Pennsylvania Bus Association honors 7 with ‘Distinction’ awards 

When the pandemic forced the Pennsylvania Bus Association to cancel its annual meeting, the group found a way to recognize recipients of the 2019 Drivers and Employees of Distinction. 

The gathering is traditionally held in June so members can come together to collectively honor the industry’s top workers. This year, each member business is planning a celebration for honorees in its own way. PBA sent engraved plaques, pins and watches for each recipient. 

The seven 2019 awards were given to the following people:

John Coakley, Vice President of Operations at Klein Transportation, received the Employee of Distinction Award. Coakley is described as an integral part of the company’s daily operation.

He began his career at Klein a decade ago in the sales department, after applying to be a driver. From sales, Coakley transitioned to safety and operations.

In his role as VP of Operations, he oversees all school bus and motorcoach drivers, as well as the maintenance department. He is known for always being willing to get behind the wheel when necessary. Coakley seeks to help improve the performance of all Klein drivers through proactive and reactive training programs.

Arthur Kenneth Eyler, a driver at Fullington Trailways, received the Driver of Distinction Award.

Eyler was nominated for the honor because his professionalism, hard work and willingness to help have quickly led him to become a valued asset to Fullington. He is described as a safe and dependable driver who delivers excellent customer service. 

While he has had many memorable trips, the one that stands out is with a Czech Republic high school girls’ choir he picked up in Miami. Choir members traveled along the East Coast over 14 days to Washington, D.C., and New York City. Every day, the group would sing/practice on the motorcoach. Eyler has driven nearly 350,000 miles with Fullington and enjoys meeting people from all over the U.S. and around the world. His forte is accepting assignments for international tour operators and multi-day student tours.

Michael Hardy received the Driver of Distinction Award. Michael, aka “Big Mike,” has proved to be a very valuable asset to Bailey Coach. Hardy shows true dedication in everything that he does. He not only loves the job, but respects the job, along with every confusing, backward thing it entails. 

Groups love Hardy’s outgoing, personable, friendly personality, which makes him one of Bailey’s most requested drivers. He is described as having a “go anywhere, do anything” attitude that stands out. Hardy’s safety record is proof of his exceptional skills as a professional motorcoach driver. He has shown a great ability to deal with myriad situations, including bad weather, tight spaces, rowdy groups and unforgiving roads.

Jennifer Royer received the Employee of Distinction Award. Royer has been with Fullington Trailways since 2005 and has worked her way up from a Payroll Clerk to Payroll Manager and has been one of the company’s most dedicated and conscientious employees since day one. She has managed their payroll process from the days of paper timesheets, where she basically created payroll, and led the charge to move to an automated system. Royer is highly regarded for her ability to find the smallest errors and pay attention to every detail while processing nearly 450 checks.

Melissa Schleppy received the Employee of Distinction Award. Schleppy has worked for Trans-Bridge Tours for 22 years. She started as a reservationist for One-Day, Multi-Day and Casino tours and in NYC line-run ticket sales.

She assisted with planning, pricing, executing, and marketing of Multi-Day tours. Schleppy was promoted to Team Leader in December 2019. Her responsibilities include overseeing the customer service call center, staffing, and scheduling of four offices, as well as assisting the General Manager. She completed the American Bus Association Certified Travel Industry Specialist program (CTIS) in December 2016.

Schleppy is known for her willingness to come in early or stay late when needed. She is patient and able to handle issues in a calming manner. Schleppy is a dedicated and dependable employee and an asset to the company. She has gained a considerable amount of knowledge and has kept pace with the many changes of working in a motorcoach and tour company.

Tammy Skelly received the Employee of Distinction Award. Skelly was nominated for her excellent work ethic. For the short time she has been with Bailey Coach, she has put her vast knowledge and skills to work learning about the industry and doing a fantastic job. She is friendly, outgoing, knowledgeable and organized. Customers and drivers love her; she is strong yet caring. 

Skelly’s attendance record is excellent. She shows up early and ready to work every day. She goes above and beyond to make sure the job is done, and the customer is happy. She does not leave any job incomplete. 

Jonah Stahl was honored with the Driver of Distinction Award. Stahl is described as an invaluable asset to Werner Coach. Since the time of his hire, he has had zero accidents, perfect attendance, and he is one of the company’s most requested drivers. Stahl is a prompt, attentive, personable, dedicated, safe, dedicated and customer-oriented company ambassador. 

Stahl steps up every time Werner needs a driver. He trains other drivers and new hires, and is always company- and team-minded. Stahl is described as an exceptional employee who became an asset the day he was hired.

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