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October 28, 2010  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

15 Fascinating Personalities 2010

This edition of SBF’s Fascinating Personalities series focuses on suppliers to the school transportation industry. Find out who is the longest active member of NAPT, who has climbed the Mexican pyramids in Cozumel, who plays hockey every week and who has a background as a U.S. Army Ranger.

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Ken Hedgecock
Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Service, Thomas Built Buses, High Point, N.C.

Ken Hedgecock and his family enjoy boating. He is seen here with his son, Ethan.

How long have you been involved in the school bus industry?
Basically all my life! I’m a second-generation Thomas employee and have worked for Thomas either part time or full time since 1975.

How did you get your start in the industry?
I’ve been blessed to be on the supply side and the operations side of the school bus business. Prior to coming to work for Thomas full time, I was a high school assistant principal responsible for 15 route buses and three activity buses — all driven by high school students!

Top achievements?
A wonderful wife (Suzanne), two fantastic kids (Ethan and Megan), and the blessing of being involved in this great school bus community.

Outside interests?
I teach an adult Bible study class at my church. Our family enjoys boating.

If you could travel anywhere in the world …
I can’t think of any more beautiful or interesting place than the good ol’ U.S. of A. We are so blessed!

Something people would be surprised to learn about you?
Let’s just say it has something to do with gamecocks, and we’re not talking about the University of South Carolina mascot!

What do you like most about being in the industry?
The passion and commitment that is exhibited by everyone I have met in the school bus community and the fact that what we do really does make a difference in the lives of children.

The last thing you do before you leave the office at the end of the day?
Call home, see how everyone’s day has gone and ask what we’re having for dinner … or where we’re going for dinner!

Born: High Point, N.C.
Home: Oak Ridge, N.C.
Notable previous jobs: I taught Spanish, coached basketball and was an assistant principal.


Antonio Civitella
President and CEO, Transfinder Corp., Schenectady, N.Y.

For Antonio Civitella (left), president and CEO of Transfinder Corp., purchasing the company from its founder and leading it to market leadership is a top achievement. He’s pictured at the company’s 2010 National Client Conference in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., with Rocco Manitta, customer project manager.

How did you get your start in the industry?
I started as an intern at James Forth & Associates while studying at Siena College, graduated with a degree in computer science, helped develop the school bus routing system and eventually purchased the company from the founder and changed its name to Transfinder to better reflect our business.

Current job duties?
As president and CEO, I work with my executive team to develop the vision for the company, expand the product line, and ensure top quality customer service and competent staffing.

Top achievements?
Purchasing the company and leading it to market leadership with more than 1,300 clients throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Outside interests?
I am an avid race car enthusiast and follow the Formula 1 Grand Prix. I own four cars and love to drive them for relaxation.

If you could travel anywhere in the world …
It would be to Italy, of course, where I was born.

Something people would be surprised to learn about you?
When I arrive in the morning, I stop by the desk of every employee to wish them well at the start of the day.

What do you like most about being in the industry?
I value that our company can provide the tools that help school districts save money and, at the same time, keep their students safe as they travel from home to school and back again.

The last thing you do before you leave the office at the end of the day?
I check to make sure that all open customer issues have been addressed and resolved.

Born: Caserta, Italy
Home: Guilderland, N.Y.
Years in industry: More than 20

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