LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Thomas Cellitti, senior vice president of integrated quality and reliability for Navistar, will be inducted into the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) Hall of Fame here on Sunday during the association's annual summit.
Cellitti is being recognized for his leadership responsibilities and school transportation advocacy efforts when he served as vice president and general manager of Navistar's bus business, now called IC Bus, from 1991 to 2004.
"Tom played a critical role in the growth and evolution of our bus business, and we're proud that he's being recognized by the industry with this prestigious award," said Dan Ustian, Navistar chairman, president and CEO.
Nominees to the NAPT Hall of Fame must have made a significant contribution to the industry and the association, and honorees must meet high standards of personal and professional integrity.
Cellitti and his IC team helped raise the school bus industry's profile and drove the industry's growth and NAPT's future in a variety of ways. He initiated a Navistar sponsorship for numerous NAPT programs, projects, awards and special events. Moreover, Cellitti was one of the original members of the NAPT Foundation's board of directors. (The NAPT Foundation is the association's nonprofit education affiliate.)
"Tom Cellitti is a school bus industry icon," said NAPT Executive Director Mike Martin. "He is among the vanguard whenever people think and talk about leadership in school transportation."
Cellitti was a founding member of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services Supplier Council, and he served a term as its chairman. He was also active with the School Bus Manufacturers Technical Council, which functions as the industry's technical advisor. In addition, he was a board member of the Pupil Transportation Safety Institute.
During his years heading Navistar's bus business, Cellitti led the charge to better communicate to parents and policymakers the safety record of the American school bus and helped focus all school bus organizations on the common goal of reducing student fatalities by increasing the number of schoolchildren riding in yellow buses. His vision has been carried forward by his successors, Michael Cancelliere and IC Bus' current president, John McKinney.
Cellitti was also passionate about promoting Navistar's clean diesel technology as a viable way to improve air quality by reducing engine emissions, and he worked to ensure its acceptance as a clean fuel alternative for the industry, particularly with environmental advocates. He presented testimony to that effect on behalf of the industry to the EPA in 2003.
Cellitti began his career with Navistar in 1975, when the company was known as International Harvester, as a foreman at the company's Melrose Park, Ill., engine plant. He served as plant manager before taking on roles of increased responsibility in manufacturing and finance. Cellitti also founded the IC Bus Tulsa, Okla., plant, which recently achieved a production milestone when its employees built the 10,773rd bus for the company's 2009 fiscal year.