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LEADERSHIP & 100 LIMOUSINE FLEETS ISSUE INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP:

LINCOLN MKT 8 INDUSTRY YOUNG TOWN CAR: WOMEN GUNS AMERICA’S TOP LIMO CEO EXPLAINS BIG FLEET DECISION JUNE/JULY 2012

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VOL. 30 • NO. 5

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SHARE INSPIRING WAYS TO LEAD

DRAW ON ROLE MODELS TO GUIDE MANAGEMENT STYLES

EXIT STRATEGIES TRAINING NEXT GEN TO RUN YOUR OPERATIONS

LCTMAG.COM PRESENTS

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LARGEST FLEETS!

SEE WHO IS ON THE BUSINESS TRAVEL RADAR

BMW 535I GT

MEET THE NEWCOMER TO THE LIMO INDUSTRY

CADILLAC XTS

OPERATORS TAKE TEST RUN WITH PROTOTYPE

BOING, BOING

NEW TECH TOOL PUTS SPRING IN LIMO RIDES LCT LEADERSHIP SUMMIT OCTOBER 22-24, 2012 SEE PAGE 63 FOR DETAILS

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EXCEED THE EXPECTATIONS of those who expect everything.

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Introducing the Lincoln MKT Town Car. Beyond its distinctive style, the Lincoln MKT Town Car includes advanced technology that makes it easier for your customers to work and your drivers to stay on schedule. Impressive power, cargo capacity and a smooth, quiet ride deliver new standards in luxury accommodations. Expect even more at eet.ford.com/limo.

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LCT CONTENTS 06-07.12

ABOUT THE COVER Empire CLS CEO David Seelinger becomes the first major industry figure to endorse the Lincoln MKT Town Car.

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Today’s younger industry leaders are training to be the tough top dogs in a transforming industry.

Who is heading up the company pipeline to take over the family business?

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LEADERSHIP: MANAGING FLEETS

Going All-In For The MKT Town Car The largest chauffeured transportation fleet in the world will be gradually turning over its Town Car Executive L sedans to Lincoln MKT Town Cars. LEADERSHIP: MANAGING PEOPLE

Empowering Employees Four seasoned CEOs share years worth of insights on how to get the best out of their company teams.

Inspirational Resources In a diversifying, globalizing industry, the perspective of women leaders and executives set high standards for leadership. LEADERSHIP: NEXT GENERATION

New Limo Blood Lines Up Today’s younger owners and executives will be shaping a global, tech-driven chauffeured transportation industry in the decades to come.

Mentoring Maneuvers In an industry full of family run businesses, how to hand off the company — and to whom — takes years of planning and preparation. 2012 INTERNATIONAL LCT SHOW/NETWORKING

Pitching A Hit The Show proved once again to be the successful incubator of ways to meet affiliates and get more business with its trademark PitchFest. 2012 INTERNATIONAL LCT SHOW/CHARTER & TOUR

Baby Bus Steps Expert limo operators explain how to make sure you buy your first big bus at the right time and with a quality approach to customer service. TECHNOLOGY

Stepping Out With A New Spring Liquid Spring is refining bus suspension technology as it penetrates the vehicle market with a tool that can deliver a seamless mix of stiffness and softness. FINANCE & OPERATIONS

Evaluating Your Values Three key questions can help you determine if you love what you do and are on the right track, or if it’s time to find a way out of your business. NEW VEHICLE REVIEW

Better Late Than Never The industry welcomed BMW’s long-awaited entry into the chauffeured market this year with its distinct, flexible vehicle for corporate clients. NEW VEHICLES

Cadillac’s Height Of XTaSy An LCT editor joins three operators on the first ever test drive of the soon-to-beselling 2013 Cadillac XTS livery sedan.

DEPARTMENTS

LOOK FOR THESE INDUSTRY FACES INSIDE THIS ISSUE

4 Social Media 8 Publisher’s Page 12 LimoScene 70 Small Fleet Business 72 Smooth Operator 74 Transpo 101 75 Global Operator

76 In Focus 78 Industry Association 80 NLA News & Views 84 Farm In/Farm Out 99 Ad Index 100 Dealers Showroom 104 Editor’s Letter

LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR (ISSN 1097-4814) (USPS 734-790) is published monthly, except January, April, and August, by Bobit Business Media, 3520 Member of: Challenger Street, Torrance, California 90503-1640. Periodicals postage paid at Torrance, California 90503-9998 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR, P.O. Box 1068 Skokie, IL 60076-8068. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for address changes to take effect. Subscription Prices - United States $28 per year; Canada $38 per year; Foreign $50 per year. Single copy - $5; Back Issues - $10; Fact Book - $40. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks to receive your first issue. Bobit Business Media reserves the right to refuse non-qualified subscriptions. Please address Editorial and Advertising correspondence to the Executive Offices at 3520 Challenger Street, Torrance, California 90503-1640. The contents of this publication may not be Printed in USA A Bobit Business Media Publication reproduced either in whole or in part without consent of Bobit Business Media. All statements made, although based on information believed to be reliable and accurate, cannot be guaranteed and no fault or liability can be accepted for error or omission. For your Information: We sometimes make our subscriber information (i.e. fax, e-mail or mailing address) available to carefully screened organizations whose products and services may be of interest to you. If you prefer not to have your information made available, please write LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR, P.O. Box 1068 Skokie, IL 60076-8068.

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They’re the kinds of vehicles that tempt passengers to ask for the long way. The Mercedes-Benz Fleet Program The fleet of a livery service can say more than transport. A lot more, when it’s Mercedes-Benz. Our S-Class is the undisputed number-one luxury sedan for business travelers everywhere, while our S 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC has a range of over 700 miles. In addition, all other models boast available features like PRE-SAFE,® 4MATIC all-wheel drive and multizone climate controls, as well as generous Fleet incentives. So besides asking for the long way, your clients just might ask for your service again. And again. For more on the Mercedes-Benz Fleet Program, please call 1-866-628-7232 or visit www.Fleet.MBUSA.com.

2012 S 350 Sedan shown in Black paint. Vehicle may include optional equipment. ©2012 Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC

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SOCIAL MEDIA PAGE

CONNECTING WITH LCT MAGAZINE 6

How To Effectively Use Facebook Timeline, Part I photos of your vehicles, chauffeurs, office staff, famous buildings or popular venues that you bring clients to. If you haven’t made any of your own videos, you can still share videos from YouTube that are relevant and interesting to your Facebook fans. 3. Highlight best posts. When you publish something on Facebook, the post will include a little star icon at the top right corner. Clicking it will “highlight” the post, meaning it stretches it out across the entire page to grab viewers’ attention. This works great for photo posts. Next month, I’ll share three more tips for maximizing Facebook’s business potential. To see examples of each technique listed above, visit LCT’s Facebook page by scanning the QR code at the bottom right of this page.

Facebook’s new Timeline layout allows businesses to tell their company stories, share deals and promotions with customers, and connect with prospective clients in a more compelling, visually driven way. Here are some best practices to maximize Facebook’s marketing potential: 1. Upload a cover image. The new Timeline pages have what’s called a “cover image,” which is a banner image that goes across the top of your page. A good cover photo grabs visitors’ attention and provides an opportunity for building brand awareness. Think of it as a billboard on your Facebook page. Use a photo that says something about your company, such as a photo of a fleet vehicle or the entire fleet, with your company’s logo somewhere on it. 2. Publish visual content. Timeline’s design emphasizes visual content such as photos and videos. Posts that include pictures can generate double the engagement than other types of posts. Post

Social Media is compiled by LCT associate editor Michael Campos (Michael@LCTMag.com).

“BEST OF” COMMENT SAMPLER @LCTmag.com Be sure to visit LCTMag.com, LCT E-News, LCT Blog, and LCT Facebook to post your comments and feedback on any of the content items. LCT will publish the best comments in each issue on this page.

Re: U.S. DOT Shuts Down 26 Bus Operations In Major Crackdown, LCTMag.com, Regulations, 05/31/2012: Barry Gross (LCTMag.com): We concur with the ABA...this is an excellent day for reputable operators! Phil T. Brun (LCT LinkedIn): While this has to do with long-haul motorcoaches, local limousine operators should take warning that more inspections are occurring. With more operators venturing into the CDL/p required vehicles, I find that many do not understand how to even own these vehicles legally, yet alone operate them legally. Steve Smith, Re: 2013 Cadillac XTS Among Test Vehicles At GM Product Preview, LCT Facebook, 05/23/2012: Looking forward to test driving it. Looks sharp so far.

Re: Details Emerge On Cadillac XTS Limousine, LCT Facebook, 05/7/2012: Richard Lundquist: So we’ll be returning to the six passenger days. Jonathan Wilner: Ok, let’s get this right, no more 130” & you won’t be able to get three across the back seat. Did I miss anything? How can this be good for our industry? Deena Papagni: What an absolutely gorgeous piece of equipment, Cadillac, if you are listening, please work your engineering magic, we need this vehicle to be larger. Dale Hulvey, Re: Limos.com Appoints New CEO, Adds Board Member, LCT Facebook, 05/24/2012: From an operator’s view Limos.com is a great company. But they need to change many things and improve in many areas.

TWEET, TWEET LCT’s favorite retweets and @mentions bfeath: RT @ LCTmag: #Limo veteran Jim Luff explains why Facebook for #business is more than a fad ow.ly/aBV6v #socialmedia

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AbsoluteTranspt: limo companies check out/follow @ LCTmag on #pinterest pinterest.com/ lctmagazine/ some great marketing work on their boards

CLIworldwide RT @ LCTmag 26 #bus operations shut down, largest safety crackdown in FMCSA history

Check out LCT’s Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/LCTMagazine) and Twitter Profile (www.twitter.com/LCTMag) for exclusive updates on new happenings online and in print. New content including event information, E-News articles, and magazine features are first announced and shared with LCT’s Facebook and Twitter fans. Want to network with other successful operators and participate in interactive discussions? Follow us on Twitter and ‘like’ us on Facebook today!

TOP 5 FACEBOOK IMPRESSIONS 1 Details Emerge On Cadillac XTS Limousine,

5/7/2012 2 Arizona Operators Host Vehicle Open House,

5/16/2012 3 New Luxury Sedan Goes On Sale In Korea,

5/7/2012 4 LCT To Hold Executive Conference At Deluxe

Puerto Rico Resort, 5/9/2012 5 Lincoln Taps Young Minds To Design 2025 Lincoln Vehicle, 5/21/2012

TOP 5 LCTMAG.COM STORIES 1 Cadillac Offers Operator Rebate On New XTS

Livery Sedan, Vehicles, 5/7/2012 2 Cadillac XTS Makes California Debut At GCLA Meeting, Vehicles, 5/9/2012 3 Details Emerge On Cadillac XTS Limousine, Vehicles, 5/7/2012 4 2013 Cadillac XTS Among Test Vehicles At GM Product Preview, Vehicles, 5/23/2012 5 Limo Operator Of The Year Launches Mobile App, Technology, 5/30/2012

LCT MAGAZINE FACEBOOK TIMELINE

Scan this QR code or visit www.facebook.com/ LCTMagazine to see our Facebook Timeline and access exclusive digital content.

premiere1limo: @LCTmag Brand perception is always going to be an issue. We never received a call from someone looking for a Kia or Hyundai.

LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR JUNE/JULY 2012

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limopr @LCTmag We @ First Class Chauffeurs feel proud to welcome all you colleagues! All transfers will include Medalla beer and mojitos! Cheers!

CONNECT WITH LCT MAGAZINE ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER

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FOR SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES (888) 239-2455 INTERNATIONAL (847) 647-9780 Publisher

SARA EASTWOOD-MCLEAN (253) 983-0515 fax: (253) 983-0516 email: sara@lctmag.com Editor

WELCOME TO THE FUTURE The New LCTMag.com Has Taken Off!

MARTIN ROMJUE (310) 533-2489 fax: (310) 533-2514 email: martin@lctmag.com Associate Editor

MICHAEL CAMPOS (310) 533-2461 fax: (310) 533-2514 email: michael@lctmag.com Contributing Editor

JIM A. LUFF (661) 831-7955 email: jim@lctmag.com Art Director

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CAROL JACK (253) 983-0515 fax: (253) 983-0516 email: carol.jack@lctmag.com Event Manager

KRISTEN MESSINEO (310) 533-2576 fax: (310) 533-2511 email: kristen@lctmag.com Audience Marketing Manager

KATIE FILLINGAME (310) 533-2567 email: katie.fillingame@bobit.com LIMOUSINE ADVISORY BOARD

5 reasons to check out the all-redesigned LCTMag.com 1 UP-TO-DATE NEWS Look for weekly and daily updates on breaking news of interest to operators. 2 HOW-TO ARTICLES Save time and money for your business with the latest innovative ideas, tips and techniques. 3 RESEARCH TOOLS Look up any person, topic, or organization and get deep, rich multi-media content. 4 SOCIAL SPOT LCTMag.com is where industry leaders share, comment, and network. Read the always-lively LCT Blog, share thoughts with fellow operators on our Facebook page, and follow our Twitter feed. 5 PREMIUM CLUB Register and get free access to LCT’s exclusive industry statistics and benchmarks.

Randy Allen, James Limousine, Richmond, Va. Bill Atkins, Red Bank Limo, Red Bank, N.J. Bill Faeth, Grand Avenue Transportation, Nashville, Tenn. Diane Forgy, Overland Limousine, Kansas City, Mo. Sue Jarvis, Aristocat Worldwide Transportation, Warren, Mich. Kyara Kahakauwila, L.A. Limousines, Victoria, B.C. Deena Papagni, A Touch of Class Transportation, Modesto, Ca. Dawson Rutter, Commonwealth Worldwide, Boston Jonna Sabroff, Integrated Transportation Services, Los Angeles Scott Solombrino, Dav El Chauffeured Transportation, Boston H.A. Thompson, Rose Chauffeured Transportation, Charlotte, N.C.

CHARTER & TOUR ADVISORY BOARD Ron Sorci, A-1 Luxury Coach Stephen Story, James River Bus Lines Robert Vaughan, Best Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation Frierson Mitchener, Senators Coaches Ken Caldwell, Designer Limousines Mark Greer, BusRates.com Dan Goff, A Goff Limo.com BOBIT BUSINESS MEDIA Chairman EDWARD J. BOBIT President & CEO TY F. BOBIT Chief Financial Officer RICHARD E. JOHNSON

FOR A SUCCESSFUL TOMORROW,VISIT LCTMAG.COM TODAY! 6

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PUBLISHER’S PAGE

FLEETS LIST FOREVER

LOVE IT OR HATE IT, LCT’S ANNUAL 100 LARGEST FLEETS LIST IS A CONTROVERSIAL SET OF INDUSTRY RANKINGS WE PLAN TO KEEP.

