Managing the Financial Side of Commercial Fleets

Meet the 2017 Fleet Visionaries

November 2017, by Andy Lundin - Also by this author

Fleet Visionary recipients accepting accepting their awards at the AFLA 2017 conference. Photo courtesy of AFLA. 
Fleet Visionary recipients accepting accepting their awards at the AFLA 2017 conference. Photo courtesy of AFLA.

The Fleet Visionary Awards, sponsored by Merchants Fleet Management, recognizes 20 honorees with 10 years or fewer experience working in a fleet position at any level at the time of their nomination. The award celebrates individuals who have brought a new perspective to running a commercial fleet, resulting in a fleet that is more operationally efficient, cost effective, safer, or any combination of these.

As the following profiles of the 20 honorees — including the Fleet Visionary of the Year — show, there’s one quality the most unites fleet professionals: the willingness to take a stand and make a difference.

Sonya Garrepy: 2017 Fleet Visionary of the Year

Fleet Manager, IDEXX Laboratories, 3 years in fleet

Garrepy, who has worked for IDEXX since 1995, took on responsibility for fleet management in March 2014 when IDEXX transitioned from a reimbursement model to a fleet program. She was tasked with developing the entire program, policies, and procedures. In less than three months, she was able to develop the program and a comprehensive fleet policy and had the first vehicles ordered.

Garrepy
Garrepy

Since then, she has co-written a white paper on how to develop a best-in-class fleet policy, presented webinars on developing and implementing an effective fleet policy, and presented at NAFA on fleet policies, best practices, and how you can use data to drive compliance. She is also currently a member of the Donlen Client Advisory Board, NAFA Leadership Advisory Forum, and the NAFA I&E Education Curriculum Committee Board.

Dustan Sepulveda

Sepulveda
Sepulveda

Fleet Manager, Watermill Express, 4 years in fleet

As fleet manager for Watermill Express, Sepulveda has focused on safety, sustainability, and reducing TCO for the Watermill Express fleet while also transitioning the makeup of the fleet to better fit its evolving application. He successfully promoted the adoption of cargo vans throughout Watermill’s fleet to meet their changing operational model. The introduction of compact vans, coupled with controls on the use of light-duty trucks drove increases in efficiency, and lowered costs.

Brian Fisher

Fisher
Fisher

Director of Equipment Operations, Mortenson Construction, 10 years in fleet

When Mortenson Construction underwent organizational changes, Fisher was tasked to lead the transition of its fleet program from a dedicated internal support function to an outsourced self-service model. He used this opportunity to build a new and improved fleet program that provides customer service to fleet drivers as well as its 250 executives.

At the same time Fisher directed Mortenson’s new fleet management company to implement action plans to manage previously purchased vehicles, accelerate their replacement strategy and address executive expectations. He directed the purchase, assignment, license and title and delivery of 140 vehicles being held by dealers to the field locations who needed them.

He also developed a strategy that would allow the company to accelerate the replacement of 1,400 fleet vehicles based on application and estimated financial impact, over a 12-month period.

Gene Spencer

Spencer
Spencer

Fleet Manager, Weatherford, 5 years in fleet

Spencer began his fleet tenure as USA fleet operations manager in 2012 at Tervita LLC, where he managed a fleet of 1,800 units and initiated several programs. He later joined Weatherford as its fleet analyst in 2016 where he was the primary support for fleet operation processes. Last July, he was promoted to fleet manager at Weatherford. His accomplishments include bringing fleet transparency by implementing a document management site, which gave Weatherford’s internal customers one place to go for important fleet information.

Jacky Johnson

Johnson
Johnson

Former Fleet and Travel Manager with Graco, Currently with Truck Accessories Group, 10 years in fleet

During her tenure previously as fleet manager for Graco Inc., Johnson’s biggest fleet implementation was getting the fleet division up to speed on DOT rules and regulations. At Graco, she helped the fleet partner with JJ Keller to ensure the drivers had their driver qualification files completed and physicals up to date. Because of this, her drivers learned the rules and regulations and become the experts at following DOT rules and regulations. By continuously building relationships within the fleet industry, she was able to pursue her dreams and obtain a career within sales.

