December 2009

Rick Nicoletti

Editor's Notebook

by Rick Nicoletti, Napleton Fleet Group

Since it’s December and everyone is hopefully in the holiday spirit, this month’s issue of Spec Sheet has a few “lighter” touches.

Don’t miss the Dancing Elves holiday wish to all our AFLA members and friends. I guarantee this will bring a smile to your face. Mike Antich is a dancing machine! Also, Jim McCarthy’s Liner Notes has a list of one-hit wonders from the 1960s and 1970s. Do you remember every one of these songs? We’ve made it easy for you by providing YouTube links for each song. Finally Scott Okun shares his memories of his AMC Gremlin in the Auto Recall feature.

On a more serious note, this month’s issue will showcase our new AFLA testimonial video and provide an opportunity to meet Lee Miller our AFLA Secretary.

As a remarkable year winds down, best wishes to everyone for a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Register now for 2010 AFLA Conference, September 8-10!

The AFLA conference is the must-attend event for commercial fleet managers. Year after year, the AFLA conference offers great networking opportunities with experienced people in the fleet industry and a chance to learn best practices. The speakers and topics are selected to offer you strategic insights to help you make an immediate impact on your business.

But don’t take our word for it – watch the video of what people in our industry are saying about this event.

Tom Donato

Message from the President

by Tom Donato, Automotive Resources International

The AFLA Board met for the first time since the September conference, and it’s clear that our organization has a clear strategy and a high level of commitment from all of our committees.

Here are some of the recent activities:

The theme “Turn Change into Opportunity” and logo for the 2010 conference in Las Vegas are already completed, online registration is open, and promotion begins this month. Thanks to Mike Antich, who directed the production of a new video to promote the 2010 conference. A link for the new video appears HERE.

Committee chairs, Lori Rasmussen and Theresa Belding, report that the 2011 conference city is San Diego, based on the results of the membership survey taken at the conference. A search for the best conference venue is already underway.

Jim Rallo and the Sponsorship Committee report making progress in pursuing new sponsors and in giving current sponsors additional exposure through webinars and online e-learning tools.

As you certainly noticed, the quality of the Spec Sheet newsletter is top-notch. Rick Nicoletti, Mike Antich and the entire Communications Committee deserve the credit, and they are also breaking new ground with the LinkedIn Group and a Wikipedia page for AFLA.

The Membership, Education, and Commercial Fleet Sounding Board have all developed their plans to help AFLA achieves its goals in the new year. They all will begin meeting in January. The new Technology Task Force is working with each committee to improve ALFA’s e-Learning web presence.

While we have big plans and a lot of work ahead in 2010, I’m sure all of us are looking forward to a well-deserved rest. So, I wish you and your families a joyous holiday season and a prosperous, healthy New Year.

Tom Donato
AFLA President

Lee Miller

AFLA Secretary Profile:
Lee Miller, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

by Cheryl Knight

AFLA Helps Pharmaceutical Company Expand Contacts and Networking

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s central concept of its corporate vision is “value through innovation.” And together with the company’s concept of “lead and learn,” these visions are the drivers of its corporate culture. The company sells a range of prescription and over-the-counter drugs in the U.S. market, and is also an R&D center for Boehringer Ingelheim, specializing in immunology, inflammatory conditions, and cardiovascular disease.

“Networking and benchmarking are crucial components to managing a pharmaceutical fleet,” said Lee Miller, manager, Fleet Services for Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals in Ridgefield, Connecticut. “Networking is what it is all about these days, and my company expects me to have contact with other fleet professionals. On any given day, they may need me to reach out to someone on a variety of issues.”
It’s for these reasons that 30-year fleet veteran Miller joined AFLA more than three years ago.

“I had been in fleet for many years and was curious. I wanted to attend another organization’s meeting to learn more about what they had to offer,” Miller said. “I was hearing a lot of great feedback about AFLA from fellow fleet managers and from vendors I partnered with.”

Miller, who was elected as AFLA’s Secretary in September 2009, is responsible for Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals’ management of all U.S. vehicles, including four subsidiary companies. The Fleet team provides vehicles to a variety of field-based sales teams, site and security, maintenance and grounds crew, shuttle vehicles for campus, and individuals on the Inpatriate program. The department also manages the company’s executive vehicle program and accident services program, as well as facilitates the Fleet Safety Committee for review of high-risk drivers.

AFLA Helps Fleet Team Gain Valuable Resources
Attending AFLA meetings has helped Miller apply a more focused approach to key initiatives. And since strategy and timing is now a high priority for Boehringer Ingelheim’s fleet management, Miller and her team are focusing on total cost of ownership and optimizing vehicle replacement.

"AFLA provides a venue where you can learn strategic approaches and gain perspective on the latest issues affecting fleet management,” Miller said. “Additionally, it enables you to share benchmarking information and trends with other fleet professionals, both inside and outside of your own industry, as well as exchange ideas and investigate the latest best practices.”

Not only has Miller expanded her professional contacts two-fold, she finds immense value in the White Papers available on AFLA’s Website. She also is thankful that the modest AFLA membership fee made it easy to gain approval from upper management.
“My management has been extremely supportive and encourages me to attend the annual meeting,” she said. “At one time or another, fleet professionals are faced with proving their value to an organization. I am fortunate that my current leadership recognizes the challenges and views my participation with AFLA as beneficial.”