T SARA EASTWOOD-MCLEAN sara@lctmag.com

aking a cue from publications such as Forbes and Fortune magazines, LCT Magazine has dedicated one issue each year to recognize, rank and profile leaders within the chauffeured transportation industry. The issue has morphed in style too, changing names to include the Black Book in 2009-2011, and as the new Leadership Issue starting this year. Since 1999, LCT has taken this one special publication on the road and distributed hard copies to the attendees of the Global Business Travel Association trade show, providing a ready guide to chauffeured transportation companies capable of handling large corporate fleet movements. And sure enough, LCT will be circulated at the GBTA event in Boston in late July. This issue is by far the most controversial one we produce. Operators disputing fleet sizes for all types of reasons have chewed up and spit out the rankings for years. We keep a whistleblower file just for this issue, taking notes of unreliable or dubious claims. LCT has been blamed for making it easy for regulators to target companies for audits and lawsuits. The NLA actually uses it to fact check their members’ fleet claims to verify that they are in the proper dues category. Internally, the issue temporarily consumes the editorial staff. Yet, the beat and the issue go on. Controversy is a state of prolonged public dispute, usually about a matter of opinion. In other words, it’s not a bad thing, even when it seems to pain people. We seek when we are compelled to do so. In many respects, the controversy shrouding the 100 Largest Fleets issue has spurred changes that came by way of spirited debates over differing perspectives. For better or worse, the industry wants that. Rankings and lists are not a new concept; they are a part of life. We grow up with rankings in school by way of grades and GPAs. The world of sports revolves around rankings, and companies and employees are evaluated based on them. By name, rankings create a type of credibility that attracts business opportunities. If I were a travel manager, this issue would be an important part of my vendor auditing criteria. In the all new Leadership version, we now can expand our coverage beyond the listings of the largest fleets. We have much wiggle room for editorial freedom and can profile who we see and observe as the most innovative, influential, fastest growing, most profitable, and well, notorious! We only touched on a few of the types of people most noteworthy for our first-ever issue dedicated to leadership. We have plenty of room to elaborate come next year, and you can count on us continuing our tradition of trying different things. Please enjoy, keep the faith and share your comments with us. But remember, love it or hate it, this list is our industry’s Who’s Who and it is here to stay. Through this issue, we hope to continue provoking change for the better.

OPERATORS DISPUTING FLEET SIZES FOR ALL TYPES OF REASONS HAVE CHEWED UP AND SPIT OUT THE RANKINGS FOR YEARS.

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速 速

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EVOLUTION

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LIMOSCENE I 06-07.2012

A LOOK AT PEOPLE, PRODUCTS, EVENTS, AND MILESTONES IN THE WORLD OF CHAUFFEURED AND CHARTER TRANSPORTATION

INDUSTRY EVENT NLA Day On Hill: Steve Edelmann of Royale Limousine Manufacturers, NLA board director Scott Solombrino of Dav El Chauffeured Transportation Network, Commonwealth Worldwide executive Tami Saccaccio, John Greene of ETS International, and NLA board director Michael Campbell of Grace Limousine were among 60-plus limousine industry figures who visited Capitol Hill on May 16 to lobby and raise awareness among key Congresspeople about important industry issues and concerns. The group is pictured in front of the offices of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.

CHAUFFEUR TIPS EMERGE AS BIGGEST ISSUE FOR LIMO OPERATORS THE NLA’S ANNUAL DAY ON THE HILL LOBBYING AND INFORMATION EVENT PROVED INSIGHTFUL ON FEDERAL LABOR AND WAGE RULES. WASHINGTON, D.C. — Limousine industry leaders outlined their opposition to chauffeur tips being considered taxable wages when they met with Department of Labor officials and visited Congressional offices last month during the group’s annual lobbying event. Dubbed “Day on the Hill,” the May 15-16 event included leaders and board directors of the National Limousine Association, leaders and members of major state associations nationwide, NLA lobbyists, and influential operators with nationwide affiliate networks who all gathered to interact with representatives from key federal agencies as well as Congressional representatives and their staffs. NLA President Diane Forgy considered this year’s event “mission critical” as it focused on presenting industry concerns about the chauffeur wage tip issue. How federal officials ultimately interpret and apply labor laws — as well as how courts rule on individual cases and Congress possibly legislates on

it — will determine whether operators nationwide are subject to paying overtime on chauffeur gratuities. The NLA says chauffeur gratuities are voluntary contributions from clients and therefore are not considered formal wages. Several operators already have been hit with costly lawsuits and/or Department of Labor audits on the controversial premise that tips are wages. “I was extremely pleased with the attendance as we were very successful getting operators to participate that were from states with key representation on Senate and Congressional committees that directly affect our industry,” Forgy told LCT. “Overwhelmingly I heard that our members successfully relayed our concerns on DOL’s position on overtime being applied to chauffeur tips. Several offices made calls on our behalf to DOL on this issue.” While Day on the Hill participants made inroads in communicating on this issue, much works still needs to be done.

At stake is how the limousine industry does business and how chauffeur gratuities will be handled: Will operators still be able to handle pass-through gratuities from clients to chauffeurs or will they have to wash their hands of gratuities entirely, leaving it as a completely private transaction between client and chauffeur? “They clearly understand the impact this decision will have on our industry and the ability to stay in business and offer the best compensation system to our employees,” Forgy said. “However we are still very concerned that the DOL will move forward with its position on imposing overtime on gratuities regardless of our efforts. We will continue to seek support from our key “champions” on Capitol Hill and are strategizing with our attorneys and lobbyists on other efforts to successfully make our case with the DOL.” [An expanded version of this article appears on LCTMag.com/regulations] —Martin Romjue, LCT editor

For more news go to lctmag.com and find late breaking e-news and blogs about the industry. 12

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We earned Best-In-Class standing height, but it was a tooth and nail battle. While the North American brown bear can rise up to 9 feet tall, it can only do so for short periods of time. On the other hand, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passenger Van can continually maintain an interior standing height of up to 6’4” without tiring, putting it squarely on top of the food chain. The Sprinter Passenger Van’s Best-In-Class* standing height means more comfort for your passengers, and more return business, helping you evolve your company and stay head and shoulders above the competition.

Learn more at mbsprinterusa.com ©2012 Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC *Based on a comparison of the Automotive News classification of full-size commercial vans.

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LIMOSCENE OPERATORS OUT & ABOUT

AWARDS, ACHIEVEM ACHIEVEMENTS MENTS EENNTS TS & AACCOLADES CCOLADES CC

CHICAGO OPERATION SERVICES NATO SUMMIT CHICAGO — Windy City Limousine handled the transportation for delegations from France, Germany and Belgium during the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago, May 20-21. The company, owned by CEO GEORGE JACOBS, sold out its vehicles every day during and around the Summit. Pictured is Windy City chauffeur Cornell Streanga waiting for the German delegation to disembark from their plane at the FBO airport. Windy City was on track in May to have its first $2 million revenue month since the company started in 2005.

CONNECTICUT OPERATION MANAGER GETS YOUNG AWARD BUS CHAUFFEUR MAKES USE OF BIG TOTE TAMPA, Fla. — Veteran chauffeur PHIL CARR of Olympus Limousines in Tampa, Fla., has found a portable way to make sure he has all he needs to pass the time between long motorcoach hauls. Carr bought a large tote bag at Wal-Mart several years ago that has proven convenient for carrying all types of personal items, from an air mattress for power naps, to reading material, a pillow, DVD player, and even a PVC pipe to prop open windows on the bus to catch a breeze while napping. “I saw another driver using it and copied his idea. Now I’ve used it for years, ever since driving a bus.” A chauffeur for 11 and a half years, Carr drives 49- and 56-passenger MCI buses and 57-passenger Van Hools.

NLA BOARD GOES TO WASHINGTON NLA board directors LAURA CANADY, GREG PRUITT and MARY PAUL took some time out from the group’s annual Day on the Hill lobbying and political networking event to see some sights around Washington, D.C. on May 17.

A NEW COMPANY MASCOT?

DALLAS — Premier Transportation got some favorable exposure in May when a vacationing client to the Galapagos Islands found a sea lion willing to pose with a Premier cap. Maybe the next sea lion will dip down underneath it and put it on. Then Premier could claim a live mascot. 14

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NORWALK, Conn. — JOHN MARTINEZ, general manager at Teddy’s Transportation System Inc. of Norwalk, has been selected as a 2012 winner of the “Fairfield County 40 Under 40” award by the Fairfield County Business Journal. Awards will be presented at a banquet at High Ridge Park Corporate Center in Stamford on June 21. CHARLES WISNIEWSKI, President and CEO, said in a statement: “John has been a singular driving force behind growing Teddy’s into the 2012 Limousine Operator of the Year and five-time winner of Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America. During John’s tenure here, Teddy’s added a mid-state presence with the purchase of King Limousine (now Teddy’s Limousine Hartford), ramped up on-time chauffeured executive car service to JFK, LaGuardia and Newark airports as area companies put executives back on the road for global face-to-face meetings, and added numerous new technologies to better serve our clientele, including an updated, PCI-compliant backend system, on-location alerts, and our recently-introduced Teddy’s Limo mobile app.” Martinez, a resident of Stamford, oversees operations including dispatch, scheduling, chauffeur hiring and management, accounting procedures and vendor interface. He had been in the ground transportation industry for more than 18 years before joining Teddy’s Transportation in 2007. Before that, he had been vice president for business development at U.S. Limousine in Stamford from 2006-2007. WWW.LCTMAG.COM

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PEOPLE, POSITIONS & PROMOTIONS

Me & My LCT

DALLAS OPERATION HIRES MANAGER FROM  CANADIAN COMPANY DALLAS — Executive Car Service (ECS) (www. ecslimo.com) recently welcomed back Dave Erdman as its new affiliate manager. Erdman previously worked for the company from 2003 to 2009, but left almost three years ago to work for a limousine service in Canada. “Simon and Joanne Hazan have a lot of great things happening at ECS, and I feel very excited to be a part of the growth plans for the Dallas market as well as nationwide and worldwide,” Erdman said in a statement. ECS will celebrate its 20th anniversary later this year. It recently moved into a 15,000-square-foot facility on a three-acre lot just 10-15 minutes from the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (DFW) and 10-15 minutes from Dallas Love Field (DAL). The company also has expanded its fleet with three new black Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans and two new black Turtle Top mini buses (25-passenger and 32-passenger), bringing the size of its fleet to 38 vehicles. 

AT THE RACES WITH LCT

Chris Hundley, CEO of Limousine Connection based in Los Angeles, tested, went over the data, and qualified for the race in Butonwillow, CA on May 20. The only thing left to get up to speed on was his current issue of LCT Magazine. Nine days later on Memorial Day, Hundley was a guest of Rick Hendrick, who owns racer Jeff Gordon’s NASCAR team, at the Coca Cola 600 in Charlotte, N.C. Of course he had his LCT issue in Gordon’s pit stall for any downtime during the race.

HATS ON FOR LCT

Three-year-old James Scott, the grandson of Arizona operators Barry and Mary Beall of First Class Executive Global in Phoenix, made sure he was properly capped for a hike in May on the Boynton Trail in Sedona, Ariz.

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LIMOSCENE CHARTER, TOUR & MOTORCOACHES

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA OPERATOR ADDS TWO PREVOST COACHES

SAINTE-CLAIRE, Quebec — A pair of new 2012 H3-45 motorcoaches has joined the allPrevost fleet of Palm Desert, Calif.-based Cardiff Limousine and Transportation. The coaches are equipped with three-point seat belts, fire suppression and tire monitoring systems, and upscale amenities, and a feature not found on every bus: special fans in the ceilings. “It’s very important for us to be able to deal with the high heat of the desert and these fans help keep our passengers and drivers comfortable when those temperatures soar,� said Cardiff Limousine and Transportation president Gary Cardiff.

TEXAS COACH OPERATOR RECEIVES NEW VAN HOOL FARIBAULT, Minn. — Roadrunner Companies, based in Euless, Texas, added a new 2012 Van Hool T2145 motorcoach to its 34 bus fleet, 18 of which are fullsized coaches. The T2145 is equipped with leather seats, Alcoa DuraBright aluminum wheels, Van Hool’s contoured parcel rack, and an REI elite video system with 22-inch video monitors. The coach is powered by a Detroit Diesel DD13 coupled to an Allison B500 six-speed automatic transmission.

 

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SAINTE-CLAIRE, Quebec — The latest motorcoach industry report reveals that Prevost held the market share lead of private sector coach sales and overall coach sales in the first quarter of 2012. Of the industry’s most popular motorcoach models in Q1 2012, the Prevost H3-45 was the second best-selling coach and the Prevost X3-45 was the third best-selling coach.

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Wade Tours, based in Schenectady, N.Y., has taken delivery of a new MCI J4500 motorcoach. The new coach joins an all-MCI coach fleet, most of them recent J4500s, including one bought last year bringing the fleet to 27 vehicles. The J4500 comes equipped with a Detroit Diesel DD13 engine, a new standard option. The new J4500 also has 110-volt outlets, Wi-Fi, chrome mirrors and Durabright wheels. The J4500, which ranked as 2011’s best-selling coach, an honor it’s enjoyed for eight years, features electronic stability control, tire-pressure monitoring and fire-suppression equipment.

WEST VIRGINIA VA MEDICAL CENTER ADDS PAIR OF MCI COACHES

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — The Louis A. Johnson VA Healthcare System, based in Clarksburg, W. Va., added two new MCI D4005 coaches with patriotic graphics. The new coaches are used for daily scheduled service to transport veterans to the Pittsburgh VA Medical Center. They come equipped with wheelchair lifts and the latest clean diesel engine technology for near-zero emissions. The coaches were purchased through the Government Services Administration procurement process.

LIMOSCENE IS COMPILED by LCT editor Martin Romjue and LCT associate editor Michael Campos. Please send information and photos to Martin@LCTmag.com or Michael@LCTmag.com. For updated industry news, check out LCT E-News blasted out each Wednesday. Register at www.lctmag.com.

LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR JUNE/JULY 2012

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MCI DELIVERS TO NEW YORK CHARTER & TOUR OPERATOR

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Read It Here First FREE Weekly E-Newsletter Access Industry News, Company Announcements, Laws/Regulations, Vehicle Updates and more

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6/13/12 3/20/12 12:11 11:31 PM AM


[ PRODUCT REVIEW ]

PRESENTS

LCT MAGAZINE’S 2012 CHAUFFEURED TRANSPORTATION

100 LARGEST FLEETS Ford Fleet congratulates the 100 Largest Fleets. It’s a privilege to travel in such distinguished company.

www.fleet.ford.com/limo LIMO_0612fleet100list.indd 19

6/13/12 12:28 PM


FORD FLEET

PRESENTS THE 100 LARGEST FLEETS Ranking Company Name: Name of Owner, CEO, or President

1 EmpireCLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services David Seelinger, CEO 2 Dav El Chauffeured Transportation Network Scott Solombrino, CEO 3 Tristar Worldwide Chauffeur Services Dean De Beer, CEO 4 Music Express Cheryl Berkman, CEO 5 Bell Trans Brent Bell, President 6 Flyte Tyme Worldwide Transportation Timothy Rose, CEO 7 Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation Gary Bauer, CEO 8 Executive Las Vegas Carol Jimmerson 9 A-1 Limousine Jeff Starr, President 10 Leros Point to Point Jeff Nyikos 11 Metro Cars Daniel Ret 12 Reston Limousine & Travel Service Inc. Kristina Bouweiri 13 All Resort Group Gordon Cummins & Richard Bizzaro 13 Windy City Limousine and Bus George Jacobs 15 MTC Limousine and Corporate Coach Trevor Franklin 16 Premier Limousine Stephen Di Marco 17 Royal Coachman Worldwide Jon Epstein 18 California Wine Tours Michael D. Marino 19 Harrison Global David Marcou Jr 20 TOC Chauffeured Transportation Chris Wolfington, CEO 21 A&A Metro Transportation Thomas Arrighi 22 Hy’s Limousine Worldwide Robert Levine 23 Pure Luxury Transportation Gary Buffo 24 Gem Limousine Worldwide Barbara Chirico 24 O’Hare Midway Limousine Service George Parker 26 Aristocat Transporation Sue Jarvis 27 RMA Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation Robert Alexander 28 Arrow Limousine Eddie Somers, President 28 James River Transportation Stephen Story, President 30 Coastal Car Worldwide Evan Michaels, CEO 31 Wynne Transportation Joan Wynne 32 The Driver Provider Jason R. Kaplan 33 Worldwide Transportation Alex Malek 34 American Limousine Service of Ohio Bob Mazzarella

