Association of School Transportation Services of British Columbia

Speaker Bios

PDS 101 & PDS 203 (Monday 8th & Wednesday 10th July)
Debra Howeihe: As a retired Director of Transportation, Debra Howeihe brings over 30 years of student transportation experience to our conference. Over the years she has taken numerous courses strengthening her ability to provide the most current school bus courses available to transportation personnel. Debra is a Certified Director of Transportation registered with the National Association of Student Transportation (NAPT). This designation allows her to provide a variety of student transportation courses designed to enhance your expertise in the field. Debra is inspired daily by her husband and family.  Currently residing in the Okanagan, she enjoys hiking and water sports.
Allison Transmission Technician Training (Tuesday 9th July)
David Lewis:
Trainer/Technician employed at ABC Transmission, bringing with him 20 years of transmission expertise. David has served as a technician at ABC since 2017 and assumed the role of Allison Transmission Trainer for British Columbia in 2020.
EV Technician Training - Thomas Built Buses (Tuesday 9th July)
Mark Childers:
Manager of Powertrain and Technology Sales for Thomas Built Buses and Freightliner Custom Chassis with over 11 years of service in the Daimler Truck organization. He is responsible for strategic growth of electric powertrain solutions across Thomas and Freightliner Custom Chassis product lines.  The last five years his focus has been on leading sales and strategy development for Thomas’ electric C2 Saf-T Liner Jouley school bus.  Recently he added the MT50e electric chassis from Freightliner Custom Chassis.   He is supported by Freightliner and Thomas’ outstanding North American dealer network and multiple teams focused on continued electrification of our product portfolio.  Prior to his current role, Mark served as the Customer Support Manager leading customer experience in the aftermarket.  Mark has held key roles in business development, sales and operational management with another major truck OEM.  Mark has an undergraduate Finance degree from Appalachian State University and a MBA from Elon University.
EV Technician Training – Microbird (Tuesday 9th July)
Mathieu Godin-Morin:
Mathieu is an Electrical Engineer and works at Microbird as an EV Product Specialist. Has worked a Microbird for over 3.5 years.


EV Technician Training – Lion Electric (Tuesday 9th July)
John Vaughn:
John started in the transportation industry in Southern California in1994, fabricating and building Electric Buses! He went on to work as a Mechanic at a local school district for a few years and then onto school bus dealerships in Northern California for a total of 9 years in various roles. Prior to coming to Lion Electric, John was a Field Service Engineer for Blue Bird over 13 years. Currently, John is a Product Experience Specialist for Lion. He resides in Northern California with his 8 year old son, Jameson.
EV Technician Training – Bluebird (Tuesday 9th July)
Brad Beauchamp:
For over 25 years, Brad has been consistently engaged in alternative fuels and infrastructure projects, boasting more than 35 years of support for the automotive and vocational vehicle sectors. Brad's involvement spans a wide array of Advanced Propulsion Technologies, ranging from early electric vehicles (EV1 and S10), 2-Mode and Hydraulic Hybrids, E85, Biodiesel, Propane, CNG, HCCI, and Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles. His rich experience encompasses direct collaboration with major OEMs, government, startups, as well as partnership programs and numerous component suppliers. This involvement extends to assisting with dealer setup, training, and support for sales and service. These endeavors led him to a role in GM's R&D for the Project Driveway Fuel Cell program and his role as Project Officer for the US Department of Energy. During his tenure at Roush Clean Tech, Brad was instrumental in launching Blue Bird and Ford Propane offerings. More recently, he played a key role launching GM Brightdrop, as well as a product and marketing manager for the vocational Medium Duty vehicle space. Central to Brad's approach is that "educational outreach in a wide variety of venues is the key to tracking toward success." He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Central Michigan University, along with an MBA in Global Management from the University of Phoenix. Enthusiastically, Brad aims to apply his comprehensive expertise to the school bus industry and is honored to contribute to Blue Bird's journey toward its centennial year.

PDS 604C, Provincial Electrification Panel & PDS 304C (Wednesday 10th Thursday 11th, Friday 12th July)
Robyn Stephenson:
Robyn Stephenson is a dedicated professional with extensive experience in managing student transportation operations within the education sector. Currently serving as Manager of Operations at School District No 20, Robyn oversees all facets of the transportation department, including student safety, staff supervision, and the fleet maintenance program. Her leadership has been instrumental in increasing student safety, upgrading driver training, optimizing resources and includes transitioning the bus fleet to electric vehicles, all achieving significant cost savings, enhancing safety and environmental sustainability.
With a solid educational foundation, Robyn is a Certified Director of Pupil Transportation and holds qualifications such Certified School Bus Driver Trainer. She is actively involved in industry organizations, serving on the ASTSBC Executive for the past 17 years notably as Past President of ASTSBC (Association of School Transportation Services of British Columbia), she continues to serve on the ASTSBC Executive, and on the Transport Canada School Bus Safety Task Force. Robyn's expertise extends to change management, OH&S, and financial accounting, reflecting her commitment to operational excellence and community service.
Robyn Stephenson's career highlights include her role as a Subject Matter Expert for the Ministry of Education's School Transportation Working Group and serving on the ASTSBC Executive where she contributed to providing sector resources and improving transportation services across British Columbia. Her proactive approach and strategic vision continue to drive innovation in school transportation, ensuring safe and efficient operations for students and staff alike.