Conversation with Eric Lawrence, Director of Marketing and CPI Editor

by Ricky Beggs, Black Book

Listen to Ricky Beggs' discussion with Eric Lawrence by clicking on the video frame below or clicking on this link:

AFLA Members Share Their Holiday Thoughts

Donna Bibbo, Novo Nordisk — Donna leaves the holiday cooking to her husband and enjoys the down time. This year The Bibbo’s will be heading to Hilton Head for the holiday. Donna hopes to read 3 or 4 books walk the beach and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Jim Christiano, PARS — All of the family will be coming over to the Jim’s house. and (2 on the way). There will be a total of 26 people at the house. Breakfast in the morning , presents soon after and Dinner will be served. Jim will be celebrating with everyone but especially with his two grandchildren and looking forward to the two more on the way.

Michael Bieger, ADP — We always get together with my immediate family (mother/Father, brothers/sisters and all their kids) at one of my siblings houses the Saturday before Christmas; the location rotates amongst the family. With 26 people in the house it makes for a loud boisterous time. We eat, exchange presents, and just enjoy each other’s company.

Mary Sticha, GE Capital Fleet Services — We enjoy the lights, music, holiday decorations, and celebrating with our family. One special tradition is my mother's side of the family always gets together on Christmas eve. There are 5 sets of aunts and uncles; 13 sets of cousins/spouses; and 25 nieces and nephews. Santa comes, to the delight of the smaller ones. This tradition started at least 5 decades ago at my grandmother's farm; then rotated amongst my aunts/uncles; now the cousins have taken the charge.

Mike Rossi, Auto Driveaway — Mike will traveling to Columbia SC to visit his new grandchild and spend the holidays with his daughters family.

Michael St. Clair, ServiceMaster — I’ll be spending Christmas here in Memphis with my wife/kids and our parents. We’ll all meet at the in-law’s home for some genuine Memphis barbeque, and then I’ll cook a turkey for my immediate family at my house.

Kevin Fisher, ARAMARK— Kevin will hosting this year’s holiday celebration which will include his son who will be coming in from Virginia where he is an Air Traffic Controller. Past menus have included a Deep-Fried Turkey with a spice rub and the potential for a brine could be on this year’s menu. There will over 20 friend and family celebrating this year.

Lori Rasmussen, PARS — Lori will of course be in attendance at the family gathering but also looks forward to Christmas Eve which is spent at her In-Laws.

What are YOU doing this holiday season? Share your traditions, memories, and upcoming plans HERE. Find out more about LinkedIn.

Jim McCarthy

McCarthy's Liner Notes

by Jim McCarthy

Personal Top 20 One-Hit Wonders from the 1960s

  1. Eve of Destruction by Barry McGuire
  2. I Fought the Law by Bobby Fuller Four
  3. Everlasting Love by Carl Carlton
  4. Liar Liar by The Castaways
  5. Pied Piper by Christian St. Peter
  6. I Had Too Much to Dream by The Electric Prunes
  7. Come on Down to My Boat by Every Mother's Son
  8. Lies by Knickerbockers
  9. 1-2-3 by Len Barry
  10. Black is Black by Los Bravos
  11. Shame Shame by Magic Lanterns
  12. Classical Gas by Mason Williams
  13. Little Bit of Soul by Music Explosion
  14. I Love You by People
  15. You've Got to Hide Your Love Away by The Silkie
  16. I Got a Line on You by Spirit
  17. Pictures of Matchstick Men by Status Quo
  18. Poke Salad Annie by Tony Jo White
  19. You Were on My Mind by We Five
  20. Treat Her Right by Roy Head

Personal Top 20 One-Hit Wonders from the 1970s

  1. Beach Baby by First Class
  2. The Night Chicago Died by Paper Lace
  3. American Pie by Don McLean
  4. Are You Ready? by Pacific Gas & Electric
  5. One Fine Morning by Lighthouse
  6. Don't Pull Your Love Out by Hamilton Joe Frank & Reynolds
  7. Driver's Seat by Sniff & The Tears
  8. Vehicle by Ides of March
  9. Reflections of My Life by Marmalade
  10. United We Stand by Brotherhood of Man
  11. Spirit in the Sky by Norman Greenbaum
  12. Green Eyed Lady by Sugarloaf
  13. How Do You Do? by Mouth & MacNeal
  14. Brother Louie by The Stories
  15. Do You Know What I Mean? by Lee Michaels
  16. Jackie Blue by Ozark Mountain Daredevils
  17. Little Green Bag by George Baker Selection
  18. Nice to Be With You by Gallery
  19. Hallelujah by Sweathog
  20. Indiana Wants Me by R. Dean Taylor

Scott Okun

Auto Recall:
What Was Your First Car?

by Scott Okun

My father was an AMC dealer in the 1970s. The name of the dealership was Scott James AMC in Chicago aptly named after yours truly. My first car was a 1975 AMC Gremlin – the original three door hatchback. With a thrifty six-cylinder engine I sped down the Edens Expressway on my way to high school. It was not the “chick magnet” that I was hoping for but it did get me where I needed to go. It was priced under $2,000 at the time. After the Gremlin I did get an AMC Javelin to drive which was appropriately taken away after my first ticket.

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