and Canada have improved cash flow and driver satisfaction simultaneously. He conducted a U.S. and Canada fleet replacement analysis that helped create variable selectors and weigh the risks of replacing vehicles. From his analysis, Orth has capitalized on the high residuals of a strong resale markets and replaced sales vehicles to produce a total one-time savings of $5 million and reduced his spend by $4.2 million

Jim Petrillo

Manager of accounting services and fleet manager, Fujifilm  -

Manager of accounting services and fleet manager, Fujifilm

●  Total vehicles: 1,500

●  Staff supervised: 1

●  Years with current fleet: 9

●  Years in industry: 9

●  Notable achievements: Petrillo has demonstrated his ability to expertly manage his company's fleet, which includes creating a comprehensive safety program. He recognized the need for increased safety initiatives, and developed a customized safety program from scratch. He worked with his FMC to ensure a program with maximum effectiveness was developed and implemented, this includes full safety services and driver training. The process and policy are regularly reviewed by the internal safety board for effectiveness. Since implementing the safety program in 2016, a more than 25% decrease in annualized incident rate was realized.

Abe Stephenson

Fleet and administration manager, DISH  -

Fleet and administration manager, DISH

●  Total vehicles: 3,700

●  Staff supervised: 5

●  Years with current fleet: 12

●  Years in industry: 12

●  Notable achievements: Stephenson finished 2018 with a 10-year downward trend in fleet costs per mile, representing over $100 million of cost avoidance over that period compared to peak cost per mile. Vehicles with after-market collision avoidance technology are now at 75% of the total fleet and have reduced total incident rates by almost 80% compared to vehicles without the technology. He worked with vehicle OEMs, upfitters, and transportation providers to address order-to-delivery issues removing weeks, to months, of delivery times while staying cost neutral.

Jennifer VrMeer

Senior manager of operations support & sales operations, Becton Dickinson  -

Senior manager of operations support & sales operations, Becton Dickinson

●  Total vehicles: 2,350

●  Staff supervised: 9 (2 handling fleet)

●  Years with current fleet: 4

●  Years in industry: 11

●  Notable achievements: VrMeer was tasked with integrating three fleets with different cultures when Becton Dickinson acquired CareFusion and BARD. Each had strong programs but different goals. She set out to create a harmonized 2,350-vehicle fleet with policies and processes. She and her team also implemented a safety program; ran a reverse auction between manufacturers to maximize incentives; right-sized vehicles per suited job/region; standardized personal use deductions, adjusted the fleets depreciation rate based on the used vehicle market, and more. This resulted in $1.3 plus million in synergy savings and an excess of $1.8 plus million in annual operational savings. Also, a recent driver survey reported a 96% plus onboarding satisfaction rate and a 94% plus overall satisfaction rate with its FMC.

Cynthia Walker

Buyer and fleet manager, Caterpillar  -

Buyer and fleet manager, Caterpillar

●  Total vehicles: 2,500 (globally)

●  Staff supervised:  0

●  Years with current fleet: 10

●  Years in industry:  10

●  Notable achievements: Walker's collaboration with her FMC has allowed her to focus on more strategic digital transformation services, saving Caterpillar money and improving safety. Her commitment to digitization and improving fleet safety has in part been made possible by her willingness to adopt new technology, alongside developing a robust safety program helping to modify driver behavior. She also reduced the number of fleet incidents by more than 5%, and the number of preventable incidents have dropped by 50%. Due to the strategic partnership with its FMC, over $6.6 million of cost-saving initiatives in 2018 were realized. She has always played a key role when it comes to leading the way for the international expansion of the Caterpillar fleet. She has also created new fleet policy insuring high level safety features and improved communication practices, and implemented a personal use fee, which saved Caterpillar $1 million.

About the author
Andy Lundin

Andy Lundin

Former Senior Editor

Andy Lundin was a senior editor on Automotive Fleet, Fleet Financials, and Green Fleet.

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