Minneapolis, MN (July 21, 2015) – The American School Bus Council presented a School Bus Champion Award to school bus company owner and pupil transportation industry leader Magda Dimmendaal at the National School Transportation Association’s (NSTA) Annual Meeting and Convention in Minneapolis Tuesday evening. Ms. Dimmendaal was recognized for her tremendous impact on her Wisconsin community and impressive record of leadership among pupil transportation professionals.
Ms. Dimmendaal’s broad knowledge about student transportation operations and her commitment to the children, families, and communities served by school buses is built upon decades of experience across nearly every position in school bus operations. She began her career as a driver for Dousman Transport in Dousman, WI, advanced upward through numerous managerial positions, and ultimately bought the company in 1988. As Dousman grew in the years that followed, her willingness to give back to the school transportation community grew as well, including dedicated service to the Wisconsin School Bus Association and serving as the first woman President of NSTA from 2011 to 2013.
Under her leadership, Dousman Transport has been very active in the communities it serves and has donated buses for countless events and public service opportunities. Dousman Transport buses are active in the transportation of local marching bands that play at events saluting honor flights that take veterans from Wisconsin to the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. She has also donated her buses for the transportation of new Air Force recruits to their swearing-in at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.
On the personal level, she is active in the Lake Count Rotary and the Dousman Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Dimmendaal also recently visited Haiti to assist the medical community with vision screening and other services for those in need.
Ken Hedgecock, Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Service at Thomas Built Buses, Inc. said, "Magda is proof that private enterprise can and does exist for the public good. 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. Calling her a champion is well-deserved, and truthfully, and understatement.”
The ASBC School Bus Champion Award recognizes exceptional support for and advancement of the school bus industry. All 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.
Award recipients stand out in their advocacy for pupil transportation and prove to be leaders in at least one of four capacities: safety, access to education, environmental benefits/stewardship, and community impact.
Past recipients are:
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- The State of Utah
- Hero school bus driver Charles Poland, Jr.
- School bus contractor executive Dale Krapf
- Washington State’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn
- Mr. Dorn’s Chief of Staff, Ken Kanikeberg
- Head of the Tennessee Highway Patrol Pupil Transportation Division and chief inspector of school buses, Lt. Ray Robinson
- Arkansas Bus Driver who saved her passengers during a hijacking, Sheila Hart
- Former Kansas State Director of Transportation Larry Bluthardt
- Former Executive Director of NASDPTS, Bob Riley
- Pupil Transportation Legal Expert Peggy Burns
ASBC is a coalition of public and private transportation providers, school bus manufacturers and state officials responsible for pupil transportation. It promotes the safety, environmental, and equal access to education benefits of the iconic yellow school bus. The Council’s members include NAPT (National Association for Pupil Transportation), NASDPTS (National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services), NSTA (National School Transportation Association), Blue Bird Corp. of Fort Valley, Ga., IC Corporation of Lisle, Ill., and Thomas Built Buses of High Point, N.C.