Don Beams, retired fleet manager for the City of San Jose, Calif., passed away on Feb. 7. He served as San Jose's fleet manager for 21 years, retiring in 2010. While there, he oversaw the management of approximately 2,500 pieces of equipment.
Beams' first job was repairing lawnmowers at age eight. He served in the U.S. Navy for four years before joining the city of San Jose, the 10th largest city in the country.
"Don was a very progressive fleet manager, implementing and supporting the many programs that continue to evolve today," said Dan Sunseri, current fleet manager for the city. "He was a strong advocate for developing staff through a state-sponsored mechanic apprenticeship program and developing leaders within the organization to move fleet services to the forefront of the organization. Don was an early adopter of managing the fleet with a robust database system and continued its improvement until retirement."
Beams was active in the Public Fleet Supervisors Association and held several board positions, including president, he said.
"Don was considered a pioneer in the fleet industry and was valued and respected by all those who had the opportunity to work with him," Sunseri added.
Beams' funeral was held Feb. 18. His obituary can be viewed here.