(WBNG Binghamton) Leonard Bus Sales President and owner, Mike Leonard announced Wednesday that the company is adding jobs to their New York operation and have launched LBS South – a new sister company in Florida.
According to a news release:
“We are proud to be growing in New York and expanding into Florida, at the same time,” said Mike Leonard, President of Leonard Bus Sales and LBS South. “Our ability to do so is a reflection of our solid reputation as a top distributor of school and commercial buses, delivering high-quality buses and unmatched customer support.”
The new Florida-based company, LBS South, LLC, recently acquired the statewide distribution rights for IC Bus™ brand school and commercial buses for the Sunshine State. LBS South, LLC and its nineteen employees, will operate as a separate company, but will bring the Leonard family’s trademark commitment to customer service and support to the Florida school and commercial bus market.
“IC Bus is pleased that Leonard Bus Sales is expanding operations in Florida,” said John McKinney, President of Navistar Global Bus. “As the recipient of the “IC Bus Eastern Region Dealer of the Year” award in 2011, I am confident that LBS South will continue to excel in providing cost-effective transportation solutions to the market, matched by their unparalleled customer support.”
The LBS South team has already been expanded since the launch this summer, with LBS South bringing on Dick Epp to serve as sales manager and Tami Proctor as a member of the sales team. The two have decades of experience in the bus industry, and will put their expertise to work supporting LBS South customers across the state.
Meanwhile, in New York, the Leonard Bus Sales team added former Oneida City Schools Assistant Superintendent for Finance Greg Race to the customer support team and brought in Joe Wolfe as the products sales manager for Trans Tech’s entire line of Type-A school buses, including the all-electric eTrans. Race brings an in depth knowledge of school financing to assist schools with fleet management needs, while Wolfe has over 25 years of experience in the bus business, with a specialty in Type-A school buses.
“We are lucky to be partnered with the Leonard family in the distribution and support of our school and commercial buses,” said incoming Trans Tech President John Phraner. “If you want to be a market-leader then you need to be teamed with one and that is why Trans Tech partnered with Leonard Bus Sales and LBS South. As New York’s only school bus manufacturer it was vital for us to be with the best.”
The recent growth for the Leonard team is just the latest in the past few years, as the Upstate New York-based family business has defied the odds of this prolonged national economic downturn, opening new facilities and creating scores of new jobs in communities across Upstate New York, and now Florida. The Florida expansion alone added 19 jobs to the Leonard family team, with more jobs expected in the coming months.
In New York, growth in recent years has meant new facilities in Saratoga Springs, Rome, and Bergen, and expansion at the headquarters in Deposit. Each one of these facilities is home to between 15 and 30 full and part-time employees.
“We look forward to continuing our strategies for growth in New York and Florida,” said Leonard. “We believe our customer-centric approach, unmatched support services, and market-leading products are the key to our success.”