CHARLOTTE, NC - Dean Yerem, purchasing manager, corporate services, at Nestlé, was named the 2011 Fleet Executive of the Year by Fleet Financials magazine.

Sponsored by CEI, the other two finalists for this year's award were Douglas Else-Jack, vice president, corporate purchasing for Schindler Holding AG and Caryn Helmandollar, director of risk management for Ferguson Enterprises, Inc.

Yerem is responsible for delivering competitive advantage, value, and results to all Nestlé operating companies in North America, including Nestlé USA, Nestlé Purina PetCare, Nestlé Waters North America, L'Oreal (U.S. and Canada) as well as in Nestlé Mexico, and other global initiatives.

"It's a real honor," said Yerem. "It was seriously a surprise because I haven't been in this industry a long time. I couldn't emphasize it more during my speech, but our partnership with our fleet management company really helps me do my job.  I've got really strong support from my fleet managers at Nestlé."

Yerem has implemented several fleet initiatives during the past three years. His efforts, along with those of his team, led to significant projected savings for the company during the next four years in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

In 2009, Yerem led an initiative that created a reduction of more than 300,000 gallons of fuel use and cut emissions by 15 percent, resulting in additional savings. The three-year plan is currently on track to deliver the savings targets. He also led initiative at Nestlé for evaluating personal use fees.

With resources from Nestlé's fleet management company, Yerem is currently working on the analysis of closed-end leasing and a funding shift to a self-funding model along with a comprehensive safety program in the final stages of approval.

Read more on all five nominees for this year's award.

In 2010, FF presented the award to Mike Lahr, director of logistics for LKQ Corp.