Members of the United Motorcoach Association will elect new directors to its board this fall. In Regions 1 and 3, there is only one nominee for each open seat in each region.
However, in Region 2, there is a competitive election with five candidates vying for two open seats. The election for Region 2 will be conducted by member balloting through the U.S. mail. Following is a listing of each candidate by region, with a short statement of each candidate’s background and priorities. Election results will be announced in Bus & Motorcoach News.
Vandalia Bus Lines, Inc., Vandalia, Illinois
Dennis Streif is the owner/operator of Vandalia Bus Lines, Inc. He has been a member of the United Motorcoach Association since 1996 and has served on the UMA Board of Directors for the past six years. He regularly attends UMA Motorcoach EXPO and the Fly-In. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, he has participated in UMA’s Technology, Legislative & Regulatory, and Meetings Committees. He has played an important role in the creation and leadership of the Midwest Bus and Motorcoach Association (MBMCA) and is currently vice president of MBMCA. Dennis is a past chairman of the International Motorcoach Group and is active on several IMG committees.
He proposes to be involved in industry legislative and regulatory issue and proactive in industry issues from equipment to drivers to operator issues. As a board member, he is a host and moderator for UMA’s online Regional Town Hall meetings.
Clarence E. Cox III
Georgia Coach Lines, Atlanta, Georgia
Clarence E. Cox III is the owner/operator of Georgia Coach Lines, which has been a member of UMA since 2010. He has personally been active in UMA since 2017. He currently serves on the Georgia Motorcoach Operators Association board of directors and is the immediate past national president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), in which he gained experience in leading national organizations and advocating on Capitol Hill.
His goal in joining the board is to change the narrative of motorcoach transportation. He proposes to leverage his well-established relationships on Capitol Hill and elsewhere to be helpful to our industry. “After almost 40 years in law enforcement,” he said, “my regulatory experience can be of assistance as we as an industry navigate through the many regulatory challenges forthcoming.”
Coachlight Tours, LLC, Hardeeville, South Carolina
Elizabeth Kamalakis is the owner of Coachlight Tours, LLC, of Hardeeville, South Carolina, a UMA member since 2011. She is a board member and current vice president of the Motor Coach Association of South Carolina, a role she has held for the past three years. She has participated in the UMA Fly-In for the past four years, advocating for organizational priorities.
“As a small operator myself,” she said, “I understand the needs we have and the need to work with others to keep current with information to allow them the hope of a successful business, as well as to help them understand the value of what UMA holds for them as a member.” She proposes to be a voice for small operators who could bring the small operator perspective to the board and share with small operators how UMA can help them.
R&W Motorcoach Inc., Atlanta, Georgia
Alan Robinson is the owner/operator of R&W Motorcoach in Atlanta, Georgia, and a UMA member since 2010. He is currently serving on the board of directors of the Georgia Motorcoach Operators Association, a member of the National Association of Motorcoach Operators (NAMO) and within UMA has attended the UMA legislative Fly-In and serves on the Meetings Advisory Committee.
He says he has seen first-hand how the system often works against the industry and recognizes the importance of a strong national association representing the broader interests of a diverse industry. He says he “will bring a fresh perspective, new ideas and steady leadership to UMA.”
Thrasher Brothers Trailways, Birmingham, Alabama
Alan Thrasher is the co-owner/operator of Thrasher Brothers Trailways in Birmingham, Alabama. His company was a founding member of UMA, having been a member of its predecessor, UBOA, since 1986. He has personally been active since 1991. He has served Region 2 of UMA on the Board of Directors for the past six years and participates in Board Meetings, the Fly-In, and EXPO. He has also been active in the Alabama Motorcoach Association, serving on numerous committees and in every officer role, having recently been elected President of AMA. In addition, he is active in Trailways and has served on its board of directors since 2013, as well as on many committees.
“During the last six years in service to the Board,” he said, “my concentration has been towards the Legislative and Regulatory work accomplished by the UMA. While serving on other committees to meet the needs of the organization, I have been primarily focused on the necessity of working with the FMCSA to accomplish UMA’s goals of protecting small operators from misguided over-regulation.”
Alan’s main proposed contributions are continuity of leadership and maintaining institutional memory in legislative and regulatory issues, as well as relationships with FMCSA and members of Congress, since he has been deeply involved in UMA’s Legislative & Regulatory Committee work.
LW Transportation, Inc., Fredericksburg, Virginia
Larry Williams, the owner/operator of LW Transportation, Inc., of Fredericksburg, Virginia, has been a UMA member since 1999. He has served on the UMA Board of Directors, attended EXPO and the Fly-In and hosted Regional Town Hall meetings online as well as served on UMA’s Membership and Risk Management Committees. At the state level, he has been active in the Virginia Motorcoach Association since 1996 and has twice served as president of VMA. He also is a member of the North Carolina Motorcoach Association, the National Association of Motorcoach Operators and the Maryland Motorcoach Association.
He is running for the UMA Board, “To be more positive with change within the motorcoach industry. So I can help other members and non-members with any changes of regulations and training to make the motorcoach industry a priority of safety.”
Larry’s proposed contribution is to “exhibit good leadership in all aspects of the motorcoach industry. I will also offer my services to any committee which may need me.”
Executive Coach, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Dale McMichael is the owner/operator of Executive Coach in Lancaster, Penn. His company has been a UMA member since 1988 and was previously in UBOA, UMA’s predecessor organization. Dale has personally been involved in UMA since 2000. He regularly attends EXPO and is active in the Fly-In each year. He is also active in the Pennsylvania Bus Association. He has served on the PBA board for 12 years and is currently treasurer.
He would like to use his “knowledge to better the entire industry.”
“In addition to general issues,” he said, “I believe my best contributions would be on the Legislative & Regulatory Committee or Finance Committee.”
NorthEast Charter & Tour Co., Inc., Lewiston, Maine
Scott Riccio, owner/operator of NorthEast Charter & Tour Co., Inc. of Lewiston, Maine, has been a UMA member since 2004 and is currently on the UMA Board of Directors. Within UMA he has served on the Legislative & Regulatory Committee, attended board meetings and UMA’s strategic planning event. Beyond UMA, he serves on the boards of directors of Trailways, the Maine Tourism Association, the Forest Society of Maine and the Lewiston/Auburn Metro Chamber on which he is tourism committee chair.
“I feel my knowledge and dedication to the industry will benefit UMA and the board,” he said. “We currently operate 62 vehicles in three locations.”
His proposed contribution to the board is to use his years of experience and industry knowledge to help UMA shape its future. “I have been in the motorcoach business right here in Maine since college. That was over 35 years ago. I intend to assist UMA in its vision and mission as the leader in the motorcoach industry. When I started my own business 20 years ago, it was with one van in my back yard. Today, that same company is the largest motorcoach company in the state of Maine. I feel my years of running and growing this business is a tremendous benefit to UMA and its members.”