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Fleet Advantage’s Flynn Retires, Holland Named Next CEO

January 05, 2023, 07:22 AM

Fleet Advantage announced its Chief Executive Officer John Flynn, a 40-year veteran of the trucking and transportation industries, has retired. Brian Holland, President and Chief Financial Officer has been named as the next CEO, as part of a long-standing succession plan, which began in early 2021 with the formation of a six-member Senior Leadership Team, to provide day-to-day management and oversight of the business to continue its growth and prosperity.

In the 1980s, Flynn founded his first startup which was to design and implement a nationwide lease program using highly structured tax leveraged lease financing for over-the-road semi-trucks and trailers. Later he pioneered the use of like-kind exchange (Section 1031 exchange), a tax provision that enhanced the lease economics. Since 1980, tax leveraged leases have expanded exponentially and now represent the largest segment of net finance leasing for new semi-trucks in the U.S.

During the early period of his career, Flynn decided to focus on private corporate truck fleets.  He developed mathematical formulas to confirm that shorter lease terms resulted in lower total cost and also structured off-balance sheet Operating Leases.  That philosophy served him well and in 2008 when he organized Fleet Advantage and added environmental stewardship to their services. No other finance industry executive has had as much of an impact on the acquisition, use and disposal of Class 8 semi tractors for private carriers through helping his customers improve productivity, reduce cost, and operate truck fleets for shorter lease terms without residual risk. “We set out to build a company that would offer the flexibility but not the risk of ownership and combined the attributes of hard work and dedication and a commitment to excellence in customer service, using an innovative approach supported by data analytics to effect change within the transportation sector,” said Flynn. “We are proud of what our team has accomplished through the years, and are gratified to be serving a number of world-class private fleets that have adopted our philosophy and approach by focusing on asset management, including equipment acquisition, financing, fleet services support and asset disposition and the total cost of ownership.”

Fleet Advantage introduced its first emissions scorecard in 2010 using data analytics and an innovative replacement program with flexible lease financing. Its (EXchangeIT) product was designed to allow companies to lease for shorter lease terms and take advantage of reduced life cycles and the upcoming wave of clean-diesel technology improvements in MPG and reduced maintenance. Its focus on fuel economy was visionary while also placing a priority on protecting drivers and motorists applying innovative safety features which, at times, included safety options added to equipment at no cost to their customer(s).

Flynn’s overarching vision of asset management helped the country’s top 100 private and corporate fleets reach Emission Reduction Goals (ESG) to promote sustainability. Today, under Flynn’s leadership, companies have vastly improved their environmental footprint by reducing CO2 emissions by over 1,000,000 metric tons. The company has purchased, financed, managed, and disposed of over 30,000 Class 8 vehicles with a current fleet size over 14,000.

Fleet Advantage has a strong focus on investing in its employees and fostering a work culture that supports promotion from within. This focus has helped Fleet Advantage and its employees secure more than two dozen professional awards over the last few years, celebrating their accomplishments. Fleet Advantage is also a staunch advocate of supporting community-based initiatives and programs benefitting children, reflected through Fleet Advantage’s Kids Around The Corner Foundation, which was founded to support the needs of the communities where their employees and clients live and work.

 “John has been a legend in the industry,” said Holland. “He’s helped Fleet Advantage earn the respect of both transportation and equipment finance industries, and his bold nature has been exactly what our nation has needed to constantly push the envelope to develop a cleaner, more modern truck transport system.”

Holland joined Fleet Advantage in 2011 and was named President and a director of the company in 2014. He will succeed Flynn as CEO. “I am incredibly honored and humbled to lead such a talented group of professionals into the future,” Holland said. “It is a privilege to carry on John’s legacy of delivering value and innovative solutions to our clients, providing ongoing career opportunities for our associates, and being a charitable member of our community.”

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