The Women in Fleet profile series introduces fleet managers to some of the most influential women in fleet. Every month, we get to know another positive force in the fleet industry.
This month, we spoke with Brenda Davis, Oilfield Services Global Sourcing Category Manager for Baker Hughes, a GE Company.
Getting into Fleet
Davis has been a member of the fleet industry for more than 30 years. She began her career in fleet with Remco America and Big A Auto Parts. She began working for Baker Hughes 22 years ago.
“As the Global Strategic Sourcing Category manager for Oilfield Services (OFS), my responsibilities range from fleet strategy to RFP and negotiations to supplier selection, including business reviews and KP management. I am also responsible for working with all levels of management and have oversight of all day-to-day activities from acquisition to remarketing and all of the associated services in between,” Davis noted.
Davis noted that “fleet was like a family vocation.” Her husband built and raced cars in his youth, and her sister and brother-in-law worked in the business as well.
“It was natural that I would gravitate to some aspect of the automotive industry,” Davis said. “I had an opportunity many years ago to follow in the footsteps of some great fleet managers where I started my career, Patsy Brownson and Cay Pavlik (Holtman) were great inspirations to me, and we happened to work for the same company!”
“I was humbled by the experience and hold it close to my heart as one of the most important accomplishments in my career. We all know it takes a village to raise a fleet, including strong leadership support, supplier partners, associations like NAFA and AFLA, Automotive Fleet and its educational events and articles, and other functional groups, as well as peers who have mentored me over the years. I share this award, gratefully,” she said.
For Davis, fleet is not just a job; it’s a career.
“Serving my customers is very important to me. I love what I do, and when you love what you do, it makes it easy to want to learn something new every day and to continue to add value to my company and to our customers,” she noted.
For anyone looking to join the fleet industry, Davis offered this advice: “Build a network of trusted advisors, in and out of the fleet world, fleet isn’t just about vehicles, it involves finance, safety and risk, operations, procurement, and sourcing. To be successful in this field, you must work and communicate well within each area to continue to learn and grow and support customers.”
Davis also recommended creating a mentorship program with other peers in the industry. “Always ask, listen and learn and document best practices by creating a reader file that you can refer back to when required. I also meet with a group of ladies in the industry on a quarterly basis for dinner. We share stories, and just have fun!" 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 Davis’ favorites:
- Book: “The Bible is my favorite non-fiction book, the best instructional book ever written. For fiction it would have to be The Left Behind Series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins,” she said.
- Movie: “Courageous as it exhibits perseverance and faith against all the odds,” Davis said.
- Songs: “My favorite song is Fear is a Liar by Zach Williams. It is the song that helps me battle stresses that life sometimes brings when you aren’t paying close enough attention,” she said.
- You May Not Know: “I am learning to make jewelry, so much fun and very satisfying to give away something you made especially for that person,” Davis shared.