The nominees for Government Fleet's Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year award have been narrowed down to five finalists. They are Bob Stanton, Marilyn Rawlings, Nick Morgan, John Hunt, and Fred DeBono. Click here for a downloadable version of the story containing all the finalists and nominees.

Bob Stanton
Title: Director, Fleet Management, Polk County, Fla. Stanton has initiated several countywide programs such as the monthly fixed fee maintenance program, the vehicle replacement program and the long-term vehicle purchase agreement. The vehicle purchase agreement for which Bob has been nationally recognized, is an agreement between Polk County and a local Ford dealership, which incorporates specific vehicle acquisition guarantees and servicing guidelines. It also provides government technicians the access to identical technology portals that are available to dealership technicians. Stanton also implemented the ASE certification program in Polk County allowing Polk County to become a nationally recognized governmental agency receiving ASE Blue Seal of Excellence status.

Marilyn Rawlings
Title: Fleet Manager, Fort Myers, Fla. Rawlings is a fleet manager who makes sure her staff is well prepared. They receive hours of leadership and team building training and are required to develop a personal growth plan in addition to their team goals for the year. Every other month, the department hosts networking and training sessions at the facility for surrounding fleet managers and their staffs. Rawlings' fleet department has been in many national fleet publications and has been asked to speak on a wide range of issues for the University of Wisconsin, CON EXPO, NAFA, CCG Systems, and APWA. The fleet department also has a knack for building relationships that have resulted in cost-saving, long-term multi-million dollar contracts.

Nick Morgan
Title: Director, Salt Lake County Fleet Management, Midvale, Utah Morgan came into the fleet arena in 1997 after retiring from the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office. One of his first steps as director of Salt Lake County Fleet Management was to hire a consultant to review where the fleet was and to recommend where it should be. Fleet operations also implemented an aggressive PM program. It is now to the point that over 90 percent of the downtime is scheduled downtime. Hence, the staff doesn't affect service delivery. This also allows for fewer backup units, and better employee satisfaction and morale. In the fleet shop, the staff compares the rates with the private industry and other governmental fleet operations. The shop's rates are running 15 percent to 20 percent lower than private operations.

John Hunt
Title: Fleet Manager, Fresno, Calif. Hunt has overseen Fresno's Fleet Management Division regarding a cryogenic fueling infrastructure, liquid natural gas (LNG) refuse trucks, diesel exhaust after-treatment verifications, prototype medium-duty hybrid truck technology, and designing the most technologically advanced police patrol sedan available today. Under his supervision, the fleet department is only one of only four U.S. cities with a population over 450,000 to receive the "Blue Seal of Excellence" award from the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence. The fleet has also successfully completed the nation's most rigorous fleet industry certification program administered by Fleet Counselor Services (FCS) designating the city of Fresno as an Industry Competitive Fleet Management Operation.

Fred DeBono
Title: Fleet and Warehouse Manager, Cape Coral, Fla. Before joining the public sector, De Bono was employed by General Motors at the Cadillac Motor Car Division in Detroit, Mich. In 1993, he was hired by the city of Cape Coral, Fla., as a mechanic in the Fleet Division. In 1999, he was promoted to the position of fleet manager. On his recommendation the city contracted a parts vendor capable of providing parts for our entire diverse fleet of 1,275 vehicles and equipment. This system eliminated the cost of the parts inventory. It also provided 95 percent of the parts needed on hand, which increased production to meet fleet goals, reduced downtime considerably, and eliminated parts audits.

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