A Look Back at Campbell's Career
Campbell began his fleet career as a mechanic's helper in 1975 with a construction company. Then, he worked in construction equipment sales for five years, learning a lot about equipment utilization and lifecycles.
Around 1991, Campbell was brought in as fleet manager for the Allen County, Indiana, Highway Department to solve a personnel problem. During his time with Allen County, he managed two fleet garages and several miles of roads.
In 2003, Campbell began working as the fleet manager for the city of Fort Wayne; he worked for the city for 20 years.
Awards and Recognition
The city of Fort Wayne was named in NAFA's 100 Best Fleets nearly every year during Campbell's leadership, taking the #1 spot in 2006.
The city of Fort Wayne has also been named among Government Fleet's top 50 Leading Fleets over the years.
In 2022, Campbell was named the Professional Manager of the Year - Public Fleet for the American Public Works Association (APWA) – Indiana Chapter.
Bettering Fort Wayne's Fleet Operations
Over the years, Campbell has headed up a number of projects in Fort Wayne to better the fleet operations.
When he first started there, the city didn't have any fleet processes in place. He created in-processing and out-processing sheets fleet data forms, and information on vehicle lifecycles for the department's FASTER fleet management system to make operations more efficient.
In 2018, Campbell and other city leaders made the decision to bring maintenance work in-house after 22 years of it being outsourced. Part of that work involved restructuring the staffing system to ensure all of the fleet employees were paid fairly. Overall, the change created a more efficient workflow and helped the department save money.
In 2022, Campbell was able to secure a hedging fuel contract with a low cost-per-gallon for the following fiscal year, despite high prices caused by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Over the last decade-plus, Campbell led the city's efforts to transition to alt-fuel vehicles when possible. He is an Honorary Director for Greater Indiana Clean Cities, where he has been on the board since 2003. Campbell has also taken home several awards through Greater Indiana Clean Cities.
Campbell was on Ford's Police Advisory Board and assisted with the automaker's development of its Police Interceptor Utility (PIU), which the company reports outsells all other police vehicle makes and models combined.
Campbell's Advice for Fleet Managers
With nearly five decades in fleet, Campbell has gained a lot of knowledge about the industry. His advice is to embrace change.
"There's always something changing in the automotive industry or within fleets. Whether it's new technology coming out, alternative fuels, the electrical side of it — there are so many other things. It never stops changing. If you don't stay on top of it, it's going to pass you by. And it'll pass you quickly," Campbell said.
He also wanted to take the time to thank his wife for being supportive over the years.
What's Next for Campbell
Campbell said he's not sure where he'll land, but he knows he will find something else to do in public fleet.
"I don't want to totally walk away from it; it's still in my blood," Campbell said.
Steve Gillette, the city's purchasing agent, is taking over the Fort Wayne fleet department.