This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

All in the Family WRITTEN BY RYAN GRAY

 From left, top row: Barry Taylor; Jodie Hays Bohlen; Jeff Hays, VP of business development; Guy Jukes, VP of national accounts; Brad Jukes; and Kyle Jukes. Third row: Brawly Taylor; Lorri Hays Taylor, service manager; and Terri Hayes Jukes, CEO. Second row: Rider Taylor; Piper Taylor; Jeanie Hays; McKenzie Hayes; and Jake Jukes. Bottom row: Cooper Taylor; Melissa Hays; Tanner Hays; Scott Hays, executive VP; and Riley Hays.



any businesses in the student transportation industry are family owned and operat- ed, including STN Media

Group, which publishes this magazine. Te majority of these companies opened their doors to specifically serve the school-bus niche, either as a supplier, manufacturer or service provider. Sometimes they perform all three functions. In the case of Radio Engineering Indus-

tries, Inc., better known as REI, the company had already been in existence for more than 30 years when it expanded into the school-bus market. We asked company executive Scott Hay to share his family’s story.


From where does REI trace its roots? SCOTT HAYS: REI’s roots are traced

back to our grandfather, Clyde H. Hays. In 1938, he founded REI as a local radio sales and repair store. During World War II, soldiers from all U.S. military branches came to Omaha, Neb., for radio school held at REI to learn how to operate and repair radios used in service. Over the next few decades, REI expanded

32 School Transportation News May 2013

into a national distributor and service center for companies such as Panasonic, Sharp, Sony, Learjet and Delco Electronics. In 1970, Robert E. Hays, my dad, inherited the busi- ness from his father. At that time, CB radios were very popular and helped increase REI’s sales substantially. But in the late 1970s, we di- versified into tractor radios and began making radio kits for the agriculture market. During my dad’s tenure, REI grew into the transpor- tation electronics manufacturer it is today.

STN: How did your grandfather come up with the idea to start the company? How

did you father expand it? HAYS: From my understanding, Clyde saw

a need for radio repair for cars. It was a natural fit to sell radios too. It was a small service company located in Omaha, Neb. Tis was an era when radios were becoming very popular, so business was immediately booming. I was only a toddler when my grandfather passed away. I would have loved the opportunity to know more about our origins. Dad had a knack for identifying a market need and going after it. During dad’s helm, we expanded into agriculture, school bus and commercial vehicles and increased our

manufacturing facilities. As the markets grew, REI grew along with them. In addition to REI, we still had a consumer-electronics sales and repair store as well as the first video rental store in Omaha in the mid-1980s. It was during the late 1970s when REI expanded into the school bus market. By 1980, we were supplying radio systems to all school bus manufacturers in the United States, including AmTran Corp (now IC Bus) Blue Bird Body, Carpenter, Collins Bus, Tomas Built Buses and Wayne. We were able to meet their growing demand for quality audio systems and radios with PAs. It was in the 1980s when we devel- oped even further into the audio/video entertainment systems, particularly in the motorcoach market, where providing an en- joyable customer experience was essential. It was this growth that laid the ground-

work in the 1990s for our school-bus surveillance system called “BUS-WATCH.” As REI evolved, so did mobile video surveillance. Today, we offer software and hardware solutions for mobile video surveil- lance, stop-arm violator reporting, ITS, fleet management and ADS download.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68