The ABA board recently met in the tornado-ravaged state, enabling them to raise $30,000 for the United Way and help with outreach efforts to victims.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Board members of the American Bus Association attending one of their key annual meetings last week connected with local bus operators and residents in the wake of the deadly tornadoes that hit the South in late April.
The board of directors meeting took place May 2-4 at the ROSS BRIDGE GOLF RESORT AND SPA in Birmingham, Ala., hosted by Sara Hamlin, a certified travel industry specialist (CTIS) with the GREATER BIRMINGHAM CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU.
The AMERICAN BUS ASSOCIATION’s board of directors gathers three times each year to meet and discuss industry issues, debate new policy ideas, and fulfill their roles as fiduciaries to oversee the management of the Association. The ABA board travels to member destinations to show support for and reach out to operator members in local communities during its meetings.
In late April, a series of tornadoes carved a deadly path through Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, causing more than 300 casualties and an estimated $2 billion to $5 billion in damage.
In addition to gauging the effects of the damage on their operations and their local communities through a phone outreach campaign, ABA board members led an effort to raise funds and help with relief efforts.
Former ABA board member and recipient of the 2011 ABA Leadership Award, Craig Lentzsch, who was a guest at the meeting, initiated a matching campaign with a $5,000 gift. Over the course of the two days of meetings, ABA Board members raised more than $30,000 to benefit the UNITED WAY OF ALABAMA.
“I want to thank every ABA member who donated to help our friends and colleagues in tourism,” said ABA Board Chair James Jalbert of Portsmouth, N.H.-based C & J LINES. “It’s hard to think of an organization more worthy than the United Way to help lead the relief and rebuilding efforts in Alabama. Our thoughts and prayers are with those that have been affected by the storms, but ABA is one big family and we are proud to help represent the tourism family as they continue to work towards a return to normalcy.”
Sources: AMERICAN BUS ASSOCIATION; Michael Campos, LCT assistant editor