PINEVILLE, N.C. — The passing of Greg Bridgeman, vice president and general manager of Specialty Mfg., has saddened the school transportation community. He died on Oct. 16 after a brief illness.
“He was a great friend to many people who worked in the pupil transportation industry,” said Bob Whitehouse, president of IC Corp., the school bus manufacturer in Conway, Ark. “Over the past 14 years, I, along with many others, have worked hard and played hard with Greg. I will miss him greatly.”
Frank Di Giacomo, publisher of SCHOOL BUS FLEET, expressed similar sentiments. “I had a close personal as well as professional relationship with Greg,” he said. “He was a great family man and good friend. The industry has lost one of its consummate professionals and a strong advocate for safety.”
Bridgeman had spent the past 14 years with Specialty, the Pineville, N.C.-based manufacturer of safety products for both the school bus and transit industries. He also served on the board of directors of Invertec, a United Kingdom-based manufacturer of interior lighting systems for transit buses that was acquired by Specialty.
During his tenure, Bridgeman oversaw the development of the electric 5-series stop arm and crossing control arm and the 6-series solid-state stop arm and crossing control arm. He also oversaw the introduction to the market of school bus and transit bus roof hatches, strobe lights, lighting systems for transit buses and rubber flooring for school and transit buses.
“Greg’s career was characterized by a lot of hard work, a lot of innovation and a great deal of integrity,” said John Ellison, president of Specialty. “Greg was also integrally important in helping our customers understand why these innovations would help them, and they trusted his judgment.”
Bridgeman was a respected leader in the bus industry and helped to form the Supplier Council of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services. He was also a member of the National Association for Pupil Transportation, the National School Transportation Association and the American Public Transportation Association.
Bridgeman, who is survived by his wife Janice and two daughters, Abby and Vanessa, was born in Gaston County, N.C., and served in the U.S. Army in Germany. He was a member of the Cramer Mountain Men’s Golf Association and Christ United Methodist Church in Gastonia, N.C.
The family asks that anyone wishing to send gifts direct them to Christ United Methodist Church, 3415 Union Rd., Gastonia, NC 28056.