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New team to lead bus company into 2013

Hemmerlein will replace Barr as organization’s CEO

Published: Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 1:00 p.m. CDT

JOLIET, Ill. — Illinois Central School Bus/North America Central School bus has announced a new leadership team for its organization.

Effective Jan. 1, 2013, Steve Hemmerlein will join the company as the chief executive officer. Effective immediately, H. Kevin Mest will assume the position of chief operating officer and serve as the interim CEO until Jan. 1, 2013.

Bruce Barr, the current chief executive officer, plans to retire. In the interim, Barr will serve as a consultant to the company until Jan. 1, 2013, to assist with a smooth management transition of the company that he founded.

Ron Howard, chief operating officer has also left the company to pursue other interests.  The new team, including Patrick Earley, chief financial officer, will be responsible for leading North America Central School Bus as the fifth largest student transportation provider in the industry.

“We are pleased to have both Steve and Kevin on board as we continue to expand our business across the country,” said Robert Dove, chairman of the board of directors. “Each has a proven track record of strategic leadership with a strong focus on safety and customer service. Their combined experience and expertise will help us continue to grow and partner with the communities that we serve.”

“We thank Bruce for his tremendous contribution to the company and his dedication to safety and excellent customer service. We wish him well in his retirement” added Dove.

“After over 30 years in the student transportation industry,” Barr said, “I have decided to retire to spend more time with my family and other business interests. I am very proud of the company that I founded and built.

“Carlyle has been an excellent business partner and I wish Steve, Kevin and Pat all the best with the future management of the company.”

Hemmerlein comes to ICSB with 20 years of experience in the student transportation industry. Most recently, he was senior vice president at First Student, where he was responsible for the Midwest and South regions.

Previously, at Laidlaw, Hemmerlein held various roles, from contract manager to senior vice president, where he was responsible for its operations in the Midwest and West regions.

He is a lifelong Chicagoan and graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Mest recently joined the company in May 2012, as the regional operations manager for the South Region in St Louis, coming to ICSB with over 25 years of experience in the student transportation industry.

He started in the industry in 1985 with Laidlaw, where he was the regional vice president of operations for the Northwest Region. A native of St. Louis, he graduated from Washington State University.
About North America Central School Bus

North America Central School Bus is a leader in the student transportation industry as a U.S.-based company providing a community driven localized service committed to “Safety First/Quality Always.”

NACSB is comprised of operating units doing business as Illinois Central School Bus, Missouri Central School Bus, Kansas Central School Bus, Indiana Central School Bus, Minnesota Central School Bus, Wisconsin Central School Bus and Massachusetts Central School Bus.

For more information, visit www.illinois-central.com.

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