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Anderson organization lauded by state House

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SUGAR GROVE TOWNSHIP, Mercer County, Pa.: From left, Anderson Coach & Travel President Doug Anderson, Director of Operations Ryan Nicklin and Vice President Sue Nicklin are presented a citation by Rep. Parke Wentling, R-17th District and former senators Roy W. Wilt and Bob Robbins at the Anderson complex north of Greenville. The family-owned and –operated company was lauded for 80-plus years of providing consistent service to the community.

The stellar service and rich, 80-plus-year history of family-owned Anderson Coach & Travel prompted a citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Three men with more than half a century of public service between them recently presented leaders of the Sugar Grove Township busing company the accolade.

Pa. Rep. Parke Wentling, R-17th District, noted the company is known for providing convenient service, strong traditions and involvement in the community. Wentling, whose district covers much of the four school districts for whom Anderson provides transportation, brought two men he called “great mentors” to mark the award.

Former state Sen. Bob Robbins and Former state Sen. Roy W. Wilt, both R-50th District, joined Wentling recently to celebrate the honor with company President Doug Anderson, Vice President Sue Anderson Nicklin and third-generation family member Ryan Nicklin, Anderson Coach & Travel Director of Operations.

The citation reads, in part: “Since its inception, the business has maintained a tradition of excellence, remaining responsive to the ever-changing needs and interests of the community it serves. Its steady progress is a tribute to key leaders and dedicated employees who have carried it to its present heights and built a foundation for a bright future.”

“We are deeply honored to receive this recognition from the Legislature. Having it presented by three men who’ve committed their lives to serving the public made it extra special,” said President Doug Anderson. “The Anderson family’s relationship with the Wilts and Wentlings goes back decades, so their involvement was really terrific for us.”

Prior to being elected state senator from 1981 to 1990, Wilt served as representative for Pennsylvania’s 8th district for 12 years. Robbins served 24 years in the senate after holding the seat now occupied by Wentling from 1983 to 1990.

They all have their own personal history with the Anderson family. Wentling has known them his “entire life,” as they are all members of the same church in Greenville. And Wilt actually served as a bus driver for Anderson while getting his degree at Thiel College in the late 1950s prior to beginning his political career.

Robbins knew founders Dot and O.D. Anderson. “They were very personable. They were the type of people you’d expect to get into the ‘people’ business.” The Andersons were pioneers in motorcoach travel and provided the foundation for what the company has today, which is a reputation for being one of the best bus companies in the state and region, Robbins said.

On his own travels, Robbins said he’s always pleased to see an Anderson bus on the road. And he sees them often even as far away as Nashville or en route to Florida.

With the acquisition in 2017 of the former Robert Frye Inc., Wentling said the Andersons recommitted to their school busing roots. The company currently has about 180 vehicles that safely deliver nearly 5,000 students to school and home again daily. Their large fleet also includes more than 40 deluxe motorcoaches of varying sizes chartered for field trips, church and scout groups, concerts, sporting events and much more. The company also operates a tour division with hundreds of pre-planned trips people can purchase individual seats on. These go as far as Alaska, a tour O.D. first conducted in the 1960s when the Alaska Highway was still a dirt road!

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Anderson Coach & Travel has been providing Superior Travel Experiences since 1937. In celebration of our 80th Anniversary, college student McKenzie Caldwell will be traveling with Anderson. McKenzie, our tour directors and guests will share their stories from on the road here!

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