As the STN EXPO kicks off in earnest today, over 650 regular conference attendees and another several hundred more vendors and school bus technicians coming for Blue Bird and Thomas Built Buses training will be walking the halls of The Peppermill Resort, aclimating themselves to the new digs. Certainly attendees have encountered a change of scenery as they arrived in Reno this year, the event's 24th.
In with the new.
As student transporters find themselves in this invigatored environment, a challenge is once again on the table: Find potential solutions to today's myriad issues through learning, networking and studying the many options presented over the coming days.
That's one of the reasons why we at STN came up with the slogan "Crowdsourcing Solutions." And there's no better speaker to help us introduce this theme than Dr. Stephen Sroka on Sunday morning.
On Friday and Saturday, Sroka served as a key element to the inaugural Transportation Director Summit. Perhaps you were there or heard about it from someone who was there or saw our photo gallery of the event. Sroka will share with all his powerful message of "The Power of One, The Power of Many" showing that student transporters individually and together as a community hold the keys to positively influencing the lives of the nation's schoolchildren, and how they are not alone in this quest.
More so, Sroka helps bring home our point of shared solutions through tribal knowledge. As I wrote in this week's program, together this week attendees will bring thousands upon thousands of years of experience in the industry. Individually, each attendee can impart wisdom upon each session attended by sharing experience and knowledge for the benefit of the entire group. Our first-rate presenters this week will stoke the collective, proverbial fires of this knowledge to help identify possible answers to the industry's many burning questions.
I invite all attendees to be open-minded and open-source this week. Don't be hesistant to share. We don't all have to agree but we can certainly open ourselves to different perspectives as solutions are sought to school bus driver shortages, school bus lap-shoulder belts, diversity and conflict in the transportation department - or perhaps, greater, the school administration - and making sense of new technology.
We want each and everyone one of this week's professional here at the STN EXPO to get the very most out of the conference schedule, the STN EXPO Trade Show and the evening networking events.
Give and you will receive.