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October 30, 2009  |   Comments (4)   |   Post a comment

15 Fascinating Personalities

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Dan Duenwald
Manager, Harlow's School Bus Service Inc., Clark, S.D.

Dan Duenwald (far right) poses with his family next to the converted school bus they all traveled in on a 1,605-mile road trip to Phoenix. The only family member not in the photo is Dan’s oldest son, Chad, who is currently serving with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.

Born: Hoven, S.D.
Home: Clark, S.D.
Years in industry: 24
Notable previous jobs: I helped out on the family dairy farm early in life. While still in high school, I started at a body and repair shop, where I worked for four years.

How did you get your start in the industry?
My wife and I partnered with my family on the family dairy farm but decided it was not enough for all of us to live on. That's when I saw the job opening for a maintenance person/school bus driver. Ten years later, I was offered a management position at Harlow's School Bus Service, along with a teaching and coaching position at the high school.

Current job duties?
I manage the Clark School District bus operation for Harlow's Bus Service and teach the automotive class for Clark High School. In 2001, I incorporated a CDL curriculum into my junior/senior class. I am currently working with 11 juniors to get their Class A CDLs.

What do you consider your top achievements?
Being married for 33 years, raising four children and being lucky enough to have three grandchildren.

I have developed a new, four-hour in-service held throughout the state each year. I train 40-some people to do their own in-services and I have done the rest of the in-services throughout the state for the past nine years. This year to date, I have done almost 60 in-services in South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana.  

What are some of your outside interests?
Each year as an automotive instructor I have an opportunity to take a summer class through WyoTech in Laramie, Wyo. The class I really enjoyed was Graphics and Painting Mailboxes. We all had to paint our own mailbox. Since that first one, I have made close to 100 school bus mailboxes for various people.

What do you like most about being in the industry?
I love being around children, plus all the good people I have met in the transportation industry. It's fun when drivers come up and say, 'Aren't you the bus guy? We really enjoyed your in-service this past summer.'



Donald Fowler
President, Fowler Bus Co., Richmond, Mo.
President, NSTA

Donald Fowler has been running school buses for more than 30 years. As president of Fowler Bus, he says that his duties range “from being a janitor to making the financial decisions to being a sub driver.”

Born: Sedalia, Mo.
Home: Richmond, Mo.
Years in industry: 34
Notable previous job: Service manager at his father's International Harvester truck and tractor dealership

How did you get your start in the industry?
I worked in my father's International Harvester truck and tractor dealership as service manager for about seven years. In 1975, while operating our dealership, I bid on a contract with a small rural school that operated eight buses, and I won the contract. We sold the dealership in '78, and in '82, I bought the school bus company operating in my hometown. I've been running yellow buses ever since.

Current job duties?
Everything from being a janitor to making the financial decisions to being a sub driver. I do it all!
Top achievements?
I feel that my top achievements would be several years ago being the SCHOOL BUS FLEET Contractor of the Year, and now having the privilege of being elected president of the National School Transportation Association. Also, just being a good Mason, Shriner and Rotarian in our community.

Outside interests?
Muscle cars, and rebuilding my 1932 International school bus and my 1949 KB-1 International pickup.

If you could travel anywhere in the world ...
I would go to Mexico or Hawaii - or anywhere that's warm and has a beach.

Something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I have a farm, where I enjoy working with my Angus cattle and fishing in one of my ponds.

What do you like most about being in the industry?
The day-to-day challenges of operating my small fleet of buses. When I tell somebody I've seen it all, something new happens.

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Brad, You are truly an asset to Utah. You are also the proud winner of the NAPT National Competition. I would like to thank you for sharing knowledge with individuals in our industry. You are amazing. Launi Schmutz

Launi Schmutz    |    Oct 15, 2010 01:32 PM

I would love to see pics of the bus you are restoring. I myself have turned a '83 International into a motor home.

Joe Fondue    |    Aug 20, 2010 12:34 PM

Congratulations Diana - This is awesome. I could see you mud wrestling for charity however - you are an extremely warm and giving soul. You also have a tiny need to sometimes step over to the wild side. God Bless you my friend. MAxine

Maxine Mougeot    |    May 03, 2010 02:35 PM

Mr. Bob Riley was wonderful to work with here at Palm Beach County. I found him to be a wonderful mentor for all. Whether he was tutoring a driver in geometry for their GED test or teaching his staff how to deal with difficult parents he made it fun. He has the ability to make you feel comfortable and taught you to believe in yourself; I will always be grateful for the opportunities he gave me.

Sue Gorby    |    Nov 04, 2009 05:39 AM

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