Joe LaRosa, Bob Miesen, Theresa Ragozine, and Bud Morrison were inducted into the Fleet Hall of Fame on Monday Sept. 16 at the 2019 Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association's (AFLA) annual conference as the latest fleet veterans to achieve the honor.
The four honorees were recognized at the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona. An additional honoree was included this year, as opposed to the customary three, to honor AFLA's 50th year anniversary.
The honorees were selected through a public survey online. Following their induction, the Fleet Hall of Fame is now comprised of 85 members. AFLA is the exclusive sponsor of the Automotive Fleet Hall of Fame.
Morrison, who passed away in 1992, was AFLA’s first president and one of the most successful fleet salesman of all time. He entered the industry in the early 1950s with Don Allen Chevrolet in New York. Twenty years later, he moved to Florida and worked as director of fleet for J.M. Pontiac in Hollywood, Fla. the largest Pontiac dealership in the world.
Miesen, who could not attend the conference in person to accept the award, began his fleet career at Gambles C&M Leasing where he introduced floating rate lease financing utilizing commercial paper as well as lease rate financing based on the London Interbank Offered Rates (LIBOR). He later served as a senior VP of GE Capital Fleet Services for most of his tenure and retired in 2000. He is also an honorary lifetime member of AFLA, AALA, and NAFA.
Ragozine, who previously served as VP global procurement for Johnson & Johnson, served in the fleet industry for more than 20 years, and cumulatively 36 years with J&J. In 1997 she was named worldwide commodity manager for fleet at Johnson & Johnson, the first person to have overall global fleet responsibility. Johnson & Johnson’s global fleet totaled 33,000 vehicles at the time. She retired from the industry in October 2017 and served as VP procurement of citizenship as her final position with J&J.
La Rosa served as the director, global fleet services for Merck & Co. Inc. was a pre-2000 pioneering manager with global fleet management responsibilities. In 1999 he was named associate director global fleet for Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he managed a global fleet of approximately 14,000 vehicles. LaRosa is also recognized as one of the first people to have global fleet responsibility.
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.