This year’s finalists for the 2019 Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year award hail from three very different cities around North America. In the past year, they have driven positive change within their own organizations and enacted initiatives that benefit their communities.
Industry professionals nominate their peers, and nominees fill out a questionnaire detailing their operations and accomplishments, which are judged by a panel of fleet managers from across the country. Sponsored by GovPlanet, the Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year award is now in its 15th year.
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.
Government Fleet will announce the 2019 Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year at The Honors Celebration during the Government Fleet Expo & Conference, which takes place June 17-20 in New Orleans.
Who’s up for the big award this year? Here’s a little more information about them.
Dan Berlenbach, CPFP
Fleet Services Manager
City of Long Beach, Calif.
Years in fleet: 40+
Started in the industry as a: Heavy equipment mechanic for the U.S. Air Force
Most enjoyable aspect of your job: Working with our team here at Long Beach. I’m blessed with exceptionally supportive bosses and a well-motivated team who know and enjoy their jobs. The workplace culture here is second to none — I look forward to coming to work every single day.
How your job, your fleet, and the industry have changed since you first started: There were no electronic controls and many of the systems on the vehicles were manual, as was management of the fleet itself. Technology’s impact on the vehicles and fleet management has been completely transformative — we are able to accomplish so much more with much less effort.
Proudest accomplishment: Induction into the Public Fleet Hall of Fame in 2018.
Best advice you were ever given: Take care of your people and they’ll take care of the mission.
Something most people may not know about you: I spent my years growing up as a beach bum on the sands of Ocean City, N.J.
Manager, Fleet & Environmental Programs
City of Richmond, B.C., Canada
How your job, your fleet, and the industry have changed since you first started: The move toward emission reduction targets and the pursuit of new technologies such as electric vehicles and alternative fuels to advance toward these targets has really changed in my five-year tenure. It makes for challenging and exciting times ahead.
Proudest accomplishment: I had some employee management challenges to deal with when I first came to the department. Floor staff told me one day that they used to wake up each morning and think of what excuses they could come up with not to come to work on a regular basis — they dreaded coming to work. When they wake up each morning now, they are excited about going to work. This was so gratifying to hear.
Best advice you were ever given: Believe in your staff. Trust them. Look for the good. Celebrate the successes.
Something most people may not know about you: I took up learning to skate and play hockey at the age of 39. This was a result of a motivational speaker advising that to grow as a person, you need to try new things, especially those that take you outside of your comfort zone.
Mario Guzman, CAFM
Director of Support Services
City of West Palm Beach, Fla.
Years in fleet: 20
Started in the industry as a: Fleet mechanic
Most enjoyable aspect of your job: Being part of the community and helping others. The camaraderie in our department allows us to evolve and improve.
Most challenging aspect of your job: Staying informed of industry trends and keeping open communication with our user departments. Fleet is constantly changing.
Proudest accomplishment: Seeing the team continuously grow. It’s truly a pleasure to influence others in a positive way.
Best advice you were ever given: Always get your facts right!
Something most people may not know about you: I used to play guitar in a band every weekend and played gigs around the state. But now I just jam out with my 1.5-year-old.