See Where We Can Take You.

DFS recruits, trains, and develops talented Technicians with a desire to succeed, grow and develop in their career. Many of our leaders began their careers as Technicians and are a product of our develop- and-promote-from-within approach.

The Rise to Leadership

Richard Schlatter

Richard Schlatter

General Manager

Indianapolis Service Center

From mopping floors to driving a shuttle bus, from being a Service Writer all the way to where he is today as the General Manager of the Dickinson Fleet Indiana/Kentucky markets, Rich Schlatter has done it all.

Rich was hired in February 2014 as the Regional Service Manager for Region 60-001, which covered the Indiana, Southern Ohio and Kentucky markets.  Under Rich’s direction, the region grew to over 25 technicians in less than 2 years.  In July of 2015, Rich was promoted to General Manager of the Indianapolis Service Center.

“At that point, I had 2 titles.  I was the General Manager of the Indianapolis Service Center in addition to my role as Regional Service Manager of Region 60-001 while the search was underway for a new RSM.”

Main duties of being General Manager include managing customers and technicians, while maintaining and growing the organization.  Rich also played a key role in bringing in new business, working alongside sales representatives to bring the operational perspective to new customers and prospects for Dickinson Fleet Services.  In addition, he is always looking for top talent to join his team as technicians.

“Every day is an adventure at Dickinson Fleet Services.  You never know day-to-day what you may be experiencing or dealing with out in the field.  It could be working with customer service personnel/technicians, doing interviews, or even out there turning wrenches.  Each day is something different and I love the challenge that brings to the table.  We’re willing to do whatever it takes to create the best possible outcome for our clients.”

“The level of responsibility and things that they have entrusted me with speaks volumes about this great company.  I have the freedom to make the decisions that need to be made to get the job done.  I also have scheduling flexibility to do whatever is needed to deliver for our clients.  You just don’t see this type of freedom and flexibility with other companies out here.  I also love the ability to be promoted and grow within the company. The recognition and career growth opportunities here are second to none.”

Over the years, Rich has seen the leaders of Dickinson Fleet Services develop a list of training initiatives to take people through a very specific training schedule.  Everything has evolved to where it is clearly outlined and consistent throughout all levels of the company.  Training capabilities for our technicians have also increased by partnering with key vendors and customers.

“We now have our own Learning Management System and there has been an incredible training progression over the years that we all should be proud of.”

Rich says the key attributes to be successful at Dickinson Fleet are maintaining a great work ethic and having the grit to get through the long days.

“Tough things do happen out here and there are going to be days where you have to battle through the elements (weather, scheduling, etc).  It’s important to be a self-starter with a willingness to learn.  If you can do all of these things, then you can be extremely successful here.”

The ultimate reward at Dickinson Fleet for Rich has been the ability for him grow as a person and a leader along with the advancement opportunities presented to him at Dickinson Fleet Services.  While he has come a long way, he still believes there will be more growth to come.

“I don’t believe a ceiling exists here.  I believe I will reach the VP level at this company.  In five years, I see myself still being here in some type of VP/Operations role.  Where we are going with growth and acquisitions, I definitely see some openings coming at that level.”  

Charlie Thomas

Charlie Thomas

General Manager

Northeast Ohio to Western Pennsylvania

Charlie Thomas was working a dead-end job.  Long hours, no sense of fulfillment and no long-term vision…he was frustrated and looking for change.

The year was 2007 and that’s when a mutual friend introduced Charlie to Ted Coltrain, our now Executive Officer at Dickinson Fleet Services, to talk about coming on board at our family-owned company.  Their first meeting was in the small town of Salem, Ohio and from the beginning Charlie was all-in on Ted’s company vision.

“We talked a lot about long-term career growth.  He shared with me his vision for the future of Dickinson Fleet Services.  I could tell it was something in which he believed, and I could see a path to my personal career growth within the company.”

Charlie came on board as a mobile technician for 6 years before taking on the role of Regional Service Manager (RSM) in 2013.  His region was Northeast Ohio to Western Pennsylvania.

“I took a chance coming to Dickinson Fleet Services, and that chance has really paid off.  Ted’s vision for company and career growth was pretty correct.  My intention was to come in as a tech and move up the ladder.  I’ve been able to challenge myself and do that very thing”

Charlie is now the General Manager of the region in which he was the RSM over, Northeast Ohio to Western Pennsylvania.  He also serves as the General Manager of our Columbus location.  Thomas has held this position for about 4 months now and is really liking the new challenge.

“I’m not that guy who goes to work just to collect a paycheck, Sure, we all need money to live, but I like to be challenged.  I want to make a difference in what I do and this company allows me to do just that.”

“Honestly, every single day is a little different from the day before.  I could be in Cleveland helping technicians in the morning and later I’m on-site at a customer’s location solving their problems.  Then the next day, I am in Columbus helping our Regional Manager grow his operation there.  I love having the change of pace in what I do.”

Charlie exhibits “servant leadership” to its fullest, as he’s still one of the first to get in the trenches and turn some wrenches to help out his team when they need an extra hand.  Charlie’s worth ethic was something that became evident very quickly and has been instrumental in his success within our company as it has grown.

“I believed in Ted and that I had the chance to be a part of something bigger when I joined the Dickinson Fleet Services team.  It feels like this company has grown 100 times larger over the years.  The great thing is that I have been able to grow as well and that has been incredibly rewarding to me.”

We’re very proud of employees like Charlie Thomas here at Dickinson Fleet Services.  It feels good to have team members buy into our company vision and experience great rewards along the way.  We look forward to sharing many more stories like that of Charlie’s in the future.