Bosch After Treatment Technician Session (Wednesday 10th July)
Det Detmers:
Grew up a farm boy using old equipment. That likely nurtured the aptitude to become an automotive and heavy duty mechanic later on. A few different jobs but spent 20 some years with Cummins, first on the shop floor, then as field service and lastly with the training department for about ten of those years. As of late, Det has been home more, farming a bit again, taking on mechanical repair work at their own shop and doing some training again, some with the college in Lethbridge Alberta and a few of the presentations like this one at the CPTC conference.
- also, Penticton in July sounded like an excellent opportunity for a bike ride !

Webasto Technician Session (Wednesday 10th July)
Todd Clouthier:
Born in Windsor, Ontario. Currently resides in the Detroit Metro area.  Has 2 grown kids, Josh 38 and Crystal 31 and a couple dogs Meeko ( Husky 13 ) and Marley (Terrier 1yr ).  Todd was an ASE certified technician for 20 years.  Mainly at Dealerships until his mid 40’s.  He has worked for Webasto now since 2007 as a technical trainer.  Todd enjoys hiking and camping and other outdoor activities. 

Keynote Speaker – Leading from the Centre (Wednesday 10th July)
Molly McGee Hewitt:
Molly is the Executive Director and CEO of NAPT and brings over 25 years of experience in public education, association management and leadership. She previously served in executive leadership positions with two large and prestigious educational associations, the California School Boards Association, and the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO), where she served as CEO.
As a professional and well-regarded association executive, she has demonstrated her expertise in member engagement, legislative advocacy, certification programs, and professional development programming.
Her educational credentials include a Bachelor's in Organizational Development, a Masters in School Business Leadership and a Ph.D. in Adult Education and Training.  She has also attained Certified Association Executive status through the American Society of Association Executives. She is an author and blogger and has received numerous other citations and accomplishments. be to empower, encourage and inspire educational leaders.
On a personal and professional level, McGee-Hewitt has noted that her goal “will always be to empower, encourage and inspire educational leaders.

National Safety Code Updates (Thursday 11th July)
Perry Dennis, Deputy Director and Deputy Registrar – Passenger, Facility and Carrier Service:
Perry started his career with the BC Ministry of Transportation and Highways (MoTH) as a Technical Enforcement Officer at the Motor Vehicle Branch (MVB) over 30 years ago and has worked with CVSE in a variety of roles including his current role as Deputy Director and Deputy Registrar. Perry is passionate about road safety and has dedicated his career to it. He tells people when asked what he does for a living that he works in the commercial transportation industry.
Karen Coverett, Manager – National Safety Code Program:
Karen started working for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in 2008 on a 30-day temp job and discovered she liked it. She has been working with CVSE since July 2009 in a variety of positions from a clerk in Vehicle Inspections and NSC, to administering transponders for B.C.’s Weigh2GoBC program, and the NSC business analyst. She’s been the NSC Manager for the past 9 years. Karen is excited for the opportunity to be back at this year’s conference after all the great questions last year when talking about the updates to Division 37 of the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations that came into effect in August 1, 2023.
Geoff Ford, Manager – Vehicle Inspections and Standards Program:
Geoff began his career with the Provincial Government in 2009, initially working within the Property Taxation Branch, where he handled homeowner grant applications. In 2010, Geoff transitioned to the Vehicle Inspection Program (VIP) with the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement branch, starting as a licensing clerk. Since then, he has held multiple roles within the program. In April 2020, Geoff assumed the role of Manager, where he continues to oversee the program to ensure there is continued success and alignment with provincial objectives.
Naomi Allen, Manager – Commercial Passenger Vehicle Program:
Naomi joined the Provincial Government in 2010 where she has held a number of progressively senior roles. In 2017, she became one of the first Passenger Transportation Enforcement Officers. She was a key member of the team who implemented the Passenger Transportation Amendment Act which included new rules for taxis and the introduction of ride hail in B.C. In 2023, Naomi started her current role as the Manager of CVSE’s Commercial Passenger Vehicle Program in the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

