Reno, Nevada
Incline Village, Lake Tahoe

July 26–27, 2019

What is the Transportation Director Summit?


Join 100 Transportation Directors

The best leaders possess unflappable negotiation skills. Careful preparation is key to realizing the desired result. Negotiations are a vital part of not only vendor relationships but also winning budget approvals and even interacting with staff.

What can you do to become a better negotiator and, as a result, a more positively impactful leader?

If you are a registered STN EXPO full conference attendee, there’s no additional cost to you, your municipality or your organization to participate! Apply now for one of the limited 100 spots. Meals, snacks and participation expenses are covered by STN.

Launched in 2017, the Transportation Director Summit at STN EXPO is a signature event designed exclusively for qualified transportation directors. Participants will network with peers throughout two days, starting Friday, July 26, 2019, and continuing all day Saturday, July 27, 2019, prior to the start of the regular STN EXPO conference. Successful applicants will gain high-level insights from experts within the student transportation industry and beyond on how to implement true leadership and innovation practices into their local operations.

Have a question about the Transportation Director Summit? Contact Ryan Gray at or Tony Corpin at


Friday 7/26
3:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Welcome, Networking and Introductions

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
What is Your Influence as a Transportation Director?
Group Discussion Facilitated by Tony Corpin, STN Publisher

4:30 – 4:50 p.m.
Focused Supplier / Client Meeting

5 – 6 p.m.
Social Mixer
Appetizers and Drinks


Saturday 7/27
7 a.m.
Buses Depart for Incline Village, Lake Tahoe

8:30 – 9 a.m.
Continental Networking Breakfast & Day 2 Welcome

9 – 10:15 a.m.
Practical Steps to Negotiation Preparation
Erich Rifenburgh, The Negotiations Experts

10:15 – 10:35 a.m.
Focused Supplier / Client Meeting

10:45 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Giving Decision Makers Necessary But Not Necessarily Welcome News
Paul Lauria, Mercury Associates

12 – 12:20 p.m.
Focused Supplier / Client Meeting

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Networking Lunch on the Outdoors Lawn

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.
Strategic Alliances in Times of Rapid Change (part 1)
Jim Harris, Leadership Consultant

2:45 – 3:05 p.m.
Focused Supplier / Client Meeting

3:15 – 4:15 p.m.
Strategic Alliances in Times of Rapid Change (part 2) 
Jim Harris, Leadership Consultant

4:15 – 4:35 pm
Focused Supplier / Client Meeting

4:45 p.m.
Closing Thoughts by Tony Corpin

4:45 – 6 p.m.
Networking Mixer

6 p.m. 
Buses Depart for Peppermill Resort

Summit Keynote Speakers

Erich Rifenburgh

Erich Rifenburgh possesses over 15 years of experience in negotiating with and selling to some of the world’s largest technology companies. During this time his sales teams have closed complex deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Erich has always had the heart of a facilitator, and has ensured that his teams reap the dividends earned by employing the value creation framework in high stakes negotiations.

Erich draws from his deep front-line global sales and sales team management experience when sharing instructive stories and practical advice. Erich is comfortable guiding clients new to negotiating, clients caught in tough price negotiations, as well as veterans anxious not to take a misstep as they navigate a complex deal. Erich’s facilitation style has been described as thought provoking, insightful, deeply credible and actionable.

Erich is equally comfortable sharing insights on how procurement professionals can gain maximum leverage when faced with a trained and well prepared vendor. Erich’s global negotiation experience spans the United States, Europe and Asia.

Erich holds a master’s degree in International business from both the University of South Carolina and the Vienna University of Economics and Business. After graduate school, he spent several years living and working in Europe for Emerson Network Power. In leading global sales teams, Erich has gained invaluable insights in how to create value, regain and maintain the upper hand, while fostering collaborative relationships.

Paul Lauria

Mercury Associates

Over the last 32 years, Paul Lauria has provided consulting, research, management training, and expert witness services to corporate, investor-owned utility, non-profit, and federal, state, provincial, and local government clients on virtually every facet of fleet management. This includes the conduct of fleet management training presentations and workshops for more than 50 organizations in 20 countries. His particular areas of expertise include program evaluation, strategic business planning, cost of service analysis, cost charge-back rate development, optimal replacement cycle determination, and fleet replacement planning and financing.


Jim Harris

Leadership Consultant

Jim Harris is one of North America’s foremost management consultants, public speakers, authors and thinkers on change and leadership. He has 20 years of experience as a professional speaker and consultant and speaks internationally at more than 40 conferences a year on topics including innovation and creativity, customer relationship management (CRM), eLearning, creating learning organizations, environmental leadership, energy efficiency, strategic planning, and creating common organizational mission and vision. He was one of just 12 Canadians who were licensed to publicly teach Dr. Stephen Covey’s work, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” Jim works with leading businesses and Fortune 500 companies around the world. He recently finished a global consulting contract with IBM and a related white paper on how low carbon leadership drives profitability. His most recent book, “Blindsided,” is a  No. 1 international bestseller, having hit the top spot on the Financial Times of London’s European Edition of Best Business Books. He is also the author of “The Learning Paradox,” which appeared on numerous bestseller lists, and is co-author of the national bestseller “The 100 Best Companies to Work for in Canada.” He is also principal at Strategic Advantage. He previously held positions as partner at Cleantech Group and affiliate at Covey Leadership Centre.

In addition to his speaking and consulting engagements and books, Jim writes for a number of publications, including the Globe and Mail, Profit magazine and Backbone magazine.

Powerful Visual Notes Taken at the 2017 TD Summit provided by Ink Factory

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the TD Summit?

What it’s not is just another “speed dating” event that matches transporters with vendors. Instead, think of a graduate program retreat. It commences with an energized evening kick starter session followed by a full day, of high-level strategy, networking, and idea crowdsourcing that blends the topics of leadership development, organizational culture, disruptive technologies, resource allocation and more to help pave the road forward for the industry’s decision makers. A “summit” by definition is a peak to be crested. It’s a convergence of great minds to wrestle with the day’s most important issues. This is exactly how we view this inaugural experience.

How does the TD Summit fit into the STN EXPO?

The TD Summit is an exclusive event held prior to the official start of the STN EXPO, with an attendance cap of no more than 100 for the full event. It takes place Friday, July 26, 2019, and Saturday, July 27, 2019. This event links thought leaders and participants via presentations, panel discussions and group activities. The event culminates with a re-examination of personal and professional goals.

How do I sign up for the TD Summit?

Register as a main conference attendee, and then click on the box next to “TD Summit Application” in the Optional Session Registration page to identify your interest in participating. You will then answer a few qualifying questions. An individual’s eligibility also requires verifiable proof that s/he is a school administrator-level professional whose main responsibilities include that of directing transportation operations. Titles can range from director of transportation, to transportation manager, to assistant superintendent. If you have already registered for the STN EXPO and want to add the TD Summit to your registration, please email

Are there any additional costs to participate in the TD Summit?

No, just your time and desire to be an industry leader. As mentioned above, any registered, full main conference STN EXPO attendee who can demonstrate their day job is that of an official transportation director with their district, or company, and is among the first 100 to sign up, can attend.

There has to be a catch: What do participants have to do to “earn their keep?”

All we ask of participants is that they arrive with an open, solutions-oriented mind. We want everyone to feel free to share ideas that, together, can identify new trails to blaze, that can elevate the student transportation industry to the next level. This requires a decorum of professionalism and collaboration.