Merchants Fleet claims 3 industry honors while also naming top auction

Merchants Fleet not only received three Stevie Awards as part of the 20th annual American Business Awards, the fleet management company also recognized its Top Overall Auction for 2021. 

Claiming the auction accolade for the second year in a row from the fifth largest fleet company in the U.S., according to a news release from ServNet, is North Bay Auto Auction.

“Our entire auction team is thrilled to again be named the top auction in the U.S. for Merchants Fleet,” said David Aahl, partner and general manager at North Bay Auto Auction. 

“This award is evidence of the care and attention we devote to our customers.  Lease returns never let up even in the height of the pandemic, and Merchants Fleet has been an important partner during a tumultuous time,” Aahl continued in the news release from ServNet, of which North Bay Auto Auction is a member.

Aahl acknowledged the role that Ashley Sackett, the fleet lease representative at North Bay, played in the auction’s success with Merchants Fleet. 

“Ashley provides the boots on the ground for Merchants Fleet, making sure that all areas of quality control are met,” Aahl said. “She touches every vehicle, and it is due to her efforts that we know that condition reports are accurate and that all the details of sale preparation and sale are managed with care.”

North Bay Auto Auction has been handling vehicles for Merchants Fleet since 2015. In addition to winning top honors for the account in 2020 and 2021, the auction also won its Top Line Service Award in 2018.

“Merchants Fleet recognizes its top auction based on service, performance, and a variety of metrics, including timeliness of days to sale and conversion rate,” Merchants Fleet remarketing manager Bill Boutwell said. “A group of us determines our annual award recipients, and the decision to name North Bay as our Top Overall Auction was a unanimous one.”

“The team at North Bay does everything you’d hope an auction would do, going out of their way to process our vehicles and get them sold,” Boutwell continued. “While we can only look at photos of our off-lease units, they can really see what’s going on, and they’re proactive in communicating, with status reports, follow up and vehicle assessments.  They’ve proved an invaluable part of the remarketing process and have set a standard of excellence for our auctions all over the country.”

As a family-owned independent auction founded in 1993 by Don Morrow in the region stretching from Los Angeles to Seattle, North Bay Auto Auction is situated on 33 acres near the I-80 corridor in between San Francisco and Sacramento in Fairfield, Calif.

The auction holds a sale twice weekly, on Tuesday at 4 p.m. and Thursday at 10 a.m.

Honors for Merchants Fleet, too

Meanwhile, the fleet company also announced three members of the Merchants’ senior leadership team have received Stevie Awards during the 20th annual American Business Awards.

According to a company news release, Merchants chief executive officer Brendan P. Keegan has been named Thought Leader of the Year in the Business Services category.

Senior vice president and chief financial officer Jerry Pavelich has been awarded with an Achievement Financial Services Management

Vice president of strategic alliances Rick Bell has been recognized for Achievement in Transportation Management.

The company highlighted that all three are tenured fleet professionals whose experience and expertise in the industry are the driving force behind Merchants’ meteoric growth.

In 2021 the Merchants portfolio of vehicles grew by nearly $500 million to a total of value of $2 billion — a 34% increase, with 20,000 vehicles on the road and 4 million packages per day delivered in a vehicle managed by Merchants.

“Innovation is at the core of everything we do, and it’s no secret that Merchants is setting the standard for excellence in the transportation industry,” Keegan said in the news release. “We are incredibly proud to be recognized by the American Business Awards, and to be part of the award-winning Merchants team.”

Nicknamed the “Stevies” for the Greek word meaning “crowned,” the American Business Awards received more than 3,700 nominations from organizations of all sizes. Each year, more than 230 professionals worldwide participate in the judging process to select this award winners.

“We are so pleased that we will be able to stage our first ABA awards banquet since 2019 and to celebrate in person, the achievements of such a diverse group of organizations and individuals,” said Maggie Miller, president of the Stevie Awards.

The awards will be presented to winners at a gala ceremony at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York on June 13.

Details about The American Business Awards and the list of 2022 Stevie winners are available at