AMA welcomes new associate directors 

The Alabama Motorcoach Association officially brought on two new associate directors at the regional meeting of the Alabama, Georgia, and South Central motorcoach associations held in Biloxi.

AMA President Alan Thrasher welcomed Steven O’Shea, of Lancer Insurance Company, and Robert Lessor, of Motor Coach Industries, to the AMA board as associate directors.

“Steven will bring insight through his reports of industry interests and Rob will add value as he represents the coach manufacturers in board decision-making,” said Linda Morris, AMA Executive Director.

Operator directors remain

Due to the pandemic-related challenges that made gathering difficult, the AMA officers and operator directors remained the same. 

Steven O’Shea

Jared Stancil, of Anchor Transportation, and Wayne Ellis, of Covenant Elite Charters & Tours, whose director terms would have expired, agreed to remain and were unopposed in the election. 

Thrasher expressed his appreciation to the board members for working together in a trying time, according to Morris.  

He added that he is looking forward to working with Eureka Thompson, of Takers Transportation; Debbie Coates, of Spirit Coach; Elizabeth Wright, of Wright’s Charters as fellow officers. Thrasher welcomes the opportunity to continue working with AMA directors, including Frank Leyden, of Cline Tours; John Adams, of Southern Coaches;  Wayne Ellis, Stancil; Beth Frith, of Capital Trailways. He also is pleased to work with the organization’s associate directors, Rosemary Judkins, of the Alabama Tourism Department; Ken Presley, of United Motorcoach Association; Lessor; and O’Shea.

Shortage of drivers, funding

Recovery is still an illusion for many operators and this is compounded by the driver shortage. 

“The driver availability for everyone has caused a ripple effect that is growing,” Thrasher said recently. “Each day, we get requests farther and farther from Birmingham. That means they cannot find buses near them. Even here close by, the requests are getting desperate as the public has FINALLY awakened to our plight.

“We can only hope that our message is getting to Congress so that additional funds will be allocated to the CERTS Act. This will be our focus as we move forward in the coming days, weeks and months” he said.

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