At the annual conference of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) in Atlanta this October, a new tradition will begin.
The Outstanding Business Executive of the Year Award will be given for the first time to recognize the industry contributions of a leader in the supplier community. Interestingly enough, the inaugural award will go to an executive whose company is typically better known in the automotive industry than in public transit.
Richard Wagoner Jr., chairman and CEO of General Motors (GM), will be the first recipient of the new award. Wagoner was made chairman and CEO of GM in May 2003, after serving as president and CEO since June 2000. His career with the manufacturing giant began in 1977 when he started as an analyst for GM's Treasurer's Office.
Although GM is commonly associated with cars, the APTA award in large part recognizes Wagoner's role in projects that have been important to other industries, including public transit.
"Mr. Wagoner is a corporate citizen who has paved the way for a better world," said APTA President Bill Millar. "His significant contributions include a commitment to environmental stewardship, which has led to the production of hybrid-electric buses that are now used across the country, and a dedication to educational and mentoring initiatives that have reached millions of schoolchildren."
The new award will be given yearly to an executive who "has taken a leadership role in improving their company and has made significant contributions to the community and public transportation."
These significant contributions can encompass anything that advances public transportation, corporate growth and development, corporate citizenship, corporate governance, leadership and diversity. The award recipient may be either a chief executive officer or board member who is employed by an APTA business member or a company that has contributed to the advancement of public transportation.
For more information on the award and other APTA conference events, go to www.apta.com.