Fleet Response Recognizes 2022 LEaD Program Graduates

Fleet Response would like to celebrate and recognize the graduates of the 2022 LEaD Program.

The 2022 LEaD program consisted of 8 Fleet Response employees throughout various departments. These employees were: Stephanie Kulesa, Stacy Evans, Kimberly Colegrove, Joe Rogel, Grace Bradac, Rachel Blakemore, Samantha Ryba, and Wendy Zullo. LEaD Program supervisors were Subrogation Manager, Noel Donato and Associate Claims Manager, Zakary Etela.

The LEaD Program was created in 2018 to develop leadership skills within the company and to support our mission of providing best in class service by investing in our employees.

Over the past seven months, these employees completed an intensive, 8-module program, learning more about leadership and management. Every module consists of an assignment and a team building exercise to reinforce the learning objectives.

Each module was presented by a member of the Fleet Response Leadership Team.  Modules covered topics such as Time Management & Delegation, Building your Brand, Professional Presence, and Presentation Skills. Every participant was paired with a mentor to help them master leadership and development skills, facilitate personal and professional growth, and gain tools necessary to become an effective and successful leader.

Members of the LEaD Team were tasked with planning and executing Customer Service Week, a weeklong celebration of National Customer Service Week that included activities, contests and games for all employees. Read more about how Customer Service Week was led by the LEaD team, here.

During the graduation ceremony in October, LEaD participants gave their final presentations to the executive team, LEaD program supervisors, and the mentors of all participants. Each participant explained what they learned from the modules and how they can apply it to both their personal and professional development. Following each presentation, the participants had the opportunity to interact and take questions from members of the Executive Leadership Team.

Why did you decide to apply for the LEaD Program?

Wendy Zullo: I decided to apply for the LEaD program because as a newer employee at the time that applications were being accepted, I felt that LEaD would be a great way to become more involved with Fleet Response and show my commitment to the company.  I am also always looking for ways to learn and grow as both an employee and a person, so this was the perfect opportunity to do this.

Samantha Ryba: I’ve always looked for different ways to grow as an employee and a leader. I knew I was interested in a leadership role, and I applied for the program after being encouraged by my supervisors. Shortly after getting accepted into the LEaD program, I accepted a position as a claims supervisor, so the timing was perfect.

Joe Rogel: I was a supervisor at my previous employer, and it was a position I greatly enjoyed. It is something I would like to get back to and saw LEaD as a stepping stone to that.  Additionally, it seemed like a great way to learn more about the company and the leadership team that we are lucky enough to interact with frequently.

How has LEaD effected your leadership skills in your career/life?

Stephanie Kulesa: It helped me focus more on the future. I focused on where I want to see myself 5-10 years from now. What career path do I want to set for myself, as well as my personal life? This program has led to more self-reflection and future planning than I ever imagined.

Rachel Blakemore: As a new supervisor, I am starting fresh relationships with my team. Building solid working relationships is very important for everyone’s success. In LEaD, I had the opportunity to learn skills that I otherwise didn’t have. Communication is very important in everyone’s success.

Grace Bradac: I have learned how to not always say yes and to delegate my workload at home and in the office. This has not only made me a better leader but also able to teach my colleagues and daughter new things which has been so rewarding.

Which learning module(s) did you find most valuable?

Stephanie Kulesa: Building your brand. This was the true reflection module. This speaks to who you are as a person, and the impressions you leave on people. This puts your interactions with clients and colleagues into the perspective of how they view you and the impact you leave on them.

Kimberly Colegrove: Time Management and Delegation. It taught me that I am only one person, and I can’t do it all. I have to learn how to depend on my team and coach and develop them at the same time.

What was your favorite experience during the LEaD program?

Rachel Blakemore: Going to an escape room was probably my favorite part of LEaD. I don’t often get the opportunity to socialize with my LEaD peers outside of work, so having that team building experience outside of the office was a lot of fun.

Wendy Zullo: My favorite experience during the LEaD program was working together with my team members to put together the Customer Service Week at the beginning of October.  Even though it was a lot of planning, a lot of work, and stressful at times, it was great to come together as a team to accomplish a goal and watch it work out well in the end.

Joe Rogel: Customer Service Week was interesting.  I really got to see my classmates shine putting it all together. Grace really took the reins and did amazing.

What would you tell a coworker who is considering applying for LEaD?

Stephanie Kulesa: Do it. Absolutely do it. Do the work and put in the time. You will only grow yourself.

Rachel Blakemore: Don’t hesitate to apply for this program.  There is so much knowledge that comes from the Executive Leadership team. It’s impossible to walk away from a module without feeling inspired to be better.

Wendy Zullo: If someone is considering applying for LEaD, just do it!  It is a great way to get to know new people and develop relationships with others in different departments at Fleet Response.  If your goal is to grow with the company, this is where you want to start!

Samantha Ryba: Go for it! You will build relationships with peers and have meaningful interactions with other departments that you would not interact with on a regular basis.

Joe Rogel: Simply put, Go for it!  It’s a great experience and you can learn a lot, even if a supervisor or management position isn’t something you are looking for, I feel it is still beneficial to your professional development.

We are proud of these 8 individuals and would like to congratulate them for all of the hard work and time that they have dedicated to this program. The program proves that Fleet Response does live by the mission to provide innovative and effective service. A proven way to accomplish that goal is to invest in your employees. We look forward to seeing their growth continue as leaders of Fleet Response.