Alabama native shows drive


Frank Sek

Dennis Seals, ACR coach driver, sits in his bus, waiting for students to take them to the Westville campus

As students and faculty members pile onto his bus to travel between campuses, Dennis Seals, ACR coach driver, greets them with a smile, fist bump and a joke to try and brighten their day.

“I see all these kids and I think that I can help them out,” Seals said. “I think, ‘Maybe I can say something to make your day.’ College is tough and a kind word can make all the difference.”

Seals, the Alabama native, owned several businesses prior to becoming a coach driver for ACR. He owned a gym with about 1,900 members, a skating rink, a flower shop that did both retail and wholesale, a line of apartment complexes and a line of hotels. He even designed and built lamps for hotels. Seals sold his businesses about four years ago, and after attempting retirement for five weeks, he realized that retired life was not for him.

“I like seeing the country, and I like being around people,” Seals said. “Where else can you get to take people all sorts of places and learn their stories?”

Seals was raised in the motel and restaurant business, which inspired him to own a line of apartments and hotels. Working with his family gave him the desire to make sure he was giving good people a safe place to live.

“With any business you house, you need to make sure you are taking care of your customers,” Seals said. “In the end, I just put my faith in the good Lord and I know everything will be just fine. I pray about everything each and every day.”

Seals graduated from the University of North Alabama, where he received his bachelor’s degree in business management and history. He has been married to his wife Glenda Seals for the last 27 years. They raised two children together and have five grandchildren.

“I met my wife at 34, and it has been honey and roses ever since,” Seals said. “Everyone loves Glenda. People like me, but they don’t even notice me when she’s around because everyone loves Glenda.”

Seals met Glenda while working at a convenience store owned by his family. She would make a point to stop there to buy gas, and Seals said that over time “the ol’ Alabama charm worked.” When Seals gave up on retirement, Glenda was thrilled with the decision as she knew retirement wasn’t for him.

“I’m not a stay-at-home person, and neither is he,” Glenda said. “I think he’s pretty awesome, but, of course, I’m a little prejudiced.”

Seals enjoys spending time with his children and grandchildren. They are all big fans of Alabama football, and overall sports fans in general. Although Seals is currently residing in Indiana for his job with ACR, he still believes his true home is back in Winfield, Alabama.

“Alabama all the way,” Seals said. “That where I was raised at, that’s where I’ve been at and that’s where I want to stay at.”

Although he misses Alabama, he enjoys seeing the United States and observing the differences in people and culture.

“Back home, we don’t get snow. When I saw it here, I got excited,” Seals said. “When you get a little snow in Winfield, everything shuts down, and people panic and go out and buy milk and eggs. Heck, I saw my first snow plow three years ago. I didn’t know what one looked like.”