Government Fleet has announced the finalists for the 2021 Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year award. The winner will be featured in the January/February issue of Government Fleet magazine and recognized during the Government Fleet Expo & Conference.

This year’s finalists are:

  • Joseph Clark, fleet management director, City of Durham, North Carolina
  • Gary McLean, fleet manager, City of Lakeland, Florida
  • Robert Stine, CPFP, CAFM, director, Fleet Management Department, Hillsborough County, Florida

Finalists were selected by a panel of past winners and other public fleet industry veterans based on 10 categories: business plan, technology implementation, productivity, policies, preventive maintenance program, utilization management, replacement program, customer service, fuel management, and a key accomplishment from the past year. These finalists were chosen from a list of 11 nominees.

We asked each nominee to share an accomplishment from the past year they are proud of. Naturally, COVID-19 was the defining challenge of 2020 for all fleets.

Here’s what they said:

Joseph Clark

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Clark is most proud he did not have to cut the budget (operating or capital) for the 21 budget year. The economic downturn put his organization in a position to ask for contingency cuts for the FY2021-22 budget. His department presented the city manager with a strong business case, and he believes its robust analytics throughout the years gave the department an exceptional level of credibility when presenting its budget. The bulk of its operating budget is personnel, which means cuts would have led to layoffs. Employees are the department’s most valuable asset, and he is thankful layoffs were not necessary. He believes the Fleet Manager of the Year award is the sum of all its parts. Each employee has a shared responsibility for the success of the department, and Clark provides the department with a strategic vision and guidance, but it is the employees who make it happen. Clark said he is blessed to have such a good staff.

Gary McLean

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McLean believes his department's COVID-19 pandemic preparation and response was superb. Early into the pandemic in February, his department recognized what it needed to do to be ready. The organization tasked its NAPA IBS to purchase as many disinfecting products and tools as it could get its hands on, which helped get his city the supplies it needed. The department built a shop operating plan and had it ready to deploy once the city declared the shutdown. His workforce split into two shifts and into "bubbles" within the shop to ensure minimal staff contact. He employed a continual common area and vehicle disinfecting day in and out, and built a disinfecting response crew to deal with vehicles that had been contaminated at their workgroup location. The team discovered a chemical-free disinfecting product that utilizes nanotechnology that provides a persistent disinfectant affect with no human or vehicle damage experienced. This reduced disinfecting repetition for pool vehicles and vehicles coming in for maintenance. The product, although more expensive up front, saved thousands in labor and material. Once the lockdown was over, the team came back together on two split day shifts to continue the bubble concept, ensuring staff safety. It experienced zero mission degradation and infections from staff or vehicle contact.

Robert Stine

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Stine's top accomplishment in 2020 was continuing operations as the COVID-19 virus spread. He overcame the challenge by enforcing social distancing and use of face masks; placing technicians on split shifts and support staff on hybrid telework schedules; restricting occupancy in common areas; and spending +$75K on personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, plexiglass barriers, computers, and more to keep the workforce safe. He met customer needs by installing 135 air purification systems on fire apparatuses ($135K) and transit busses ($110K); installing transit bus plexiglass shields; disinfecting customer vehicles; staffing the Emergency Operations Center; finding assets to support customers who were limited to one person per vehicle; and supporting quarantine sites. With 43 support contracts and 50,000 parts issued annually, he worked with vendors to ensure service as supply chains slowed and vendors shut down due to quarantines. His fleet was ranked No. 4 on the list of 2020 NAFA Best 100 Fleets and #19 in the 2020 Government Fleet 50 Leading Fleets competitions. He earned a NAFA Fleet Excellence Award for his public fleet leadership and management successes. He organized and hosted a biennial two-and-a-half day fleet summit with industry experts that had attendees from 27 agencies. He supported ASE & Emergency Vehicle Tech training resulting in ASE Blue Seal ratings for all of his sites, completed a seven week Post-Crisis Leadership Program to increase his knowledge of contingency events, and attended various fleet webinars.

A longer Q&A with the finalists will appear in the November/December issue of Government Fleet.

Learn more about Government Fleet’s awards here.

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