In the early 1980s, the bus industry regulated and new motor coach companies sprang up throughout the U.S. Land/Jet Inc. of Waterbury, Connecticut, was one of them. For this company's founders - the Brady brothers - their motivation was saving their family's business interests.
When their father Joseph founded the Travel Center in 1955, there were plenty of customers and not much competition. Because he had a tour brokers license, a distinction coveted by many and possessed by only a few people throughout the U.S. until deregulation changed the marketplace, his individual and group tour planning services were a hot commodity. After deregulation, however, 11 bus companies with tour planning services popped up and threatened to take a chunk of the Travel Center's customers. That's when Brady's four sons, then in their 20s, stepped in.
To protect their family's interest, they bought two MCI motor coaches and launched Land/Jet in 1983. Charles Brady, 26 at the time, became the company's president, but all the brothers have a hand in the company's operations. "We're a family-run business, and the Travel Center and Land/Jet offices are in the same building, so whether someone comes into the Travel Center or Land/Jet, one of us will help them," says Charles Brady. When the brothers aren't pinch-hitting wherever needed, they stick to the tasks defined by their position in the company.
Long before the Brady brothers founded Land/Jet, their father took over management of Waterbury's bus terminal, which is housed in the same government-owned building as the travel agency and motor coach company. Through that facility, the Bradys established a close working relationships with several out-of-town bus operators that unload and pick up passengers at the terminal. During Land/Jet's early years, when it didn't have enough equipment to handle every customer request, Brady called on those reputable companies to pick up what his company couldn't handle.
Though they may not have known it, those same companies helped Brady develop a model for his own business. "I looked at the kinds of companies I wanted Land/Jet to emulate one day, which are all successful companies," Brady explains. "I looked at how they operated and saw that they attracted the best people and put out the best equipment. So, I followed their lead," he notes. They treated their customers and employees well, Brady adds, and he wanted to do the same.
Even though Land/Jet hasn't been in business nearly as long as its mentors, the company has reaped the rewards of name recognition, says Brady. For residents of Waterbury, Connecticut, and the surrounding area, Brady has been a well-known name in the travel industry for more than 55 years.
Charles Brady, President Tim Brady, Vice President Dennis Brady, Secretary Raymond Brady, Consultant