After more than three decades of serving the school transportation industry, Jim Folkes of Pennsylvania-based Krapf School Bus has retired.
Formerly the vice president of communications for Krapf School Bus, Folkes’s over 30 years of experience in the school transportation industry includes 20 years with Laidlaw International Inc. (now First Group PLC), according to a news release from the company.
Folkes’s name became familiar to many in the school bus industry as his career took him and his family to New Jersey, Georgia, and Illinois, before they settled in West Chester, Pa. In 2010, Folkes joined Krapf School Bus as the vice president of operations.
“Jim’s unpretentious, engaging demeanor and discerning integrity was an excellent fit for our organization, and he quickly gained the respect and trust of our customers and employees,” said Blake Krapf, CEO of Krapf Group.
After being promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2014, Folkes led the daily operations of the entire Krapf School Bus division, which at the time spanned four states.
Krapf School Bus noted that Folkes’s “amazing vision” sustained his focus on planning, developing, and implementing corporate strategies and programs to support company objectives and business growth.
Folkes also promoted excellence in customer-relationship management and service, according to the company. Through his ability to re-energize human capital, drive change, and establish focus, the Krapf organization experienced a renewed commitment to its Operations Excellence Program, which aligns the entire company for growth and development.
“Jim is a fun-loving individual and quite naturally lived our Core Values every day,” Krapf said. “He has been a mentor to many, and is clearly the epitome of one who leads by example."
Although Krapf staff members will miss Folkes — in particular, his wit and zest for doing the right thing — he is not closing the door on his relationship with the company completely. Folkes will continue to share his expertise by occasionally helping Krapf School Bus with special projects.
“We wish Jim and his lovely wife, Elaine, well during their new-found free time,” Krapf added.
Folkes’s last day at Krapf School Bus was Oct. 1.
For those who would like to send a note to Folkes, mail it to the attention of Anne Taylor, Krapf School Bus, 1030 Andrew Dr., West Chester, PA 19380, or email a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.