With industry experience that averages more than 25 years, Student Transportation of America's management team brings an unparalleled level of knowledge and operational expertise to the school districts we serve. The team has proven itself by successfully growing the business through a strategic and disciplined acquisition, bid and conversion program. STA & STC leaders are poised to seize additional opportunities and continue to grow the business.
Denis J. Gallagher
Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Denis J. Gallagher is a leading industry executive in the school busing industry. The founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Student Transportation of America has over 40 years of experience in the passenger transportation industry with a focus on the safety and well-being of the customers and communities he serves. Mr. Gallagher previously held various positions in the transportation industry from 1976 to 1997. Mr. Gallagher founded the company in May 1997 and has led the strategic growth of the company as well as building the senior management team and has developed strong banking relations with its lenders and the capital markets. Mr. Gallagher is a graduate of Monmouth University, with a B.S. degree in Business Administration. He is a past member of the University’s Board of Trustees and was the recipient of the University’s Distinguished Alumni Award. He is an honorary Member in Alpha Beta Gamma Business Honor Society. He is involved in numerous industry and community activities and was awarded Contractor of the Year in August 2014 by the National School Transportation Association. In 2017, Mr. Gallagher received the inaugural NJ Biz ICON Award, which recognizes New Jersey business leaders for their notable success and demonstration of strong leadership, both within and outside of their chosen industries or fields. Mr. Gallagher has been recognized as a leader for the use of alternative fuels and innovation in the school bus industry. He served as a member of various private and charitable organizations and was on the board of directors of Canada Cartage Diversified Fund, a dedicated trucking and logistics company listed on the TSX, until that company was acquired in 2007.
Patrick J. Walker
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Patrick J. Walker, the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Company, has over 25 years of financial management experience. Mr. Walker began his career as an accountant with the Philadelphia CPA firm of Tait, Weller and Baker, followed by the New York firm of McGladrey & Pullen. Between 1989 and 1992, Mr. Walker was employed with the global food products conglomerate TLC Beatrice International Holdings, Inc., as Manager of Accounting and Financial Reporting. In 1992, Mr. Walker joined Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, the largest regional operator of theme parks in the United States, as Corporate Controller, before being promoted to Vice President of Finance in 1998. From 1999 to 2001, Mr. Walker served as Chief Financial Officer of two portfolio companies of Indigo Capital, a private equity firm. Prior to his appointment at the Company, Mr. Walker was a consultant to the Chief Financial Officer of H.J. Heinz Company. Mr. Walker became Chief Financial Officer of the Company in November 2002. Mr. Walker is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a Member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Institute of Management Accountants.
President, School Transportation Group
Patrick Vaughan, President of the Company's School Transportation Group, has nearly 40 years of experience in the transportation industry with the most recent 20 years devoted to student transportation and passenger safety. In 1977, Mr. Vaughan began his career in transportation & logistics with St. Johnsbury Trucking Company, a less-than-truckload carrier owned by Sun Oil Corporation. In 1988, Mr. Vaughan joined the Connecticut based retail firm of Ames Department Stores where he was Vice President of Transportation & Logistics. In 1991, Mr. Vaughan joined Laidlaw Transit Inc. as Director of Operations and was promoted in 1996 to the position of Senior Vice President. Upon the acquisition of Laidlaw Transit Inc., by First Group in 2007, Mr. Vaughan was appointed to the role of Chief Operating Officer and charged with the effective integration of the two largest student transportation providers in the industry. In 2017, he was named the President of STA's newly formed School Transportation Group. Mr. Vaughan has been awarded the National School Transportation Association’s Golden Merit Award for his dedication and commitment to the school bus industry, and is a graduate of Suffolk University, with a B.S. in Business Administration. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of National School Transportation Association.
President, Managed Services Group & Chief Growth Officer, Student Transportation of America
Thomas Kominsky has over 12 years of corporate finance and investment banking experience with a proven track record of strategic and financial advisory services helping clients achieve “robust” organic and acquisitive growth. Throughout his career, Mr. Kominsky has been primarily dedicated to the transportation and logistics sector, including coverage of Student Transportation of America Before joining STA in 2015 as the Company’s Chief Growth Officer, he spent eight years at BMO Capital Markets where he held a variety of roles including Vice President, Mergers and Acquisitions, and most recently Sector Head of Transportation and Logistics Investment Banking. Mr. Kominsky is a graduate, with honors, of DePauw University with a Bachelor of Arts and earned a Master in Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer
John DiMaiolo, the Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer of the Company, has over 35 years of financial management experience with 15 of those years within the student passenger transportation industry. Mr. DiMaiolo began his career as an accountant for Cadence Industries in 1979. In 1982, Mr. DiMaiolo joined Twin County Grocers Inc., a wholesale food distribution company, holding various positions over the next 12 years including Financial Accounting Manager, Manager of Budgeting and Financial Systems, and Division Controller. In 1995, Mr. DiMaiolo joined New Jersey Press Inc., a multimedia news provider in central New Jersey as Corporate Controller. From 1998 to 2000, Mr. DiMaiolo served as Vice President and Corporate Controller for Journal Register Company. Before joining Student Transportation of America, Mr. DiMaiolo was Director of Finance for Laidlaw Transit Inc.'s Eastern Business Group for 8 years. Mr. DiMaiolo is a graduate of Duke University and earned a Master in Business Administration from Seton Hall University. He is a Member of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Public Accountants.
