Operations

Women In Buses Council Seeks To Improve Industry

Lexi Tucker
Posted on October 10, 2018

Grzywacz presenting at a WiB meeting.
Grzywacz presenting at a WiB meeting.
AMES, Iowa — Kim Grzywacz, chairwoman of the Women in Buses Council (WiB) and co-owner of CIT Signature Transportation, believes in being an agent for change. She became the chairwoman of WiB in 2017 for a two-year term.

Before this role, she chaired the membership committee. To her, the most rewarding part of being a member “has been getting together with other women in the industry and discussing our common issues — be it personal or professional. The suggestions shared are always valuable and give ideas to take back to your business and personal life.”

What Is WiB?

The group was created in 2011 to recognize and advance the role of women in the motorcoach industry through networking, education, and mentoring programs. At its birth, the intention was for executives of motorcoach companies to gather and discuss issues. It didn’t take long for the new group to realize they needed to allow anyone in the industry supporting their mission: This includes tour operators, hoteliers, OEMs, DMOs, and, yes, even men. Although there are no bus drivers in the group yet, she says you can join as long as you are a member of the American Bus Association (ABA). “It’s through this inclusivity that we grow as a group, as women, and as members of the travel industry.”

The group has about 200 members and is looking to grow. If interested in joining, operators can request a welcome packet, where they will be asked to choose a committee to join, of which there are four: Executive management; marketing and communications; tour, travel, and charter; and operations and maintenance. “It doesn’t mean you’re stuck to just participating in those,” Grzywacz says.

Kim Grzywacz, chairwoman of the Women in Buses Council (WiB) and co-owner of CIT Signature Transportation
Kim Grzywacz, chairwoman of the Women in Buses Council (WiB) and co-owner of CIT Signature Transportation
Picking A Committee

The four committees are all working toward educating members and helping them improve their businesses. The executive management committee works on issues of importance to CEOs, general managers, and other bus company executives/decision-makers. Recent topics have included employee retention, compensation, and succession planning.

The marketing and communications committee works on improving the industry’s ability to sell and promote its business. The group works on identifying story ideas for publications and social media, as well as getting everyone up to speed on an important part of running a modern company.

The tour, travel, and charter committee focuses on, you guessed it, the tour and charter segment including tour product development, managing hours of service, and learning how ELDs are affecting itineraries.

Finally, the operations and maintenance committee seeks to help members run a safe operation and improve maintenance of their motorcoach fleet. A recent topic discussed was diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), which is put into newer coaches to reduce emissions, as well as the frequency of which operators conduct preventative maintenance checks.

Meetings

The group meets quarterly, with the first occurring in-person at ABA's Annual Meeting & Marketplace in January. The other three are held over the phone or via educational webinars through each committee.

About The Chairwoman

Grzywacz was a teacher for 18 years before joining her husband at CIT Signature Transportation, a motorcoach operation with distinct red fleet vehicles, including a Chrysler 300 sedan.

“My education in this industry has largely come from networking with others and getting involved,” she says. “I look forward to the continued growth of the Women in Buses Council as we strive to consistently engage and support each other.”

Contact Info

Website: www.buses.org/about/councils/WIB

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (800) 283-2877

Related Topics: American Bus Association, buses, industry education, Iowa operators, limo associations, motorcoach operators, motorcoaches, women in the industry

Lexi Tucker Associate Editor
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