The awards include WIN Drivers of the Year, WIN Member of the Year, and WIN Ally of the Year. - Photo: National Express

The awards include WIN Drivers of the Year, WIN Member of the Year, and WIN Ally of the Year.

Photo: National Express

The Women’s Inspiration Network (WIN) employee resource group at National Express LLC held its inaugural 2023 WIN Awards for team members. 

In a virtual ceremony marking the ERG’s one-year anniversary, WIN unveiled 10 winning employees in six categories, plus 13 honorable mentions. Awards include:

  • WIN Drivers of the Year 
  • WIN Member of the Year Award
  • WIN Ally of the Year Award
  • WIN Safety Star Award
  • WIN Community and Environment Award
  • WIN Inspiration Award

WIN Driver of the Year

WIN Driver of the Year Awards: Karen Warner, Bus Operator, Johnstown, OH (School Bus division); and Erik Bjorke, Bus Operator, Bismarck, ND (Shuttle & Transit division)

Tim Wertner, CEO of National Express School, and Erick Van Wagenen, President & CEO of National Express Shuttle & Transit, presented awards to outstanding drivers from the School Bus and Shuttle & Transit divisions.

In this category, WIN recognized bus operators for going above and beyond, demonstrating exceptional skills, service, professionalism, and dedication, and exemplifying the highest standards of excellence and the true spirit of its organization.

A veteran driver of 45 years, Karen Warner was honored for her hard work, dedication, driving skills, and positivity in serving local students. Erik Bjorke was recognized for exemplary performance, customer service, and praise he’s received for his professionalism and courteous nature while serving his local transit passengers. 

Honorable Mentions for Driver of the Year: Tanya Kellum, Troy, NY and Melissa Anderson, Madisonville, TX (School Bus); Emmanuel Addo, Highland, VA and Nicholas Larffarello, Hyde Park, MA (Shuttle & Transit)

WIN Community & Environment Award

WIN Community & Environment Award: Barbara Townsend, Bus Operator, Greensboro, NC (Shuttle & Transit division)

Recognizes an individual’s impact on the community and environment. Barbara Townsend, who was also named a 2023 North Carolina Public Transportation Association Driver of the Year, transformed her personal grief with the loss of two children into a community movement by creating a non-profit called “Next Step Loved Ones.”

WIN salutes Barbara for helping families experiencing grief and for leading initiatives serving children and homeless populations in the Piedmont Triad region.

Honorable Mentions for Community & Environment: Antoinette Thomas, Bus Operator, Troy, NY (School Bus); and Keyshana Jackson, General Manager, Austin, TX (Shuttle & Transit)

WIN Ally of the Year Award

WIN Ally of the Year Award: Billy Shean, Assistant General Manager, Bellingham, MA (Shuttle & Transit division)

Recognizes exceptional allyship by honoring an individual who actively advocates for inclusivity, diversity, and equity, and uses their influence to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all. Billy Shean is supportive and encouraging and is a champion of equal employee involvement, development, and support while being a force of change for two Shuttle & Transit locations in our Northeast Region.

Honorable Mention for Ally of the Year: Aidsand (Ace) Riggins, Regional Manager, Los Angeles, CA (School Bus)

WIN Member of the Year Award

WIN Member of the Year Award: Marcy Elliott, Assistant General Manager, Hyde Park, MA (Shuttle & Transit division)

Recognizes an exceptional member of WIN who has made outstanding contributions and demonstrated leadership, dedication and volunteerism. Marcy Elliott launched WIN’s first local chapter in Boston and was instrumental in producing WIN’s International Women's Day Flip Book highlighting National Express as an employer of choice for high-potential women.

WIN Special Recognition Award

WIN Special Recognition Award Winner: Cristina Hallner, Director of Marketing, New Orleans, LA (Corporate) 

Recognizes a WIN member’s positive impact on initiatives, culture, and growth. Cristina Hallner was honored for leading the company's first ERG, Unidos for National Express, its partnership with the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement, and her collaboration across ERGs on a mentoring program.

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