Vice President of Corporate Finance
Paula Altieri, the Vice President and Corporate Controller at Student Transportation of America, has over 25 years of financial management experience with 15 of those years within the student passenger transportation industry. Altieri began her career as an accountant in the financial services industry. Before joining Student Transportation of America in 2005, she spent 4 years as a Regional Finance Manager at Laidlaw Transit Inc. and was CFO of Liberty Helicopters Inc. from 2000 to 2005. Altieri is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University and earned a Master in Business Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Public Accountants.
Chief Technology Officer
Keith Engelbert is the Chief Technology Officer at Student Transportation of America (STA), a premier provider of school bus transportation services throughout North America. Mr. Engelbert has driven STA's technology footprint and innovation in the marketplace through initiatives including cloud computing, enterprise application management, and most recently, development of a platform to enhance safety and security of its passengers through mobile applications. In addition, he has led the charge to develop the company’s enterprise systems in the STIcloud to increase productivity and communication. His efforts are critical in supporting the company’s growth strategy, which includes seamless integration of new contracts, locations, and facilities. Prior to his role at STA, Mr. Engelbert has served in a variety of capacities and market channels during his more than two decades in the technology field. Mr. Engelbert holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He currently serves as a member of the New York Mid-Market CIO Governing Body. Mr. Engelbert is actively involved in Student Transportation of America’s Education Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships for high school students in the districts served by STA. He resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his wife and two daughters.
Chief Operating Officer, School Transportation Group
Gene Kowalczewski, Senior Vice President of the Company's Eastern Business Group, has over 25 years of experience in the student transportation industry, focusing on operational safety. Kowalczewski joined Laidlaw Transit Inc. in 1991 as Area Controller. After being named Director of Operations and Business Development in 1995, he became responsible for all acquisitions in the Northeast region. In 2000, Kowalczewski was appointed Senior Vice President of Operations. Kowalczewski also used his experience to provide transportation consulting services within the industry before joining Student Transportation of America in 2009 as Director of Operations. In 2011, Kowalczewski was selected as Senior Vice President of Operations for Student Transportation of America's Northeast region, and in 2019 was named Chief Operating Office of STA’s North American School Bus Operations. He has been awarded recognition by the New York School Bus Contractors Association in 2008 and the National Association for Pupil Transportation in 2001 for his industry service. Kowalczewski serves on the Board of Directors for New York School Bus Contractors, Aurora Waldorf School, Academy of Aurora, and is active in his community's Boys and Girls Club.
William Bee Ravenel Lewis, Esq.
Chief Legal Officer, Student Transportation of America
Mr. Lewis has practiced law as a litigator and transactional lawyer for twenty-three years. After acting as STA’s outside primary counsel for three and a half years, Mr. Lewis joined the company as its Chief Legal Officer on April 1, 2018. Licensed in New York, Tennessee and South Carolina, Mr. Lewis holds the highest attorney peer rating (AV) from Martindale Hubbell. Mr. Lewis earned a Bachelor of Arts in History, cum laude, from the University of South Carolina in 1991, graduating a member of Phi Beta Kappa and as a four-year letterman of the Gamecock Baseball team. He then spent a year in Israel teaching. In 1995 Mr. Lewis earned a Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law as a member of the Order of Wig and Robe and the Real Property, Probate and Trust Journal. Mr. Lewis is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and all New York, South Carolina and Tennessee State Courts. He is a past member of the South Carolina House of Delegates (Ninth Judicial Circuit).
Christopher J. Harwood
President, Student Transportation of Canada
Christopher J. Harwood, President of Student Transportation of America's Canadian operating subsidiary, has 25 years of experience in the passenger transportation industry. From 1989 to 1997, he was employed by Laidlaw Passenger Services and its subsidiary, American Medical Response. He held various positions at Laidlaw, including Acquisition Analyst, Manager of Financial Planning Analysis and Director of Acquisitions. Harwood joined Student Transportation of America as Vice President of Acquisitions and was named Corporate Vice President of Finance in 1999. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ontario, received an Honors Business Administration degree from the University of Western Ontario, and is on the board of the Ontario School Bus Association.
Donald D. Kissell
Senior Vice President, Western Business Group
Donald D. Kissell, Senior Vice President of the Company's Western Business Group, has over 35 years of extensive leadership and safety experience in the student transportation industry. Kissell began his early career working for an independent operator in western Pennsylvania. In 1985, after being acquired by Laidlaw Transit Inc., Kissell held increasingly progressive positions within the company. In 1999, Kissell left Laidlaw to operate an independently owned operation. Ten years later, he joined Student Transportation of America as the Senior Vice President of the Western Region. Kissell served on the board of the Pennsylvania School Bus Association from 1994-1995 and is currently a member of the California Association of School Transportation Officials. He is a recipient of both the Golden Merit Award presented by the National Safety Transportation Association, and the Award of Honor presented by American Family Institute. Kissell graduated from Saint Francis University with a B.S. in Accounting. He continues to stay active in a variety of community and civic associations.
Senior Vice President, Central Business Group
Kirk Wilkie, the Senior Vice President of the Company’s Central Business Group, has 25 years of transportation and leadership experience. As the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Durham School Services, he led the annual operating plan development and monitored all aspects of business performance for more than $500 Million in revenue. Mr. Wilkie served as President of MV Transportation’s East Region while also serving as President of MV Student Transportation, overseeing an 18-state territory. More recently, Mr. Wilkie served as Senior Vice President of Operations for Petermann, overseeing all operational aspects of their business in several states prior to joining STA in his current position where he oversees a growing region focused on providing the safest transportation for its passengers.