Lancer Leader Ally
Monday, December 05, 2022

As ECHO AFC, a Texas-based full-service ground transportation company, is celebrating its 30th anniversary by adding Van Hool CX45 Motorcoaches to its fleet as part of an overall 2022 order for nearly four dozen coaches. The company has been working with ABC Companies to secure their new fleet additions.

ECHO AFC ECHO AFC purchases Van Hool CX45 Coaches

“Recognizing the value that every member brings to our team is central to the company’s culture,” said ECHO AFC President/CEO John Ferrari. “In conjunction with a continuous improvement mindset, we believe that our laser focus on elevating the customer experience has been essential to our success for the past 30 years. As we celebrate this major milestone, we are excited to expand our fleet with these current Van Hool models that enable us to offer all of the comforts, high performance, style, and safety features that customers appreciate and expect when they travel with our operation.”

The new Van Hool models include several passenger safety, comfort, and signature ECHO AFC amenities such as full leatherette seating and enclosed parcel racks that provide a sleek interior look. The coaches also include a complement of integrated safety features including ACC/collision mitigation, interior security cameras, and 360 camera systems all designed to ensure a seamless, luxurious, and memorable passenger experience. Additionally, all new models feature a custom black on black reflective paint scheme that showcases the ECHO AFC brand, creating a cohesive and elegant signature look for the fleet.

“Consistency is key to our marketing and user-experience strategy,” said Ferrari. “From the moment a passenger sees and then steps aboard any vehicle in our fleet, they will experience the same look, feel and level of luxury and comfort. This focus on uniformity and dependability also extends to the hospitality and professionalism customers can expect when interacting with every member of the ECHO AFC staff.”

ABC Bus ABC Bus SVP of Sales Brenda Wordelman

The new coaches will be used primarily for charter service with professional sports teams, as well as university athletics, public or private school charter field trips, sports, educational outings, youth group transportation, and more.

“John and the entire ECHO AFC Transportation team emulate a passion for unparalleled customer service”, said ABC Senior Vice President Midwest & Southwest Sales Brenda Wordelman. “Their attitude and dedication parallels ABC Companies’ own focus on providing an excellent customer experience, which may explain why this leader in ground transportation has been a loyal customer with ABC for 30+ years. We are grateful and excited to support ECHO AFC’s continued growth for decades to come.”

Visit echotransportation.com for more info on ECHO or abc-companies.com for more details on the Van Hool line of buses.

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There’s a lot to be excited about here at the CD headquarters, just outside of Philadelphia. Not only are the Phillies in the World Series, the Eagles undefeated, and the Union headed to the MLS Cup final, but we’re particularly stoked about the 2022 CD/NLA Show returning to the East Coast in just two weeks this November 13-16. We’re excited to be back at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center, located on the Potamic River just outside of Washington, D.C., for four days of top-notch educational programming, unbeatable networking, and some good ole fashioned fun.

CD/NLA Show

We might be days away from our fall event, but there’s still time to register. Just head over to cdnlashow.com to sign up. And while you’re there, why not take a few minutes to enroll in one of the most popular events of our show: our Operator Mentoring Program. There are still prime slots available with many of the Mentors, who will field questions, offer advice, and swap ideas and tips. Take part to see why this is a perennial favorite event at the CD/NLA Show.

Another show favorite returning to the Gaylord National on Tuesday morning is our Affiliate Central—sponsored by Volvo—back to help you build or grow your affiliate network. We have 41 companies on display with many more operators networking during the event, representing markets from around the globe. With access to chauffeurs and vehicles remaining a challenge, having an extended roster of trusted affiliates to accommodate those same-day requests has become more important than ever. As such, we’ve dedicated an area on the show floor to accommodate the traffic that this event generates each year. You’ll have plenty of room to table-hop as you get face time with potential new affiliates. Then, after the forum concludes, stay on the show floor for lunch and unmatched show deals from our exhibitors.

