UMA Members win NSTA awards

Two United Motorcoach Association Members were recently honored with awards by the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) for excellence in the private school transportation industry

The organization’s annual Awards and Installation Dinner on July 18 was held as part of the 2023 NSTA Annual Meeting and Convention at The Westin-Pittsburgh. Honorees represent all facets of private school transportation operations, and they were lauded for their continued excellence in supporting industry and organizational efforts.

“I want to congratulate this year’s NSTA Award Winners and thank them for their special contributions to pupil transportation,” said outgoing NSTA President Carina Noble.” The award winners represent a wonderful cross section of student transportation professionals, and we are proud to honor them.”

NTSA awards
Blaise Bodway of Kobussen Buses (left) receives NSTA Golden Merit Award from Banquet co-Emcee Chloe Williams.

Blaise Bodway, of Kobussen Buses, and Shawn McGlinchey, of Krapf School Bus, received the Golden Merit Award, which was created in 1969 to recognize excellence in service, safety and community responsibility. 

The award was also given to Bobbie Hartman, of First Student; Barbie Doherty, of First Student; Shelly Hall, Student Transportation of America; and Kirk Wilkie, Student Transportation of America. 

Additionally, the following awards were handed out:

Go Yellow, Go Green: This was created in 2008 to recognize a company leader in the school bus industry that has demonstrated initiative and commitment in pursuing positive responses to growing environmental concerns. Awarded to First Student, of Cincinnati.

Committee Member of the Year: New in 2023, this is awarded to an individual who has demonstrated longstanding dedication and support as a member of an NSTA standing committee. Awarded to Bob Ramsdell, of National Express in Lisle, Illinois.

Committee Chair of the Year: Also created in 2023, this is awarded by the NSTA Executive Committee to honor a committee chairperson who has exhibited leadership and dedication to NSTA through their committee activities. The 2023 recipient of the award is Chloe Williams, of B.R. Williams, Woodstown, New Jersey.

Vendor Partner of the Year: This is awarded to an NSTA Vendor Partner for commitment to the organization by committee membership, financial support, and providing expertise on important pupil transportation issues. It was awarded to Doug Campbell, of Safe Fleet/Seon.

Innovator Award (awarded in conjunction with School Transportation News): This award recognizes an individual who has made significant, tangible contributions to the industry within the past year as an employee of a school bus contractor company. The 2023 recipient is Bill Griffiths, of Beacon Mobility.

Contractor of the Year Award (awarded in conjunction with School Transportation News): This is given to an NSTA contractor member company in recognition for service excellence, company culture, and leadership. Awarded to First Student, of Cincinnati.

Outstanding Driver Service Award: This honor is awarded to school bus drivers who have demonstrated exemplary safety performance and a commitment to excellence. The 2023 recipients are Barb Moore, of Benjamin Bus; Carlton Murray, of North America Central; and Monica Solis, of North America Central.

NSTA Hall of Fame: Induction into the NSTA Hall of Fame recognizes excellence in long-term efforts on behalf of the student transportation industry. This year’s inductee is John Benish Jr., of the Cook-Illinois Corp. in Illinois.

Additionally, Carina Noble, of National Express, was honored with a gavel plaque of appreciation highlighting her two-year term as president of the association. 

NSTA also announced that its 2024 Annual Meeting and Convention will be held in Nashville, Tennessee, from July 21 through July 24, 2024. The J.W. Marriott will be the host hotel.


“In Pittsburgh, NSTA continued its proud tradition of highlighting the exemplary work of several worthy student transportation professionals,” said NSTA Executive Director Curt Macysyn. “ I’d like to congratulate our award winners and thank all of our volunteers who make NSTA what it is today,”.

The NSTA also announced its board officers, chosen at the annual meeting July 18 by its Board of Directors. Three of the four officers are UMA members: President Dan Kobussen, of Kobussen Buses; President-elect Patrick Dean, of Dean Transportation;  and Treasurer Bradley Krapf, of Krapf School Bus.

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