ABA’s Member Spotlight highlights how members are making a difference and how they have benefited from ABA membership. This is a great opportunity to get to know your fellow members and make connections that can help you and your business grow!
Name: Jack Kaufman
Job Title/Position: Vice President
Company Name: Timi’s Tours
City, State: Moweaqua, Ill.
Motto: The most dangerous phrase in the language is “we’ve always done it this way.”
How did you first get involved in this industry? I frequently (and to the groans of my staff) joke that I was born on a bus. While this isn’t exactly true, I was raised in the industry. Timi’s Tours was founded by my mother, Timi Kaufman. Since I was a baby she has been organizing bus trips, and in 2006, when I was 12, Timi’s Tours was created. Since that time, I have been fully involved in all aspects of the business.
What is your favorite part of the job? I absolutely love the look on someone’s face when we have gone the extra mile or when we take them somewhere they thought they would never go. We really pride ourselves in our clients not only customers, but friends.
Who has inspired you in your career? Wow, what a list of people to choose from. First and foremost is of course my mother, Timi. She has taught me all I know, and shown me what hard work and determination can do. My Grandparents Bill & Randy Hall, and my Father, Brad Kaufman were all entrepreneurs, and all worked in their respective industries with the same dedication and passion, and taught me as a young child to work with integrity and honesty.
What has been the greatest challenge in your career? I would say our recently opened charter bus division has been the most challenging aspect of my career. I oversee all aspects of regulation, operations, and maintenance for our charter division, along with my other duties on in the tour division.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I think a lot of people are surprised to learn that I am an Eagle Scout, and in my “spare” time volunteer on our local Fire Department as a Firefighter / EMT.
What is your favorite destination? This is a question that customers ask me all the time, and it’s such a difficult one to answer! I love the outdoors, and love Moab, Utah for all its beauty. But I love Mackinac Island, Mich. for its relaxing and calming atmosphere.
What's been your favorite or most memorable moment of your career so far? Wow, there are so many options for stories! This industry comes with a lifetime of stories every year it seems. My most memorable moment came in Titusville, Fla. while on tour. We were eating dinner and my customer at the next table collapsed. Myself and our GM Ken immediately started CPR. Luckily for this customer there was a Sheriff’s Deputy in the lobby with an AED, a Fire Department next door, and a hospital with new and experimental treatment that not only saved his life, but he has traveled again with us!
How do you spend your free time? My free time is hard to come by, and honestly, I spend most of it at home, relaxing with my wife, Shelby and our fur babies.
What has ABA membership meant to you both personally and professionally? I attended my first Marketplace in 2013, and have met so many amazing people in this industry since then! One quick story of the friendships ABA makes: I left my iPad in a hotel room in Wisconsin, I realized that Eric Elliott (Distinctive Systems) lived close by. Eric drove, picked up my iPad and mailed it to me, without ABA, I wouldn’t know Eric! I also have the privilege of serving on the 2020 Marketplace Advisory Committee with some amazing industry colleagues. ABA provides, in my opinion, the best integrated industry connections for the tourism & motorcoach industry.