LIMO_0612fleet100list.indd 20

City, State

LIMO

SEDAN

SUV

OTHER

T OTAL

Secaucus, NJ

18

560

101

31

2

11

0

0

723

Boston, MA

31

494

82

41

0

5

1

0

654

London, UK

0

467

35

2

0

4

0

0

508

Burbank, CA

30

249

62

24

0

11

0

0

376

185

26

16

20

4

106

0

0

357

Mahwah, NJ

4

195

17

18

0

12

0

0

246

San Francisco, CA

2

42

21

23

1

85

61

3

238

Las Vegas, NV

48

40

23

11

1

64

0

50

237

Princeton, NJ

38

117

18

20

3

9

19

6

230

Hawthorne, NY

1

173

22

19

0

12

0

2

229

Taylor, MI

3

119

12

30

1

54

4

0

223

Sterling, VA

6

19

4

13

1

116

3

9

171

Park City, UT

2

8

57

40

0

7

50

0

164

Franklin Park, IL

10

68

30

6

4

24

22

0

164

Bedford Hills, NY

2

93

15

12

0

8

10

0

140

41

32

10

11

9

9

23

2

137

2

95

5

13

0

11

0

0

126

23

13

8

4

9

38

28

1

124

Waltham, MA

9

82

4

6

9

3

0

0

113

Trenton, NJ

6

75

15

8

0

7

0

0

111

Bridgewater, MA

0

17

0

49

1

37

3

0

107

West Haven, CT

31

43

6

3

1

3

0

16

103

Petaluma, CA

11

23

10

7

3

45

2

0

101

Woodbridge,NJ

3

80

4

6

0

2

0

0

95

Northbrook, IL

14

68

8

2

0

3

0

0

95

Warren, MI

48

15

7

3

10

10

0

0

93

Silver Spring, MD

5

45

11

12

1

16

0

0

90

Red Bank, NJ

8

70

7

4

0

0

0

0

89

Richmond, VA

1

16

1

7

1

29

34

0

89

Fort Lauderdale, FL

3

49

18

7

0

8

0

2

87

Irving, TX

2

23

11

5

0

24

15

3

83

Phoenix, AZ

2

20

22

12

1

24

0

1

82

Miami, FL

10

30

17

10

0

6

4

2

79

Cleveland, OH

18

19

10

7

0

2

0

20

76

Las Vegas, NV

Berlin, CT Denville, NJ Napa, CA

VAN

LIMOBUS

SHUTTLE/ MOTORMINI-BUSES COACH

6/13/12 12:28 PM


Ranking Company Name: Name of Owner, CEO, or President

35 Broadway Elite Chauffeured Services Worldwide Jason Sharenow 36 Metropolitan Limousine Ted Milos, Tom Mulligan 36 Bieber Transportation Group Steve Haddad 38 Crown Chauffeured Transportation Mary & Matt Paul 39 Chariots For Hire Jeff Dausch 40 Bayview Limousine Service Rob Hansen 41 Atlantic Limousine & Transportation Robert Oskouie 41 Gateway Limousines Worldwide Sam Amato 41 Rosedale Livery Limited Peter Dinnick 41 USA Transportation Michael Solomon, President 45 Cooper-Global Chauffeured Transportation Inc. Dennis Cooper, Owner 46 A Goff Limousine and Bus Company Ana Regina Goff 47 El Paseo Worldwide Ground Transportation Solutions Inc. James Brown 48 Grand Avenue Chauffeured Transportation Carl Haley, Owner 48 R&R Road Limo Service Joseph Rosenberg 50 Cardiff Limousine Gary Cardiff 50 Unique Limousine Inc. Jim Salinger 52 Best Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation Robert Vaughan 53 ETS International John M. Greene 53 Premier Transportation Eric Devlin 55 Limousine Livery Christy Dirks 56 Integrated Transportation Services (ITS) Jonna Sabroff 57 Ambassador Limousine & Sedan Inc. Kenneth J. Lucci 57 Celebrity Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation Dennis B. Adams 59 Global Alliance Worldwide Chauffeured Services Ltd. Joe Ironi, President 60 American Luxury Limousines Michael Brinks 61 Huhse Transport Group Pty Limited Sir Darryl Huhse 61 Red Oak Transportation Andrew Stoppelmann 63 Dolphin Transportation Specialists Francis Papps 64 Rose Chauffeured Transportation H.A. Thompson 65 Boca Raton Transportation Inc. P. Rodney Cunningham 66 Total Luxury Limousine Dave Murray 67 Goldcrest Transport Ltd. Mark Goldston 68 American International Transportation Services Inc. Louis J. Farrell

City, State

LIMO

SEDAN

SUV

VAN

LIMOBUS

SHUTTLE

MOTORCOACH

OTHER

T OTAL

East Hanover, NJ

6

48

6

10

1

5

0

0

76

Chicago, IL

6

52

12

4

0

1

0

0

75

Kutztown, PA

2

10

3

3

0

2

55

0

75

Des Plaines, IL

3

60

5

5

0

0

0

0

73

Sterling, VA

20

2

2

3

13

22

10

0

72

Seattle, WA

12

43

8

7

0

1

0

0

71

Atlanta, GA

8

23

8

9

3

9

6

3

69

Burlingame, CA

3

33

14

5

0

11

0

3

69

Toronto, OT

2

61

3

3

0

0

0

0

69

Fort Lauderdale, FL

2

25

9

9

0

18

4

2

69

Atlanta, GA

8

26

7

8

2

10

3

4

68

Ruckersville, VA

6

10

6

2

0

17

26

0

67

San Jose, CA

11

26

3

3

2

17

1

2

65

Nashville, TN

4

16

7

6

3

5

14

6

61

New York, NY

1

37

17

6

0

0

0

0

61

Palm Desert, CA

4

15

5

6

1

11

17

1

60

Harrisburg, PA

7

20

3

3

1

13

1

12

60

Huntington Beach, CA

3

25

7

6

1

14

3

0

59

Randolph, MA

5

34

12

5

0

2

0

0

58

Dallas, TX

4

28

10

4

5

7

0

0

58

New Orleans, LA

18

11

8

9

2

7

0

1

56

Los Angeles, CA

2

40

6

7

0

0

0

0

55

Clearwater, FL

9

12

6

6

2

9

5

5

54

Malvern, PA

3

31

8

3

0

6

2

1

54

Toronto, OT

5

26

10

7

1

4

0

0

53

New Orleans, LA

16

20

4

4

0

8

0

0

52

Warner, Australia

40

0

2

2

1

5

0

0

50

Port Chester, NY

3

30

4

3

0

3

0

7

50

Naples, FL

2

8

6

5

0

21

5

2

49

Charlotte, NC

1

17

5

4

0

9

12

0

48

Boca Raton, FL

8

20

8

3

0

7

0

0

46

St. Paul, MN

13

12

5

3

8

1

1

2

45

Plainview, NY

7

25

7

3

1

1

0

0

44

Monterey, CA

4

11

8

9

1

9

0

1

43

IMAGE COACHES

LIMO_0612fleet100list.indd 21

6/13/12 12:28 PM


FORD FLEET

PRESENTS THE 100 LARGEST FLEETS Ranking Company Name: Name of Owner, CEO, or President

69 Black Tie Limousine, Inc. Mark Mollica 70 Reliance Worldwide Reza Choudhury 71 Presidential Worldwide Transportation Shane Stickel 72 Custom Coach and Limousine Gregg Isherwood 72 LimoRide Gary Leranian/CEO 72 Executive Car Service Dave Erdman 72 Overland Limousine Service Diane Forgy 72 Route 22 Limousine Corp. Oscar Casas, CEO 72 Sterling Limousine & Transportation Services John A. Donohoe Jr. 72 Premiere Transportation Group David J. Brown 79 Crown Limousine L.A. David Navon, President/CEO 80 American Limousines Inc. Gary L. Day 80 Star Limousine Service Ranjiv Sandhu 82 Company Car and Limousine Stephen M. Qua 82 First Class Chauffeurs Robert Rodriguez 84 Lucky Limousine and Towncar Services LLC Al Jochim 85 Pontarelli Companies Arthur J. Rento 85 Lynette’s Limousine Service Inc. Lynette Baudanza 87 Le Limo Andrew Foilb 87 Premier Transportation Janet Cherrier 89 United Limousines AG Michael Oldenburg 89 AAA Worldwide Transportation Ken Schapiro 91 Regency Limousine Inc. Stephen M. Summerton 92 James Limousine Service Lynn Allen 93 Able Limousine Inc. Michael Callahan 93 Premiere 1 Limousine Douglas Rydbom 95 API Global Transportation David Kinney 95 BAC Transporation Charlles Grimm 95 Perfect Rides John Davis 98 Giorgio’s Limousine Service James Barwell 98 Olympus Worldwide Chauffeured Services Johan DeLeeuw 98 Matchless Transportation Diane Nesbitt

City, State

LIMO

SEDAN

OTHER

T OTAL

11

16

7

4

2

1

0

2

43

London, UK

0

29

13

0

0

0

0

0

42

Denver, CO

5

20

7

6

0

3

0

0

41

Gorham, ME

1

2

1

1

1

3

27

2

38

15

12

4

2

2

3

0

0

38

Carrollton, TX

1

26

5

4

0

2

0

0

38

Kansas City, MO

4

20

7

3

1

3

0

0

38

16

2

1

1

5

0

0

13

38

Newtown, PA

8

17

5

3

2

3

0

0

38

Albany, NY

5

14

4

4

2

6

3

0

38

13

10

7

3

4

0

0

0

37

Baltimore, MD

7

5

2

0

3

9

0

9

35

Vancouver, BC

10

8

4

8

1

3

0

1

35

Cleveland, OH

1

28

2

2

0

1

0

0

34

Carolina, Puerto Rico

3

7

10

6

1

2

0

5

34

Portland, OR

7

12

5

2

3

4

0

0

33

Chicago, IL

1

15

3

5

1

5

2

0

32

Wilmington, MA

16

4

2

1

2

1

1

5

32

Shrewsbury, MA

7

8

3

2

6

1

0

3

30

Minneapolis, MN

2

15

3

8

1

1

0

0

30

Offenbach am Main, Germany 0

18

4

7

0

0

0

0

29

Clinton, NJ

3

18

3

5

0

0

0

0

29

Wilton, CT

5

18

2

0

2

0

0

0

27

Richmond, VA

3

14

2

1

2

3

1

0

26

Hopkinton, MA

4

12

2

2

1

2

0

1

24

Middletown, PA

13

7

1

1

1

0

1

0

24

Gold River, CA

8

4

1

2

4

1

0

3

23

Anchorage, AK

5

2

4

7

2

0

2

1

23

Vernon, CT

6

10

3

4

0

0

0

0

23

Buffalo, NY

4

6

1

2

5

2

1

1

22

Atlanta, GA

0

15

3

2

0

2

0

0

22

Nashville, TN

4

5

3

3

1

0

0

6

22

Haverhill, MA

Clifton, NJ

Hillside, NJ

Los Angeles, CA

SUV

VAN

LIMOBUS

SHUTTLE/ MOTORMINI-BUSES COACH

IMAGE COACHES

LIMO_0612fleet100list.indd 22

6/13/12 12:28 PM


We Deliver the Tools You Need. Increase Revenue While Cutting Costs Each issue of LCT Magazine provides operators with 100+ actionable items to increase business by covering: New Vehicles / Business Travel / Management & Leadership Surveys & Trends / Charter & Tour / Finance & Operations Insurance & Safety / Customer Service Marketing & Sales

Available in print and digital formats. www.LCTmag.com/subscribe LIMO_0612fleetdirectorylist.indd1 23 LCT0312hasubscriptionfp.indd

6/14/12 AM 3/22/12 10:05 1:47 PM


INTERNATIONAL DIRECTORY OF

Chauffered Transportation Services This handy reference guide for corporate travel managers showcases major global transportation companies ARIZONA First Class Executive Global 2410 S Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85004 p: (602) 347-7825 f: (602) 595-7931 email: barry@fceglobal.com Website: www.fceglobal.com Contact: Barry Beall

The Driver Provider

3439 S 40th St. Phoenix, AZ 85040 p: (602) 453-0001 f: (602) 453-3049 Email: sk@driverprovider.com Website: www.driverprovider.com Contact: Jason Kaplan

Vitesse Worldwide

4600 E. Washington St., Suite 300 Phoenix, AZ 85034 p: (800) 637-3373 f: (203) 353-9709 Email: clientservices@vitesseworldwide.com Website: www.vitesseworldwide.com Contact: Mary Thompson

CALIFORNIA CLI Worldwide Transportation 23152 Verdugo Dr., Suite 190 Laguna Hills, CA 92653 p: (877) 581-7531 f: (949) 829-9226 Email: info@cli-worldwide.com Website: www.cli-worldwide.com Contact: Joe Magnano

Crown Limousine L.A.

12300 W Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90066 p: (310) 737-0888 f: (310) 737-0890 Email: reservations@crownlimola.com Website: www.crownlimos.com Contact: Marc Perkins

Ecko Transportation Inc. 2417 Britt Way San Jose, CA 95148 p: (877) 359-3256 f: (650) 204-6971 Email: info@eckolimo.com Website: www.eckolimo.com Contact: Harry Dhillon

24

El Paseo Worldwide

111 N Market St. San Jose, CA 95113 p: (408) 727-0000 f: (408) 988-9294 Email: vipdesk@elpaseolimo.com Website: www.elpaseolimo.com Contact: James Brown

Highline Charter

5545 Morro Way, #K5 La Mesa, CA 91942 p: (619) 569-4078 f: (619) 741-4999 Email: highlinecharter@gmail.com Website: highlinecharter.com Contact: Fahri Cimen

ILS International Livery Services Inc.

9903 Santa Monica Blvd., #293 Beverly Hills, CA 90212 p: (310) 390-2224 f: (310) 727-0712 Email: ali@ILSLimoS.com Website: www.ILSLimoS.COM Contact: Ali Mohammedi

La Costa Limousine

2770 Loker Ave. Carlsbad, CA 92010 p: (760) 438-4455 f: (760) 438-4456 Email: rickb@lacostalimo.com Website: www.lacostalimo.com Contact: Rick Brown

Centennial Transportation

8101 E Prentice Ave., Suite 700 Greenwood Village, CO 80111 p: (303) 925-0000 Email: info@centennialdenver.com Website: www.centennialdenver.com Contact: Youssef B. Marrakchi

Hermes Worldwide, Inc.

