If you are like most fleet professionals, when your copy of Automotive Fleet arrives, one of the first things you do is flip open to this page to see what pearls of wisdom Ed Bobit had to offer. And, if you are like me, every time you finished Ed's note, you walked away feeling like you learned something important, and, maybe, had a little chuckle along the way.
Sadly, as many of you have heard by now, we lost Ed in late June as his 86-year-old heart finally gave out.
Ed, or Coach, as most of us knew him, was a truly legendary figure in the fleet community. He was a trailblazer, a trendsetter, a rule-breaker, a mentor to many, a friend to all, and a real hero. He was the epitome of Tom Brokaw's "Greatest Generation."
The Coach set a high bar for us all and he meant so much to so many industry professionals out there. There's no replacing the Coach, so we're not even going to try. But, he spent a lot of years (20 with me, almost 30 with Mike Antich, and more than 40 with his son, Ty) teaching us how the fleet business worked, how the media business worked, and how we can best help advance the fleet profession and support the fleet professional.
Ed started this company, and this magazine, in 1961 when he noticed there wasn't a good source of information for fleet managers that didn't have a bunch of Class 8 trucks. He spent the next 53 years building the company and the magazine into the thriving entity that it is today.
As many of you know, AF's fleet footprint grew to include nine other magazines, a slew of related websites and e-mail newsletters, and seven conferences and events. In addition, the company has grown to include a total of 23 magazines, 14 conferences and events, and countless websites and newsletters.
Through all the decades of growth for Bobit Business Media, Ed's focus and his passion until the end was always Automotive Fleet and its incredible community of fleet professionals. And, you can rest assured that Automotive Fleet and all of its sister publications, events, and websites will continue to survive and thrive as we work to build on the great legacy that Ed left us.
Ed did a wonderful job instilling that same passion in his son Ty, our president and CEO, his grandson Blake who runs the electronic side of our business, and in Mike, myself, and the rest of the "Bobiteers" who spend every day trying to ensure fleet professionals always have the information they need when they need it.
Ed was our Iron Man, our Superman, and every other superhero all rolled up into one. He was larger than life and a true legend in our business. And, the best thing we can do as his family, friends, and fellow fleet professionals is work as hard as we can every day to continue his mission to help elevate and educate the fleet market.
So, that is what we will do.