Name: TJ Morgan
Company: Citizen Auto Stage Co. / Gray Line Tours Tucson
City, State: Tucson, Ariz.
Years in the Industry: 52 Years (106 years family owned and operated)
How did you first get involved in the industry?
We are a 106-year-old family owned and operated company. I was born into this industry! At one time or another I have worked almost every aspect of the company. I first began working on our freight dock at the age of 13, (yes, we have a freight line that works with the maquilas in Mexico.) Subsequently, I was baggage handler at our bus depot, ticket agent, mechanic (trust me, you don’t want me as your mechanic), bus washer, driver… you name it.
Who has inspired your career?
I have had numerous role models: first, my father, Tom Morgan, who was truly an icon. Also, Frank Henry (another icon), Fernando Barbachano, Craig Lentszch, Charlie Zelle, Pete Pantuso and others that have interacted with me over the years!
What has been the greatest challenge/opportunity in your career?
The greatest challenge? Trying to keep a 106-year-old company growing and evolving. There are so many opportunities for improvement, particularly the technology, that it literally boggles the mind. The pandemic was certainly a test of the industry.
What advice would you give to others about working in this industry?
Reconsider - the regulatory environment is very tough, limited return on investment, stress is high, particularly in the maintenance arena and parts availability, and capital costs are huge. Then, if you truly feel a calling, go sign on with a company with a good reputation and a pattern of investing in growth and technology. Work with established leaders in the industry before investing in your own company.
Why is it important for you to belong to Hispanic Motorcoach Council?
Those of us that cross the border and/or are of Hispanic origin need to work together to improve the service quality, as well as the mutual understanding of the regulatory environment. All of us need to encourage all those in the industry to work together, act ethically and effectively improve the industry as a whole. The rising tide lifts all boats, and the degree to which all of us participate in the legislative process and communicate effectively with our legislators will dictate the environment we will all operate in.