LANSDALE, Pa. — The National School Transportation Association (NSTA) has a new president and a new executive director at the helm.
John Benish Jr. was elected president of the NSTA on July 24 at the association’s annual meeting and convention in Austin, Texas.
Benish Jr., who is also president and chief operating officer of Cook-Illinois Corp., is a 25-year veteran of the school transportation industry, according to a news release from the NSTA. He began working for his family’s business as a teenager and has operated in all facets of the company. Benish Jr. is a graduate of Purdue University and holds a Master’s degree in management from St. Xavier University. Today, he maintains his Illinois school bus drivers’ license and occasionally operates a school bus as a way of keeping in close contact with drivers and students.
In addition to being a NSTA board member, Benish Jr. is the past treasurer for the Illinois Student Transportation Association, an active member of the National Association of Pupil Transportation, the Illinois Association of Pupil Transportation, and the Illinois Association of School Business Officials. Previously, he has been honored with the NSTA Distinguished Service Award (2015), as well as a Golden Merit Award (2014), for his continued efforts in support of the school bus industry.
Benish Jr. has led Cook-Illinois Corp.’s efforts toward a greener school transportation system, for which the company received NSTA’s “Go Yellow, Go Green” Award. Under his leadership at Cook-Illinois, the company was the first in Illinois to voluntarily switch an entire bus fleet to biodiesel fuel. The company will also receive the first electric school buses in the state this summer, according to NSTA.
“I am deeply honored to be elected president of the National School Transportation Association and look forward to representing the membership,” Benish Jr. said. “NSTA has been a leader in representing the interests of private school bus contractors, as well as the districts we work with, and I look forward to continuing to highlight the incredible safety record of the industry.”
Meanwhile, Curt Macysyn has stepped into the executive director role at NSTA.
Macysyn is a veteran nonprofit executive who has more than 25 years of experience with various trade and advocacy organizations. Previously, he has dealt with school transportation issues as executive director of the New Jersey Child Care Association, as well as the director of government relations for the New Jersey Schools Boards Association. In addition, he has held several other organizational leadership roles, such as executive vice president for the Community Associations Institute and state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.
Macysyn has been appointed to several boards and commissions throughout his career, including the National Governor’s Association: Early Care and Education Workforce Policy Committee, the New Jersey Council on Young Children, New Jersey State Board of Mortuary Science, and the New Capital Sources Board.