It’s rare when the fleet world and the children’s book world collide, but Steve Dragon, fleet sales manager at Faulkner Fleet Group, and a more than 30-year fleet veteran, made that happen.
The Fleet Dragon, as he’s known to some of his clients, wrote a children’s book inspired by the bedtime stories that he would tell his kids while they were growing up.
“The Book is something that has been rattling around my head for about 30 years now,” said Dragon. “When my daughter was young, I would tell her these stories about how since my name was dragon, I really was a dragon and could change into a dragon.”
The motivation to finally write the book came from his daughter and her students. His daughter teaches special education students and she has shared many of the stories that her father told her growing up. Many of her students didn’t believe her stories so by writing this book, Dragon’s daughter would have proof of the stories for her students.
The book, Were You Born A Dragon, tells the first story that he told his daughter, of the day when she was 2 days old and he had to take her to get the blessing from the king of dragons so that he could raise her as a dragon.
This first book is available to purchase online, and Dragon said that the manuscript for his second book is already done and he’ll soon meet with the illustrator to prepare the drawings. A third book is already in outline form, as well.
Dragon’s More than 30-Year Fleet Career
Dragon tripped into a career in fleet in 1985, when he was hired at a Philadelphia Toyota dealership as a leasing manager. He was hired as a leasing manager, and as leasing companies began calling the dealership to order vehicles, all their calls ended up being directed to him.
“Next thing you know I’m essentially selling to fleet customers, and the business grew fast,” said Dragon. “The fleet department at Toyota Corp. told the dealership to take me off the floor and make me work Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and then my general concentration moved to fleet.”
That same year, he joined NAFA, and began involving himself with the fleet organization.
By 1986, his Toyota dealership was the ordering dealer for PHH and ARI, who prior to that did not have a Toyota dealership nationally to order vehicles from.
In 1995 Dragon joined the Faulkner Fleet Group and he’s been there ever since.
In those year’s Faulkner’s fleet business has been consistent, but Dragon said the dealership is always looking to grow its business. He has maintained relationships with the big national leasing companies, and earlier this year he also formed a new relationship with Principal Merchants Leasing to provide GMC vehicles.
His career has spanned more than 30 years, but it will soon come to an end, he noted.
Dragon isn’t ready to disclose the exact date of his retirement, but he plans to retire in early 2021.
He hopes to turn his children’s books into a series that will occupy his time during retirement.
In the interim, he and his dealership are actively looking for his successor.
“With retirement coming up, I’ve been thinking about the relationships I’ve built over the years and I’m really going to miss them. That’s one thing about fleet that I’ve learned over the years, it’s all about relationships and the customers.”