History of Clarence Cornell


Clarence "Clancy" Cornell 
February 25, 1930 - August 15, 2015


Clarence "Clancy" Cornell

ABC Companies credits its success to its driven and dedicated founder and leader, Clarence “Clancy” Cornell. A dedicated husband, father, and business man, Clancy dedicated his life to the establishment and growth of not only ABC Companies but the busing industry as a whole. A true pioneer of the modern coach and charter bus business, Clancy's passion for people, transportation and foremost his family have truly shaped the bus industry as we know it today.

The Early Years

Clancy was born on February 25th, 1930. He and his siblings, Eddie and Alice, spent their childhood working in and around buses, and so his love for busing, motor coaches, and transportation was born. Clancy would say he had the bus business in his blood from birth to death.

     The Cornell Family: Roman, Ron,
Clancy, Dane, Ashley

The Start of an Empire

With a vision to change the busing industry – specifically, to shift the focus to the customer - Clancy struck out on his own in the early 1950s when he purchased three major busing companies: the Boone Bus Service, Elkhorn States, and eventually the Faribault Bus Service. His visions continued to drive his business decisions when he transformed the Faribault Bus Service from a small city bus service into a full-blown tour and charter business. Ultimately, the operation grew and expanded to include buying and selling coaches. This was just the beginning for today’s industry benchmark, ABC Companies.

Driven by Passion

Clancy’s passion for family, transportation and the customer were evident throughout his life and business ventures. As Clancy worked hard to grow and maintain his business, his beloved first wife Norma, second wife MaryAnn, and four children Deb, Ron, Roxanne, Dane, and Jennifer were never far behind. They worked as a team in the garages of Faribault Bus, where he used day to day business as a foundation for teaching his children strong work ethic and business essentials. Clancy truly planted a seed in his family, as even today, third generation grandchildren successfully manage the day to day operation of the business. Long time employees were equally valued and treasured by Cornell, playing an integral role in the success of the organization.

Clarence "Clancy" Cornell receives the 2007 GMOA Calvin Cooper Lifetime Achievement Award. Pictured right:  Ken Presley, UMA

The Legacy

The Bus and Motorcoach Academy remains committed to offering owners and managers of bus and motorcoach companies curriculum essential to establishing a baseline of business, marketing, safety, and human resources. Toward that end, the Clarence Cornell School of Business was formally established in 2007. 

Through a continuing gift from ABC Bus Companies, who asked that the school be named in honor of Clarence Cornell, the Bus and Motorcoach Academy Clarence Cornell School of Business is widely recognized as the only assemblage of comprehensive courses designed for today’s bus and motorcoach industry. 
Mr. Clarence Cornell, affectionately known as Clancy to family, friends, colleagues, and customers passed away on August 15th, 2015. ABC Companies, under the management of his beloved children and grandchildren, will continue to operate driven by the legacy of customer-focused business established and passed on by Clancy. His easy manner, strong handshake, and care and concern for the customer experience are to be credited for the success of the company and its loyal following today.

The Clarence Cornell School of Business stands as testament to "Clancy's" commitment and vision  to the industry he helped build and will continue to flourish.