Government Fleet has announced the finalists for the 2023 Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year award, sponsored by Element Fleet Management. The winner will be featured in Government Fleet and recognized during the Government Fleet Expo & Conference.
This year’s finalists are:
- Daryl Greenlee, Director, Monroe County Fleet Management, Florida
- David Worthington, Fleet Manager, Santa Clara County, California
Sara Burnam, Fleet Management Director, Palm Beach 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 in the industry.
Daryl Greenlee, Director, Monroe County Fleet Management, Florida
Time Spent in Fleet: 41 years.
Number of Staff Overseen: Up to 95, currently at 23.
Getting Started: At 16-year-old, my auto shop instructor, Mr. Choshall, at John Marshal High in Leon Valley, Texas, stated that my knowledge from working on the farm, was beyond what he was teaching and felt that I would learn more from this opportunity to work in an automotive machine shop. Started with the tear down of engines to the core. Clean, stamp and prep all the components. On to the sizing of rods and decking heads, milling blocks, pulling, and installing cylinder sleeves, then onto assembly with cam bearing installations, rods and piston assemblies. One of the great experiences in my
career, until joining the Marine Corps.
Enjoyable Aspects: Watching the team mature, grow, and strengthen into a level of autonomy. I liken this to being a proud father watching his children mature.
Biggest Challenges: Overcoming the county/state bureaucracy in purchasing of assets and commodities.
Upcoming Exciting Projects: The building replacement of two fleet repair facilities, out of a total of four repair facilities. The is the plan is for one build in 2024 and one build in 2025.
What Colleagues Don’t Know: That, at a time in my youth, I was a State Champ “Bulldogger” or as it is called, a Steer Wrestler.
Favorite Fleet Memory: When the City of Orlando Mayor asked me every meeting, “How is my Fleet doing?”. Now the Monroe County Administrator asks, “How is my Fleet doing today?”
Best Advice: Came from one of my mentors in the Marine Corps. Master Gunnery Sergeant Marshall Buttons stated (and this was way before computers), “Never let technology surpass your knowledge, or rest assured, you will become dispensable.”
Free Time Fun: Boating, fishing, freediving, scuba diving, spear fishing. Gardening. Hiking and camping in the mountains of Utah.
Sara Burnam, Fleet Management Director, Palm Beach County, Florida
Time Spent in Fleet: I have worked 15 years in government fleet originally with Law Enforcement, then at the State level, and now with Palm Beach County.
Number of Staff Overseen: We currently have 58 full-time positions, 1 part-time on-call position, and 5 intern positions.
Getting Started: I started working at a Goodyear Retail store after high school and all through college. I took interest in Fleet through the relationships built with those in the Fleet industry I had established there, and sought out a position in Fleet. I landed a roll at the Ohio State Highway Patrol as the Fleet Management, Office Supervisor, and instantly fell in love with the career.
Enjoyable Aspects: Helping and supporting the growth and development of our team members and others in our industry. What a great industry to be a part of.
Biggest Challenges: The biggest challenge is finding experienced technicians, keeping up with the supply chain issues affecting parts and repairs, and delayed vehicle deliveries.
Upcoming Exciting Projects: The creation of a new Training Coordinator position. Training is becoming even more crucial as we find ourselves hiring less experienced technicians. In addition, with this position, every technician will be provided an individualized training development plan to strive for.
What Colleagues Don’t Know: I am social introvert and don’t actually enjoy being the center of attention. However, I think this gives me an advantage in leading a team, as it’s about our team, and our collective knowledge and experiences, that each of us bring to the table.
Favorite Fleet Memory: Being offered a career with Palm Beach County Fleet Management. I had never been to Palm Beach, and didn’t know a soul here. I soon learned that the team here was an amazing group of individuals, and a great organization to work with.
Best Advice: Always continue to learn and push yourself beyond what you think is capable of. My favorite quote is “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”-Neale Donald Walsch.
Free Time Fun: I am an outdoors person and love hiking, fishing, camping, paddle boarding, and anything else involving the water.
David Worthington, Fleet Manager, Santa Clara County, California
Time Spent in Fleet: 25 Years of public and private fleet experience.
Number of Staff Overseen: 60 Team members working in four fleet maintenance facilities and one Correctional Facility automotive collision repair facility, within an operational area of 1,3041 square miles including 14 square miles of water and serving a population of 1.9M residents.
Getting Started: From 5 to 12 years old I grew up spending two to four weeks every year with my father and grandfather racing cars at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The experience sent me down a life-long path of tearing apart and repairing cameras, VCRs, bicycles, lawn motors, tractors, motorcycles, cars, and equipment learning how all things mechanical work. Thirteen years and two college degrees later I began my career in managing private fleets through a repair shop and small truck dealership.
Enjoyable Aspects: I enjoy that no two days are alike, and boring is a word I have never used in my career. A seasoned writer of fiction novels could not imagine the challenges our industry faces and resolves every day. I also enjoy working with amazing people that keep the nation’s public fleets moving forward supporting the communities we live and work within.
Biggest Challenges: The confluence of industry wide challenges this decade that has never been historically experienced previously. The lack of enough mechanics/technicians to replace those retiring, vehicle and equipment manufacturing/production reductions causing demand to exceed supplies, world-wide supply chain problems affecting all aspects of managing a fleet, vehicle and equipment cost increases at historic levels well above overall inflation rates, the accelerated transition from internal combustion engines to all electric or fuel cell electric vehicles, new and expanding regulatory compliance workload, fuel prices at historic levels, and expectations of our industry to conquer all these challenges at one time while minimizing the operational and budgetary impacts that they create. Although this time is very challenging it also offers the opportunity for necessary change to take place that will eventually make our industry better.
Upcoming Exciting Projects: The construction of a solar photovoltaic array that is projected to save $1.4M over 20 years, a $5.3M charging infrastructure and station project to support medium/heavy duty trucks, and a $9M project to expand parking and storge capacity at our main fleet maintenance facility.
What Colleagues Don’t Know: Funny – I was in a Rick Springfield music video in the 80s. Serious – I was recognized with an award this year for more than two decades of volunteer work with the American Federation of Motorcyclists and the international motorcycle Road Racing world. I am honored and humble to be one of three people listed on a perpetual trophy that was originally presented to 9-time World Grand Prix Champion Mike Hailwood, who received it from Soichiro Honda (Honda Motor Company Founder) for winning a Japanese Grand Prix race in the early 1960s.
Favorite Fleet Memory: The day my mentor and the person that hired me into the public fleet industry, David Head (Public Fleet Hall of Fame member) was present to witness the Sonoma County Fleet Operations Division earn the 2015 #1 Government Green Fleet ranking in the nation. He had retired from the County several years earlier after a career of 20+ years. I continued his work as the Fleet Manager of the Division and our Team was fortunate to be recognized with the #1 ranking which validated al his hard work and commitment to alternative fuel technologies and sustainable fleet operations.
Best Advice: People that believe in “I” will never find success in a Team. As individuals it is easy for us to fail in accomplishing objectives and goals, but it is rare that we fail within a strong team. Focus on hiring and internally developing good people that have the ability to learn, communicate effectively, are not afraid of making mistakes, and thrive in a Team environment. You will be successful because your Team is successful.
Free Time Fun: Spending time with family and friends laughing about our latest everyday life stories, building and road racing motorcycles, visiting the “Big Sky” country of Montana, and volunteer work to give back to organizations that have been a big part of my life.
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