Art Parr

Parr
Parr

Director of Fleet Maintenance, MBI Energy Services, 9 years in fleet

Parr’s career in fleet began as fleet supervisor/garage safety coordinator for Bimbo Bakeries USA. He later served as the company’s fleet manager and U.S. fleet safety manager.  One of his biggest successes as fleet safety manager for Bimbo was decreasing the fleet’s total recordable incident rate from 7.01 to 3.45 in five years. Parr began working with MBI Energy Services as the director of fleet maintenance in July; where he manages a fleet of 1,800 vehicles. At MBI, he has implemented, fuel site PM processes, created mechanic classifications, clarification of audit expectations, created a structure within the inventory specialists team that will stream line parts supply issues, and more.

Jeffrey Menheer

Menheer
Menheer

Fleet Administration Team Lead, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, 8 years in fleet

Menheer has managed to reshape Takeda’s fleet through its annual extensive TCO analysis. He used the opportunity to add higher MPG sedans, hybrids, frugal wagons and a small SUV. Then he gave employees an incentive of reducing the personal use fee by two-thirds for drivers who selected fuel-efficient sedans. This offset total fleet spend by 15%. Takeda has boosted the fuel economy of its fleet by 27%. Also, fuel costs were reduced 22%.

Katherine Stamper

Stamper
Stamper

Fleet Operations, Finance & Operations, Novo Nordisk, 5 years in fleet

Stamper has been in the pharmaceutical industry for 17 years, and five of those years involved her working in fleet safety, efficiency, and compliance. She prides herself in identifying inefficiencies and streamlining operations wherever it makes business sense. Her goal is to optimize processes and maximize time for drivers. She has said: “I absolutely love my job, it’s a fascinating area that touches every part of the organization, ‘It’s beyond the car.’”

Jeremy Muoio

Muoio
Muoio

Director of Asset Management, MasTec AT, 3 years in fleet

Muoio has revolutionized operations at MasTec by utilizing data from different sources like telematics, fuel, and HR systems. He helped launch a SmartAssign system to assign drivers to vehicles with the help of geo-fencing, which improved administrative accuracy dramatically. He also developed SmartFuel, a system designed to eliminate theft and enforce proper fueling habits. Muoio has also done significant work for MasTec’s driving safety culture: A “red driving” program was put in place using telematics data, applying remedial action monthly to any driver who falls below a minimum score. “Red driving” in MasTec has declined by 60%, and accidents have dropped 25%.

Melanie Pirylis

Pirylis
Pirylis

Fleet and T&E Specialist, Schindler, 1 Year in Fleet

In her brief fleet tenure, Pirylis and her team have implemented an MVR program, telematics program, ELD program and a fleet dashboard to bolster operations within the company. She cites safety as being a No.1 priority for Schindler’s internal and external customers. Melanie’s knowledge for fleet has grown exponentially in her current role, and while some of the fleet initiatives implemented are still in the early stages, she and her team are excited to see the directions they take.

Adam Orth, CAFM

Orth
Orth

Fleet Services Manager, General Mills, 10 years in fleet

As a fleet manager for General Mills, Orth’s fleet efforts have been that of creating consistency, accountability, and proper processes. He has spent the last two years of his fleet tenure at General Mills remodeling his entire sales fleet by implementing a tiered selector, publishing a new fleet policy, reducing the collision rate, increasing driver accountability and more.  Challenges related to some of these initiatives were addressed by improved communications and processes.

Daniel Warner

Warner
Warner

Fleet Administrator, Coloplast, 3 years in fleet

Warner has spent the last three of his seven years at Coloplast working in the fleet department. His initiatives with the company have had a strong emphasis toward safety, including offering front crash prevention technology to be standard in all sales vehicles beginning with the 2017 model year. This particular initiative resulted in TCO savings of $175,000, despite the added front crash prevention technologies. He also incorporated a driver safety program that offered driver training to all drivers. To implement these policies, he sought executive level approval prior to rolling out the changes.

Kelsey Wolfe

Wolfe
Wolfe

Director of Safety/HR/Recruiting, Southern Freight Services, 5 years in fleet

Wolfe’s career in fleet logistics began when she entered Southern Freight Services (SFS), a business founded by her family, to assist with administrative tasks. Shortly after, she transitioned to the role of safety director, where she has written/implemented a bulk of its safety policies since starting. The fleet has seen overall improvements in crash rate, safety scores, and injury severity scores. Also, work comp rates have improved, and work safety has become culturally ubiquitous. Previously, SFS won multiple Fleet Safety awards, while Wolfe was also named the HDT Safety and Compliance award winner in 2016.

