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The candidates for the 2021 Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year award bring such a wealth of experience and accomplishments to the table, it was hard for judges to pick a single, overall winner. Sponsored by Element Fleet Management, the Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year award is now in its 17th year.

Government fleet managers from across the country submitted nominations for this award, and qualified nominees then filled out a questionnaire with details on why they thought they were the best candidate. These were then judged by a panel of fellow fleet managers and past winners.

Nominees are judged in 10 key 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.

This year’s winner will be featured in the January/February 2022 issue of Government Fleet and recognized during the 2021 Government Fleet Expo, slated to take place November 15-17 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.


Joseph Clark, fleet management director, City of Durham, North Carolina

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Time Spent in Fleet: 40+ years in various capacities, including as a mechanic, spec writer, purchasing agent, financial operations manager, and fleet department director.

Number of Staff Overseen: 47 employees over two shifts

Getting Started: His formal training began in 1978. In that same year, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards were announced and that led to the introduction of the first American-built transverse-engine cars. 

Enjoyable Aspects: Mentoring and coaching others. “It has been very rewarding to watch individuals I have worked beside or supervised mature, grow professionally, receive promotions, and/or leave the organization to go on to bigger and better things,” he said. 

Biggest Challenges: Supply chain woes, the shortage of automotive and diesel technicians, and lack of industry diversity.

Upcoming Exciting Projects: Professionally, he is excited to see the recommendations a consultant has for the organization’s Carbon Neutrality & Renewable Energy Action Plan implementation. Personally, he is excited to welcome another grandchild this month. He’s also excited about the idea of COVID-19 becoming a thing of the past — eventually. 

What Colleagues Don’t Know: He’s lived in 11 different cities, eight different states/provinces, two different countries, and on two different continents.

Favorite Fleet Memory: Being hired/promoted to the fleet management director position. Before the promotion, he was feeling stuck in a rut and contemplating a career change. The promotion reinvigorated him physically and spiritually.

Best Advice: Embrace lifelong learning and don’t fear change.

Free Time Fun: He enjoys traveling, motorcycling, and spending time with his children and grandchildren.


Gary McLean, fleet manager, City of Lakeland, Florida

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Time Spent in Fleet: 39 years, including military and local government

Number of Staff Overseen: Up to 60 depending on the assignment, currently 25

Getting Started: He started as a heavy truck technician in the Air Force in the early 1980s and remembers the job being less safe and efficient. “The state of the industry now is light years better across the board,” he said.

Enjoyable Aspects: He enjoys a lot of credibility and latitude at the City of Lakeland, which makes it fun to not just do the job, but get fulfillment from the work as well.

Biggest Challenge: Balancing financial and other realities against desires for speedier progressive improvements.

Upcoming Exciting Projects: The city has begun its deployment of hybrid units on its new bucket truck purchases and is preparing for Ford Lightning and E-Transit electric vehicle purchases. He’s also excited for an upcoming telematics centralization project.

What Colleagues Don’t Know: He really wants to live in the desert!

Favorite Fleet Memory: “In 2017 when my succession plan got approved and I started hiring all my senior techs and a supervisor internally. We finally got rid of our roadblock employees and watched our productivity hit the ceiling.”

Best Advice: Work your boss’s agenda (unless it’s illegal) and expect excellence from your troops and they will rise to the occasion.

Free Time Fun: Being outside in general, working on his muscle car and friends’ cars, hanging out with close friends, and day trips with a specific mission that gets him back to the house by cocktail hour.


Robert Stine, CAFM, CPFP, director, Fleet Management Department, Hillsborough County, Florida

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Time Spent in Fleet: He was hired as the fleet director in January 2013 after finishing a 30‐year Air Force career serving in Aircraft Maintenance/Munitions and Logistics positions.

Number of Staff Overseen: 65 people

Getting Started: When hired as the fleet director, the ability to hire and retain technicians was much easier. Likewise, supply chain issues and aftermarket support issues were easier to manage.

Enjoyable Aspects: Working with young staff personnel to help them grow in their professions and to make process improvements within the areas of his responsibility.

Biggest Challenge: Working through bureaucracy to make process improvements that bring value to customers.

Upcoming Exciting Projects: Finishing a 4‐year project of designing, constructing, and moving into four new satellite repair facilities to support geographically separate county customers, and earning APWA National Reaccreditation as a Certified Fleet in July 2022.

What Colleagues Don’t Know: Led Iraq and Afghanistan supply chains as a Full Colonel at U.S. Central Command.

Favorite Fleet Memory: Helping fleet customers complete their mission by providing them with timely, quality, and affordable services.

Best Advice: Your team doesn’t care how much you know until they first know how much you care.

Free Time Fun: Faith, family activities, and athletics.

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