MINNEAPOLIS — The American School Bus Council (ASBC) presented a School Bus Champion Award to longtime contractor and industry leader Magda Dimmendaal on Tuesday.
Dimmendaal was recognized for her impact on her Wisconsin community and for her record of leadership in pupil transportation. She received the ASBC honor during the National School Transportation Association (NSTA)’s awards ceremony in Minneapolis.
According to ASBC officials, Dimmendaal has demonstrated a strong commitment to the children, families and communities served by school buses, and her broad knowledge about student transportation is built on decades of experience across nearly every position in school bus operations.
Dimmendaal began her career as a driver for Dousman Transport in Dousman, Wisconsin. She advanced upward through multiple managerial positions, and she ultimately bought the company in 1988.
As Dousman Transport grew in the years that followed, Dimmendaal's involvement in the school transportation community grew as well — particularly in the Wisconsin School Bus Association and in NSTA. From 2011 to 2013, she served as the first female president of NSTA.
Under her leadership, Dousman Transport has been active in the communities it serves and has donated buses for numerous events and public service opportunities. The company’s buses transport local marching bands that play at events saluting honor flights that take veterans from Wisconsin to the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Also, Dimmendaal has donated buses for the transportation of new Air Force recruits to their swearing-in at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
On a personal level, Dimmendaal is active in a local Rotary Club and in the Dousman Area Chamber of Commerce. She also recently visited Haiti to assist the medical community with vision screening and other services for those in need.
"Magda is proof that private enterprise can and does exist for the public good,” said Ken Hedgecock of Thomas Built Buses, an ASBC member. “Her commitment to transporting children safely and efficiently is evident in everything she does. She is, beyond question, one of the greatest advocates of the yellow school bus.”
The ASBC School Bus Champion Award recognizes exceptional support for and advancement of the school bus industry. According to ASBC, recipients have demonstrated “leadership that has produced demonstrable positive outcomes for the communities they serve, as well as the school bus industry as a whole."