The first time George Brennan rode in a school bus, it was his first day of ninth grade after his family relocated to High Point, N.C., just a short distance from Thomas Built Buses headquarters.
He’d come from the big city of Atlanta, where he’d become well versed in the lore of college and professional football. This small town in the Tarheel State - where students kept yelling at each other about Atlantic Coast Conference basketball luminaries like Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, and Jimmy Valvano - could’ve been Mars.
“I thought I had stepped into a different world,” Brennan says. “So, I went home and with no internet tried to figure out who all these people were! After that experience, I can gladly report I am now a big fan of ACC college basketball.”
Brennan, who sold automotive dealer advertising at The Gwinnett Daily News after graduating from Appalachian State University, recently joined the School Bus Fleet team as our new publisher.
“I thrive on keeping my finger on the pulse of the industry segments I serve and I’m constantly looking for new creative opportunities for the betterment of that industry and the people and companies who rely on our content,” he says. “I am a bit of a geek when it comes to studying and implementing the latest marketing and media delivery tactics so that we can provide resources that engage and educate our audience and help drive awareness and results for our advertisers and marketing partners.”
Like me, he’s relatively new to the student transportation industry, but he’s no stranger to fleet operations, maintenance, or specialty equipment manufacturers thanks to his experience working in the waste and recycling industry.
“I walked my two sons to the bus stop every day for many years and always enjoyed morning chats and hellos with our drivers,” Brennan says. “I also know a few guys who have driven for a few years and they love the interaction, flexibility, and benefits.”
He now lives in Roswell, north of Atlanta, not too far from Blue Bird Corporation’s headquarters in Macon, with his wife, Suzette, four backyard hens, and a 7-month-old puppy named Sugaree. Brennan enjoys the mountains, hikes, snow skiing, and boating on North Georgia’s lakes.
“I am also a big fan of live music and I’m excited for the return of more bands as pandemic concerns hopefully continue to decline,” he says.
So what can SBF readers expect from the new publisher’s guidance?
“Serving the market since 1956, the print publication is and will continue to be a vital part of the School Bus Fleet media mix. The tactile experience and impact of consuming content and advertising messages from a print magazine is a powerful part of a reader’s journey,” he says. “However, the importance of reaching our audience at the time, place, and method in which they choose to engage with our content is critical as well.
“Be it live events, via new digital tools, on our award-winning website, with emails, blogs, or video content, School Bus Fleet will be there now and long into the future with a 360-degree approach to connect industry buyers and sellers. I look forward to engaging with our readers and manufacturer partners online, in person, and at future industry events.”
He says he’s eager to get educated by experts in the student transportation industry: “I look forward to learning from the best about the history and future of the industry, especially when it comes to student safety, fleet modernization, maintenance, routing technology, and of course seeking solutions for driver shortage concerns.”