The Women in Fleet profile series introduces fleet managers to some of the most influential women in fleet. Every month, we will get to know another positive force in the fleet industry.
This month, we spoke with Lori Rasmussen, president and CEO of PARS Inc.
Getting Into Fleet
Rasmussen has worked in the fleet industry for 14 years, beginning her time at vehicle location company, PARS, in 2004. Rasmussen grew up in fleet, with her father working for General Motors (GM) during her childhood as well as having a special early connection with PARS.
“I grew up in fleet. My father worked for GM and I always knew I wanted to follow in his footsteps, establishing a career in the fleet industry. When my parents founded PARS in 1998, I knew it would one day be my destiny,” Rasmussen said.
After gaining a few years of valuable professional experience at a small defense contractor, in 2004 she started working at PARS.
“At that time, it was just me and my father working out of an office in the attic of his home,” she said.
Now president and CEO of PARS, Rasmussen oversees all aspects of the organization, working closely with the company’s operations and customer service teams. In addition to her responsibilities at PARS, she volunteers with various professional fleet industry associations, including the Automotive Fleet Leasing Association (AFLA).
“I spent years as an AFLA board member and am one of the founders of its Women in Fleet Management (WIFM) task force. It’s great to be part of a wonderful group of women (and men) all selflessly working to make a positive difference for others in the fleet industry,” she added.
Rasmussen is especially proud of what she has been able do for others, enabled by the growth of PARS. “Beyond helping to drive our business partners’ successes, PARS helped develop the careers of many good people as well as maintain sponsorship of AFLA and, specifically, WIFM,” she said.
Giving back is important to Rasmussen.
“In an industry historically dominated by men, there were many special women who took time to mentor me when I was new to fleet. I view my involvement in WIFM as a way I can give back to all of the women who led the way before me and helped me develop both professionally and personally. I am very pleased that this year WIFM is launching a formal mentorship program — I plan to actively participate in this tremendous program,” she said.
In the end, Rasmussen has the following advice for others in the fleet industry today: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I am so proud and fortunate to work in the fleet industry. There are so many wonderful people in this industry who genuinely care, will be there for you, and are willing to give you a helping hand and/or advice when needed,” she advised.
Get to Know Me
Experience is only part of our story and what someone likes to read, watch, and listen to can help paint a fuller picture of their personality. Here are some of Rasmussen’s favorites:
- Book: “I love to read, but it’s difficult to pick a single favorite. Between responsibilities I don’t have much free time. But I do find myself listening to eBooks and podcasts during my daily commutes,” she said.
- Movie: “Grease is a classic movie and remains a favorite of mine. I love the music and dancing. I wanted to be just like Sandy. One Halloween I even dressed up as one of the Pink Ladies!” Rasmussen said.
- Songs: “I love all types of music from classic songs such as Crazy Love (Van Morrison), and Stand by Me (Ben E. King) to more modern songs such as When You Say Nothing at All (Alison Krauss) and today’s top hits,” she said.
- You May Not Know: “I have two kids (Henry, 4, and Anna, 8) that keep me very busy. I love to be outside and playing with my kids. Some of my happy places are the beach in the summer and skiing in the winter,” Rasmussen concluded.
Related: Women in Fleet Profile: Amy McAdams
Originally posted on Automotive Fleet