CD/NLA Show

Speaking of show floor ... on Sunday night, November 13, at 9pm, the hottest party in town will be right there on our packed show floor. Join us for our Opening Night Party where you can get a sneak peek of the latest offerings from our vendors and exhibitors, while enjoying hors d’oeuvres and an open bar. Of course, it wouldn’t be a CD/NLA Show without entertainment, and boy, do we have a lineup for you. Our juggler and ventriloquist will have you in stitches, while our George Washington impersonator will have you brimming with American spirit. If that’s not enough, be sure to check out magician Kenny Wardrick and international and critically acclaimed mentalist Alain Nu, both of whom will leave you speechless with their how-did-they-do-that performances. Close out the night with a photo/video from our 360-degree photo booth, which will be the envy of your social media feed.

CD/NLA Show CD/NLA Show CD/NLA Show

Then on Monday night, are you ready for some football?! On Monday, November 14 from 9:30pm-12:00am join us for our Tailgate Partywhere you can show your team spirit and colors as we watch the Washington Commanders and Philadelphia Eagles battle it out on the big screens. In true tailgate fashion, you’re encouraged to wear a jersey with your favorite team as we offer delicious stadium-style eats, cool brewskis (and other drinks), and tons of great company. Not into football? No problem! We have fun planned for you too with some fantastic music, games—including air hockey, foosball, beer pong, football toss, basketball, ping pong, and more—and, of course, the always popular photo booth. Hang out with friends new and old, keep the drinks flowing, and relax the night away. Special thanks to party sponsors ANB Trans and U.S. Sedan Service. Many thanks to all of our wonderful sponsors, including Title Sponsor Ford PRO.

Still on the fence? No worries, there’s still time! An advantage of the Gaylord National is its convenient location, so whether you’re coming by plane, by train, or even car—we’re driving distance from many major markets—you can get there with ease.

Visit cdnlashow.com for more information.

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Trailways

Trailways welcomed Patricia Cowley and her team at PC Management Services to “Team Trailways” where they will assist with activities including social media marketing, event management, database management, member communications, and more. 

“I, as well as other board members, are familiar with Pattie and her capabilities. She is well-known in the industry and her efforts on our behalf will be beneficial for the organization. We are lucky to have her on board,” says Trailways Chairwoman Amy Brooks. Cowley will assist with the marketing and promotion of Team Trailways.

Trailways PC Management Services Patricia Cowley

Cowley started PC Management Services several years ago to help nonprofit associations manage their businesses and drive value to their members. She is currently the executive director for the Greater New Jersey Motorcoach Association (GNJMA) and the Pennsylvania Bus Association (PBA), which will celebrate 100 years in 2023. In May, Cowley and her team were contracted to help another transportation association: The New Jersey School Bus Contractor's Association. 

With more than 30 years of finance and operational experience, Cowley has been a controller, CFO, and treasurer at the corporate level and a financial adviser to nonprofit organizations as well. She spends much of her time now advocating for the bus industry and her efforts have been recognized by the motorcoach community. Recently, she was honored for her achievements during American Bus Association’s Marketplace earlier this year. She was named the recipient of the Women in Buses Operational Excellence Award. 

Cowley engages in all regulatory and legislative concerns on behalf of her members, both at the federal and state levels. In 2020 and 2021, she dedicated a significant amount of time to secure CERTS funding with the “Gang of 11”—a group of operators and vendors across the country who worked together to educate legislators on the value of the private motorcoach industry. She was also appointed to the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Council and served on the Pennsylvania Transportation Revenue Options Commission, which helped to stop the tolling of bridges in Pa. She also is a member of the Bus Industry Safety Council (BISC) where she recently presented an educational session “Best Practices for Capturing Near Misses and Avoiding Accidents in the Future.” Stemmed from her operational background and love for technology, she has implemented an association management system for PBA in February, and GNJMA in June. This effort has streamlined operations, reduced costs, and gives the members control over their information and easy access to other members. Lastly, she has been asked to chair quarterly meetings for the associations across the country for ABA.

“We are honored to be part of a national organization with a strong brand and rich history. We look forward to serving the needs of the stockholders and partner members,” Cowley said about her involvement with Trailways.

Visit trailways.com for more information.

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