TORRANCE, CA – An impressive field of 18 nominees narrowed to three finalists for the 21st Fleet Manager of the Year Award, sponsored by Automotive Fleet, Wheels Inc., and the Automotive Fleet and Leasing Association. The award recognizes and honors an experienced and proficient fleet manager who has demonstrated special business acumen in developing and executing key management policies. Eligible nominees must be full-time fleet managers, control a company-owned or leased fleet of more than 100 trucks and cars combined, and be recognized nationally among their peers for their unique abilities and accomplishments. A 27-member judging panel, representing all areas of fleet, determines the winner. The finalists are:

Scott Mayo

Title: Director, Fleet

Company: Wendy’s International, Inc.

Total Vehicles: 1,100

Staff Supervised: 4

Years in Fleet: 20

A 20-year Wendy’s employee, Mayo's department operates like a leasing company and manages every aspect of the company’s unbundled fleet. He and his team are responsible for Wendy’s U.S. and Canadian fleets, the U.S. operations of Tim Horton’s, and two recent acquisitions.

Mayo handles negotiations with ordering dealers and manufacturers and is responsible for structuring and implementing of services for Wendy's drivers, including maintenance and fuel programs. He led the design and implementation of a fleet Web site on the company's Intranet.

An active member of NAFA and AFLA, he is currently facilitator for the General Motors Fleet and Commercial Sounding Board and an OnStar Fleet Advisory Board member.

Jim McCarthy

Title: Director, Vehicle Management Services

Company: Siemens Shared Services

Total Vehicles: 10,000

Staff Supervised: 9

Years in Fleet: 12

McCarthy and his staff are responsible for 23 distinctly different fleets, each with individual requirements and scope. He must consider not only what is best for each fleet, but also for Siemens as a whole. With a strategic approach to fleet, he has leveraged in-house expertise and created one effective and efficient team from two.

In addition, McCarthy faces the internal challenges of cost-savings pressures, lease-versus-reimbursement justifications, and new initiatives. Under McCarthy’s management, Siemens maintains a 1-percent out-of-stock rate, 96-percent driver personal use report rate, just a 7-percent rate of premium fuel purchase rate, and 0-percent non-fuel purchase rate. He continually resells and proves the value of vehicle management services to each group.

Kathy Schulz

Title: Fleet Manager

Company: The Progressive Corporation

Total Vehicles: 3,700

Staff Supervised: 2

Years in Fleet: 17

With Schulz’s expertise, Progressive has saved more than $6.6 million through contract negotiations and cost avoidance. She worked with claims control to develop vehicle caps for each state to ensure maximum vehicle usage.

Schulz also reduced the number of vehicle orders in the past year by 9 percent. To maximize Progressive’s usage in depreciation, she reviewed replacement policy and maintained a low percentage of out-of-stock vehicles.

In an acquisition initiative currently underway, Schulz has purchased 10 Escape Hybrids to be used in California as part of a hybrid pilot program. Schulz has also established a bailment pool procedure for SUVs — her fleet’s primary vehicle — reducing average field delivery time from 15 to five weeks.

The past and current chair of NAFA’s Western Reserve Board, Schulz also participates on Ford Motor Company’s fleet advisory board.