3250 Oakland St., Unit A Denver, CO 80010 p: (303) 577-7600 Email: reserve@hermesworldwide.com Website: www.hermesworldwide.com Contact: Jorge Sanchez

MT LIMOUSINE LLC

2323 S Troy St., Unit: 1-218 Aurora, CO 80014 p: (720) 341-7722 f: (720) 230-4858 Email: Contact@mtlimoservices.com Website: www.mtlimoservices.com Contact: Mo Tazi

CONNECTICUT Premier Limousine

76 Fuller Way Berlin, CT 06037 p: (860) 828-9111 Email: info@premierlimo.com Website: www.premierlimo.com Contact: Steve DiMarco

Reserve Limo

Serlin International Limousine

3670 Glendon Ave., #237 Los Angeles, CA 90034 p: (818) 230-7298 f: (323) 300-8467 Email: reservelimo@ymail.com Website: www.ReserveLimo.com Contact: Leo Dashuta

569 Commerce Dr. Fairfield, CT 06825 p: (800) 762-6927 f: (203) 908-3788 Email: reservations@serlinlimo.com Website: www.serlinlimo.com Contact: Jeff Serlin

Upscale Executive Transportation

Vitesse Worldwide

12523 Limonite Ave. Eastvale, CA 91752 p: (800) 807-1228 f: (951) 270-0119 Email: info@upscalelimos.com Website: www.upscalelimos.com Contact: James Weatherall

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION JUNE/JULY 2012

LIMO_0612fleetdirectorylist.indd 24

COLORADO

2701 Summer St. Stamford, CT 06905 p: (800) 637-3373 f: (203) 353-9709 Email: clientservices@vitesseworldwide.com Website: www.vitesseworldwide.com Contact: Mary Thompson WWW.LCTMAG.COM

6/14/12 10:05 AM


FLORIDA Ambassador Transportation Group

13910 Northwest 6 Court Miami, FL 33168 p: (305) 256-0000 f: (305) 687-2092 Email: info@atgluxury.com Website: www.atgluxury.com Contact: Myron Fonseca

LOUISIANA American Luxury Limousines

NEW JERSEY AAA Worldwide Transportation

P.O. Box 19878 New Orleans, LA 70179 p: (800) 631-5466 f: (504) 486-4000 Email: res@americanluxury.com Website: www.americanluxury.com Contact: Michael Brinks

79 Beaver Ave., Suite 6 Clinton, NJ 08809 p: (800) 932-7789 f: (908) 735-2574 Email: amayer@aaaworldwidetrans.com Website: www.aaaworldwidetrans.com Contact: Alex J. Mayer

Carey New OrleansSignature Livery Worldwide Transportation Service, Inc. 15001 NW 42nd Ave. Miami, FL 33054 p: (305) 271-4900 f: (305) 279-8182 Email: info@worldwidetransportation.com Website: www.worldwidetransportation.com Contact: Alex Malek

GEORGIA Action Worldwide Transportation 4350 North Henry Blvd. Stockbridge, GA 30281 p: (770) 507-1727 f: (770) 506-2041 Email: info@actionlimousines.com Website: www.actionlimousines.com Contact: Tammy Carlisle

Cooper-Global Chauffeured Transportation

2711 Peachtree Square Atlanta, GA 30360 p: (866) 723-5466 f: (770) 454-7976 Email: reservations@cooper-global.com Website: www.cooper-global.com Contact: frich@cooper-global.com

Greene Classic Limousines

1359-B Ellsworth Industrial Blvd. Atlanta, GA 30318 p: (404) 875-3866 f: (404) 875-0076 Email: info@gcllimo.com Website: www.greeneclassiclimousines.com Contact: Jeff Greene

P.O. Box 9020 Metairie, LA 70055 p: (800) 495-0201 f: (504) 837-5607 Email: accounting@signaturelivery.com Website: www.signaturelivery.com Contact: Edward Sakakeeny

1836 S Wabash Ave. Chicago, IL 60616-1615 p: (312) 808-8000 f: (312) 225-9025 Email: reservations@metropolitanlimo.com Website: www.metropolitanlimo.com Contact: Chuck Psotka

Pontarelli Companies

2225 W Hubbard St. Chicago, IL 60612 p: (312) 226-5466 f: (312) 226-1300 Email: info@pontarellico.com Website: www.pontarelliischicago.com Contact: Arthur Rento Jr.

2 Emmons Dr. Princeton, NJ 08540 p: (800) 367-0070 f: (609) 452-0816 Email: AAngelini@A1Limo.com Website: www.A1Limo.com Contact: Al Angelini

Air Brook Limousine MASSACHUSETTS DPV Transportation Worldwide

175 McClellan Hwy. Boston, MA 02128 p: (781) 346-3798 f: (617) 567-5820 Email: reservations@dpvtransportation.com Website: www.dpvtransportation.com Contact: Daniel Perez

ETS International

57 Teed Dr. Randolph, MA 02368 p: (617) 804-4801 f: (617) 773-0980 Email: jgreene@etsintl.net Website: www.etsintl.net Contact: John Greene

Premier Limousine Boston

78 Willow Ct. Boston, MA 02125 p: (617) 282-7500 Email: info@premierlimo.com Website: www.premierlimoboston.com Contact: Steve DiMarco

MICHIGAN ILLINOIS Metropolitan Limousine

A-1 Limousine

Metro Nationwide

24957 Brest Rd. Taylor, MI 48180 p: (800) 456-1701 f: (734) 946-5908 Email: nationwide@metrocars.com Website: www.metrocars.com Contact: Mark Hayden

MISSOURI Overland Limousine Service 401 Ward Pkwy, Level A Kansas City, MO 64112 p: (913) 381-3504 f: (816) 756-3208 Email: info@kclimo.com Website: www.kclimo.com Contact: Diane Forgy

18 Overlook Ave. Rochelle Park, NJ 07662 p: (201) 843-7272 f: (201) 368-2247 Email: reservations@airbrook.com Website: www.airbrook.com Contact: Jeff Petroski

BMW Group

300 Chestnut Ridge Rd. Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677 p: (201) 307-4455 Email: drew.mcclelland@bmwna.com Website: www.BMWUSA.com/Fleet Contact: Drew McClelland, corporate sales manager

Class A Transportation LLC

P.O. Box 286 Milltown, NJ 08850 p: (800) 688-5466 f: (732) 246-5465 Email: jwitt@classatransportation.com Website: www.classatransportation.com Contact: Joe Witt

DLA Executive Limousine Corp. P.O. Box 637 Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849 p: (877) 352-0101 f: (973) 230-0698 Email: info@dlalimo.com Website: www.dlalimo.com Contact: Danny Arias

Flyte Tyme Worldwide Transportation 81 Franklin Tpk. Mahwah, NJ 07430 p: (888) 888-LIMO (5466) f: (201) 529-5291 Email: reservations@flytetymelimo.com Website: www.flytetymeworldwide.com Contact: Tim Rose, President

Gem Limousine Worldwide 70 Amboy Ave. Woodbridge, NJ 07095 p: (800) 223-1161 f: (732) 596-0800 Email: sales@gemlimo.com Website: www.gemlimo.com Contact: Joseph Gulino

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2012 INTERNATIONAL FLEET DIRECTORY NEW YORK Bassett International Corp.

48-08 70th St. Woodside, NY 11377 p: (718) 639-5466 f: (718) 565-5466 Email: info@bassettlimousine.com Website: www.bassettlimousine.com Contact: Bassett Cheriet

Business Class Limo

33-46 55th St. New York, NY 11377 p: (888) 225-6767 f: (718) 565-2285 Email: info@businessclasslimo.com Website: www.businessclasslimo.com Contact: Eugene Klebanov

Goldcrest Transport Ltd. P.O. Box 925 Plainview, NY 11803 p: (516) 822-5555 f: (516) 822-5797 Email: info@goldlimo.com Website: www.goldlimo.com Contact: Jennifer Donneruno

NORTH CAROLINA Logic Limo - A Capital City Sedan Co.

TENNESSEE T-Star Limousines Inc.

Peak Limo & Car Service

TEXAS Austin Black Car Service

1230 S Saunders St. Raleigh, NC 27603 p: (919) 834-3455 f: (919) 821-4030 Email: info@LogicLimo.com Website: www.LogicLimo.com Contact: Bradley Watkins

2815 Longspur Dr. Charlotte, NC 28105 p: (704) 568-1200 Email: info@peaklimo.com Website: www.peaklimo.com Contact: Faith Glasgow

Prime Time Limousines & Sedans

P.O. Box 1642 Sanford, NC 27331 p: (919) 708-5466 Email: info@primetimelimo.net Website: www.primetimelimo.net Contact: Jerry Thomas

OKLAHOMA VIP Limousine Limousine Service of Westchester 10 New King St., Suite 209 White Plains, NY 10604 p: (914) 592-8534 f: (914) 761-3238 Email: reservations@lswlimo.com Website: www.lswlimo.com Contact: Melissa Thornton

Luxor Limo Inc.

502 Avenue U Brooklyn, NY 11223 p: (718) 998-4111 f: (347) 702-6899 Email: luxorlimo@luxorlimo.com Website: www.luxorlimo.com Contact: Simon Chkifati

700 N Tulsa Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 74107 p: (800) 438-3336 f: (918) 488-8332 Email: okcviplimo@yahoo.com Website: www.viplimo.net Contact: Charles Cotton

VIP Limousine

1831 E 71st Tulsa, OK 74136 p: (800) 438-3336 f: (918) 488-8332 Email: viplimotulsa@yahoo.com Website: www.viplimo.net Contact: Charles Cotton

PENNSYLVANIA Premiere #1 Limousine Service MTC Limousine & Corporate Coach Inc. 296 Adams St. Bedford Hills, NY 10507 p: (914) 241-9211 f: (914) 241-9503 Email: jeanne@mtclimousine.com Website: www.mtclimousine.com Contact: Jeanne Caputo

Park Place Transportation

2021 Turk Hill Rd. Fairport, NY 14450 p: (585) 223-6244 f: (585) 223-9439 Email: scott@rochesterlimousine.com Website: www.rochesterlimousine.com Contact: Scott Pizzo 26

2000 Vine St. Middletown (MDT), PA 17057 p: (717) 616-8995 f: (717) 616-8415 Email: info@premiere1limousine.com Website: www.premiere1limousine.com Contact: Doug Rydbom

SOUTH CAROLINA Going Coastal Transportation

P.O. BOX 316 Isle of Palms, SC 29451 p: (843) 216-8483 f: (843) 278-9167 Email: info@goingcoastaltransportation.com Website: www.goingcoastaltransportation.com Contact: Clayton Dennard

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6236 E Shelby Dr. Memphis, TN 38141 p: (901) 853-5466 f: (901) 435-6172 Email: tstarlimousine@comcast.net Website: www.tstarlimos.com Contact: Donell Todd

3709 Promontory Point, Suite B-206 Austin, TX 78744 p: (512) 590-1986 Email: info@austinblackcarservice.com Website: www.austinblackcarservice.com Contact: Joe Cisneros

Executive Car Service

1400 Bradley Lane Carrollton / Dallas, TX 75007 p: (972) 385-2228 f: (972) 818-8690 Email: dave@ecslimo.com Website: www.ecslimo.com Contact: Dave Erdman

Integrity Chauffeured Transportation

3917 Saddlehead Dr. Plano, TX 75075 p: (972) 596-5300 f: (971) 499-1234 email: info@integrityct.com website: www.integrityct.com Contact: George Lewis

Royal Carriages Limousine, Inc. 9212 Rasmus Drive Houston, TX 77063 p: 713-787-5466 f: 713-787-6227 email: info@royalcarriages.com website: www.royalcarriages.com Contact: Tony Alyassin

VIRGINIA James River Transportation

915 N Allen Ave. Richmond, VA 23220 p: (804) 342-7300 f: (804) 342-7373 Email: sales@JamesRiverTrans.com Website: www.JamesRiverTrans.com Contact: Craig Treanor

INTERNATIONAL AUSTRALIA Penguin Cars & Limousines

Unit 13 / 1-15 Tramore Place, Killarney Heights Sydney, New South Wales 2087 p: (61) 2-9453-2229 f: (61) 2-9453-2227 Email: penguinlimo@ozemail.com.au Website: www.penguinlimo.com.au Contact: Kris Korkian

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CANADA Aerocar Service

102-8360 Bridgeport Rd. Richmond, BC V6C 3C7 p: (604) 298-1000 f: (604) 298-1060 Email: angela@aerocar.ca Website: www.aerocar.ca Contact: Angela Mackinnon

Bennington Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation Inc.

6215 Kennedy Rd, Unit A Toronto, Ontario L5T 2S8 p: (905) 670-5466 Email: brian@benningtonlimo.com Website: bennington@benningtonlimo.com Contact: Brian Beaulieu

Global Alliance Worldwide Chauffeured Services Ltd. 476 Evans Ave. Toronto, ON M8W 2T7 p: (416) 410-3555 f: (416) 224-2934 Email: reserve@global-alliance.ca Website: www.global-alliance.ca Contact: Joe Ironi

MKT

MC Limousine & Sedan Service P.O. Box 5866 High River, Alberta T1V 1P3 CANADA Phone: (403) 269-5466 Email: info@mclimo.com Website: www.mclimo.com Contact: Cory Goodman

Niagara Classic Transport 10 Henegan Rd. Virgil, ON L0S1T0 p: (905) 468-4132 f: (905) 468-0099 Email: david@nctcanada.com Website: www.nctcanada.com Contact: David J. Mole

Rosedale Livery Limited

3687 Nashua Drive, Unit 12 Toronto, Ontario L4V 1R3 p: (800) 268-4967 f: (905) 677-7051 Email: information@rosedalelivery.com Website: www.rosedalelivery.com Contact: Peter Dinnick

ITALY The New International Limo Via Rosa, 25 Venice, Italy 30171 p: (39) 041-961-765 Email: info@newinterlimo.com Website: www.newinterlimo.com Contact: Marina Brugnaro

2013

JAMAICA Galaxy Leisure and Tours Limited

75 Red Hills Rd. Kingston, Kgn 20 Jamaica p: (876) 925-4176 f: (876) 925-6975 Email: leisuretours@yahoo.com Website: www.galaxyleisuretours.com Contact: Heron Thompson

PUERTO RICO Exclusive Luxury Transportation P.O. BOX 37945 San Juan, Puerto Rico 00937 Country: USA p: (787) 860-0105 f: (787) 860-0106 Email: info@exclusivelt.com Website: www.exclusivelt.com Contact: Frederick Deweert

Royal Star Limousine

2022 Calle Celestial, Marginal Los Angeles Carolina, PR 00979 p: (787) 253-2355 Email: res@limo4pr.com Website: www.limo4pr.com Contact: Erica Gardner

smart. exciting. ready. now accepting orders for the 2013 MKT

Where Craftsmanship Counts™ www.royalelimo.com

Like Us

CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS: 99 Newark Street, Haverhill, MA 01832 ph. 978.374.4530 or 800.544.5587 • fax 978.521.5425 • www.royalelimo.com • email: sales@royalelimo.com © 2012 Cabot Coach Builders, Inc.

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Management & Leadership / Fleet Vehicles

MKT TOWN CAR CHOSEN FOR MAJOR LEAGUE SERVICE

By Martin Romjue, LCT editor

Empire CLS CEO David Seelinger cites an expanded luggage area and rear seat comforts as distinct advantages that led him to select the 2013 Lincoln MKT Town Car as his primary fleet vehicle choice going forward.

ALTERNATIVES EXPLORED

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ONE OF AMERICA’S LEADING LIMO CEOS GIVES THE SUCCESSOR TO THE LINCOLN TOWN CAR A BIG BOOST AS HE CHOOSES IT AS A PRIMARY FLEET VEHICLE.

SECAUCUS, N.J. —

During a keynote speech to a ballroom full of industry colleagues last November, the CEO of the largest limousine company in the U.S. joked about Lincoln’s choice to replace the retiring Town Car Executive L. “I’m going to catch [flak] for that from Lincoln, but the MKT is not going to work for us,” David Seelinger, CEO of Empire CLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services, told the gathering. Six months later, Seelinger has back tracked a bit, to put it mildly. In a May 30 interview with LCT, the three-decade industry leader said he plans to eventually replace his Lincoln Town Car Executive L’s — a majority of his 560 sedans na28

tionwide — with the 2013 Lincoln MKT Town Car. Empire CLS bought eight MKT Town Cars on May 29 for its San Francisco fleet, and by the end of the year, plans to have 100 MKTs ferrying clients in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and northern New Jersey. And as Empire CLS cycles out its sedan fleet within the next two years, Seelinger plans to replace all of his Town Car Executive L’s with Lincoln MKT Town Cars.

