The 2011 American Bus Association (ABA) spring board of directors meeting took place in the aftermath of the recent deadly tornadoes that ripped through Alabama and seven other southern states.
The ABA’s board of directors gathers three times each year to meet and discuss industry issues, debate new policy initiatives and fulfill their role as fiduciaries to oversee the management of the group. The board travels to member destinations to support those members and reaches out to operator members in local communities during its meetings.
Sara Hamlin, vice president, tourism, at the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau, showcased some of the region’s best attractions. In addition to reaching out to local operators to gauge the impact of the damage on their operations and their communities through a phone-based outreach campaign, ABA board members took a leadership role in raising funds to assist in the relief efforts.
Many board members were so inspired that Craig Lentzsch, a former ABA board member who was a guest at the meeting and recipient of the 2011 ABA Leadership Award, initiated a matching campaign with a $5,000 gift. Over the course of the two days of meetings, 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 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.”
The ABA is directing anyone interested in donating to make a check out to:
United Way: Birmingham/Jefferson County Tornado Relief Fund c/o Sara Hamlin, CTIS Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitor’s Bureau 2200 Ninth Avenue North Birmingham, AL 35203