I’ve loved these days
Time flies when you are having fun! How many times in our lives have we said that? In my case, I get to say that now as my term as president of NAPT is drawing to a close.
It’s been a great experience in so many ways, and as I reflect back a bit, I feel very proud of NAPT, the great things accomplished and, of course, the most important element — our membership.
When you “sign on” as the president or leader of any organization, whether it is local, state or national — or in my case, all of the above (at one time or another) — you realize that as president, you are only as good as your management staff and board of directors.
I am grateful to say that throughout my tenure, I have been blessed to work with some of the best individuals that I have ever met. I take this opportunity to reflect on the many great people of NAPT.
In one of my first assignments as president of NAPT, we were faced with hiring two new staff members for our headquarters. After exhaustive interview processes, we secured two people who are not only very qualified professionals, but who also became what I consider immediate family members of NAPT. Lynn Martin and Brianne Peck have golden personalities to go along with their outstanding professional qualities.
My marching orders to them both were simply: Make every member feel welcome, and treat every member like a family member that you love and admire. They both far exceed this every day, and with their skills and personalities, NAPT will continue to soar and remain the strong organization we all love.
Along with Lynn and Brianne, Bill Loshbough has done a remarkable job in planning our meetings, conferences and trade shows. Bill also has served as president of NAPT.
What more could you ask from an executive director than to be one of the most recognizable and knowledgeable faces in the pupil transportation industry? Presidents come and go, hopefully accomplishing great things throughout their terms, but the executive director certainly is the glue that holds the ship together. Mike Martin’s knowledge of the “yellow bus business” and his high level of professionalism certainly have helped NAPT grow in strength and numbers throughout the years.
There is a saying that goes, “You become successful by helping others succeed.” Mike lives by this motto, and I will always be grateful for his support and, most importantly, his friendship through the years and for helping me “succeed.”
The NAPT membership has elected a board of directors that is one of the most dedicated groups that you will ever see in action. Bob Peters, John Hazelette, Cheryl Wolf, Willie Tarleton, Alex Robinson, Corky Bynum and Launi Schmutz, who have represented our membership so well and in such a professional manner, deserve only the highest of accolades.
When we call to order each board meeting, this group makes sure that only what’s best for NAPT is what is on the agenda. I will look back with great fondness of these folks as well as many others who have served on the board with me during the years.
NAPT will certainly be in extremely great hands under the leadership of Bill Tousley when he is sworn in as president this October. Bill’s warm personality and strong organizational skills are a perfect fit for NAPT. I will pass the gavel with great pride to a person whom I respect as a professional and admire greatly as a friend.
Over the years, I’ve met so many friends at NAPT. Along with all of the great benefits of being a member of NAPT, these friendships will last a lifetime and are a true blessing.
While throughout the year the board of directors and staff work diligently, it’s with great anticipation that we look forward to seeing everyone at the annual conference to reconnect. I thank all of the members — no, my friends — for being a part of a time in my life that I had only dreamed about. You all are the best! As of this writing in late August, we have either started school or are pretty close. I wish everyone a very safe opening of school. Keep our children safe and yourselves and families safe, too.
Being from a family of musicians, music has always played a part in my life in one way or another. Today, I leave you with a line from a Billy Joel song that simply says, “I’ve loved these days.”
Thank you all for the time together. See you in Grand Rapids, Mich., for the “Big Show.”
Lenny Bernstein is outgoing president of the NAPT and transportation coordinator at Haverstraw-Stony Point Central School District in Garnerville, N.Y.