PURCHASING POWER

Seelinger’s leadership on the MKT Town Car will reverberate throughout the chauffeured transportation industry as much of Empire’s vast affiliate network — estimated to number thousands of fleet vehicles in the 20 largest metro areas — likely will pick up the cue and buy MKT Town Cars to seamlessly accommodate farm-in clients. Empire CLS ranks No. 1 on the 2012 LCT 100 Largest Fleets List with 723 vehicles nationwide. “We’re certainly not insisting they buy them, but the choices are limited,” said

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Seelinger, also the founder and CEO of BeTransported. com. “Many of the [affiliates] have R-Class Mercedes because they saw us buying them, so many of the affiliates will now do the same for MKT. . . Because of our size, we’ve been very successful in the industry. People are drawn to what we are doing.”

GETTING THERE As of May 31, Ford Fleet Limousine & Livery Vehicles reported that it had received more than 1,200 orders for the new MKT from operators nationwide and the vehicle went into production mid-March. The Empire CLS endorsement and purchasing influence is a welcome development for Limo/Livery which has had to combat some skepticism about the MKT from a loyal industry customer base that collectively mourned the loss of its beloved Lincoln Town Car sedan. Lincoln first announced the MKT Town Car in September 2010 after a period of intense market research and industry input.

THE DECISION to go with the MKT was a gradual, deliberate one, as Seelinger made an informed choice based on trying out multiple vehicles. Empire CLS participated in trial programs for the Hyundai Equus and Genesis models, which are now being sold to the limousine industry and were on display for the first time at the 2012 International LCT Show. Empire CLS tried out the vehicles in its Los Angeles-based fleet, getting positive feedback from clients on the $60,000 Equus model. The Genesis lacked adequate legroom in the back seat, while the Equus was priced too high, Seelinger said. “We had the test program with the Equus and the car was very well received, but at the time we didn’t know the sticker price. . . . I met with them and the sticker price is not what I thought it would be. Although it is a great car, and I drove it for several weeks, I don’t think they are there yet in terms of getting their arms around a total [livery] package. I haven’t been able to obtain a finance direction with them yet.”

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SEELINGER SAID THE CROSSOVER BODY STYLE HAS DISTINCT ADVANTAGES, ESPECIALLY CARGO CAPACITY THAT IS 40% MORE (WITH SPARE TIRE REMOVED) THAN THAT OF THE EXECUTIVE L SEDAN. “It’s been a difficult transition for everybody,” Seelinger said. “The old Town Car was such a workhorse and everyone was sad to see it go. I got more worked up over that than I should have. . . It was only when they first announced it that I got discouraged, but didn’t everybody? We’re past that today and will embrace Lincoln as before.” Seelinger said the crossover body style has distinct advantages, especially cargo capacity that is 40% more (with spare tire removed) than that of the Executive L sedan. Besides, the vehicle’s crossover style is “the way the world is going.” He elaborated: “I felt in the beginning when the Town Car Executive L was going away that things weren’t progressing as I thought they should. I feel different about that today. The new car is really nice.”

official OEM specs. “There will be things that go wrong that we’ll talk to the manufacturer about and will work closely with them as we always have,” Seelinger said. “Hopefully what issues come up [with the MKT Town Car] will get resolved quickly. Lincoln has been very good about such is-

sues. We have a close relationship with them on our fleet. We had so many of the [previous] Town Car Executive Ls and we have found things out before they were aware of them. We worked closely with Lincoln and they always responded very favorably.” —Martin@LCTMag.com

WHY MKT TOWN CAR? Seelinger cited several reasons for his evolved view of the MKT Town Car: He’s had a chance to drive it, his clients like it, and the vehicle he originally planned to use as a replacement, the Mercedes-Benz R-Class, a crossover-styled vehicle shaped much like the MKT, was discontinued this year for the U.S. market. “We bought much of the R-Class; it was a beautiful car, but it did not have a livery program and it’s not sold in the U.S. anymore,” Seelinger said. “We were impressed with the [MKT] Town Car. The livery package is very attractive. I don’t know mechanically how it will hold up [yet], but most Ford products hold up well.” Seelinger praised the partially reclining rear seats in the MKT Town Car, rear center console controls that exceed those on the Executive L sedan, GPS capability and technology advances, and the overall interior comfort. “When we bought the [first] MKT, we took it to clients and they said it looked sharp on the inside, so we said it will be our staple now.”

A LINCOLN FUTURE In the final analysis, Seelinger said he also realized the strong, longstanding business relationship between his company and Lincoln would continue to be an advantage in choosing the MKT Town Car. He always has valued the open communication with Ford Fleet Limousine & Livery Vehicles about resolving any issues or problems with vehicles. Empire CLS is a warranty shop for Ford/Lincoln so it is authorized to do all of its maintenance on Lincoln vehicles in-house according to LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR JUNE/JULY 2012

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Management & Leadership / Principles

FRONT LCT CHECKED IN WITH FOUR VISIONARY INDUSTRY CEOS ON WHAT LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES By Martin Romjue, LCT editor

LEADING WITH HEART, NOT EGO

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avid Seelinger learned some enduring lessons along the way about handling employees. Seelinger, CEO of Secaucus, N.J.-based Empire CLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services, stressed the need to avoid micro-managing while leading with “you’re your heart, not your ego.” “I certainly tried many different [approaches] over the years, and what has been most successful is allowing people to apply their creativity to their positions and use their own thought processes, and not try to do real-time hands-on management,” Seelinger said. “You try to get them to use the creativity in themselves.” Seelinger, also the founder and CEO of online start-up BeTransported.com, leads a New Jersey-based global chauffeured transportation company of 800 employees that generates about $165 million in an30

nual revenues. It is the largest privately held luxury transportation company in the world. Micro-management clearly did not work out well for Seelinger. His old approach wore down employees with too much overriding. “When I was a micromanager and was too busy in daily matters, it consumed me to the point where I had no life of my own. By not micro-managing, and letting them be all they can be, they really develop a tremendous passion for business. Now I can focus on future and other projects underway all related to transportation.” Seelinger finds weekly team meetings an effective way to hold managers accountable. “When something comes up and someone needs input, they can get hold of me. This industry can consume you 24/7. Customers have interesting needs and high expectations. I am very quick to point out to the entire team that there’s a time and place for this and also for yourself and your family. There’s always someone else who can take over. There are other capable people you can empower to do the same work and make decisions.” In the intense environment of customer service, Seelinger reiterates that there are no wrong decisions when handling the requests and demands of clients. “If the intent was to take care of the customer, then that’s fine. We can talk about the hows and whys later.”

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KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW BEST

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ALLAS — The first step to effective management for operator Eric Devlin is to discern between what he knows very well and what he knows somewhat. That way he can focus on the areas he specializes in while taking more of a hands-off approach in others. “I’m going to micro-manage in areas I’m proficient in, which is customer service and marketing, and I’m going to leave the dispatching and fleet maintenance and daily operations that sometimes bog down an owner of a company to people I pay to do those things,” said Devlin, CEO of Premier Transportation in Dallas, a 2009 LCT Operator of the Year and No. 53 on the LCT 100 Largest Fleets List. “In that regard, I’m a macro-manager.” Devlin, who has a degree in marketing, also closely develops the company’s advertising and social media strategy. Devlin leads 89 employees, including 11 managers and team leaders, and runs a fleet of 58 vehicles. He is involved in all key decisions, such as purchasing, cash flow and service failures, but he makes sure his cadre of managers knows how to develop recommendations and plead their cases. For customer service, Devlin has set up a detailed system of following up with clients and communicating within the company on any

service errors. “Anyone [who] has a hand in an error, from reservationists to dispatchers, handwrites a personal apology letter to clients that comes with correspondence from the management team,” Devlin says. “That accountability and ownership opens their eyes and helps them concentrate on the consequences of making an error.” Premier regularly uses mystery shoppers to make sure chauffeurs stay current on service standards. The same shopper evaluates chauffeurs the same way. “We like to use the business model of providing the exact same positive experience in cars with the chauffeur’s personality sprinkled in,” Devlin says. Most importantly, good leadership also means a willingness to do all kinds of tasks, no matter how menial, he adds. “I do all the things that everybody does. I deliver cars to service centers, run vehicles to chauffeurs when needed, answer phones and take reservations, participate in service failure follow ups, sit in on chauffeur meetings, and take part in the hiring process. Leadership by example is

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LINERS HAVE WORKED BEST DURING YEARS OF RUNNING LUXURY TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES. the best way to train and make sure everyone in the company is on same page.” Devlin, who often comes in on Sunday afternoons to get more work done, also suggests being around most of the day, every day when in town and not traveling for business. “Employees appreciate when they see you doing the grunt work as well as the high profile luncheons and awards ceremony.”

LEADING STARTS WITH EMPLOYEES

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ETALUMA, Calif. — At Pure Luxury Transportation, the leadership approach that nets the best customer results begins with how employees are treated. “We treat every single one of our employees like our customers,” says Gary Buffo, owner of Pure Luxury, which has 148 employees and 101 vehicles. It is ranked No. 22 on the LCT 100 Largest Fleets List. “If you treat your employees and staff like they are your customers, they will treat your customers the way they want to be treated. We’ve been doing that from day one.”

Employees and managers in turn take the best care of end-users, the source of paychecks, Buffo adds. “It all goes to respect. When there is an issue, we deal with it. When there is a paycheck dispute, it gets resolved ASAP. If there are personal issues, we help out a bit. Their issues are our issues, and when the customer has a problem, it’s not the customer’s problem, it is our problem.” Buffo and his wife, Jennifer, have been running Pure Luxury for 21 years. Seeing employees and customers as one and the same sets a prime example for good service and teamwork, Buffo says. “We take that and put it right back to the employees. Our employees are our customers, too.” Such an approach helps minimize turnover. In an industry known for itinerant employees, Buffo wants to make sure that any employee who leaves does so in an atmosphere of mutual respect. Hand-in-hand with respect goes a systemized structure for training, he says. Chauffeurs who are well trained will feel supported and represent the business well. “Chauffeurs are the ones on the front lines.” Pure Luxury chauffeurs get a mix of in-house and onthe-road training, covering all the places where the company does business. It gets into such finer points as the parking details and procedures at various hotels, how to drive with minimal pressure on brakes and gas pedals, listening closely to what customers

are saying, and the necessity of wearing a black jacket at all times. So if a client mentions a winery, that chauffeur should immediately know how to follow up and get the client an appointment at that winery, Buffo says. “One of the things we’ve done is if there is a complaint, the ride is comped. It may cost us a lot of money, but that has saved us money in the long run by keeping the customer and building money back into the company.”

SENIOR TEAM HUDDLES HELP SET DIRECTION

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OSTON — After more than three decades of running chauffeured transportation operations and attending countless trade shows and conventions, industry CEO Scott Solombrino has heard about plenty of leadership and management approaches. So when the CEO of the 654-vehicle Dav El Chauffeured Transportation Network (No. 2 on the 100 List) picks a few, you can count on them being ones worth trying. Solombrino, also an NLA board director and leader in the Global Business Travel Association, stresses the importance of: 1) Regular meetings and communication with senior management staff; 2) Constant ongoing training and performance measurement for employees. Senior team meetings: Consistent conferring with top managers yields the best busi-

ness strategies, resolves issues quickly, and reinforces clear management expectations, Solombrino says. When everyone talks through things at the same time, then everyone ends up on the same page going forward. Training/retraining: At Dav El, chauffeurs and employees follow the comprehensive Four Seasons training regimen to ensure peak performance and service delivery. “You must have consistent and ongoing training programs at all levels. We spend a lot of time training, retraining and overtraining. . . It helps avoid mediocrity in a company,” he says. “That’s the glue that holds everything together.” Dav El’s chauffeurs, for example, go through Four Seasonsstyle training programs every six months. “You have to have a culture of people who care,” Solombrino says. “This is not 9 to 5. It is a cultural evolution in a company. You have to like the company you work for and the people you work with.”

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Management & Leadership / Industry Women

INDUSTRY WOMEN TAKE THE LEAD

EIGHT OPERATORS SHARE TIPS AND BEST PRACTICES ON

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ompany leaders often bear the heavy burdens of numerous tasks: Monitor cost efficiency, manage affiliate relations, keep current with technology, and supervise a team of workers, who also can be very human. What’s more, leaders are held accountable for a team’s performance and must act as a personal motivator and role model. Eight women of the chauffeured transportation industry recently told LCT how they call the shots, where they get their inspiration, and what effective leadership techniques they’ve developed along the way.

BECKY LARAMEE PRESIDENT

All Points Limousine Leominster, Mass. Lead by example: “I used to own a garage so I’m the lady who can change a tire, alternator and tri-rod end while creating financial reports and handling a sale,” Laramee says. “When my employees see my competency, two things occur: I earn their respect and they’re motivated to try their hardest. I also communicate to my team where we are as a company and where we’re headed. Being open with my employees allows them to be open with me. I’m always looking for the next

great idea on safety, customer service or efficiency, and I urge my team to share their opinions. For every 10 ideas, one usually gets implemented.” Stand your ground. “I am known to be a bulldog when it comes to my rules. Every employee knows All Points Limo advocates safety, courtesy to clients and courtesy to one another. That’s of the utmost importance to me, and if you cross that line, you will do it only once.” Put a face to your name. “As a leader of a company, I meet with clients or would-be clients two to three times a week. It has been a big help in creating a strong feeling of loyalty with my current client base and showing prospective clients I’m available to take on their transportation needs. [Operator] Carrie Peele is the reason I put my picture on my business card. Few operators do this, but it’s a real asset because customers buy the personal service, not the car.”

Q & A Spotlight: Jonna Sabroff LOS ANGELES — Ask Los Angeles operator Jonna Sabroff about a male-dominated industry and she’ll point out the many husband-and-wife partnerships and families running small limousine businesses. Sabroff, President of Integrated Transportation Services (ITS), located next to Beverly Hills, has been part of such a team since she and her husband, Al Sabroff, founded the company in 1990 after he bought two smaller Southern California limousine companies with a combined fleet of 19 vehicles. The ITS fleet now numbers more than 50 luxury vehicles.

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SHERI BARNES OWNER

Avante Limousine & Transportation W. Lebanon, N.H. Sheri Barnes, owner of Avante Limousine & Transportation, believes in the value of mentors. “If you pay attention to what the successful people around you are saying, you’re bound to learn something,” she says. Her personal list of industry gurus includes: Dawson Rutter of Commonwealth Worldwide; Philip and Linda Jagiela of Aires Limousine; Mark Mollica of Black Tie Limousine; and Matt Harrison, a limousine industry consultant. She offers the following compilation of foundational advice: • Network, network, network. Get to know people in your community, and attend tradeshows and association gatherings. • Be open to learning. Try to bring one thing back from each event to implement or share with employees. • Grow your business through social networking. Use techniques such as SEO, Twitter and Facebook, and participate

Before entering the chauffeured transportation industry, the couple met and worked in the aerospace industry. Al was vice president and general manager for the NASA Division of TRW (now Northrop Grumman) and Jonna a contract manager assigned to various proposal and negotiation teams such as the Space Station and Star Wars. As was the case then, their skills and leadership roles are complementary. Al is the CFO and Chairman of the Board who does financial planning, oversees the selection and financing of vehicles, prepares monthly financial statements, handles payables, and supervises accounting. Jonna oversees marketing, sales and operations. She also has served as a vice president of the Greater California Livery Association and helps the group strategize on legislative and regulatory matters.

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By Brittni Rubin editorial assistant

BEING A SUCCESSFUL LEADER AND RUNNING A BETTER FLEET. in charity events. • Think of yourselves as “professional people driving professionals.” You need to look sharp, be sharp, and pay attention to detail. Even the condition of your vehicles’ windows and floor mats represent your company’s standards.

