Most eighth graders are happy enough just to go on a field trip; few take the reins and actually plan the entire trip, and even fewer parlay that experience into starting their own motorcoach company by the age of 17.
Then again, few people are like Ray Land (this week’s live chat host -- click here to RSVP).
According to Inc. -- which last year, recognized Ray as one of the top 30 young entrepreneurs under 30 -- Ray was an entrepreneur long before Fabulous Coach Lines was officially founded in 2004. He was passionate about traveling, particularly via motor coach, and used to organize weekly trips for churches, families and notably, that entire eighth-grade field trip.
It wasn’t long before he found -- and put a down payment on -- a used 1989 motor coach on eBay. (Note: Per a promise to his mom, he didn’t miss a single payment!)
Thus began Fabulous Coach Lines, which is now a lot more fabulous, thanks to a selection of over 65 luxury vehicles available for charter as well as expansive offerings in tour, fleet services, and mass transportation management.
With approximately 200 employees and thousands of passengers now traveling every day, Ray’s gotten a very quick, hands-on education in delivering superior customer hospitality at scale -- an education that proved far more interesting than college and one that’s paid off handsomely for the young entrepreneur. (Their tagline? Fabulous People, Fabulous Coaches.)
Named to last year’s Inc. 30 Under 30 top young entrepreneur list, 2010 BusinessWeek’s Top 25 under 25 Young Entrepreneurs, 2009 BusRide Operator of the Year, 2007 Metro Top Innovative Operator, Founder of United Motorcoach Association “Young Guns” group and the 2011-2012 President of Florida Motorcoach Association, Ray is now a leader in the passenger transportation business.
In addition to his many accolades, he’s also been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Fox Business, Metro Magazine, Bus & Motorcoach News, BusRide Magazine, Australian Bus & Coach, ABA Insider, among others.
This Tuesday at 3 PM EST is your chance to talk to pick Ray’s brain about starting up in high school, becoming an industry leader in the transportation industry (before you’re old enough to rent a car!), and capitalizing on an idea you’re genuinely passionate about during our hour-long #StartupLab live chat presented by Citi.