By Janice Sutton
When Chuck Parker passed away last Wednesday, September 21st, a piece of my heart broke.
Chuck was a pioneer in the fleet industry, holding key positions in companies such as Rollins, Avis, National, Lemans (now Fiserv Lending Solutions), US Fleet Leasing, and Bobit Business Media,.
He founded the industry’s first digital media company, Automotive Information Network (AIN), with nine industry segmented e-newsletters including Automotive Digest and Dealer Digest Daily. Fleet Management Weekly was one of those nine.
Chuck was an ideas man. Veteran fleet consultant Janis Christensen said, “Chuck was THE innovator in automotive electronic news – he saw where the industry was going before others did.”
Long before I met him, he was a U.S. Marine Corps pilot, flying A4 jets. He put himself through UCLA — earning a bachelors degree in political science — by working as a bartender on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.