D250 & Transport Canada Updates (Thursday 11th July)
Robert Monster: School Bus Ontario, Safety and Legislation Consultant & Vice-chair of CSA School Bus Technical Committee (D250). Robert Monster started his career with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation in 1986.  In 1998, after several different positions within MTO, he joined the Ministry’s Carrier Safety and Enforcement Branch as the Senior Vehicle Standards Engineer where his duties were to support the Carrier program with technical expertise and to support the development of policy, regulations and legislative bills.  In 2018 Robert retired from MTO and started work with School Bus Ontario in the capacity of Safety and Legislation Consultant helping members with compliance matters.  As well, since 1998, Robert has been part of the CSA D250 Technical School Bus committee, four years as chair, and member of the CSA’s technical committee for accessible vehicles (D409). Robert is a certified Automotive Service Technician and licensed in Ontario as a Professional Engineer.
Marie Claude Gagnon:
Has worked for Micro Bird Corporation since 2016, first as Regulations and Standards Technician, and since 2020 as Product Certification and Specification Specialist. Member of the CSA D250 committee since 2016, she is currently serving as vice-chair for the committee. She is also a member of SBMTC and of the chassis and Body writing committee for NCST. In her past lives, she has been an intellectual property manager, a science popularizer and even a cash machine.
Lucy Lantz:
Lucy received her B.A.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering with a specialization in Biomedical Engineering Design from the University of Ottawa in 2005.  She worked for 5 years in the Nuclear Safety Sector, then pursued a second degree in Education in 2011 also from the University of Ottawa with a specialty teaching senior math and physics.  She lived in northern BC for 7 years where she taught and worked as a mechanical engineer in the Oil & Gas Sector.  The pandemic inspired Lucy to move back to Ottawa where she taught Physics and is now delighted to working as a Regulatory Development Engineer at Transport Canada, managing the child restraint and school bus files.  Lucy has two wonderful girls aged 6 and 8, therefore child safety is a topic that hits home!

Provincial Electrification Panel (Thursday 11th July)
Matt Collins: Manager of Engineering Services with the PEI Department of Transportation and Infrastructure. Matt has been instrumental in the implementation of the electrification of the Prince Edward Island school bus fleet. He has been an active contributing member of the Provincial Sustainable Transportation Action Plan, the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Zero Emission Vehicle Group, the Infrastructure Grid Readiness Working Group with NRCan, and the Transportation Association of Canada’s Technology Council. Matt was also a contributor to the NRCan Atlantic Climate Adaptation Solutions manuals. In 2019, Matt was bestowed with the fellowship honour of Fellow Engineers Canada (FEC) for his years of service to Engineers PEI. Prior to joining the civil service Matt held the position of Area Superintendent/Senior Engineer for the construction of the Confederation Bridge. Matt received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the Technical University of Nova Scotia; his undergraduate thesis was the design of a Suspended Monorail System. Matt received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Prince Edward Island.
Kyle Johnston:
Vice President BD Canada, Pacific Western Transportation / Student Transportation Canada.
His journey in student transportation began as a mechanic, evolving over two decades through leadership roles in multiple provinces and communities. His passion for this dynamic industry stems from its constant challenges and its ability to inspire the best in people.
He has been advancing school bus electrification across multiple communities through feasibility studies, grant writing, regional partnerships, and operational performance analysis.
Kyle leads the business development and acquisitions efforts for Pacific Western Transportation and Student Transportation Canada. Together, these organizations operate over 6000 buses nationwide, continually expanding with a focus on innovation and safety.
Natasha Grant:
Pupil Transportation Coordinator at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development in New Brunswick.
Robyn Stephenson
(see bio above)

Accommodating Students with Diverse Needs (Thursday 11th July)
Gail Prokopchuk:
With over 30 years of experience in the school bus transportation industry as a Director or Manager of Transportation in the education system, Gail is currently the Manager of Transportation for Central Okanagan Public Schools, overseeing all aspects of the district's fleet maintenance and school bus transportation department.
Gail holds a certification in Supervisory Development and is a Certified Driver Instructor for her district. She also serves as one of the ASTSBC Provincial Driver Instructors in British Columbia. With a passion for school bus safety, Gail has initiated numerous school bus safety projects, including, the production of school bus driver training videos, developing training programs, and launching community awareness campaigns to promote school bus safety.
Throughout her career, Gail has actively served on many committees and volunteered for countless community groups, providing transportation expertise and planning for major events. She is currently part of the ASTSBC executive, serving as the Vice President.
Norman McLeod:
Norman’s easiest years in the work force were working in the logging industry as a heavy equipment operator in the northern part of BC.  Feeling he wanted something more challenging in life, he decided to go back to school and earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Math.
Following graduation, he taught elementary school for ten years, was invited to join the BC Ambulance Service and worked as a paramedic for a number of years.  During this time, the Armstrong School District was looking for a bus driver for their fist wheelchair accessible school bus.  Always looking for new challenges, Norm accepted this position.  He drove school bus for over 28 years, most of which involved a wheel chair accessible bus and during which time he also became an in-house trainer.  He attended many “Transporting Students with Disabilities Conferences” and thoroughly enjoyed learning all he could from these sessions.
After retiring, he still drove as a spare driver until November of 2020.  While trying to decide what to do during retirement and still looking for new opportunities and challenges, he was asked to join ASTSBC in 2019.  He has been training for this Association throughout the province ever since.  He loves the interaction and opportunity to encourage bus drivers to be successful and become the best that they can be.

