If you have ever worked with or taken a course through Young Drivers Kenora, you have probably had an interaction with Maria Bagdonas.  

Bagdonas, a veteran of 30 years in the transportation industry, was recently celebrated with the Lifetime Achievement award at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation Road Safety Achievement Awards.  

The awards were presented virtually in a ceremony hosted by Ontario Minister of Transportation, Caroline Mulroney.  

In an interview, Bagdonas said she was surprised by the award “You know, for the last couple years, I have sort of heard rumors that I may be nominated, but it seemed like many of the winners had much more extensive backgrounds in road safety than I had. So, when I heard I was nominated again this year, I didn’t think much of it.” 

“The day before the actual awards, a package arrived at my office and I wasn’t to open it until I was instructed to do so. Low and behold, the video was released and I was given approval to open the box. So I learned very much like everyone else,” Bagdonas continued. 

Bagdonas has been involved in the transportation industry for over 30 years, 25 of which were spent in Kenora.  

“I was very fortunate to connect with the folks at young drivers, very early on in my career, I realized that I found my niche. I became a driving instructor, an in-classroom teacher and went on to lead a couple of franchises in Northwestern Ontario,” she explained.  

Bagdonas went on to say “it was great to be recognized, a bit humbling to look back at my 30-year career.”  

Bagdonas has recently taken the next step in her career and accepted a role as Education Manager for Canada with Young Drivers Corporate.