SBF Trailblazer 2023: Katie Stok of Navistar/IC Bus

Image: Katie Stok/Canva

See all our School Bus Fleet Trailblazers of 2023 in this article.

Katie Stok

Age: 38

Works for: Navistar/IC Bus

Role: Segment Marketing Director

Describe a day in your professional life.

Stok: My typical day-to-day is not always so typical - what makes it fun is that there is always something going on and new tools to leverage as we bring new things to market. Historically I have been in various sales roles here at Navistar/IC Bus, but for the last year I've been involved in Segment Marketing - responsible for the go-to-market plans and execution for IC Bus. I get to be involved in our overall strategy and business planning, but most excitingly, I work with and represent the voice and needs of our end customers and sales organization. I partner with cross-functional departments, as well as both our dealer network to help bring life to new features and products within our business and take those to market. I ensure our sales organization and dealer network are aware, trained, and equipped to speak knowledgeably of our products to their customers. Most importantly - it's ensuring that what we are spending our time on is of importance to customers and that the customers are able to see the value in what we bring to market.

What brought you to the student transportation industry?

Stok: The people. Simple as that. I spent a lot of time working in transportation as a whole and I've always had great relationships with my customers, but the school bus industry is incredibly unique. I heard about "the people" from others when I made the move to IC Bus, and it didn't take long for me to understand it. This industry is a family and we all have a strong common bond in that we are responsible for the safety of the most precious cargo and getting them to school on time daily. Whether a rookie, or a 30 year veteran of the industry - we have that unified goal and it brings us together. I love it!

What’s something critical that you’ve learned during your time in the student transportation industry?

Stok: The yellow school bus is one of the safest forms of transportation out there, yet the amount of illegal school bus passing is astonishing. With all of the distractions out there these days, it doesn't make it easier. I do believe there has to be a way to leverage the increased technology capabilities to help mitigate more effectively the illegal passings. There's a lot of great new tools out there and we've seen results. I think as time goes on, we will only get better at integrating these tools together and truly leveraging the technology to meet the needs of our industry.

What’s your advice for someone considering a career in this industry?

Stok: Do it! It's exciting and ever-changing with industry regulations, technology and student needs. There's a lot of passion and dedication among 'the family', with plenty of opportunities to further develop a career. It's easy for us to be passionate about what we do - when we are transporting our future to and from school every day, working to keep them safe and ontime.

About the author
Wes Platt

Wes Platt

Executive Editor

Wes Platt joined Bobit in 2021 as executive editor of School Bus Fleet Magazine. He writes and edits content about student transportation, school bus manufacturers and equipment, legislative issues, maintenance, fleet contracting, and school transportation technology - from classic yellow diesel buses to the latest EPA-funded electric, propane, and CNG vehicles.

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