Stefano makes ‘natural transition’ at Peter Pan
By Glenn Swain
In mid-May Brian R. Stefano became the president and CFO of Peter Pan Bus Lines, marking the first time in the almost 80-year history of Peter Pan that a non-Picknelly family member will serve as the company’s president. Stefano will oversee the day-to-day operations of
Peter Pan and its affiliated businesses, encompassing intercity motorcoach service and facilities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Greater New York/New Jersey and Washington, D.C. Peter Pan is a privately-owned carrier employing approximately 800 workers.
Peter A. Picknelly assumed the title of chairman and CEO, a position that has remained vacant since the passing of his father, Peter L. Picknelly, former chairman and CEO from January 1964 through October 2004. While Picknelly will still be involved with the bus company, the move will allow him to devote more of his energy to the operations of other Picknelly family-owned businesses, such as Camfour and Belts Technologies.
“It’s not an abrupt change from what I do day to day,” Stefano told BUSRide. “It was a natural transition. I suppose it would be different if Peter wasn’t involved in the company, but we still work closely together. It’s not a dramatic change. I’m getting more involved in the marketing, pricing and operations end.”
Stefano joined Peter Pan in 1990 as a controller. From 1993 to this year he was executive vice president/CFO and COO.
“I’ve been doing things as number two in the company for several years and taking on more responsibility,” Stefano said. “But Peter is still here every day, and I don’t ever see him not being involved in the business.”
“Brian Stefano has proven to be a highly dedicated, loyal and very valuable member of our senior management team since first joining Peter Pan as our controller over 23 years ago,” Picknelly said in a prepared statement. “His proficiency and expertise in corporate operations, bus revenue management, business administration and employee relations has demonstrated his capability to serve as our company’s president and CFO. I have every confidence that Mr. Stefano’s contributions and leadership will continue to keep Peter Pan Bus Lines in the forefront of our industry as the innovative and customer-driven transportation provider in the Northeast.”
Stefano said his top priorities are keeping the Peter Pan fleet modern and taking care of employees and customers.
“I’m making sure our company is here for the next 50 years,” Stefano said.
Just days after Stefano was named to his new post, the Federal Motor Coach Safety Administration conducted an unprecedented crackdown on rogue carries, shutting down 26 companies in one day.
“It’s certainly hard to compete against some of these companies when they are not playing by the rules,” Stefano said. “When companies are doing things against what’s safe and regulated it’s not good for the industry. Competing against companies like that – where they are pricing the product so low – puts our industry in a bad position.”
While Stefano becomes more and more involved in Peter Pan’s daily duties, he can’t help but have a daily reminder that Peter A. Picknelly still has a positive influence on the company.
“We’re still getting 30 emails a day on various issues,” Stefano says. “He’s never far away.”