December 30, 2010

2010 Ends with OATS Laying Foundation for More Stable Tomorrow

The 39th Annual Board of Directors meeting of OATS, Inc. took place on Tuesday, November 30, 2010 in Columbia, Missouri. Among the year's highlights were the completed construction of a new facility which now houses the OATS' Northwest operations in St. Joseph. OATS also began working with an architect for the development of a new facility in Macon which will house OATS' Northeast operations.

Renovation of the East Region facility in Bridgeton began to provide covered parking for the local fleet, a bus wash facility and to allow for the addition of a driver training room. Also during the fiscal year, OATS progressed more than halfway through a company-wide implementation of a new Intelligent Transportation System, which will vastly improve their computer and communication capabilities. The progress made in 2010 will certainly lead to greater stability for OATS and the passengers OATS serves.

A review of the annual statistical and operating reports showed that during Fiscal Year 2010, OATS drivers provided 1,629,748 one-way trips to over 31,000 Missourians. The OATS buses traveled 15,158,259 miles to provide service in the 87 counties that OATS, Inc. serves. In addition, OATS volunteers gave 58,404 hours of their time.

Safety and staff longevity were other milestones noted. Three hundred and ninety-two (392) drivers received Safe Driver Awards during the year for a cumulative total of 2,543 years of safe driving. Also, Northeast Regional Director Sheree Webb and Southwest Regional Driver Janet Chapin both celebrated 30-year employment anniversaries with OATS. An additional 15 employees celebrated 20 and 15 year anniversaries.

At the regularly scheduled board meeting, held immediately prior to the annual meeting, Lynn Graves of Graves & Associates, CPAs, LLC, Jefferson City, presented the Audit Report for Fiscal Year 2010 (year ended June 30, 2010) and confirmed the organization is financially sound.

The following were elected to officer positions on the 2011 OATS Board of Directors: President Nolan McNeill of Cassville, Vice President Mel Sundermeyer of Holts Summit, Treasurer Betty Smith of Clark and Secretary Don Reed of Salisbury.

All board meetings are held at OATS' Home Office in Columbia and are open to the public. The 2011 board meeting schedule is: January 25, March 22, May 24, July 26, September 27 and November 29.

2011 marks the 40th Anniversary of OATS, Inc. Founded in 1971 for the purpose of providing transportation to those with transportation disadvantages, OATS has continued to be a leader in the transit community and has grown to one of the largest systems of its kind throughout the nation. A Celebration and Luncheon is scheduled for September 28, 2011 and will be held in Columbia. More than 800 riders, volunteers, drivers and supporters are expected to attend. A commemorative cookbook is also being published and will be available in the summer of 2011. Check OATS' website at www.oatstransit.org for information about the cookbook and other events surrounding the 40th anniversary.

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