Meet members of ABA's newest networking Council, the African American Motorcoach Council. If you would like more information about the AAMC or to join, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name: Louis L. James
Company: Legacy Tours, LLC
City, State: Durham, NC
Year in the Industry: 24yrs in the industry 3yrs with my own company
How did you first get involved in the industry?
I feel I was born into the industry. My Father owned a company before passing, as well as my Godfather. So I've been around the industry my entire life.
Who has inspired your career?
Definitely my Father, along with a few others.
What has been the greatest challenge/opportunity in your career?
Starting from scratch. See I've been driving buses since a kid (8) and professionally since I was 19 years old. Unfortunately, my dad had retired and passed before I began to make a career out of it. Now driving and customer service/care comes natural to me. I started my own company three years ago and it is not as easy as I thought it would be. Especially with all the naysayers. But through all the years of driving I've made some really good friends and allies within the industry that has really kept me moving forward. One thing for sure I've never burned bridges because I never know which way the flood is coming, and I'll never give up on me. And look three years later I'm still here through all the adversity and let's not mention Covid-19. I'm here to stay.
What advice would you give to others about working in this industry?
If you're getting in this industry please don't do it for the love of money. Don't get me wrong the money can be good, however if that is your main goal this isn't it. You have to do this for the love of the industry itself, you have to love people, you have to know that you will get knocked down, looked over and stepped on at times. You have to be willing to go the extra mile. Early mornings that look like night and late nights to where the sun is beginning to rise. It's hard work, but the reward is amazing. I love to see the clients applaud or enjoying themselves while not worrying about the drive. I love the bond and fellowship with other operators. You have to love the industry.
Why is it important for you to belong to the African American Motorcoach Council?
I'm so glad to be a part of AAMC, It's important to me, and for me to be a part of an organization who for 1) looks like me, and 2) understands the situation we as African Americans go through. We're all a part of the same industry, however we're not always looked upon with the same regards as others. And 3) my honest opinion, is we keep this industry thriving. See we as African American can adapt to most if not all situations. So it's important to be a part of a group I can call family and be able to share experiences and ideas with.