The inaugural Academy course will be held at the manufacturer’s Nashville facility, with instruction provided by specialists from Prevost, the coach conversion industry, and the entertainer coach leasing business.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Sainte-Claire, Quebec-based PREVOST is lending its support to a new driving school that will train those individuals aspiring to take the driver’s seat in an entertainer coach.
The Celebrity Bus Drivers Academy, founded by Chip Huffman and Tandy Rice, of HUFFMAN & RICE INC., will offer its first session in early June in Nashville, Tenn. Nashville is also home to a 58,000 square foot Prevost service facility.
The inaugural Academy course will be held at the Nashville facility, with instruction provided by Prevost training technicians, technicians from the coach conversion industry, and professionals from the entertainer coach leasing business, including veteran drivers, leasing agents, and owners. A pre-conversion Prevost coach and a converted Prevost entertainer coach will be on hand to help students become familiar with the vehicles they may someday be driving.
Chip Huffman, founder and co-owner of the Celebrity Bus Drivers Academy, said, “The music industry has reacted to the fundamental changes in the business by putting a stronger emphasis on live entertainment. This has created a greater demand for entertainer transportation. The Academy is committed to providing the industry with highly trained drivers who know the unique requirements of this business.”
The Academy also will use the Top Billing Driver Placement Agency to qualify participants for elite, highly sought-after driving positions in the entertainment industry.
Steve Zeigler, director of business development at Prevost, sees the initiative as a valuable effort to help professionalize the industry.
“By supporting the new school, Prevost will be helping to educate drivers at a critical time in their careers,” he said. “Becoming more familiar with our brand will better prepare them to work in the entertainment and VIP transportation industry, where Prevost coaches are widely used.”
Huffman has envisioned running such a school for two decades. As the former owner and founder of Nitetrain Coach, he recalled “constantly fielding calls from drivers who hoped to ‘drive for the stars.’ There’s an overwhelming interest in this market and a huge need for training. The Academy intends to answer that need, and we’re pleased to be working with Prevost to help prepare drivers for this vibrant industry.”
— Nicole Schlosser, LCT Magazine