Our location managers are charged with bringing the company vision to life and Anita Brown embraces the role. She has a desire to serve and a passion for leading. “It’s the best place I’ve ever worked,” says Anita. “We are all working together for one purpose, the kids.”
Anita has been overseeing day-to-day- operations at our Dalton, Georgia, location since 2006. She took over the role from her husband after he received a promotion. “The customer said the only way they would agree to let him go was to bring in another Brown,” shares Anita. Prior to joining First Student, she was a transportation director for a school district in Tennessee and served as the first female president of the Tennessee Association of Pupil Transportation. Anita also worked as a substitute teacher. “I wanted to try something different, which led me to apply for a position in the transportation department.” says Anita. “My boss was also a great mentor who helped me learn the business. Without his support and encouragement, I would not be where I am today.” Anita was recently promoted to senior location manager and now also oversees our location in Atlanta.
Choosing the Best
Our location in Dalton transports approximately 4,000 students to and from school each day. Anita realizes the tremendous amount of trust parents place in us to provide safe and reliable transportation. “I look at every child we transport as mine, and I’m very protective of them,” shares Anita. “When hiring a new driver, I always tell them that I’m trusting them to transport my children. I only choose the best of the best to pick up my kids.”
Because of Anita’s leadership, Dalton has been one of our top-performing locations. “We want to be the best,” says Anita. “We are very competitive, especially when it comes to First Student initiatives.” Anita and her team have been recognized for years for their DriveSmart performance. The program aims to reduce idling and fuel consumption while also increasing safety. Anita knows the importance of motivating her team and treating them in a way that enables them to grow.
Great transportation is also the result of close, trusted partnerships, and Anita takes great pride in the location’s relationship with its school district partner. Her team consistently receives a perfect score on our annual Customer Survey. “Our relationship is very transparent,” says Anita. “We communicate multiple times a day. If there is a concern, we work through it.” They also celebrate together. Anita always invites her customer to location events, which most recently included a holiday party. It’s also not unusual for the district’s transportation director to show up at the location with a casserole in hand to enjoy lunch with the team.
Keys to Success
Anita recognizes the value of connection with her location team, the students we transport and her school district partner. “I believe in treating everyone with respect,” shares Anita. “In order to be successful, we need to be collaborative and supportive of each other while making sure the safety of our kids is at the heart of everything we do.” When it comes to providing the best start and finish to the school day, Anita and her team are delivering on our promise of Caring for students today, tomorrow, together.®