Industry icon George (Ed) Donn recently retired from school bus video surveillance and management company 247 Security, Inc. to conclude a 43-year career in student transportation. Career highlights include a place in the National Association for Pupil Transportation’s Hall of Fame, as well as a Distinguished Service Award.
Donn officially retired on Dec. 31 from the company, which honored him during a retirement dinner on Dec. 13 near Los Angeles.
“He came from relatively humble beginnings, got into a business that does not make you rich and turned that into a rich life beyond mere dollars. He has travelled, had influence on a large marketplace in many ways and balanced that with a bountiful family life,” said Robert Scott, 247's vice president of sales and marketing.
Scott first started working with Donn and Rick Oram, 247’s VP of engineering in 2001, when the trio started Bus Vision. The company was purchased in 2005 and the men started 247 Security after being tapped by Kwon Nguyen, owner of Toronto Micro Electronics, to start a new mobile surveillance business.
But Donn already had made a name for himself in the industry, serving as NAPT president in 1987-1988. He was elected again for the 1996-1997 term, as NAPT transitioned to having an executive director, Mike Martin, work with the board.
Donn also helped start the NAPT Foundation with the late Don Carnahan, the only other two-time NAPT president, and former International Truck executive Tom Celliti. All three men are members of the NAPT Hall of Fame for their service.
Donn was also honored with NAPT’s Distinguished Service Award. He attended the 1980 and 1985 National Congress on School Transportation as a Maryland state delegate, and the 1990, 1995 and 2000 events as an NAPT board representative. He also has attended the past three NCSTs as a private-sector representative.
His student transportation career started in 1966, when the young biology teacher and track coach accepted a position as transportation director for Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland. Eight and a half years later he became a principal at Washington County Public Schools in Maryland, but three years later found himself back in transportation, this time with Washington County Schools. He retired from the district in 1991.
Ed and wife Sandy then moved to Dalton, Georgia, where Ed became director of transportation for Whitfield Public Schools. He retired in 2001 before joining the private sector.
Editor’s note: Read more about Donn’s life and career in the March issue of School Transportation News magazine.