Dave Tosh

Tosh
Tosh

Fleet Services Administrator, Benco Dental Company, 10 years in fleet

One of Tosh’s biggest fleet innovations included leading the conversion of the fleet’s full-size vans to 4-cylinder mid-size vans. This helped realize over $1.5 million in savings. He also changed the company’s replacement parameters, resulting in over $500,000 in maintenance savings. He implemented GPS telematics, pairing the program with a new logistics platform, which increased the responsiveness of the fleets drivers when responding to service calls. His most fulfilling change was bringing a company-wide focus to fleet safety and leading a team to implement a driver safety and accountability program, reducing the number of preventable accidents.

Doug Schrier

Shrier
Shrier

Vice President of CI and PM, Covenant Transportation Group, 7 years in fleet

Doug has completed several projects that have helped Covenant Transportation Group (CTG) become an organization that focuses on solving customer issues. Schrier and his team are dedicated to resolving all processes and technology issues for the 2,600 trucks and four non-asset companies under CTG’s umbrella. His other achievements include co-founding another business unit that focuses on providing big data software-as-a-service solutions to other carriers to help improve safety across the industry.

Andrew McDonald

McDonald
McDonald

Infrastructure Health and Safety Manager, Arcadis, 4 years in fleet.

McDonald has over 10 years of experience as a health and safety manager, but for the last four years has directed some of his duties toward fleet, with a focus on safety. He helped introduce fleet telematics and advanced collision warning into existing fleet vehicles and he also developed a standard upfitting requirement, and standardized the company’s fleet. The latter was met with resistance. However, educating the drivers on the value of standardization and increased fleet flexibility led to greater acceptance. Meanwhile, preliminary data of safety technology he implemented has showed a decrease in motor vehicle accidents by 20%.

Mohammed A. Khan

Khan
Khan

Fleet Head, Najm for Insurance Services, 7 years in fleet

Khan started his fleet career as a senior fleet officer with Najm in 2010 managing a fleet of 120 vehicles. He was faced with the challenge of setting up the fleet management function to ensure efficient fleet operations in 23 cities across Saudi Arabia for an organization with a unique operating model. His primary focus was on swift fleet transition without hindering the daily operations and also implementing documentation as well as conducting training sessions for Najm’s surveyors to create awareness and understanding of company policies. In 2011 he worked closely with his IT team to develop an in-house fleet application for real-time management of his fleet. He is responsible for managing 55-60 employees and a 600+ fleet.

April Yeager

Yeager
Yeager

Head of procurement, Clariant Corp., 3 years in fleet

Yeager’s fleet duties began once she entered her current position in procurement, but she has served with Clariant for over 27 years. Her biggest achievement was rolling out an online fleet safety program with her FMC, Wheels Inc., which helped address safety concerns. The program helped bring awareness to problems such as rear-ending, distracted driving, etc. In doing so, her fleet was able to reduce the amount of accidents that occurred, ultimately curbing repair-related costs. She was able to get complete buy-in from the top down to implement the project. Other recent accolades include her receiving NAFA’s Excellence in Safety award earlier this year, and she received a 2016 risk mitigation award from her FMC.

Larry Shupe

Shupe
Shupe

Fleet manager, Eagle Distributing Co., 5 years in fleet.

After working for International Trucks for 30 years as a mechanic and later managing a dealership, he decided to shift his career into the fleet industry. Now as fleet manager for Eagle Distributing Co., a beer distributing company, Shupe has made strides since joining the fleet industry to improve his operations. He helped implement GPS on vehicles, which have cut down on fuel cost, reduced accidents, and curb issues on driver accountability. Shupe is always looking at ways to cut costs and improve his fleet.

Sara Vaughan

Vaughan
Vaughan

Human Resources, Dunkin’ Brands, 1 year in fleet

In 2016, Vaughan was introduced to the fleet industry when she took over for Dunkin’ Brands US and Canada fleet operations. Beyond her goals of reducing TCO, improving safety, etc., she dedicates herself on finding ways to continue to make her fleet program successful, and her FMC, Element, has helped her do that. She encourages creating strong relationships, which can be done via regular FMC meetings, developing relationships with OEMS, and understanding driver needs. She values the relationships she has created with her drivers, and strives to best accommodate their needs in an efficient manner.

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