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NAPT® and NAPT Foundation® Announce New Industry Leadership Role for Mike Martin


NAPT® President Rick Grisham and NAPT Foundation® President Steve Kalmes, CDPT are pleased to announce Mike Martin has been named Managing Director of the NAPT® Collaborative, a strategic initiative to address the many social, political, economic and technical trends in the U.S. that affect how children are transported to and from school.  
 

According to Grisham, “Today we begin a new chapter in pupil transportation. As we announced last August, the Collaborative is intended to be an incubator for fresh thinking, and broader connections and relationships with national and local leaders, organizations, and others that can help us advance the value proposition of pupil transportation in a new and rapidly changing national environment.”  
 
“After a quarter century leading the day-to-day operation of NAPT®, there is no one more qualified to pivot into this important new role as a school bus ‘brand ambassador,'” says Grisham. “Elevating Mike to serve in this new role underscores NAPT®'s commitment to a strong, competitive future that envisions growth and innovation in pupil transportation.”
 
“We are excited about this new strategic direction and view it as essential for NAPT® and the broader school bus industry,” says Kalmes.
 
Initially the NAPT® Collaborative will take on some of the most challenging problems facing the industry today, including:
  • Continuing to monitor and interact with federal/state officials and the medical community on the Covid pandemic and its impact on schools and pupil transportation.
  • Seeking and cultivating the ideas of influential businesses, thought leaders and communities served by pupil transportation.
  • Exploring solutions for effectively and efficiently transporting students that are homeless or have special needs. 
  • Ensuring alternatives to the traditional yellow school bus are not only efficient and convenient, but also safe, reliable, and trustworthy. 
  • Addressing the long-time shortage of CDL license holders willing and able to drive a school bus.
  • Supporting districts that are assessing electric vehicles and their use for school transportation, and
  • Ensuring school systems, and especially their school transportation departments, are aware and fully informed about the importance of cybersecurity. 
“The interest in this initiative thus far has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Martin. “We have received outreach, inquiries and requests for assistance from school leaders across the country, so we are working to figure out how to scale quickly.”
 
According to Martin, the NAPT® Collaborative is going to be strategically connecting people and ideas to develop and bring to market a robust new portfolio of product and service offerings to help school systems with their operational challenges, rather than a provider of transportation service itself.  
 
“The idea for the Collaborative stems from the Covid experience that impacted our industry and all our lives profoundly,” says Martin. “It continues to challenge us to think differently and to do things differently, adapting as necessary with continuous improvement in mind.”
 
“Free from the day-to-day process of running an association, Mike will be able to concentrate on identifying and maximizing opportunities to advance the value of pupil transportation to the educational community,” Grisham adds.  
 
“For example, I'm proud to announce Mike has already met with U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, who clearly understands the valuable contribution of yellow school bus transportation to the nation and saluted school bus drivers,” says Grisham. Highlights of their conversation will be featured in the January issue of SchoolBUSRide magazine.
 
Grisham and Kalmes explain that Martin will continue to serve as Executive Director and report to both Boards, which are developing a revised organizational chart and staffing plan. Additional information will be provided in SchoolBUSRide magazine, SchoolBUSRide Dispatch, and other NAPT® communications.  

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