PORT JEFFERSON, N.Y. — The New York School Bus Contractors Association (NYSBCA) presented its 2014 industry safety and service awards during its 60th annual convention held Oct. 17-19 at the Danfords Hotel and Marina in Port Jefferson.
“Our annual convention is the time when our industry comes together to learn about safety and service best practices,” NYSBCA President Robert Pape said. “It’s also the time when we, as an industry, recognize those individuals who have demonstrated the highest commitment to child safety, service to our school districts and our communities.”
“These individuals represent the best of what our industry has to offer,” he added. “Their dedication to private pupil transportation and student safety is unparalleled. Their peers, coworkers, family, friends and the school districts they serve can all join in celebrating their award-winning accomplishments.”
The association presented four awards this year: the Distinguished Service Award; two Heart of the Industry Awards; and Contractor of the Year Award.
The Distinguished Service Award is presented to the person who has demonstrated an unmatched commitment to the association’s mission to provide the safest, most reliable and cost effective student transportation possible. This year’s Distinguished Service Award recipient is New York State Sen. John J. Flanagan.
Flanagan was presented the award for his hard work and dedication in championing a new law that makes the Request for Proposal law for pupil transportation contracts permanent in New York state.
The Heart of the Industry Award honors an industry employee who, through the course of their job performance, has demonstrated a commitment to improving other peoples’ lives and who has gone above and beyond to accomplish that goal.
The association gives out two Heart of the Industry Awards: one to an “on-road” employee and the other to an “off-road” employee. The award is sponsored by Bird Bus Sales, and presented by the owner of Bird Bus Sales, Rick Reichenbach.
This year’s NYSBCA On-Road Heart of the Industry Award went to Jean Piard, driver for Chestnut Ridge Transportation, and this year’s Off-Road award winner is Stanley Jablonka of Chappaqua Transportation.
The Contractor of the Year Award is presented to a contractor who, along with having an exceptional safety and performance record, has superior maintenance and training programs, and is deeply involved with their local community.
The winner of the Contractor of the Year Award is also honored with The Roger Weeks Scholarship Award, which includes a $1,000 scholarship made to the Contractor of the Year’s school district of choice. This year’s Contractor of the Year Award went to Nicky Fabrizio of Independent Coach Corp. of Inwood, New York.
“This year’s award winners are not only a credit to the New York School Bus Contractors Association, they are an inspiration to everyone involved in pupil transportation,” Pape said. “Their commitment to student safety and their community is unmatched. As an association, we couldn’t be more proud of their effort and dedication in helping to provide the safest and most reliable student transportation services in the country.”