Two industry veterans recently retired after collectively devoting more than a century of service to the bus and motorcoach community.
For those who have attended the United Motorcoach Association EXPO over the years, sales rep George Farrell and insurance broker Sackett Cook are familiar faces.
Since 1997, Farrell has been part of the Amaya-Astron Seating team as a sales representative for the U.S. and Canadian markets. With 48 years of experience in the bus transportation industry, he was known for being knowledgeable about the market like few others.
“His friendly character and always ready to help his clients, George became one of the emblems of service that have always characterized Amaya-Astron Seating,” said Marcela Amaya, the company’s marketing coordinator. His service “has helped us become the leaders in the manufacture and sale of bus seats in the United States and Canada.”
Farrell, 73, retired at the end of 2020, although he has stayed on as a consultant to help finish up a few projects.
Industry career began in 1974
His career in the industry began in 1974, after a stint as an Air Force pilot. He was hired by Hausman Bus Sales to sell school buses, first in Chicago before being transferred to New Jersey. When the company brought him back to Chicago, he was promoted to Sales Coordinator for the sale of MCI coaches.
Next, Hausman transferred Farrell to Dallas, where he lived for 20 years, handling sales for a region that stretched across the South, from Arizona to Florida.
“We only had five salesmen. I was on a flight almost every day visiting clients. I might have called on 400 companies in a year,” recalled Farrell, who estimates he sold about 160 coaches annually.
In 1985, he was recruited to National Seating and began selling bus seats. Twelve years later, he joined Amaya Seating as the Mexican company expanded its footprint into the U.S. market.
As Farrell eases into retirement, he hopes to catch up with friends at the 2021 UMA Motorcoach EXPO. He is also making time for other activities.
“I would like to play golf and find some activity or charity work to do,” said Farrell, who lives north of Greenville, South Carolina, where he enjoys a view of the mountains.
Cook, 80, is also planning to devote more time to golf.in retirement, and to spend most of his time in Boca Grande, Florida, where he has a close circle of friends.
Since childhood, he has spent each summer on Cape Cod, and he will continue this tradition in his retirement years. Sackett and his wife, Mary, have seven children, 14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Both looking forward to frequent visits with their ever-expanding family. Cook’s retirement comes after 58 years in the insurance industry. He’s handed the reins over to his nephew, Ben Cook.
Served many UMA members
During his career, Cook served many UMA members in the Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania region. Cook was one of the original members of the Maryland Bus Association and worked with the Pennsylvania Bus Association. He had strong ties with insurance companies and their underwriters, which benefitted his clients.
“A lot of my clients trusted me and I trusted them, and it was a great relationship. I would say most of them were not only clients of mine, they came to be friends of mine as well, which is an unusual thing in insurance to have that kind of relationship. But we had that,” Cook said.
During his long and successful career, Sackett served on the boards of Dickinson College, The Bryn Mawr School, The Children’s Home and as treasurer of St. Timothy’s School. In addition, he has volunteered at the Boca Grande Community Center as well as at Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in fundraising.
“Sackett has been an integral part of TIB and the passenger transportation industry for the past 29 years. Sackett’s hard work, commitment and dedication are worthy of admiration and will be greatly missed,” said Lawrence Kalior, President of TIB Transportation Insurance Brokers, the parent company of Sackett Cook and Associates, in Towson, Maryland.