Insider Exclusive: Want to Make the Best of Your Marketplace Experience? Consider Volunteering

Insider Exclusive: Want to Make the Best of Your Marketplace Experience? Consider Volunteering

By Kim Grzywacz, CTIS, CIT Signature Transportation

As I prepared to attend my first ABA’s Marketplace, two great ABA members (Elaine Fickett and Jodi Merritt from H&L Charter Company, Inc., in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.,) told me to volunteer. This was not something I did much in my personal life. To do so professionally was really outside my comfort zone. So, I didn’t the first year, but I did in year two and every year since.

Why do I keep volunteering? There are 3 main reasons.

  1. You meet people. This is a friendly, low-pressure time to get to know someone. When I volunteer at the registration booth at ABA, I get to talk about their travels, the excitement of being at ABA, give some tips and tricks, smile, and be a friendly face. I am probably one of the first faces they see. We tend to remember the first and last in a series. The middle gets muddled. Don’t get muddled. Stand out and be seen.
  2. Sometimes resources (money) are slim, but your time is “free” and needed. The church I attend is made up of residents and college students. They definitely have minimal resources. We encourage everyone to give of their time and talent. There are so many tasks and jobs that need just that. When you volunteer, you take something off of someone’s plate and get to utilize your talents. It is a win-win. Also volunteering takes your ROI in attending Marketplace up a notch. You are putting your company literally in front of every person you help and they will remember you.
  3. You feel good. Yes, this is the selfish part of being altruistic. But, let’s be honest. Giving of ourselves does make us feel good. Researchers have studied the effects of hormones and brain activity while volunteering. It truly does make us happy.

So, if you haven’t put yourself out there before, start now. Volunteer in Omaha. You will not regret it. I promise.

Kim Grzywacz, CTIS, is the director of sales for ABA member CIT Signature Transportation in Ames, Iowa. Kim is active on the ABA Board, Women in Buses Council and as a member of the Marketplace Advisory Committee.

About the American Bus Association

The American Bus Association (ABA) is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry, with more than 1,000 motorcoach and tour company members in the United States and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,800 members are travel and tourism organizations and suppliers of bus products and services who work in partnership with the North American motorcoach industry.


Melanie Hinton, Vice President, Communications & Marketing, ABA
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