As school districts across the country work tirelessly to provide safe and reliable transportation to their students, First Consulting is ready to help. First Consulting is a professional consulting firm that specializes in providing comprehensive transportation solutions for school districts ready to provide better service, reduce costs, and increase efficiency. Our team of experienced consultants can help with school routing, fleet maintenance, operations management, fleet electrification and safety and special needs training. With their years of experience in the field, the First Consulting team can provide customized solutions to help school districts optimize their student transportation operation – meet the team!
Leslie Norgren is the Vice President of Consulting for First Consulting. She has an expansive background in operations management, serving as Region Vice President for First Student’s central region for over 5 years where she managed the performance of 24 locations and over 3,550 buses in northern Illinois.
Leslie has a keen eye for identifying transportation solutions, thorough reporting and what it takes to implement a successful transportation operation. She has over 30 years of experience in supply chain, logistics, procurement and operations management.
Prior to First Student, Leslie served as chief procurement officer at Chicago Public Schools creating category strategies in transportation, facility management and nutrition services. She has also held various positions at Ryerson Steel Inc. including operations general manager, vice president of materials and chief procurement officer.
Leslie earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from DePaul University.
Will McDermott is the Senior Director of Consulting for First Consulting. He has vast experience in the special education field, having served as the principal of Hopewell Academies for ten years. Will is a natural problem solver, during his tenure as principal, he noticed a gap in special education transportation and started a special needs centric transportation company called Hopewell Transportation. He has been an educator since 2003.
Will received his Bachelor of Art in Special Education at Loras College in 2002 and received his Master’s in Education from Purdue University with a Special Populations emphasis in 2005. Will received his second graduate degree and Type 75 certificate at Lewis University in 2011. Will is an expert in best practices when working with special needs students especially in the vocational and transition areas. He now uses his expertise to lead the First Consulting team and create lasting solutions for districts looking to improve their student transportation programs.
Steve Mentzer is a Senior Principal Consultant for First Consulting, focused on fleet electrification and electric vehicles. With over 35 years of experience in the commercial vehicle industry, Steve offers experience in electric school bus selection, infrastructure planning, safety, and training. Prior to joining First Consulting, he worked with leading industry organizations like Lion Electric, Safe Fleet, Inc., and Lytx Drivecam. Steve’s knowledge and experience have earned him many awards and accolades, including the Innovations in Safety & Training Award from the National Transit Institute and the Safety Excellence Award from the New York State Transportation Safety Board.
Steve has authored blogs for Metro Magazine’s Safety Corner and served as Working Group Chair for APTA Bus Safety Committee. Steve holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University, with a major in Computer-Aided Design and a minor in Computer Science.
Edmund Dixon is a Principal Consultant for First Consulting, focused on providing districts with efficient routing solutions, streamlined operations procedures and effective fleet maintenance.
He has been instrumental in leading multiple consulting engagements across North America, for districts with fleets spanning from 12 to 200+ busses. Edmund has served as an educator and administrator for Chicago Public Schools as well as providing a wide range of consulting and business development opportunities ranging from IT Consulting to EdTech Consulting.
Edmund holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the University of Virginia and a Master’s Degree in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University.
David Staples is a Senior Consultant for First Consulting, responsible for providing districts with solutions related to maintenance, driver shortage, and management efficiencies.
David has served as a school bus driver, a talent recruiter, safety manager, and oepratios manager. His portfolio has provided expertise to school districts across the country. He has developed instrumental internal programs to attract and retain employees while managing operations of 200 buses and over 200 employees.
David has over 30 years of experience in Sales and Marketing beginning his career with the IBM Corporation. David holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Concordia University Wisconsin, IBM Sales School.
Jonathan Railey is a Senior Consultant for First Consulting, focused on electrification and electric vehicles. Jonathan has a depth of experience in operations management and energy solutions, including engineering, regional economic development, and entrepreneurship.
Jonathan spent many years working for Duke Energy, delivering of portfolio of energy service offering to large commercial and industrial customers, including Electrical Vehicle infrastructure. Operations and Management and Electrification projects.
Jonathan is based in Cincinnati, OH where he provides solutions to school districts interested in operations improvement and electrification. He holds Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee State University and an MBA in Finance from Xavier University, Williams School of Business.