CHARLOTTE, NC – Theresa Belding, senior manager, fleet services for Forest Pharmaceuticals, was awarded Automotive Fleet’s 2011 Professional Fleet Manager of the year honor on Sunday, April 10 in a ceremony at the NAFA Fleet Management Association’s (NAFA) Institute & Expo.

A 35-member judging panel selected Belding. The panel included past winners, manufacturers, auction representatives, fleet management services, dealers, and the media. Instituted in 1985, the award is sponsored by Automotive Fleet magazine, Wheels Inc., the Automotive Fleet and Leasing Association (AFLA).

“Eighteen years ago when I started in fleet I had no idea what I was getting myself into,” Belding said. “Fleet has always been my passion. You cannot succeed in this job by yourself. Your company has to be behind you, your family has to be behind you. NAFA and AFLA are great support organizations. You also need solid business partners with sound advice. I’ve been able to benchmark with my pharmaceutical peers. Despite the fact that we compete in our industries, we share and are very nurturing.”

The other two finalists for the 2011 award included Dick Malcom, fleet administrator for State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., and Lee Miller, manager, fleet services, for Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. For 2011, 17 fleet managers were nominated for the award.

An 18-year industry veteran, Belding supervises a fleet of 2,950 vehicles in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. She oversees fleet management, staff supervision, vendor relations, and fleet safety programs, including accident management, driver risk-level analysis, and safety training.

Belding participates in a range of industry organizations. She is the executive vice president for AFLA, is a NAFA member, and is a member of Ford’s Fleet Advisory Board.

Belding will be featured on the cover of Automotive Fleet’s May issue.