First Consulting, a service that allows school districts to leverage the expertise of school transportation provider First Student, has added three new senior principal consultants to help school districts simplify the electrification process. Kevin King, Steve Mentzer, and Jason Songer are transportation industry veterans with vast experience deploying electric school buses.
First Student is among the largest operators of electric school buses in North America. The White House recently recognized the company for its ambitious commitment to convert 30,000 diesel buses to electric by 2035, improving the health and well-being of millions of students and hundreds of communities.
Focus on Collaboration with Districts
King, Mentzer, and Songer will collaborate with school districts to assess, plan, and implement electrification projects as part of First Consulting, a service offering of First Student. First Consulting can assist districts with grant applications, infrastructure design, hardware and software selection, charger and bus selections, site assessments, utility outreach and construction, and deployment.
“There are many considerations that go into purchasing and deploying electric school buses,” said First Consulting Vice President Leslie Norgren. “Kevin, Steve, and Jason have the experience and knowledge to help school districts navigate the electrification process from start to finish, delivering a customized and strategic approach to modernizing school bus fleets and creating a cleaner and safer ride for students.”
Where They've Come From
King joins First Consulting from Bird Bus Sales. He served as EV sales manager and was responsible for identifying new opportunities to deploy electric school buses in New York State. King also worked to expand the company’s offerings to include all facets of the EV ecosystem. He has held similar roles at Lion Electric and NUVVE Holding Corp. At Lion, he assisted with the deployment of the company’s first electric buses in Maine, Vermont, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Mentzer brings more than 35 years of experience to his new role with First Consulting. He most recently served as territory sales manager for Lion Electric. One of his achievements was helping the company deploy the first all-electric school buses in Montana. Steve has also been recognized with the Innovations in Safety & Training Award from the National Transit Institute and the Safety Excellence Award from the New York State Transportation Safety Board.
Songer has expertise in electrification and school transportation operations. In his previous role, he was the territory sales manager/assistant director of sales in Southern California for A-Z Bus Sales. He helped the company steadily grow the number of electric buses it distributed and functioned as a primary consultant with school districts on fleet sustainability. Songer also served as director of transportation for the Moreno Valley Unified School District in Moreno Valley, California, where he managed a fleet of more than 275 vehicles.
Originally posted on School Bus Fleet