Cummins Engine Technician Session (Thursday 11th July)
Daniel Bouliane:
Territory Account Executive for BC & Yukon (based out of Kelowna, BC). Daniel supports both dealers and fleets on the early discussions as a consultant, for correct powertrain configuration, to aftersales support & assisting fleets with total cost of ownership improvements. Daniel has been with Cummins for 6 years, and 22 years in the transportation industry, with various roles in parts, service, warranty, and now sales.

Electric Bus & Infrastructure Planning Panel (Thursday 11th July)
Aron Garrecht (BC Hydro):
Currently the Sector Lead for the Health, Government, Advanced Education, and Social Housing sectors and also the Senior Key Account Manager for the K1-12 sector at BC Hydro. Aron Graduated from BCIT having earned his Diploma in Building Science Engineering and AScT designation. In his 22yr tenure at BC Hydro, Aron has worked as a Measurement and Verification (M&V) professional, Project Manager, Commercial Sector Team lead, and technical lead for an Electric Vehicle Time of Use (TOU) rate pilot project. During his tenure as an M&V professional, Aron earned his CEM, CMVP and his PMP designations.
Kevin Fowler (Plug In BC / Fraser Basin Council):
Kevin Fowler is the Program Lead with Plug in BC, a program of the Fraser Basin Council, and leads the administration of the CleanBC Go Electric Rebates Program which supports the adoption of commercial and specialty use zero-emission vehicles. Additionally, he supports the Home and Workplace Program as an EV Advisor which supports strata’s and business looking to install EV Chargers within their property.
Tobi Muniri (Low Carbon Fuels Branch):
Tobi is a policy analyst for the Low Carbon Fuels Branch at the Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation. With eight years of experience analyzing diverse policy matters within the natural resource sector, Tobi supports the implementation of British Columbia’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which aims to accelerate the widespread adoption of low-carbon fuels in the province.

Stephen Kelley (InCharge): Steve leads all revenue functions as the Chief Commerical Officer at In-Charge. Mr. Kelley brings more than 25 years of domain experience, specializing in the renewable energy and high-tech sectors. In this role he is helping OEM’s, Transit, Schools, and large fleets transition to Zero Emission vehicles. Prior to Coming to In-Charge Mr. Kelley formed Engie North America’s eMobility division and was the cofounder of  Green Charge Networks (Acquired by Engie in 2014) where he helped install EV Charging battery storage systems in over 150 California cities, schools and counties. Steve spent six years in the solar industry in leadership roles for SoCore Energy, DRI Energy, and SunPower. Steve’s prior sales management experience includes management positions at Solectron, Oracle, Visa, and IBM. Steve received his bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley in Industrial Engineering and Economics. 
Paul Binotto (Guillevin): Director – Strategy and Business Development, Pacific Region - Guillevin International. Paul is championing Guillevin’s role as a leader in the Energy Management and Reduced Emission efforts in British Columbia. He has developed Guillevin’s EV Charging program including Distribution equipment, Ev Infrastructure and Chargers, Electrical Storage and overall energy management. In his role he is focused on innovation and a Holistic approach to managing power for affordable and sustainable EV Charging infrastructure programs. Guillevin is one of Canadas largest electrical distributors with 18 locations across British Columbia and over 160 across Canada. We are in most communities!

Sexual Orientation & Gender Inclusion (SOGI) Session (Thursday 11th July)
Mischa Oak:
Mischa (pronounced: Me-sha) started LGBTQ Corporate Training to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people. Mischa was a BC teacher for 17 years and during that time advocated and organized to improve transgender inclusion in the British Columbia school system. Since then, he has advised large organizations, school districts, First Nations and international development projects on fostering 2SLGBTQIA+ wellbeing, anti-discrimination, diversity and inclusion.

QSTRAINT Securement 101 Advanced (Thursday 11th July)
Darren Reaume:
As the National Training Manager for Q'Straint and Sure-Lok, Darren's duties include developing training materials and courses for all wheelchair securement applications. In addition, Darren oversees the highly successful bi-annual National Training Seminar for Q’Straint and Sure-Lok. He has been invited by numerous agencies throughout the country to speak on safe and effective wheelchair securement practices and regulatory issues. Prior to entering the transportation industry, Darren spent 10 years working in higher education at Tufts University and Amherst College, focusing on issues of diversity and student access. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Amherst College (Ma).