Eva Hotard of Hotard Coach in New Orleans was given METRO’s Motorcoach Industry Achievement Award for 2000. Frank Di Giacomo, publisher of METRO, made the announcement and presentation at the Motorcoach Expo held last week in Orlando, Fla.
She was presented the annual award "for her service to the industry’s associations and for her example and leadership as a successful provider of safe and high-quality passenger service," read the inscription on the plaque.
Hotard became an impromptu industry spokesperson just after the tragic bus crash carrying elderly passengers to Branson, Mo. last year, because as an operator that came from the same region as the company whose bus was involved in the crash, the press frequently called her to comment. As such, she repeatedly and eloquently defended the industry’s safety record, its practices and its commitment to safe operation, and in general gave a positive public impression of motorcoach travel as a whole, said several industry leaders.
Hotard has also served for many years on a variety of industry association committees, and has managed her family’s company to unprecedented success and profitability, said Cliff Henke, associate publisher of METRO. "Each year our editors, through their research and reporting of the industry, come across dozens of great companies doing wonderful things to advance the image of motorcoach travel," he said. "This year is no exception. But that's only the beginning of how we choose our Industry Achievement Award winner. We also solicit members of our editorial advisory board, the heads of the industry associations and other prominent industry players. We take all this feedback and narrow our candidates down to three or four outstanding companies. We then do another round of contacts with our industry advisers and observers, and our staff settles on the one company that is first ahead of some very tough comparisons. Eva’s company has been a stand-out for years."
A profile of Hotard will be published in a spring issue of METRO.
The winners list now includes:
1992: Robert Pounders, Winn Bus Lines, Richmond, VA
1993: John Shoup, Shoup Bus, Richmond, IN
1994: Fred Kaiser, Kerrville Bus Co., Kerrville, TX
1995: Lou Magnano, Blue Bird Coach Lines, Olean, NY
1996: Bob Greenhill, TNM&O Lines, Lubbock, TX
1997: Calvin Cooper, America Coach Lines, Norcross, GA
1998: Ron and Jim Carter, Antelope Valley Bus Lines, Lancaster, CA
1999: Peter Picknally and Robert Schwarz, Peter Pan Bus Lines, Boston, MA
2000: Eva Hotard, Hotard Coaches, New Orleans