Duke’s pupil transportation career has spanned almost 30 years. He began working for Ryder System in 1985 in a finance role, and in 1988, he transferred to Ryder Student Transportation as the assistant controller.
In the early 1990s, he took on a management role on the operations side, and in 2000, he joined NEC as region vice president, overseeing all eastern operations. As the eastern area grew, he became senior vice president, and he also assumed a business development role.
“I really learned from a boots-on-the-ground standpoint what it took to deliver safe service,” Duke says of managing the company’s eastern operations. “My financial background and my business development work rounded out these responsibilities, preparing me well for my current role [as CEO].”
In addition to his duties at NEC, Duke is a member of the National School Transportation Association (NSTA), and he has served on the NSTA Board of Directors for the last five years. He is currently an at-large director.
“On the government relations side, I think they represent the school bus industry to make sure that some of the issues that are regulatory in nature have a voice, such as the sleep apnea issue,” he says of the benefits of being involved in the association. “It’s important to the legislative process that we’re heard. On the public relations side, I think [the advantage is] having a ‘body’ that gets our message out there in terms of what school bus service brings to the education process.”
To view more photos of David Duke and his company, check out this photo gallery.
To view past Contractor of the Year recipients, check out this photo gallery.