WATERBURY – All-Star Transportation relies on the talent and skills of its managers who oversee its 18 locations, their drivers and monitors. Our managers come to All-Star with a variety of experiences and backgrounds, but with a common mission to provide outstanding school transportation services.
Here’s a brief profile on each of All-Star’s managers:
Brookfield – Debbie Jones has been a familiar figure in Brookfield for more than a decade. She started as a driver in Brookfield in 2001 and then became the dispatcher in 2003 when Brookfield’s routes were operated by Laidlaw. She became Brookfield’s manager in 2006 and stuck with the job when All-Star took over the routes in 2010. She supervises a staff of 41 drivers and monitors. Prior to becoming a driver, she worked for Datahr (now known as Ability Beyond Disability), starting at age 16. She held a variety of positions with Datahr, including medical supervisor, assistant manager and group home manager. When she’s not at work, she likes spending time with her family and is a volunteer for Young Moms, a group that helps nurture teenage mother and their children.
Harwinton/Burlington – Marion Solgovic began driving a school bus in 1978 and was named manager of the Harwinton location in 2012. At the Harwinton location, she manages 37 drivers. Before joining All-Star six years ago, she was a manager and spare driver for Sikorski bus. Prior to 1994, she was both a full-time school bus driver and a part-time certified nurse’s aide. Solgovic says her main challenge as a manager is keeping her buses staffed and running. In her off hours, Solgovic spends time reading and enjoying her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Lakeville – Michelle Way joined All-Star in 2008, working as a driver in New Milford. Two years later, she became the manager in Lakeville where she oversees a staff of 30 drivers. As a manager, she says her biggest challenge is scheduling because of the driver shortage, which is a nationwide problem. Prior to All-Star, Way worked in retail, as a bank teller and as an assistant bank manager and a regional bank manager. When she’s not spending time with her family, Way enjoys working on puzzles.
Litchfield – Frank Simone started his career with All-Star Transportation as a school bus driver in 1997. He was named Litchfield’s manager in 2013 and is now responsible for 35 drivers and monitors. He is responsible for buses serving both Litchfield and the Region 6 school districts. Prior to All-Star, he worked as a maintenance supervisor and purchasing agent. For the past 16 years he has been member of Litchfield’s Board of Education, and he also serves as a volunteer for Eastern Region Little League.
Monroe – Michael Lawlor has been the manager in Monroe for six years, where he supervises a staff of 61 drivers and monitors. As a manager, he says his biggest challenge is educating and informing the general public about the safe transport of children aboard school buses. Prior to joining All-Star Transportation, Lawlor worked as a production manager at a film media company, a plant operations manager for a linen service and as a district manager for a car rental company. In the community, Lawlor has served as an assistant scoutmaster and as a committee member for the Boy Scouts. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing.
New Milford – Jeff Woods is the manager of one of All-Star Transportation’s largest terminals, supervising a staff of 73 drivers and monitors. It’s a position he has held since 2006, the same year he joined All-Star. Woods was a member of the U.S. Army for six years, serving from 1976-1982 as a staff sergeant stationed at Fort Knox Kentucky, Fort Rucker Alabama and Stuttgart Germany. His primary job was a helicopter crew chief, but he also attended special forces Europe sky-diving school. When he left the military, he worked as an inventory/delivery manager until he took his current position. In his off hours, Woods enjoys traveling, woodworking and antique furniture restoration. He’s also a Master Mason at Harmony Lodge No. 42 in Waterbury.
Newtown – Alan Colangelo has been a manager at two of All-Star Transportation’s locations. He served for five years as the manager in Oxford (2009-2014) and then relocated to Newtown, where he oversees a crew of 65 drivers and monitors. Prior to joining All-Star in 2009, he worked for three years as a spare driver in Waterbury for Laidlaw and then became a route driver for three years. He’s worked as a fueler, snow crew member and yard man, as well as three years as a school bus dispatcher. In college, Colangelo first focused on becoming a teacher and then pursued a degree in fine arts with a goal of working for Walt Disney animation. But he says, “The temporary job of busing grew on me.” In his spare time, he enjoys sketching and oil painting, as well as glass etching. He’s an Eagle Scout and member of the Order of the Arrow (a Boy Scout fraternity).
Oxford – David Decker began his career with All-Star in 2013, working as a bus driver at the Seymour terminal. One year later, he was named manager of the Oxford location, where he oversees a staff of 28 drivers and monitors. He says the most critical part of his job is collaborating with his drivers to ensure that each child travels safely to and from school. Before All-Star, Decker worked as a manager at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, as a manager at Amity Wine & Liquor and as manager at a CVS pharmacy. When he’s not at work, Decker serves as a volunteer diving coach at Crosby High School and is active in men’s soccer games on weekends. He also fills his time creating new board games.