CARLA BOCCIO CO-OWNER

Buffalo Limousine, Buffalo, N.Y. The most vital lesson owner Carla Boccio learned from her parents, John and Camille Patti, the founders of Buffalo Limousine, is that happy workers equal a happy business. Boccio and her husband/co-owner, Frank, make it a point to remind their employees that they’re doing a good job at least once a week. Usually it’s a verbal compliment. But if a customer mentions their satisfaction, Boccio will type it up and post it on a bulletin board in the employees’ lounge. “I pride myself on the success of my business, and in order to be successful,

I have to rally my troops,” Boccio says. “Success means a very low employee turnover rate. We have chauffeurs who have been here for over 20 years.” To further motivate her team, Boccio also has created a rewards program. When an exceptional comment comes in from a customer, the named employee gets a gift card to Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks. The program also includes maintenance workers and car washers; employees can nominate each other. “It’s a unique technique that generates a lot of accomplishment,” Boccio says. “Invest! A little gift card goes a long way, and people should be rewarded for outstanding service.”

MARY BEALL

VICE PRESIDENT/ PARTNERS MANAGER First Class Executive Global, Phoenix Mary Beall credits operators Sue Jarvis and the late Carla Boroday as her industry champions. From them she learned the following tips: • Offer your employees good benefits.

Q: How did you overcome challenges in a male-dominated industry? A: Any challenges I have experienced have only served to strengthen my resolve to achieve my goals. Hard work is the most effective method to overcoming challenges, both fair and unfair. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” I set out to meet and understand needs and desires of our existing and potential new clients. I worked with companies larger than ours, at times much larger, to understand their policies and business practices that have led to their success. I built on my government interface experience with TRW and applied this knowledge and understanding to the RFP process and the

We give our chauffeurs one week of paid vacation a year. We also host annual dinners in which employees can bring their families. If your operation caters to the corporate world, your staff members must be discreet. Arrive 15 minutes early — the chauffeur always should be waiting on the client; never the inverse. Build profiles for your clients. Track their preferences for future trips. If someone likes to stop by Starbucks on their way home, make note of it. Always follow up with clients to find out both what they liked and what you could be doing better. Surveys are key. Evaluate how your fleet and chauffeurs are performing statistically.

MERYL KELSO OWNER

Dash Limousine and Sedan Service San Francisco Cultivate relationships: “I’m building my business based on relationships. You

over-regulation by state and airports. • • • Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d like to pass on to other newcomer women in the industry? A: This industry offers women opportunity. To avail you of these opportunities, you must act. Nothing can be accomplished without action. Go, do, accomplish that which is in front of you. It is also important to develop goals and be self-disciplined and highly motivated. There are many examples of successful women in this business who have done just that. Look for a woman you admire and emulate her. • • • (continued on page 34)

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Management & Leadership / Industry Women Q&A Spotlight: Jonna Sabroff

Q: What is the vision you have created for yourself and your team? A: The vision for our company is to provide quality transportation, each and every ride. To implement this vision, we monitor our performance in every area. A report is issued every eight hours, detailing each incident, noting the account and people involved. An incident might be a report of an accident or a chauffeur being late for a pick-up. This report notifies every supervisor, manager and salesperson. It allows the company to react quickly to rectify problems. • • • Q: As a leader of your company, how do you motivate yourself? A: Associate with successful people. I am inspired by the accomplishments and determination of successful people in our industry. There are so many I admire. I have watched them grow their businesses, accomplish amazing things, face overwhelming challenges and ultimately achieve success. • • • Q: Who have you learned from? A: I have learned much of what I know about this business from other business owners. I have worked for many successful companies as an affiliate. I have taken their best practices and adopted them as my own. I have gained so much knowledge and experience about this industry in that manner. Also, I believe that joining your local and national limousine

continued from page 33

want an affiliate to know you by name when they pick up the phone, especially if you’re sending them work.” Limit your driving: “Several mentors told me I should stop driving and put my focus on running and promoting the business,” Kelso says. “I will never get out of the car entirely — I think it reinforces customer loyalty — but my mentors are right. Now that I don’t drive every day, I am more able to keep my eye on the numbers and operations, and I can still connect with clients by phone.” Don’t be a homebody: “San Francisco is a very saturated market. To break into it, you have to be pretty aggressive to take business away from others or at least get a piece of it. I don’t work much with local companies; instead, most of my affiliates are out of state or international. I meet them at shows and they’ve been very good for business.”

JULIE DOTAN

PRESIDENT J&B Executive Transportation, Inc. Troy, Mich. • Be an approachable boss. Don’t give yourself a huge luxury office with bigscreen TVs; show your employees that 34

you’re fair and simple. Get to know your staffers personally; they all know my children! • We found it helps to pay employees weekly. We also give our drivers gratuity money right away. They prefer to have cash flow more frequently. • Invest in technology upgrades to make business more efficient. GPS is a huge timesaver, plus you can track mileage honestly. • Expand your own farm-outs to bring in more income. • Set up your office so chauffeurs can better handle last-minute scheduling changes. Make sure items such as laminated signs, markers and badges are organized and easily accessible so employees can grab what they need and go.

ERIN SHIELDS FOUNDER

Green Carpet Limo San Francisco As one of the few alternative luxurytransportation services in the industry, Green Carpet Limo has a clientele that consists of high-profile individuals and celebrities. The company is often viewed as an extension of its customers’ brand;

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associations will enrich you as an owner. When you are part of these associations, you are learning about the business climate in your area, networking with other limousine owners, and protecting your business from out-of-control legislation and regulations. In short, my advice: Become an affiliate for a company you admire; join and participate in your state and national associations. The learning never stops if you are open to it. It is a great business. • • • Q: Which management/leadership techniques have you applied to your operation? How have they contributed to its success? A: One of the biggest mistakes small companies make is to operate their business out of their checkbook. I know it is tempting, but many small companies grow into larger ones and the owners fail to upgrade their financial management techniques. This can be a serious challenge as a company attempts to grow; it can be a fatal mistake in a crisis. My husband has provided the leadership and management techniques that we have applied in our operation. He has provided sound financial management by making sure we have the data we need available to obtain lines of credit, and more importantly, to know where we stand monthly so we can make timely budget corrections. To effectively manage your company, you must have financial statements. You cannot manage what you cannot measure.

immaculate service is essential. Owner Erin Shields attributes much of Green Carpet’s operational success to the power structure she has created, as she delegates a significant amount of leadership to her employees. “When the team is empowered, they make decisions from a more entrepreneurial perspective,” Shields says. For example, the company’s lead chauffeur has a strong role in the hiring process. He interviews candidates and narrows them down for Shields. This opportunity has helped improve his work, she says. “My team is only as strong as its weakest link. And this concept holds true in this industry.” Shields also grants her employees the power to make crucial decisions on the spot. “This has been vital to creating long-term relationships and maintaining integrity,” she says. A few months ago, a chauffeur’s vehicle was towed while on the job. Thinking quickly, he hailed a cab and delivered his client to her next meeting. During the meeting, he retrieved the car from impound and was able to resume their tight schedule without much of a hitch. “When they know they can offer viable solutions that make a big difference, everyone wins.” Additionally, Y Fray of EcoLimo in Los Angeles has served as a guide and resource to Green Carpet. “Fray is willing to share the ins and outs of the industry through the perspective of a niche market company,” she says. WWW.LCTMAG.COM

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Management & Leadership / Young Leaders

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HOW TO BE TOP DOG SOME OF THE INDUSTRY’S RISING STARS SHARE THE INFLUENCES AND INGREDIENTS FOR STRONG LEADERSHIP. THEY ALSO KEEP TABS ON THE DIRECTION OF THE CHAUFFEURED TRANSPORTATION BUSINESS. By Michael Campos, LCT associate editor

Joe Magnano / CLI Worldwide Transportation/ Laguna Hills, Calif. > Leadership is about

Matt Assolin / Nikko’s Worldwide Chauffeured Services / Houston, Texas > I was battalion commander of an ROTC unit my senior year

three things: Vision, empathy and communication. Don’t just focus on the bricks; see the whole building. Remember that everyone has a story, so be patient. Talk. Explain. Ask. Listen.

> A strong leader is direct and tells people if they’re doing a bad job or a good job, or that it can or can’t be done a certain way.

> Inspire trust and

> I think that so much needs to be done to rewrite the rules

clarify purpose, it empowers people to unleash their talent and put their intelligence, creativity and resourcefulness to use.

of high school, responsible for about 250 kids at the age of 17. I bring a sense of military leadership to the company.

> Leaders are made, not born. Your people have to trust you. Demonstrate that your judgment is sound and they will follow you.

in this industry. There are people who rip-off clients and vendors and affiliates, owners who screw over their own employees when it comes to pay. I’m sorry, but what industry allows this? In our industry it’s commonplace.

> I draw inspiration from Steve Jobs. He was

> You don’t play with people’s money, because it’s not right. Everybody needs to get paid and make a living.

innovative, passionate, and had family values.

> When you make mistakes — and it’s a when, not an if — it’s about what you

> I love the challenges that each day brings. The idea of conquering them motivates me daily.

> None of the Town Car replacement options have quite hit the nail on the head in my mind. This is a time-will-tell issue. As more companies get client feedback over the next couple of years, we will have a better idea of what the standard will be.

> Keep family first. Live life every day. > Patience is needed in every situation. 36

do to compensate and save the relationship with the client, like, “You know what? Dispatch screwed up. I’m sorry. What can I do to make it up to you?”

> Create brand awareness through little details. That will help differentiate your company from competitors. > The customer experience is top priority. That’s how you succeed in this business. > I admire Starbucks. Starbucks is about the customer experience and the quality of the coffee. The experience at every Starbucks is the same.

> The most important lesson I’ve learned from my Dad is keeping your word. > It’s not about how quickly your company grows; it’s about longevity and placing things in place to foster your growth for years or decades.

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Management & Leadership / Young Leaders

Matt Levine / Hy’s Limousine Worldwide / New Haven, Conn. > It’s not just about giving orders and telling people what to do. You have to connect with people or else they aren’t going to buy into what you and the company are trying to accomplish.

> A good leader is confident and takes responsibility for his or her actions. He surrounds himself with capable people and delegates the proper tasks to the right people to maximize productivity.

> Clients are impatient as ever and I think eventually everyone will be booking everything on their phones.

> This industry is extremely

demanding, so you have to learn to remove yourself when you are away. Otherwise it can get a little unhealthy.

> My father has been a major influence for me over the years. His knowledge and industry experience have been an invaluable source of growth for me. > Apple is a company that everyone should aspire to be like. They’ve been up, down, and have reinvented themselves so many times. They continue to stay ahead of the curve.

> Don’t stress too much about the day to day issues

that arise. They’re ultimately going to occur. Take a deep breath and start again tomorrow.

> Always be honest and stick to your word. You’re only as good as your reputation. Don’t do anything to tarnish it.

Bob Nashawaty / Accent Limousine Service/ Milford, Mass. > Great leaders are visionary, adaptable, and strongly committed to the success of not just the project but also the team members.

> My father and mother, Rick and Susan Nashawaty, were the amazing duo at the helm of our company for over 20 years. Their style of leadership earned them great respect and true success. I lead by their example.

> Our industry is going to be increasingly regulated, putting even more of a burden on operators. On a positive note, I see the industry standing up to its responsibility to properly deal with waste and minimize pollution.

> With Google’s driverless cars continuing to have success, I can imagine having a fleet of driverless cars all powered by online transactions. How cool would that be?

> It’s fruitless to undercut one another while the cost of operating has only increased. > Success can be found even in failure. Learn from mistakes and try again.

Collins Ogada / Bella Luxury Limousine/ Allentown, Penn. > Inspired employees are able to look beyond their next paycheck and into their long-term prospects with a company. It takes a good leader to paint that picture and describe it in compelling terms.

> I don’t like asking my employees to do things that I’m not comfortable doing, and that has a gone a long way in helping retain good people.

> The one thing that will continue to shape the industry is technological change, and embracing new technology is not just a matter of necessity but survival. 38

> I’m always fascinated with the diversity of the passengers we move every day. > I would like to see the industry adopt some kind of a professional certification program that would ensure consistency in services rendered.

> When I started my first business at 19 years old, I put down a deposit for office space. An older gentleman named Sal told me what paperwork I needed in order to occupy the space. I called the city office to get a particular permit and waited for a call back. When Sal asked me if I got all the paperwork, I told him I was waiting for the person from the city to call me back. To which Sal replied, “Don’t wait for that person to do your job.” If I wanted it to get done, I needed to work hard to get it done. > Most young entrepreneurs walk into business intent on turning a million overnight. At 20, I thought along those lines. That is rarely the case. It takes time.

> Great leaders surround themselves with people who are more successful and intelligent than they are. They watch and learn.

> I would love to spend time with Henry Ford. I would talk with him about his visions and how he figured out to hire the right people for his company.

> Life is by far the greatest

> I have always been a fan of Cadillac and

learning environment. You have to take calculated risks to be successful. However, you have to know that the potential benefits far exceed the costs in taking those risks, and you have to manage the risk and its potentially negative effects.

will continue to have them in my fleet.

> Building a successful busi-

> I admire Starbucks not just because of their great global brand, but also because of their social investments, especially the great work they’re doing with inner city schools.

> My Mom always said that if you do something for the right reason, everything else will fall in place.

> Always under-promise and over-deliver. You gain customers for life when you consistently exceed expectations.

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Myron Fonseca / Ambassador Limousine & Transportation / Miami, FL

ness requires steadfast cultivation of networks, innovation, leadership and timing, among other things. Constant pursuit of perfection and adaptation.

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Ryan Cupp / Blue Lakes Charters & Tours / Traverse City, Mich.

Eli Darland / Rare Form Limousine / Seattle, Wash.

> It takes a good team to make the wheels go round. > A good leader is humble, leads by example, admits mistakes and recognizes his followers’ strengths.

> Dale Carnegie is my number one inspiration and my father is a close second.

> In my eyes, Indian Trails is the best [charter and tour] company around.

> There are only two things certain in life: death and taxes.

> Always get money in advance.

> A good leader knows

> I am a big fan of the

how to ask the right questions and take accountability for his actions, while being respectful and demanding the respect of those around him.

Lincoln MKT Town Car, although I still haven’t driven one.

> I look up to my fa-

Michael Campbell / Grace Limousine / Manchester, N.H. > It seems the best leaders are people who consistently conduct themselves in an exemplary manner, and who have earned a high level of respect based on that conduct. It’s tough to lead without respect.

> There is a need for streamlining of processes and cohesion in practice.

> I don’t think the ideal replacement [for the Town Car] exists at this point, but of the options we have, the Mercedes E-350 is at least proven for livery.

> This business can consume you. I am continually learning how to be the absolute best operator I can be while keeping in perspective the importance of being a healthy, balanced person.

ther, who started a company in our basement in 1979 and took it public onto the Nasdaq stock exchange in 1990.

> Technology will optimize the chauffeured transportation industry. Specifically, the areas of scheduling and reservations will be streamlined to minimize unused vehicle time, deadheading, and reservationist resources.

> Just when you’re about to run out of patience, you need to dig down deeper and find another helping.

> Business is about people just as life is about people. If you don’t have a handle on people skills, everything else will take much more effort, or won’t work at all.

> Don’t waste your time trying to prove people wrong. Instead, show them how they can work together with you to create the outcomes that benefit both of you.

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Management & Leadership / Succession Planning

ŠISTOCKPHOTO.COM / anaBGD

HANDING OVER THE REINS TO REIGN WHEN IT IS TIME TO RETIRE, WHO WILL TAKE OVER YOUR BUSINESS? SUCCESSION PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE OF YOUR BUSINESS IS THE ULTIMATE TEST OF LEADERSHIP — AND LETTING GO.

