Get to Know the Fleet Manager of the Year Finalists

June 2017, Government Fleet - Feature

by Thi Dao - Also by this author

The three finalists for the Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year award are recognized for excelling in 10 key categories that show fleet efficiency. These finalists have numerous accomplishments, including opening
maintenance facilities, overcoming challenges to achieve the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence, and contributing to the betterment of the industry.

Industry professionals nominate their peers for the award. Nominees are asked to fill out a questionnaire detailing their operations and accomplishments, which are then judged by a panel of fleet managers from across the country. Candidates are judged on the following criteria: business plan, technology implementation, productivity, policies, preventive maintenance program, utilization management, replacement program, customer service, fuel management, and safety.

Sponsored by General Motors Fleet, the annual award is now in its 13th year.

Government Fleet will announce the winner of the 2017 Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year award at The Honors Celebration at the Government Fleet Expo & Conference (GFX), which takes place June 12-15 in San Antonio, Texas.

Michael Brennan, CEM, fleet manager, Manatee County, Fla.

Years in Fleet: 38
Started as: Technician
Assets managed: 1,350
Staff managed: 36

"Maintain pace and focus. Don't be distracted from your goals.

At your first fleet job, you: Worked in the Transit/Emergency vehicle shop, where my first assignment was to rebuild an engine in an ambulance. I think it was a test — I guess I passed as I’m still here.

Most enjoyable aspect of your job: Working with staff and associates to develop solutions to our challenges.

Most challenging aspect of your job: The continued acquisition of the tools and support required for my team to be successful.

What you’re most excited about this year: Completing the replacement or renovation of all four of our area maintenance facilities.

Proudest accomplishments: My career highlight has been performing, producing, and managing services that have positively contributed to the betterment of our community for over 38 years. My current year highlight is working with a team of outstanding professionals on our maintenance facilities.

Al Curtis, fleet director, Cobb County, Ga.

Years in fleet: 25
Started as: Army parts/service writer
Assets managed: 2,100
Staff managed: 34

“Everyone has value and can contribute to the success of an organization. It’s up to the supervisor to find that sweet spot where that employee fits, and praise the wins and work on the losses.”

At your first fleet job out of the Army, you: Tried to hide the fact that I didn’t know what a “loafer” was — lube, oil, and filter.

Favorite fleet memory: When I was working at a private shop, the excitement stemmed from selling. One of my favorite memories at Cobb County was when we signed our first contract to insource vehicle services and repairs for another fleet. It really started my selling juices flowing.

Most challenging aspect of your job: Working with a lean staff and with limited capital funds.
Aside from fleet, you: Own a computer repair business.

Proudest accomplishments: Achieving ASE Blue Seal certification after 10 years of not meeting criteria and expanding our alternative-fuel fleet.

Mary Joyce Ivers, CPFP, fleet and facilities manager, City of Ventura, Calif.

Years in fleet: 25
Started as: Specification writer
Assets managed: 394
Staff managed: 9

“Enjoy what you do and have fun along the way. Every day is a lesson learned from our coworkers, colleagues, and the community we serve.”

At your first fleet job, you: Reviewed proposals for fleet management software. Both companies I reviewed at the time are still the leading fleet software companies today, FASTER and AssetWorks!

Most enjoyable aspect of your job: Working with talented people and building collaborative relationships with our customers.

Most challenging aspect of your job: Training technicians to remain current on new technologies and meet regulatory requirements.

Before fleet, you: Worked as an industrial engineer in aerospace and manufacturing.

Proudest accomplishments: Promoting government fleet management best practices through technical committees and collaboratively sharing information through fleet associations, conferences, colleges, training summits, and the Certified Public Fleet Professional (CPFP) certification.

Government Fleet congratulates all the nominees for the 2017 award. They include:

  • Lisa Bernier, transportation product line manager, U.S. Navy
  • Brandon Elliott, fleet operations director, Lancaster County, S.C.
  • Rick Haggard, CAFM, fleet manager, Seattle City Light, Wash.
  • Keith Kerman, chief fleet officer, New York City
  • Hector Sierra Morales, fleet manager, Osceola County, Fla.
  • Darryl Syler, fleet manager, City of Dublin, Ohio
  • Chris Trull, fleet management division director, City of Charlotte, N.C.
  • Connie White-Arnold, fleet manager, City of Tampa, Fla.

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