August 1, 2012

Where Are They Now: Richard Fleming

After leaving North Andover as one of the most decorated and skilled players in men's soccer history, many believed Richard Fleming would go on and play professional soccer somewhere. Not many could have told you that Fleming was going to be Vice President for Sales and Marketing for a multimillion dollar company like FRAM Filtration.

In March 2012, Fleming was promoted to Vice President of Sales and Marketing for FRAM Filtration which is owned by Honeywell, a billion dollar company. Honeywell also owns the Prestone and Autoline brands.

As the Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Fleming is responsible for the development and execution of sales plans, brand and marketing efforts for domestic and international markets. This responsibility recently became increasingly harder as FRAM Filtration just merged with another filtration company.

"The most difficult part of my job right now is working on merging two filtration companies into one," said Fleming. "The two filtration companies had very distinct cultural differences and making sure we get the best from both and defining a new culture has been a real challenge."

Fleming currently resides in Rogers, Arkansas but is in the process of moving to Chicago, Illinois where the FRAM Filtration Cooperate offices are.

"I really enjoy the challenges and opportunities we face and the ability to work with my teams to implement solutions," stated Fleming. "I like balancing our customer needs with our business objectives and making sure we have alignment to a "win-win" strategy."

Fleming started off with Honeywell International as a territory manager for four years before being promoted to National Account Manager in Springfield, Missouri. Fleming held that position for two and a half years before being moved to Manchester, England to become the Director of sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Fleming spent two years in England before being brought back to Rogers, Arkansas to head the FRAM Walmart team.

Before entering corporate America, Fleming took his soccer successes at Merrimack professionally as he signed a pro contract with the New Hampshire Phantoms of the USL. After his first season with the Phantoms, Fleming went to Ireland and played for the Cobh Ramblers. Fleming returned to the Phantoms and played seven more seasons while also working at Puma, through some of his Merrimack connections.

Fleming then assisted his former coach, Tony Martone, in coaching the Merrimack Warriors. As an assistant under Martone, Fleming contacted another Merrimack alum, who worked for Honeywell. After a brief conversation, Fleming was offered a job with Honeywell which he happily accepted.

"I owe an awful lot to Merrimack and specifically Coach Martone for where I am today," said Fleming. "My family and I have known Coach Martone for almost 30 years and I have always admired how Coach carried himself on and off the field. Merrimack gave me a great foundation for success both professionally and athletically."

Fleming finished off his Merrimack career as not only the most decorated player in Merrimack history but one of the most decorated in conference history. The three time first team All-Conference selection finished his career with 58 goals, 55 assists and 171 points, all Merrimack records. The 58 goals rank fourth all-time in conference history while his 55 assists and 171 points rank him first all-time. Fleming was also named NE-10 Tournament MVP for his efforts during the Warriors' 1996 NE-10 Championship run. During that Championship run, Fleming finished the season with the most assists ever in a season in conference history with 21 and second all-time in points with 61.

Athletic and academic accomplishments are not the only good thing that came from his four years at Merrimack. Fleming found his soul mate while at Merrimack as well.

"I will always treasure my experiences at Merrimack College not only because I was afforded a rich athletic and academic experience, but also because I met my wife, Kerri (Lyman) Fleming, during our freshman year," remembers Fleming. "We got married at The Collegiate Church of Christ the Teacher, on the campus of Merrimack in 2003 and have three beautiful children, Trip, Hannah and Mairead."

Are you a Merrimack alum with an interesting or unique career and want to share your story? Email
 athletics@merrimack.edu for more information.