The annual award, sponsored by Fleet Counselor Services, honors fleet managers for their accomplishments. Fourteen judges, all current fleet managers from across the country, helped pick this year’s finalists out of 16 qualified candidates. Find out more about each of the candidates’ fleet accomplishments in the May issue.
Richard Battersby, CAFM, CPFP, Director, Fleet Services University of California, Davis
Fleet accomplishments: Achieving a three-year goal to stabilize the fleet department's operations, introduce efficiency improvements, and correct an operating deficit of $800,000 annually.
How long you’ve been in fleet: 20+ years
How you started in fleet: I was in the Army, where I worked as a power generator mechanic. We had four power generators, and they were infrequently used. After about six months, I had all the power generators rebuilt and completely restored to as-new condition, so I was always looking for stuff to do. I ended up running the wrecker and helping the other mechanics with our vehicles. My supervisor found out I had experience and was good at working on tracked and wheeled equipment and next thing I knew, I was running the Motor Pool.
Your favorite part of fleet management: Every day it’s something new, and there is almost never a dull moment.
Your ideal vacation: Time spent with my family and no agenda or deadlines to meet
Something others don’t know about you: This might surprise some people, but I’m a huge fan of muscle cars from the ’60s and early ’70s, especially Pontiacs. I own a 1969 GTO convertible with a 400-cubic-inch engine with 4-speed transmission and a 1969 Grand Prix with a 428-cubic-inch engine, among others.
Bill Griffiths, Fleet Management Division Chief, Montgomery County, Md.
Fleet accomplishments: We developed a strategic business plan for fiscal-year 2013 that brought together the entire team to work toward a common goal.
How long you’ve been in fleet: 22 years
How you started in fleet: I started out as a heavy equipment mechanic in the U.S. Air Force.
Tell us a funny fleet story: I love to operate equipment, and to this day, I still maintain my class A commercial driver’s license, with endorsements. At a prior job, I would often operate snow equipment to give my guys breaks during snowstorms. Once, during a snowstorm in 2010, I got the plow stuck so badly, it was buried up to the doors in snow! I had to call my guys to get pulled out. I never lived that down with my staff, and they even took away my privileges to use the plow in the next snowstorm
What you do in your spare time: I love baseball and am a diehard Red Sox fan, but I have the “misfortune” of being married to a diehard Yankees fan. Due to our “differences,” my wife and I decided we needed a neutral team. Since we live in Washington D.C., that was the Washington Nationals. We like to go to the new ball park and catch a game.
Your ideal vacation: Any time spent with my wife and family. My wife’s family is originally from Germany, and we would like to travel the German countryside. I love history, and I think it would be absolutely exciting to visit some of the most famous castles in the world.
Paul Condran, Equipment Maintenance/Fleet Manager, City of Culver City, Calif.
Fleet accomplishments: We assisted many fleets on the principles of fleet management and alternative fuels. We also began our second major phase of benchmarking.
How long you’ve been in fleet: I have been in the automotive profession for 37 years.
Tell us a funny fleet story: One of the best and most funny things that happened to me was when my staff planned a birthday party surprise for me. They were so generous to get beverages, cake, and ice cream. The only thing was, my boss inadvertently let it slip, and so I left the building for a few minutes and asked him to tell everyone I had an emergency at home. Disappointed, they just decided to just eat the cake and ice cream anyway — until I came back! The surprise was on them!
Your favorite part of fleet management: Unequivocally, it’s my staff. They are the best.
What you do in your spare time: I love soccer and intently follow the Galaxy team, the Italian National Futbal league, and especially my favorite team Juventus. I also play as much golf as I can fit in. I enjoy gardening and am an avid "planter." I plant tomatoes, peppers, beans, parsley, basil, and a variety of other stuff. I have fig, persimmon, and plum trees as well.
Your ideal vacation: Europe. I love going back to Italy to see my family and friends.
Something others don’t know about you: I have been a soccer referee for many years. I started in with youth games and inter-leagues, then moved up to collegiate officiating.