With the current change in season comes new perspectives and different views. Leaves are beginning to turn colors, altering the way you see them, and the night sky arrives early, bringing with it shining stars.
Similarly, NSTA is in a season of change that will bring our members and the industry a refreshed version of the association. That includes new staff, a renewed focus on membership and value, and, of course, continued attention on hot topic legislative and regulatory issues affecting the safe transportation of schoolchildren who ride the yellow bus.
NSTA will remain a leader in the school bus transportation industry through a commitment to safety and security, cost-effective operations, high-quality operating standards, education and promotion, community involvement, and industry advocacy. To do this, NSTA is building on the strong leadership of its board members and committees with new people who bring a breadth of knowledge and experience.
As the new executive director, I come to the association with more than a decade of experience in leading associations, and I bring new perspectives on innovation and growth.
In addition, our new regulatory relations director, Les Sokolowski, has deep connections in the industry and also brings with him years of experience and seeded relationships with key industry stakeholders. Together, we support the board, the committees, and the members in leading the charge and expanding the footprint and reach of NSTA.
New this fall, we are launching an educational webinar series: FLASH, which stands for “Fundamental Learning and Sharing Hour.” These topical 60-minute sessions will give members the opportunity to engage in quick learning and sharing exercises with their peers.
Our social media presence is also expanding, allowing for informal networking, sharing, and connecting on Facebook, where we have more than 2,400 followers.
Les and I will be on the road, not only at NSTA meetings, but also at other industry events, with association members at their offices, and in Washington, D.C., with key officials. You’ll also see us being quoted and featured in publications.
An enhanced NSTA newsletter is coming, which will highlight new and evolving member benefits. Additionally, we are working hard to engage members as active participants in strategic discussions that will shape the direction and future of our association.
NSTA’s 2018 Mid-Winter Meeting, which will be held Jan. 20 to 24 in Maui, Hawaii, is a great upcoming opportunity to join us in person and take part in the continued development of NSTA. All the while, we will continue to be a strong advocate for the industry.
We are confident that this season of change will result in tremendous growth and elevation for NSTA and the profession. I encourage you to become familiar with the new developments and to stay engaged with NSTA, as you are sure to have the type of shift in experience that can only come with a change in season.