EXPO 2019 awards highlight best industry practices

Honors bestowed for excellence in leadership, safety, operations

In an industry that reveres excellence in every detail, celebrating innovation in its many forms is a big part of the United Motorcoach Association EXPO. The 2019 conference was no exception. Industry awards celebrated the best practices in the areas of marketing, safety and sustainability.

2019 Motorcoach Marketing Award and 2019 Motorcoach Environmental Leadership Award to Arrow Stage Lines

Alex Busskohl, Arrow Stage Line’s Corporate Operations and Marketing Specialist, credited the fourth-generation company’s innovative and consistent marketing efforts with raising revenues.

Those efforts have included making changes to the company’s website to streamline the quoting and information process, a commitment to daily social media activity and internal marketing campaigns, he said.

“Our great-grandfather started this business in 1928, and we are excited to continue his legacy,” Busskohl said.

His brother, Luke Busskohl, Arrow Stage Lines Chief Operations Officer, said the company was honored to be spotlighted for its commitment to sustainability, which has also been good for the bottom line. Those green initiatives have included an idle-free program, eco-driving training, waste recycling and sustainable building improvements.

The 90-year-old, family owned business has a fleet of more than 250 large motorcoaches across 12 locations in seven states — Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Nevada.

Safety Leader of the Year Award to Champion Coach

Champion Coach, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, specializes in ground transportation for athletic teams and sports organizations, including all 30 Major League Baseball teams.

Champion Coach received the
2019 Safety Leader of the Year Award

This niche brings some higher risks, such as convoys, night travel and crowd and pedestrian conflict that the Greenville, South Carolina-based company has addressed with a multi-layered safety program. It includes an emphasis on ongoing training, fleet maintenance and onboard technologies to monitor driving performance, such as 6-unit, 360-degree close-proximity camera systems.

“Our safety effort started with 65 unique individuals in our company that came together for one reason, and that was safety,” said Matt Dance, Director of Safety and Risk Management and current UMA board member for Region 2.

METRO Magazine’s Motorcoach Operator of the Year award to Barons Bus

Barons Bus began just over six years ago in Cleveland, Ohio, with six vehicles, and has grown to a fleet of 48 MCI buses. The company blends Tom Goebel’s 30 years of experience as CEO of his family’s bus business withthe millennial foresight of his son, Patrick.

Patrick Goebel, Barons Bus, Metro Magazine Bus Award recipient

Barons Bus was one of the first in the industry to adopt electronic logging device (ELD) capabilities on all of its coaches and to order all of its future vehicles with collision avoidance systems. Its mission is focused on safety and customer experience, with operation rating in the top one percent in the country for passenger, driver and vehicle inspections.

“It’s because of our employees that awards like this are possible. We’re truly grateful to have the best staff in the industry,” said Patrick Goebel. “We are a strong believer in safety, and we’ve implemented electronic logs from the beginning.”

BUSRide Magazine’s 2019 Operator Achievement Award

Each year, the BUSRide Award honors a UMA member for exemplary vision and unparalleled work ethic—significant contributions to the motorcoach industry. Trobec’s Bus Service received the magazine’s 2019 award at the UMA EXPO.

Bethany Schubert, Trobec’s Bus Service

The Minnesota transportation company celebrated its 80th anniversary last year. The award was given to father-daughter leadership team, Tim and Bethany Schubert.

Bethany, who has been working for her family business for a decade, is a new member of the UMA regional board of directors and a member of the American Bus Association’s Women In Buses Council.

In accepting the award, Bethany thanked her dad “for allowing me to fearlessly chase my dreams. You push me and motivated me to be my best, which in return flows down to our entire team. We don’t settle for mediocre. We strive to set the bar high and continue to grow every day.”

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