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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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Jim Haigh

Special Accounts Manager, SMI, Pineville, N.C.

Jim Haigh (second from left) says that although he’s had many professional achievements, he feels that his most notable achievement is his family. He and his wife have been married for 21 years.

How did you get your start in the industry?
I worked for a small family-run company with my father and also operated my own boat maintenance business. One of my customers was Ron Lamparter, the former owner of Transpec. I was offered a full-time position at Transpec in 1982, and it has taken me to where I am today.

Current job duties?
I’m responsible for all sales activities with the Type A school bus manufacturing companies, shuttle bus manufacturing companies and the school bus contractors.

Top achievements?
There have been numerous professional achievements in my career; however, the most notable in my eyes is my family! I have been married to my wife for 21 years, and we have three wonderful children.

Outside interests?
I enjoy golfing and hunting as well as spending time with family and friends at our lake house in northern Michigan.

If you could travel anywhere in the world …
My 28 years in the transportation industry have taken me many places throughout the world, but I have never been to Alaska and I would like to go there someday to visit Denali National Park.

What do you like most about being in the industry?
The people. Our industry has some of the most dedicated, professional and caring individuals working to provide the safest means of transportation to the children that ride yellow school buses each and every day.

The last thing you do before you leave the office at the end of the day?
Plan my next day’s activities.

Born: Detroit
Home: Shelby Township, Mich.
Years in industry: 28



Mike McQuade
Chief Technology Officer, Zonar Systems, Seattle

Mike McQuade likes to fish and spend time outdoors with his family.

How did you get your start in the industry?
I became involved through Zonar back in 2001 when we set out to fulfill the growing and expanding technological demands of the transportation industry.

Current job duties?
I oversee all development for Zonar, providing the vision and oversight to match hardware and software engineering to electronics manufacturing and design that both meet and anticipate Zonar’s customer needs and requirements.

What are some notable previous jobs you’ve had?
I worked for a company that did safety inspections on nuclear power plants, including U.S. Navy submarines and aircraft carriers, where we inspected the most critical components of the power plants. I had another job where I was involved in the development of avionics for the space shuttle and F-16 fighter plane. The reliability demands in those environments helped me understand what it takes to make electronics that will last.

Top achievements?
I would have to say being involved in Zonar is it for me. Having the opportunity to work with an amazing team of professionals who truly care about the customer experience is by far my best achievement yet.

Outside interests?
I like to fish and be outdoors with my family.

If you could travel anywhere in the world …
Having traveled around the world, I would have to say Lake Roosevelt in Washington state, where I can enjoy the outdoors with my family and friends.

Something people would be surprised to learn about you?
That I worked with Bill Nye the Science Guy.

What do you like most about being in the industry?
The people in this industry really care about safety and taking care of their customers (the kids on the bus). I have received e-mails from vendors who took the time to express their gratitude after learning their bus was Zonar-equipped, knowing the school had done everything possible to ensure the safety of their child.

The last thing you do before you leave the office at the end of the day? Check e-mail.

Born: Seattle
Home: Issaquah, Wash.
Years in industry: About 10

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