Someone You Should Know: Peg Eichhorst – Operations Manager at Lakeside Transportation

For some time now Cook-Illinois subsidiaries have been partaking in a weight loss competition, this friendly competition was designed mainly for drivers. Since this competition was made for the drivers not everyone could participate but it didn’t discourage people from participating for their own benefit. One individual in particular took it upon herself to take full advantage and her name was Peg Eichhorst. Peg, who is an operations manager at Lakeside Transportation, took the competition as an opportunity to get healthier. Peg being the dedicated employee she is shows up to work at about 5am every day. Since she didn’t want to be late to work she decided to start getting up at about 2:45 am to walk! That alone shows her dedication and commitment to herself. One of the things that I found to be the most inspiring about Peg’s weight loss was that she said she received a lot of positive reinforcement from co-workers and she tried her best to return the favor by invited employees to walk with her during lunch. A lot of you might be wondering “how did she do it?” well according to Peg it was a combination of so many things. A lot of the process for her was mental, getting yourself to commit is a hard step to take especially when you’re already a busy person. As far as eating Peg said she decided to go with a Jenny Craig plan and that worked for her. Peg knew it would be a hard road and that she would have to work hard and make sacrifices it took her about 18 months to lose about 133 lbs, but she did it. Although she said she wasn’t able to keep all of it off we are all still extremely proud of her and her commitment to herself. Thank you Peg for inspiring us not only by your amazing performance at work but with your commitment to your health.

Biggest Loser Competition: Joe Winters-Driver/Trainer at Westway Downers Grove

JoeWinterCook-Illinois has been partaking in a Biggest Loser Competition over the past year and we are happy to announce the winner is Joe Winter! Joe Winters has worked at Westway Downers Grove for three years as a Driver/Trainer and attributes his successful record behind the wheel to being able to maintain a sense of calm. Joe had decided that 2014 was the year to be healthier and this contest fit in well with his plans, motivating him even more. He attributes his personal success to counting carbs, watching calories and making better choices when eating. Mr. Winters has continued his personal weight loss program and remains strong in achieving his ultimate goal.

Joe had the option of selecting where he wanted to spend his prize money, and chose Home Depot for his shopping spree. Going into 2015, his next goal of working on some home improvement projects has been made a lot easier with the addition of new tools to his workshop.

Congratulations to all of our employees who lost weight in 2014. Well done! I would like to also thank all of the wellness team for their efforts regarding this program.

Someone You Should Know:  Cindy and Wendy Williams – Drivers at Illinois School Bus


It’s not often that you find identical twins working at the same company performing the same job function side by side … but Cindy (pictured on right) and Wendy (pictured on left) Williams have both found their passion driving students at Illinois School Bus.

 Hailing from Country Club Hills, they both laugh when they talk about their students that try to determine how old they are, and what yearbooks they might be found in as they serve the schools they once attended.

They came to Illinois School Bus after working as cashiers in retail stores.  Cindy would pass Illinois School Bus every day while driving to her retail job 45 minutes away from home.  She noticed the marquis advertising the need for good drivers, and decided to look into it.  Wendy, not one to miss out on a good opportunity, joined her sister.  At the time, they were simply looking for a good job with benefits and steady work.  The two were trained by completely different people, hired in June 2007 and they have been loving it ever since.

Getting to know these two may take a little time, but you will realize that these identical twins are very different.  Wendy, “the oldest,” is quieter, more thoughtful and restrained, where Cindy, “the youngest,” is quick to giggle and come back with a witty answer.  But get the two of them together, and you can see that they are also good friends.

One might ask as to whether or not these two ladies truly love their jobs, but sit down with them for a moment, and you’ll find out they really do. They laugh as they both recall many summers as kids going to Wisconsin Dells and driving go-carts … driving as hard and fast as they could.  They fell in love with driving early on.  Now adults, both ladies still want to learn to drive an 18-wheeler.  Both women, during the summer when work is slow in school busing, are also professional chauffeurs for a limousine service, driving Hummer and other customized limos.

Cindy, the more animated of the two, wants to “drive anything big.”  She loves to drive her car, and she loves that she can drive any school bus, including those that require air brakes.  Her dream is to drive a Fire Engine … not that she wants to join the Fire Department … she just wants to drive the truck!

Wendy, the more reserved sister, would love to drive a motorcycle.  She already knows that she can drive anything big.

Both are very proud of the fact that they are safe drivers that can be counted on, not only to show up for work on time, but also to get their students to their destinations safely and on time.

Wendy and Cindy both start their days early with Early Bird runs for elementary schools.  They then go on to serve various high school runs, filling the middle of the days with shuttles or activity runs, and working late into the evenings with more high school late runs and activity shuttles. 

Both sisters also work on weekends when we provide shuttle service for our Chicago Bears.

Given all the time they spend driving buses for Illinois School Bus, it’s amazing they even find time to sleep much less time for their family including their mother and four older siblings!  (They’re mother still can’t believe Wendy and Cindy drive school buses because the vehicles are so big!) 

Yet somehow, these ladies make time every weekend to donate their time and energy working on various community service and other charitable projects and events as members of the Order of the Eastern Star, a fraternal organization.

We are proud to have such driven employees who have the unique trait of being identical twins!  Take a moment when you can to say “Hi” to them!

Illinois School Bus Company, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cook-Illinois Corporation.  Illinois School Bus operates approximately 135 buses in the southwest suburbs ofChicago.