T

By Jim A. Luff, LCT contributing editor

he All-American dream for many of us is to start our own successful business. We dream of one that will make us rich and provide well for future generations of our family. For those who succeed and pass the business down through multiple generations, careful planning of the hand-off from one generation to the next must take place. While it may seem natural to hand it off to the oldest child when the time comes, the oldest child may not be the best choice or may not even want the business, says David K. Nicholas, a CPA with more than 30 years of experience specializing in emotional and financial issues of family owned and managed businesses. Nicholas is a registered represen-

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tative of Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. and founder of Stewardship Advisors LLC. He has assisted multiple generations in succession planning and execution of equity transfers. Nicholas advises on financial investments, management and tax law matters.

THE TEST DRIVE Before you bequeath the business in your mind to anyone, it might be a good idea to have them work in the business. The assumed heir to the throne just might decide against inheriting it after trying it out. Or you may discover the business philosophies of your offspring vary greatly from yours, and you want to preserve a certain management style or company image. Once the company

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is handed over, these philosophical differences can cause deep wounds that can destroy a family, Nicholas says. If you decide to bring your children into the business, they should learn all aspects of it. This will allow you to see the areas where they excel and where they may need additional guidance during the transition period.

FROM EXPERIENCE All of our boys have worked in the business at various times in their lives. It allowed me to see who had what it might take if the business was ever handed down to them. It was an enlightening experience. We operate a valet parking service as an extension of the limousine business. Every kid worked in valet even WWW.LCTMAG.COM

6/13/12 1:31 PM


before receiving a license. They were old enough to write the license plates on the claim-checks, catch doors for arriving guests, and begin learning the art of the luxury service industry. I quickly learned my oldest son was not the one. He was fine at driving cars but did not enjoy talking to people. He had no desire to be a leader. He just wanted to get the job done and then go home. This made for a great custodian of our building and grounds for many years. The middle son always has a big grin and knew how to work that tip. He didn’t want to be a boss either, but it was evident that he wanted things run properly and by the book. He left and served his country for four years, and when he returned, he was even more “by-the-book” than ever. Today he is my trainer for all new chauffeurs. The youngest son has all the personality of the middle one. He has the charm, the proper compliments at just the right time, and his little heart is burning to take over. He truly believes if things were done his way, the company would triple in size in a year. He has the zeal, but at the age of 27, he needs a few more years to calm down. I did, however, discover that he has excellent selling skills. His philosophy clearly differs from mine in closing a sale. I nearly fell out of my chair one day as he provided the phone number of a competitor to a client and told them they had the best deal in town. . . if they were looking for a budget-type limo. After describing the possible scenarios of using an older limo, I proudly watched him take the deposit. He could very well be the heir apparent.

Svenson of Salisbury, N.H. started Four Star Limousines in 1993. Their son, Brion Jr. was one year old. He is now 20 and poised to take over the business in the future and keep it going. Four Star operates a fleet of nine vehicles in the Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine regions with an emphasis on the Seacoast area. Brion and Georgieanna are in their 40s, so retirement is not on the horizon. The Svensons don’t have a firm plan in writing yet but realize the importance of having structure and are working on a written plan. When the business was started, there was no plan to keep it in the family. It was simply a way to make a living for the short term. Nicholas has a firm belief that every business should be started with the intention of selling it. But, “it is the equity you build in the business over years of nurturing that makes it more valuable when the time comes to sell,” he says. Speaking of nurturing, Brion Jr. is in-

cluded in business discussions, although he does not actively participate in decisions. Brion Sr. believes it is important for him to learn the reasoning behind business decisions and learn why things are done a certain way. This provides a platform for decision making in the future. The growth plan includes learning to clean cars, dispatching, taking reservations, making schedules, and routing so he is thoroughly versed in all operations. “I think earning respect is the first place he has to start,” Brion Sr. says about earning the company. “The ONLY way to understand what we do and why we do it is to do it himself. You can’t run a company if you can’t do everything necessary to run the company.”

THE STEIN THEORY Perhaps the most well known father-son team in the industry is National Limousine Association board director Ron Stein

START THEM YOUNG If you have clearly decided to pass on the business to your offspring, you might as well get them started in the business as soon as they are old enough to perform a job function. They just might be detailing cars before they are actually old enough to drive them. Brion and Georgeieanna

Georgieanna and Brion Svenson Sr., owners of Four Star Limousines in Salisbury, N.H., are making sure that 20-year-old Brion Svenson Jr. works in every part of the company, observes and understands how and why business decisions are made, and most importantly, earns his respect before he some day runs the family business. Since the couple is in their 40s, they have no plans to retire soon, allowing plenty of time to cultivate their son’s leadership skills.

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Marketing & Sales / The New Path

Los Angeles operator and NLA board director Ron Stein has taught his son, Brandan, the importance of distinguishing between solid family values and business plans. Brandan is ready to lead the company when the time comes.

and his son, Brandan. Ron is the CEO and Brandan is the COO of Exclusive Sedan Service Worldwide of North Hollywood, CA. The company is a 2007 LCT Operator of the Year Award winner. Ron Stein believes that family values always should precede business plans. This is a sentiment also stated by Nicholas in addressing the two. “There are business matters and there are family matters, and the two should always remain separate and distinct,” Nicholas says. Brandan is an only child, so fortunately there aren’t many different opinions to share. Brandan joined the business at the age of 17. In his third year with the company, it was apparent to Ron that Brandan had the passion, desire and drive to move the business into a new dimension and eventually take over. The succession plan calls for a role reversal in the future to al-

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low Ron a little more free time while still being involved in the operations. This is a method strongly recommended by Nicholas for a variety of reasons. Like Brion Sr., Ron made Brandan prove himself and earn respect from his co-workers. Ron believes that Brandan accomplished earning employee respect, except among the few who never want someone younger to be their boss. Brandan recalls the days that he worked as hard as he could to earn that respect. He

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said he was concentrating on the vision and not a job title. Brandan recommends that newbies who take over the reins from their parents “focus on the vision and don’t let people get you down just because no one likes change.”

FINANCIAL MATTERS As to the actual transfer of the business equity, there are many methods to accomplish that, Nicholas says. Some common methods include providing a cer-

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ness time or time away from their wives to keep business and family matters separate. While the Steins have no current plan for transferring equity, Ron considers Brandan’s time managing the company as his investment to inherit the company. While Ron and Brandan avoid talking business during family time, Ron includes his wife Jackie in periodic reviews and changes to the written succession plan. They take ever-changing tax laws into account when making their decisions.

of business decisions. As far as picking a successor, if there are multiple choices, Nicholas recommends forming a board of directors consisting of family members, financial and legal advisors, long term employees, and others you value for their business skills. Let them make an independent decision as to who the successor of the company should be. Nicholas also believes that the adult brain is not fully developed until the age of 30. “While in some rare cases you might trust someone under the age of 30 to take over the business, as a general rule, you should not consider someone under the age of 30,” he says. Nicholas also says that there are operational and financial decisions to be made. Decisions always should remain separate and never be made based on emotions.

KEEPING IT REAL

ADDITIONAL READING

No two people are going to manage the exact same way. Brion Sr. expects his son to do things his own way when he takes over. Nicholas, the Steins and the Svensons all agree that there are business systems and there are family systems, and it is important to keep family emotions out

Nicholas and Ron Stein recommend learning more about succession planning by reading a book called, Family Business Succession: The Final Test of Greatness from Family Enterprise Publisher (www. efamilybusiness.com, $23). —Jim@LCTMag.com

AVOID ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS AND MAKE THE SUCCESSOR PROVE COMPETENCE. JUNIOR WILL HAVE TO EARN EVERYTHING HE GETS FROM THIS COMPANY. —Brion Svenson tain percentage of equity transferred for each year of service. Another method is to pay the exiting parents a monthly installment until a certain amount is paid or the parents pass on. During the transition period, the successor should be compensated for his or her management participation but not necessarily be made a financial partner until the actual transition occurs, Nicholas advises. His strongest advice is to never surrender ownership until you are absolutely sure of your decision and to make sure family harmony is paramount to business decisions. “Avoid entitlement programs and make the successor prove competence,” Nicholas says. Brion Sr. echoes that: “Junior will have to earn everything he gets from this company.” Brandan adds that he and Ron try to limit business discussions to busi-

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2012 International LCT Show / Networking

CONNECTING OPERATORS— GAME SHOW STYLE

ILLUSTRATION: RON RENNELLS, LCT ART DIRECTOR

PITCH-FEST 2012 MADE ITS DEBUT AT THE 2012 INTERNATIONAL LCT SHOW IN LAS VEGAS, REPLACING THE POPULAR SPEED-MEET THAT HAD BECOME AN INDUSTRY STAPLE. By Jim A. Luff, LCT contributing editor

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peed-Meet, as it was formerly called, emerged in recent years as a highly sought after networking venue among operators attending LCT trade show events. As an original concept first introduced to the industry at the LCT Eastern Conference in Uncasville, Conn., in October 2009, the event quickly became popular as it expanded at the 2010 and 2011 ILCT Shows in Las Vegas. The concept resembles “speed dating” events in which potential dates move from one table to another attempting to

convince those sitting at the table that they are the best candidates for dates. In the industry’s version, affiliate managers from large, worldwide networks seek to find new affiliates in an effort to have providers in every city in the world. Smaller companies attempt to convince the networks that they are the best company in their region to provide that affiliate service. This is an opportunity to be in front of companies such as Music Express, EmpireCLS, and Commonwealth Worldwide in a single day without the expense of having to fly to the affiliate headquarters at your own expense to pitch yourself.

ENTER PITCH-FEST Now LCT has taken its networking concept and refined it into a networking game show of sorts. At the 2012 ILCT Show, the Pitch-Fest room was set up with a stage and large projection screen. The emcee, Christian Kolberg, delivered a high-energy introduction of 100 participating operators, as would a game show host. The network affiliate managers were seated directly in front of the stage. Further back in the room was an audience attending simply to watch the fun or perhaps do a little recruiting of their own. As each featured operators deliv-

THE PITCH-FEST SESSIONS AT 2012 ILCT PROVED AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO ENLIVENING THE ART

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ered a 45-second commercial about their company, a graphic display was shown containing various facts about the company such as the year founded, number and types of vehicles in the fleet, number of employees, and insurance limits and carrier. There was also a place where the operator could say anything that he or she felt is unique and sets the company apart from other operators in the same region. The display also includes contact information including email addresses, websites and phone numbers for anyone in the audience to take note of as well. Kolberg read everything on the display as each operator emerged from behind a curtain, freeing “contestants” up to offer more information about their companies beyond the vital statistics. Kolberg kept the pace flowing and playfully cut off anyone who exceed the time limit. The information of all presenting affiliates can be found at http://uploads.bobitexpos.com/Transportation/files/LCTShow/ Pitch_Fest_Presentation.pdf

from BostonCoach Connection and Brandan Stein from Exclusive Sedan Service in Los Angeles were seen taking notes during the presentations to schedule “call-backs” for the following day. Much like an actor performing an audition and hoping for the big break, operators hope to find their names posted on a call-back bulletin board at 5 p.m. the same day. A call-back appointment time is posted on the bulletin board indicating that the network is interested in either affiliating with a company or perhaps to conduct a more thorough interview. This gives operators a second chance to sell their companies to affiliate managers, and the affiliates can provide additional information or collateral materials such as brochures, operating policies, photos or anything else they believe could close the deal. Successful call-back connections can lead to longtime business relationships and generate new revenue.

THE HOST

Stein said he was searching for specific vendors in specific cities the company had identified as being weak in coverage. “I got to meet with people I wanted to meet with,” Stein says. He also wanted to meet new people in the industry that he had never met. “All in all, as a network looking to expand, it was great! It was phenomenal,” he says. Stein was delighted to have made a connection with Signature Livery in New Orleans to become a second source for farm-out work in the popular convention destination city. He also made a connection with a possible affiliate in another major metro area, although the deal was not sealed at the Show. Stein declined to name the city but credits the Show with allowing the introduction to take place and hopes to develop the connection further. Stein, whose father Ron Stein is an NLA board member, has been diligently working

LCT found the perfect man to host this session. Kolbert is one of the most prominent professional auctioneers in the country. He helps charity organizations raise millions for their causes with his bold voice, warmth and ad-lib quips, much as you would expect from a game show host such as Pat Sajak from “Wheel of Fortune.” Kolbert has been in the charity auction business for the past 20 years and has worked with the Grammy’s Foundation and President Bill Clinton at fundraising events. His ability to manage a stage and keep things lively has contributed to raising $10 million in a single night. This two-hour event seemed to pass by in minutes as a result of his vibrant presentation style.

AFTER THE PITCH Affiliate managers such as Lisa Ortega

FROM THE AFFILIATE MANAGER POINT OF VIEW

to expand the global services of the company started by his father. He thinks this event has made it easier for Exclusive to grow the network even faster. Stein’s only complaint was that someone he Los Angeles operator had selected for a Brandan Stein netted call-back also got valuable affiliate connections at Pitch Fest. a call-back from Gateway Limousines of San Francisco at the same time, which had to miss its call-back with Stein. But he will be back again next year.

FROM THE AFFILIATE POINT OF VIEW Walter Haig, a manager from Avanti International Transportation in Houston, delivered the 45-second commercial on behalf of his company. Avanti has built a substantial network of affiliates itself and was attending to expand its network and join others. “To be effective at what you do, you must have multiple network involvement,” Haig says. He pointed out that Houston is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., and Avanti wants to make sure to get the word out that it is the best company in that market. Houston is home to major petroleum-related companies such as Chevron and Schlumberger. Avanti has carved a substantial niche of farm-out work of its giant companies to other companies worldwide visited by high-level executives and potential employees being flown in for interviews. To develop ongoing new business takes “repeated recognition,” Haig says, so Avanti plans to participate again next year to keep its name visible and connect with new operators. —Jim@LCTMag.com

OF NETWORKING FOR AFFILIATE CONNECTIONS, AS OPERATORS LINED UP TO SCORE NEW BUSINESS.

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2012 International LCT Show / Charter & Tour

BUS SHOPPING 101:

SIX BASICS TO GET STARTED

VETERAN OPERATORS SHARE TIPS AND ADVICE ON HOW TO BUY YOUR FIRST MOTORCOACH AND ENTER THE CHARTER AND TOUR MARKET.

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By Michael Campos, LCT associate editor

o survive the economic climate of the Great Recession, chauffeured transportation operators have adapted to new client demands and market opportunities by adding motorcoaches to their fleets. This evolution has allowed the industry to pursue business from sectors once underserved by chauffeured transportation. Group transportation and the bus market can be lucrative in the long-term, but the purchase of a bus is an expensive investment that comes at considerably higher risk than standard chauffeured vehicles. To make things easier for you, LCT has garnered the following bus shopping tips from an expert panel at the 2012 International LCT Show in Las Vegas. The panel included Gary Bauer of Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation in San Francisco; Brent Bell of Bell Trans in Las Vegas; Chuck Covington of People’s Transit near Detroit; and John Ferrari of AFC Transportation in Houston.

1: KNOW YOUR MARKETPLACE Before buying a bus, it’s important for operators to know if their markets can sustain the business. • Figure out if the market is saturated or if there is room for another bus in town. • Determine if the demand for buses is consistent or seasonal. • Listen to clients and prospects to learn what types of buses they seek. • Look for underserved niche markets. • Research opportunities to provide transportation for government contracts, hotels, corporations, special events, destination management companies, universities, sports teams, and church groups. • Gary Bauer advises operators to build up their book of business through farm-out work until the amount of business can justify the purchase of a bus. “If [your bus] is not rolling seven, eight or nine times a week, then you’re doing something wrong,” he says. “Buses should be doing more work than other vehicles.”

