Bill '77 (Business Administration), Gail '77, MS '80 (Recreation Administration), Laura '10 (Criminal Justice & American Sign Language) & Lisa (Communication Studies) Allen

Family keeps big wheels turning

Allen Family
The bus yard was a giant playground through the eyes of a 4-year-old Bill Allen. From the time he could walk, Allen had few doubts about his professional future.

He remembers going with his father to his business in Woodland as a toddler and looking in awe at the massive vehicles.

“What 4-year-old boy doesn’t want to work with his dad at the bus yard?” asked Allen, who is now president of Sacramento-based Amador Stage Lines. “It’s the family business and I knew I’d be here from the womb to the tomb.”

Allen’s wife Gail plays a key role in the business, supporting in the business development and sales departments. Gail, spent many years in the recreation and tourism industry and has been inducted into the California Travel and Tourism Hall of Fame.

Bill says his college years taught him valuable lessons in and out of the classroom. Allen took part in an intense tutorial program during his first two years on campus.

“It was a little different from the normal college experience, but I liked it,” he says. “There were a couple hundred of us that stayed together for two years and got all of our general education credits satisfied. It gave me a good base. I got to know the professors and the other students really well.”

Under Allen’s leadership Amador Stage Lines has turned into a regional operation, with a second office in Reno and more than 80 employees. The company is fully utilizing the skills and talents of the Allen family.

Allen got creative when it came to passing on the family tradition. His daughters Lisa and Laura Allen took on roles in marketing and promotions for The Sactown Hopper—an Amador Stage Lines bus designated for revelers in Downtown Sacramento. “We came up with the idea for the Hopper,” Lisa says. “We wanted a party bus. It’s been running since March and it’s going really well.”

Laura worked for a year at the California School for the Deaf in Fremont before joining the family company with her sister. They got the wheels rolling on the Hopper—a bus open to all, but aimed at Sac State students who want a safe way to get to and from Downtown.

“We work in marketing and on special projects,” Laura says. “We run the Sactown Hopper and get the word out on that, and we set up other special trips and events.”

Lisa is putting her Sac State degree, and her experience in extracurricular activities, to good use at Amador. She was the president of her sorority—Sigma Kappa— and says her campus experience enhanced her classroom education. Now she helps coordinate the rolling party that is the Sactown Hopper.

“I don’t mind speaking in front of large groups. We’ve been doing a lot of TV interviews and that’s been fun,” Lisa says. “I can talk for days, so that helps.”

The Sactown Hopper was also featured in The Sacramento Bee. Read the article or find more information at

This article was originally published in the Fall 2012 edition of Sac State Magazine.