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Release date: 5/3/2018
After a long and illustrious career in fleet and as a valued NAFA member, Ray Breault announced in early 2018 his decision to step away from his duties with the company Fleet Response. It is the close of a career Breault called in his farewell statement, “a profession I’ve known and loved for 59 years.”
“In 1959, I inherited a company car program from my employer, Hoffmann La Roche in Nutley, New Jersey,” Breault explained. “In 1960, I joined NAFA and a few years later AFLA. This was my introduction to fleet, or fleet management as we know it today.
“These events introduced me to the career path of a lifetime,” Breault said. He has worked as both a fleet manager and as a products/service provider. “After 59 years in fleet, as I look back, I realize how fortunate I was having the opportunity to work for three companies that encompassed my career: Hoffmann La Roche, Revlon in New York City, and Fleet Response in Cleveland, Ohio.”
Breault has also devoted his time, energy, and expertise to NAFA in several capacities. He served as President of NAFA from 1977 to 1979 and was the recipient of the Outstanding Chapter Service Award in 2004.
His term as NAFA’s President at the tail-end of the 1970s had several unique challenges. The country was still reeling
from the social changes stemming from the turbulent 1960s, the recently ended Vietnam War, the political upheaval in
the wake of the Watergate hearings and the resignation of U.S. President Richard M. Nixon, and the residual issues from the 1973 oil crisis.
The oil crisis specifically created fleet-related challenges such as odd-and even-day rationing; an influx of smaller, more economical foreign cars that struck at the heart of U.S. automotive manufacturing pride; and a driver force that
had to adapt quickly to all such changes.
The fuel crisis would reemerge in 1979 with the chaos of the Iranian Revolution. As the country watched and counted the days as 52 American diplomats were held hostage, vehicle-related industries had the added concerns of oil and gasoline shortages.
“I will sorely miss the chapter meetings, conferences, travel, but most importantly the people,” Breault said.
“In addition, I extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to the NAFA and AFLA associations, fleet pioneers, automotive manufacturers, lessors, fleet suppliers and all those who continue to make us successful,” he added. “Thank you all for many memorable experiences during my career and best wishes for exciting advancements in fleet management in the years ahead.”