Plymouth/Thomaston – Sherry Hoag first got behind the wheel of school bus in 1995 and then joined All-Star in 2007 as a driver in Litchfield. A short time later, she was made a member of All-Star’s training and safety team. In that capacity, she helped train new drivers and subbed as a driver wherever needed. In 2015, she became a manager, but has remained active with safety and training, often appearing in All-Star’s training and safety videos. She’s looking forward to being assigned to one location as a manager, where she hopes to bring creative ideas that engage the staff and make work fun. She will manage 34 drivers in Plymouth and 17 in Thomaston. Outside of work, she and her family are avid bowlers and participate in the same league. Four years ago, she started bicycling and once took a 150-mile trip from Vermont to Connecticut that took three days to complete. Hoag enjoys spending time with her three children, the youngest of whom is currently a freshman at Nonnewaug High School, and her two grandchildren.
Prospect – Carol Howson is familiar figure in the Prospect area where she has served as the terminal manager since 1991. She began managing the location before All-Star took over, working for Laidlaw, Dufour Transportation, D&L Transportation, Ryder and Dufour Brothers. She stayed on as manager when Prospect became part of All-Star in 2005. Howson began her career as a school bus driver in 1976 and now oversees 84 drivers and monitors. In her spare time, Howson enjoys spending time with her family.
Seymour – Steve Gardner manages one of All-Star Transportation’s most challenging locations with more than 100 drivers and monitors serving four school districts – Ansonia, Derby, Seymour and Beacon Falls. His job requires quick thinking and the ability to respond to the needs of four towns. He joined All-Star in 2009 and became a manager in 2011. His previous experience includes serving as a combat engineer, a warehouse and production manager, an operations and safety manager, as vice president of operations and as an assistant auto center manager. When he’s not at work, Gardner serves as a volunteer for the Danbury Youth Organization and Danbury Youth Soccer. He’s also a singer and has performed with local music groups at Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall and the White House.
Washington – Pamela Newton is another of All-Star’s more-experienced managers. She became the manager in Washington in 2004, where she oversees a staff of 25 people. Before being named manager, she drove a school bus the Region 14 schools in Bethlehem for 10 years. She has extensive experience in transportation. She was the contract manager for Ryder Student Transportation in Region 14, and then served as a contract manager for D&L Transportation, Dufour Transportation and Laidlaw Transit. She managed Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby and Seymour school buses from 1991-1994.
Waterbury – Ed Costa joined All-Star Transportation in 2015 and now oversees a staff of 125 drivers, monitors and support staff. Prior to joining All-Star, he served as a deputy chief of emergency medical services, as a paramedic, a director of corporate training and as a driving instructor. The biggest challenge Costa faces in Waterbury is keeping a full staff of drivers. Also challenging is that the Waterbury location is charged with providing special needs transportation for Waterbury students, which often requires the managing of multiple route that change on a daily basis. Outside of work, Costa serves as the deputy fire chief for the Wolcott Fire Department Company 1. He’s been with the department for 37 years. He also enjoys classic cars and working in his yard. He’s been married for 32 years and has two sons.
Winchester – Jody Audia is another of All-Star Transportation’s well-qualified managers. She started driving a school bus in Winchester in 1989. When All-Star took over the school bus service in Winchester, Audia became Winchester’s manager, supervising a staff of 19 drivers and 19 bus routes. She says her biggest challenge as manager is to know all the roads in her service area and then developing routes that provide the best service. Prior to becoming a school bus driver, Audia was a stay-at-home mom. And when she’s not at work, she says her greatest joy is spending time with her grandson.
Wolcott – Brenda Johnson started driving a school bus in 2006 and eight years later was named the manager of the Wolcott location. In 2015, when All-Star Transportation took over Wolcott school routes, she stayed on as manager, overseeing a staff of 40 drivers and monitors. She started working at age 12 in her parents’ dry-cleaning business, Kenmore Cleaners in Bristol. She’s also worked as a commercial lending administrative assist and a loan recovery assistant. For 10 years, she was a stay-at-home mom, raising her two sons. In her spare time, she’s serves as a mentor for the Wamogo Agricultural High School tractor restoration team, as a volunteer for tractor pulls at the Terryville Fair, the Goshen Fair and Wamogo pulls. She also participates in antique car shows with her husband with a 1967 Chevy Camaro and a 2016 Dodge R/T Shaker Challenger.
Woodbury – Pam Boulier drove a bus for All-Star Transportation for seven years in Prospect and Thomaston before becoming the manager in Woodbury in 2017. In Woodbury she oversees a staff of 35 drivers and monitors. Many of her drivers are new, and so she is focused on teaching them good student management skills. She has the back ground for managing people, having previously worked as a manager for Trefz Corporation McDonald’s for 17 years. It’s a Bridgeport company that operates McDonald’s fast-food restaurants. She also was a manager at Arby’s Corp. for five years. Boulier also has worked for other school transportation companies in Connecticut, including Laidlaw Education Services, where she was a safety supervisor for seven years. When she’s not working, you can find her spending time with her three grandchildren, with a fourth on the way.