Meet Rachel Hands; Save Fuel with Start-Stop Technology

FridayFleet’s Women in Fleet Series

Profile: Rachel Hands, Donlen SVP Sales and Marketing

“There’s nothing more exciting to a commercial leader than to be part of a company that has great products, is well managed, and positioned for dramatic growth.”


Those are the words of the newest member of Donlen’s leadership team, Rachel Hands, when asked why she joined Donlen. Rachel is an accomplished industry veteran who will spearhead the overall sales and marketing strategy as Donlen’s Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing.

As part of FridayFleet’s Women in Fleet series, we sat down with Rachel to learn a little more about her.

FridayFleet: Tell us a bit about your background.

Rachel Hands: I pretty much grew up at GE Capital. I was hired right out of college and spent more than 20 years there primarily in sales and sales leadership roles throughout the organization, starting in the commercial equipment financing business, which includes leasing for trucks and construction equipment. From there, I moved through several areas of GE including railcar leasing and auto financial services.

Since 2006, I’ve been consulting with companies, primarily in the area of sales management and strategy, including sales force effectiveness, organization, and deployment.

FF: How do you see consulting different than being part of an organization?

RH: I enjoyed consulting. You get into a new company, help to solve a problem or enhance existing processes, and then typically move on to the next challenge at a different company. But what I missed about commercial leadership is the ownership and accountability for the entire process as well as the results, not just formulating strategy but implementing it and following through – working with a team to make a real difference to the business in both the short and long term. That’s where the real fun is and a key reason I pursued this opportunity at Donlen.

FF: Tell us about your decision to come to Donlen.

RH: Donlen has great reputation for stability, yet is nimble and extremely innovative when it comes to developing new products and introducing new services. It also has a reputation for great customer service; which is critical to the success of any organization. And now with Hertz resources behind it, there are huge opportunities for growth. There’s nothing more exciting to a commercial leader than to be part of a company that has great products, is well managed, and positioned for dramatic growth.

FF: What do you see as the biggest opportunity between Donlen and Hertz?

RH: There are unique opportunities here that I don’t see at other fleet management companies. Everything from acquisition with products like Hertz Value Lease™, to innovative remarketing opportunities, to Hertz’s equipment solutions combined with ours. There are so many ways that this relationship sets us apart in the industry.

FF: What are your plans for the first few weeks here?

RH: My first priority is to learn as much as I can about Donlen. The integration process has been great and I’ve been meeting with the various business owners. I continue to be impressed with the depth of services and products we offer – as well as with everyone I’ve met here. I’m looking forward to speaking with the field sales team and of course, meeting in person to learn more about each of them. My first week here has only added to my already high opinion of Donlen and my enthusiasm for our future.

FF: Thanks Rachel.

Rachel grew up in the Chicago area. She lives with her husband, two children (and dog) not far from her childhood home. She loves spending time with her family as well as traveling, including an occasional “long weekend” in a European destination. Rachel holds a BS in Marketing from the University of Illinois, and a MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Rachel can be reached at

FleetWeb® Tips

The “See” menu at the bottom of FleetWeb can quickly direct you to reporting that is essential to managing your fleet.

  • Reports for acquisition, license and title, remarketing, maintenance, and fuel.
  • See which vehicles are due for replacement, vehicles that are overdue for a PM, and vehicles under-performing their recommended fuel economy.
  • Display the total number of vehicles, a detailed breakdown of vehicles, and a geographic map of where each vehicle is located.


Chevy Volt Ride and Drive

Recently, Donlen hosted a Chevy Volt Ride and Drive on our campus in Northbrook, IL. Employees were able to test drive several models, riding with experts and learning more about the technology behind the vehicle.

If you’d like to learn more about how the Chevy Volt can fit into your fleet application, please contact Amy Blaine at

donlen-chevy-volt-ride-and-drive_1973 donlen-chevy-volt-ride-and-drive_1967

Ford helps to save fuel, reduce emissions with Auto Start-Stop Technology

Drivers who regularly experience idle conditions may realize fuel savings as high as 10 percent dependent on drive cycle with the Start-Stop system, according to Ford. Start-Stop has been designed to work with conventional gasoline-powered vehicles with automatic transmissions and will be available for ordering in the U.S. first on the 2013 Fusion.

Check out more here

To discuss your acquisition options, contact your account manager or Cindy Gomez at

Upcoming Webinar

Hertz Value Lease™

Don’t miss this opportunity to see how Hertz Value Lease* can quickly become part of your vehicle selection process. Immediately see the benefits of Hertz Value Lease, including:

  • Broader selection
  • Reduced leasing costs
  • Faster order-to-delivery times

> Thursday, September 13, 2012 11:00 am – Noon CDT

Driver’s Corner

Have trouble parallel parking? You’re not alone. Bumping the curb and choosing a space that’s too small may happen occasionally, but don’t get frustrated – even if there is someone waiting behind you. Remaining calm will help you get in that space smoothly. There are a few simple steps you can follow (and practice) to help you park like a pro. Check out the list here >

And Finally…

And finally, we’ve all been there – especially those of us who live and work in congested urban areas – endlessly circling the block looking for a parking space. Then, up ahead, you see a small break in the row of cars. You approach, start to back into the space, only to realize that it’s just too small. If only you could fold up your car to scoot right in there. Well, starting in 2013, you may be able to. Researchers from MIT’s Changing Places group have developed an ultra-compact electric vehicle aimed at city drivers. The Hiriko Fold is expected to go on sale next year, can carry two passengers, and can travel up to 75 miles between charges. Oh, and it also has zero-turn radius wheels so it can move sideways. City parking will never be the same!

Have a nice weekend. Safe travels.

Originally appeared in FridayFleet on August 17, 2012

About Donlen
A wholly owned subsidiary of The Hertz Corporation (NYSE:HTZ), Donlen (, with headquarters in Northbrook, IL, is the fleet industry’s most comprehensive and integrated provider of financing and asset management solutions. Since 1965, Donlen has offered its clients highly personalized and responsive customer service, and their workplace excellence has been recognized as one of Crain’s Chicago Business “List of 20 Best Places to Work in Chicago” each year from 2009-2011, a Leader on “The Global Outsourcing 100®” list by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) for six of the last seven years, and a National Association for Business Resources “101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For in Chicago” each year from 2007-2012. Donlen’s innovation has been awarded with the Computerworld “2012 Honors Laureate for Economic Opportunity,” named to “2012 InformationWeek 500” for innovative technology; the Stevie® “2012 Gold Award for Business Intelligence Solution,” the Silver Award for “2012 Front Line Customer Service Team of the Year,” and the “2011 Corporate Environmental Responsibility Program of the Year.”