BUSRide Publisher Judi Victor presented John Oakman with the BUSRide Good Stewardship Award on Sunday, January 12 during the Operators’ Breakfast at the American Bus Association’s (ABA) Marketplace in Omaha, Nebraska.
Created in 2014 in conjunction with ABA, the BUSRide Good Stewardship Award honors its recipient not only for individual accomplishments and success, but for intrinsic qualities that help guide transportation industries to continually deliver services at the highest level.
Oakman’s storied career includes leading Independent Bus Company Inc and J & J Transit Inc. / A Coach USA Co.; as well as serving as current Chair of the Museum of Bus Transportation.
Judi Victor’s full remarks are below:
Good morning. It’s great to see all of you.
Since 2014, the coveted BUSRide Good Stewardship Award has recognized one individual who is considered an ambassador; a dedicated professional who not only provides the highest level of customer service, but who also helps guide the industry forward as a steward of ethics, strong values, safety, operational excellence and unparalleled leadership.
This year’s Good Stewardship Award winner has embodied those values throughout his storied career, beginning with his tenure as a driver for Young Life Transportation. In those early days, he would drive nearly 50,000 miles from May to August, before heading back to college to take classes and work with Young Life clubs as a volunteer.
His time with Young Life inspired him to pursue a career in transportation. That lead him to work for more than 18 years with National Coach Works of Virginia. There, he served as vice president of sales before transitioning to an outstanding run as company president.
Our honoree then transitioned to Coach USA as vice president of vehicle procurement and sales.
Coach USA would ultimately be his home for nearly two decades, but he also spent time in this period as a vice president at ABC Companies.
There, he was heavily involved with the development of the Van Hool TD295 Double-Deck coach, successfully used by Megabus and other large regional operators.
In 2008, he returned to Coach USA as executive vice president for fleet maintenance and vehicle procurement. Ever the visionary, he was instrumental in introducing many “green” initiatives to Coach USA. These included state-of-the-art, fuel-saving technologies, as well as a commitment to idling-reduction policies.
His retirement from Coach USA in 2017 capped a notable career that spanned more than 5 decades — 50-plus incredible years!
Today, our BUSRide Good Stewardship honoree continues his dedication and industry involvement as chair of board of directors of the Museum of Bus Transportation (MBT).
He has worked with the MBT for years, most recently overseeing its merger with the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum – a move that will help the MBT to remain the industry’s most complete museum of bus history, education and information.
He’s a visionary. A go-to expert. A mentor. A friend. A true leader. And a remarkable human being.
Please give it up for the one and only John Oakman, winner of the 2020 BUSRide Good Stewardship Award.