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Marc Schaffner, Most Valuable Commuter

Vanpools! April 2016
Employer: Avista Corporation
Occupation: Strategic Initiatives Manager

Marc Schaffner is the Strategic Initiatives Manager for Avista. With a 34 mile one way commute from Coeur d’Alene, Marc has been a vanpool rider and driver for almost 5 years. Marc’s 15 passenger van has had great success, with 13 regular riders and a waiting list for commuters looking to join.

His ETC, Catherine Cooper and a fellow employee encouraged Marc to give vanpooling a try. After finding out that Avista pays the first month’s vanpool costs, Marc felt he had nothing to lose!

With STA allowing personal miles for vanpool drivers, Marc has very few challenges when it comes to vanpooling to work. Only when work commitments extend his day does Marc drive alone, which is typically only 1-2 days a month.

Marc considers vanpooling an excellent way to increase freeway safety by having fewer vehicles on the road. Add to this, his motivation for being a good steward to the environment, he feels he creates a win-win situation. He enjoys sharing his personal story about “how vanpooling works for him” and encourages fellow employees to give it a try.

Another reason the van is so successful is thanks to having a good captain (bookkeeper). Connie Gorman keeps all the passengers informed of all changes and is always on top of any issue. If there are any issues or requested changes for the van, the group votes on it, and the majority always rules.

Avista ETC, Catherine Cooper says, “Marc is so reliable to be on the vanpool on a full time basis. He has elevated what it means to serve other employees by his commitment and adaptability to drive and ride on the vanpool day in and day out!”