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2: NEW VS. USED VEHICLES Buying a used bus initially may be cheaper than buying a new one, but it also can be a risky investment if they aren’t meticulously inspected and researched. • “Used buses can be really good deals,” Chuck Covington says. “Municipalities tend to get rid of their buses after about 12 years, and the Altoona testing is good for about 18 years. Sometimes the engines are replaced at 10 years.” • John Ferrari says he only buys new buses because he might be “inheriting someone else’s problems when buying a used one.” • Operators always should get the biggest and longest warranty available, whether the bus is new or used, because “it is worth its weight,” Bauer says. • Look closely at the warranty to see what parts are really covered, Ferrari says, because most warranties don’t cover turbochargers. And if those break and cause the engine to die, the warranty is null and void.

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3: TYPE OF BUS TO BUY With a variety of bus makes and models on the market, operators first should consider client needs and the opportunities in the market. • Survey clients on present and future needs. • Look for a bus that will fit multiple needs. Some buses offer hybrid seating options that can make a bus go from a forward-facing, charter/ shuttle arrangement to limo seating. • A monocoque chassis offers more structural integrity than a body-onchassis bus but costs more. Body-on-chassis buses are cheaper but best suited for short runs and are not as durable as a monocoque chassis. • Think of the average body size of your clientele and find a seating arrangement that will be roomy and comfortable. • When weighing out fuel choice options, remember that compressed natural gas (CNG) and propane can be more cost effective than traditional fossil fuels, but filling stations are harder to find. • If the coach is a limo bus, check to see that it has a rear luggage compartment. • Consider the regional climate and choose the color accordingly. Brent Bell, whose company operates in the Nevada desert, uses white buses because they stay cool. • Bell suggests starting out with smaller buses, such as the E-450, and working up to larger buses. “You can still be competitive with a motorcoach company if you’re efficiently running your minibuses.” • Operators should market their vehicles to let people know they have the equipment because that will open them up to more business opportunities, Ferrari says.

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The expert panel at the 2012 International LCT Show was moderated by Gary Bauer, president & CEO of Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation (far left) and included Brent Bell, president & CEO of Bell Trans (2nd from left); Chuck Covington, CEO of People’s Transit (middle); and John Ferrari, owner of AFC Transportation (right).

4: ONBOARD AMENITIES

Interior features and additional equipment will depend upon the types of service an operator plans to use the bus for along with the demands and needs of the clientele. • Think about ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance. The ability to transport passengers in wheelchairs will open your company up to business opportunities from more sectors. • Three-point seatbelts are a good way to go, Ferrari says. • Wi-Fi has become a standard feature as more clients come to expect it. • Make sure the vehicle can pump out enough air conditioning to keep the bus cool in your geographic area. • “Don’t equip a minibus or shuttle with a restroom,” Ferrari says. • “Use rest stops,” Bell says.

5: RETURN ON INVESTMENT The bus market is lucrative, and the most important question to ask when getting into it is: Will I make money with this new vehicle? Here are some ways to make sure the answer is a solid “Yes.” • Know your costs, your price per hour, and your price per mile. Create a budget and expense model based on this information. • Have a strategy for every bus you buy and every market you enter. Make sure the strategy accounts for the long-term because the bus market is a long-term business. • “I will farm out bus work until I can do at least 25 days a month at five hours a day,” Ferrari says. “I’ll only add a bus once I know I can meet that minimum amount of work.” • Maximize bus business potential by having a corporate or charter coach transition to airport shuttle work when it reaches a certain age or mileage.

6: RISK MANAGEMENT/ SAFETY / DOT REGULATIONS • Onboard diagnostics technology will be the next big thing because it’s affordable and very good at preventing problems, Ferrari says. • Mechanics can make or break a company. When it comes to DOT maintenance regulations, many companies fail engine hours because it’s easy to run a shuttle at low mileage but with longer engine hours. • Do pre-trip inspections before sending your buses out, even if not required by law. • For insurance, Covington says you should bid and get quotes from different providers to “keep honest insurance guys honest.” • Look at insurance losses once a month or at least every other month, not just at renewal time. • Bell has a risk management program that combines in-vehicle cameras with counselors who analyze chauffeur habits and work with the chauffeurs to help them improve. —Michael@LCTmag.com

USED BUSES CAN BE REALLY GOOD DEALS. MUNICIPALITIES TEND TO GET RID OF THEIR BUSES AFTER ABOUT 12 YEARS, AND THE ALTOONA TESTING IS GOOD FOR ABOUT 18 YEARS. SOMETIMES THE ENGINES ARE REPLACED AT 10 YEARS. LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR JUNE/JULY 2012

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Technology / Suspension Systems

IN A CLASS OF ITS OWN: THE EVOLUTION OF VEHICLE SUSPENSION THE ABILITY TO OFFER BUS PASSENGERS A CLOUD-LIKE RIDE WHILE PROVIDING DRIVERS WITH SPORTY HANDLING MAKES LIQUIDSPRING TECHNOLOGIES’ NEW SYSTEM LIGHT-YEARS AHEAD OF THE STATUS QUO.

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By Michael Campos, LCT associate editor

raditional vehicle suspension systems have always traded off between ride quality and vehicle handling because the technology to produce a soft ride with stable handling had proven commercially impossible. Now, thanks to the revolutionary CLASS suspension system designed by LiquidSpring Technologies Inc., that is no longer the case. The CLASS system replaces steel or air springs, eliminates the need for shock absorbers, and does not suffer from the vagaries of air springs, such as condensation. CLASS is an acronym for Compressible Liquid Adaptive Suspension System, which uses a compressible fluid as the spring and damping medium to provide both an extremely soft and extremely 50

stiff spring in the same vehicle. An electronic control system takes sensor data from the vehicle, such as speed, steering and variance in ride height, and puts it through a series of algorithms that adjusts the amount of compressible liquid at any given moment. Basically, CLASS responds to various road conditions and driving styles by automatically and instantaneously adjusting spring stiffness and damping at each wheel independently to increase roll control and stability. The system is available for the Ford E-450, F-450 and F-550 chassis. Richard Meyer, president of LiquidSpring Technologies, says CLASS will be coming soon to the Dodge 5500 chassis, the Navistar line, and the Chevrolet 4500. CLASS offers two modes: Comfort and

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Sport. Comfort mode results in the system minimally using higher strut spring stiffness to maximize ride comfort while maintaining handling control. Sport mode results in the system moderately using higher strut spring stiffness to improve handling control while maintaining ride comfort. The spring stiffness is changed automatically without driver intervention.  Normally, the strut is in its softest spring stiffness with all the compressible fluid active, but is changed on demand to a higher spring stiffness by closing a rate valve, thereby reducing the amount of active compressible fluid. LiquidSpring Technologies, founded in 1982 and headquartered in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., spent the past several years to research, develop and patent WWW.LCTMAG.COM

6/14/12 10:11 AM


“Lancer goes above and beyond to keep claims under control.” “Unlike insurers that outsource claims services, Lancer works as our partner to minimize claims on our behalf, with a team that’s second to none. When one of our drivers hit a vising clergyman, Lancer put him up in a hotel, hired a nurse to provide care, negoated a fair release and flew him first-class to Amsterdam so that he could get surgery at home. No other insurer would have gone to such lengths to keep this claim manageable.” If your insurance company isn’t working hard to keep your claims under control, put a fellow Tim Rose President and Chief Operang Officer Flyte Tyme Worldwide Transportaon Mahwah, NJ Lancer customer since 2004

passenger transportaon pro on your side: Lancer Insurance. To learn more, call 800-782-8902, x3304 or email mbayard@lancer-ins.com.

370 W. Park Avenue, P.O. Box 9004, Long Beach, NY 11561 www.lancerinsurance.com

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Technology / Suspension Systems

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LiquidSpring’s Compressible Liquid Adaptive Suspension System, like the DS96F suspension for the E-450 chassis, pictured on the left, automatically adjusts to road conditions and driving style. ••• The system is managed by a control panel (left), which can change the stiffness of the strut springs (above) between comfort and sport modes at the push of a button.

CLASS. The suspension system is engineered, manufactured and distributed by Lafayette, Ind.-based LiquidSpring LLC, a subsidiary of LiquidSpring Technolo-

gies. As part of the product verification and validation process, LiquidSpring performed an Altoona 5-year/150,000 mile schedule structural durability test on a Ford E-450 at the Bosch Automotive Proving Grounds. Meyer says his goal is to get CLASS onto limo buses and minibuses throughout the industry. Not only is he working with vendors nationwide, he’s also approached large operator networks, such as Carey. “We hope to capture a major share of the market,” he says. Because the technology is so new, most of the company’s efforts this year will be centered on educating consumers about the CLASS system and demonstrating its effectiveness. Words can only go so far in describing what it feels like to ride on a CLASS-equipped bus, and still the picture is only a monochrome pencil sketch. The best way to really understand the system is by experiencing it, Meyer says. He’s offering a special promotion to equip dealers with a demo bus to show operators. “We’ve been in contact with several dealers, some of which were at the [2012

International] LCT Show in Las Vegas, some of which were not, with quotations and programs to get the units out there in operation.” The first CLASS kits for the F-550 were delivered to New York dealers in May, and will follow up with Florida, Louisiana and Texas. CLASS also can be installed on older buses as a retrofit. The estimated time for installing the system onto a chassis without the body is six to eight hours, and eight to 11 hours with the body on, Meyer says. LiquidSpring Technologies is also pursuing the ambulance market because the demands of emergency medical transportation could benefit from the ability to switch immediately between a soft ride to a stiffer, better handling ride. Meyer says he’s already working with Braun, a major ambulance company, to get the system onto their vehicles. Operators and vendors who are interested in the CLASS suspension system should contact Carl Harr at (765) 474-7816 ext. 108 or email sales@liquidspring.com. —Michael@LCTMag.com

BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS ADVERTISE IN LCT’S

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Finance & Operations / Time Management

TIME IS MONEY VALUE VS VALUES

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ASK YOURSELF THESE THREE QUESTIONS TO SEE IF YOU LOVE RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS OR IF IT’S TIME TO FIND A WAY OUT. By Spencer Tenney

f you began your company with dreams of short hours and long vacations, you probably received a rude reality check rather quickly. It’s a myth that all business owners enjoy complete freedom and flexibility. However, owning a transportation business certainly comes with rewards — for example, a sense of independence and the satisfaction of accomplishment. Perhaps the most difficult task of a business owner is determining whether the time needed to run a business is worth the eventual payoff. Of course, that answer may change over time. Many businesses begin with a passion and end with a burnout. Is your transportation business worth your time? Only you can answer that question.

IS YOUR BUSINESS IN A GROWTH PHASE? Beginning a business from scratch — or expanding by merging with a competitor or complementary company — takes time. The idea, of course, is that the extra effort will pay off in the form of greater profits. However, just because you can grow a business doesn’t mean it’s the right decision — just look at the dot-com crash. Doubling your customer base doesn’t necessarily mean doubling profits. If your company doesn’t have the organizational efficiency to keep a larger business afloat, you may not be able to leverage benefits such as economies of scale. Growth can take your business to the next level or price you out of the market. Before you put in the time, make sure returns are possible.

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CAN YOU ACHIEVE BALANCE? No amount of money or success is worth missing every one of

your child’s baseball games or sleeping just four hours a night. It’s easy for business owners to get caught up in the trap of trying to manage every little detail of their companies. However, it’s essential to your well-being — and, ultimately, the well-being of your business — to take a step back. A business needs a strong team, not a single owner, to grow effectively. Competent management also will be necessary to attract buyers should you need to put your limo or charter bus business up for sale in the future. If you can wean your company off full dependency, you can reduce your work hours — and thus raise your wage. If your company is too small or weak to survive without your constant involvement, you will eventually burn out. Selling sooner rather than later may be your best bet.

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CAN YOU IMAGINE DOING SOMETHING ELSE?

If your job doesn’t make you happy, it’s not worth it — plain and simple. Most self-employed people stick to a business because it’s something they love. Whether you have a passion for the industry or you thrive off the excitement of entrepreneurship, working a few hours more than you would in a corporate office may be well worth it. But if you’re constantly dreaming of the day you can take the kids to the park, get eight hours of sleep, and take an annual vacation, your heart may not be in it anymore. Whether you decide to stay in the game or cash in your chips, you should get the help you need to develop an exit plan that maximizes the value — and potential sale price — of your business. SPENCER TENNEY, vice president of The Tenney Group (www.thetenneygroup.com), is a member of the International Business Brokers Association and a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI). The Tenney Group is focused on business sales, acquisitions, business valuations and exit planning exclusively in the transportation industry. Spencer can be reached at (817) 274-0054 or stenney@ thetenneygroup.com WWW.LCTMAG.COM

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New Vehicle / Review PHOTOGRAPHY: RON RENNELLS, LCT ART DIRECTOR

BMW SEDAN A SOLID, SEDUCTIVE ENTRANT ON THE LIMO ROAD THE BMW 535I GRAN TURISMO CRUISES AT THE IDEAL LEVEL WHERE IT CAN HANDLE PREMIUM AND STANDARD LEVEL CHAUFFEURED SERVICE. By Martin Romjue, LCT editor 56

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LOS ANGELES — Upon learning that BMW formally entered the U.S. chauffeured transportation industry this year, and after spending some quality time with the BMW 535i Gran Turismo, my reaction resembled that of a single person who finally meets a special someone: Where have you been all this time, and what took you so long? It’s always been a mystery why BMW never entered the limousine industry years ago. By ceding the premium luxury vehicle limo market to Mercedes-Benz, BMW stayed single-and-waiting far too long — and apparently for no good reason. Having test-driven three Mercedes-Benz chauffeured vehicles so far, I can say there is nothing that a Benz has that a BMW doesn’t. By the way, the whole Mercedes-Benz vs. BMW competition resembles one of those endless Coke vs. Pepsi-type branding arguments that will never get resolved, so don’t ask me to choose.

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BETTER LATE THAN NEVER The 535i GT debuted to the industry in February with much anticipation and excitement at the 2012 International LCT Show in Las Vegas. The 535i GT and its bigger companion 750Li sedan were buzz-makers at the Show, eliciting interest from a handful of well-known operators, such as Joe Ironi of Global Alliance in Toronto. As is often the case with people who get committed later rather than sooner, the BMW 535i GT is a vehicle comfortable in its own skin, not to mention for the chauffeured people riding in it. This newcomer, with an incentive-base price of $46,440, qualifies as a formidable competitor on

NOTHING SUPERFICIAL As is the case when finding a reliable mate, selecting someone with some depth is a good approach. Right away, the BMW lets you know that it is solid, sturdy, and will hug the road curves as long as you want it to. You feel fewer bumps, lurches and jiggles than in comparable sedans. With its sleek hatchback design, the 535i GT hints a bit at being a crossover, but once inside, feels like a sedan. The 3.0-liter, dual overhead cam (DOHC), 24-valve, 300-hp inline 6-cylinder engine with TwinPower Turbo technology performs in three modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus. Comfort mode delivers ample power and pick-up, whereas the Sport modes can easily lead to higher RPM shifts and acceleration, which is a formula for speeding tickets if you’re not paying attention. For chauffeured transportation operators, Comfort mode is fine, and frankly, the thought of a chauffeur switching to Sport mode, even when accelerating onto a freeway, would raise GPS tracking alarms; exactly what is the chauffeur doing? The Sport modes are strictly for pleasure, and if a client asks for it, by all means, push the button. Otherwise, no chauffeur needs it, but it’s nevertheless nice to know the extra power is there.

AN INTERIOR PARLOR Luxury vehicle compartments are now commonly referred to as parlors or saloons. That means it has a vista roof, black leather and wood-trim interior, partially reclining rear seats, ample headroom, and abundant legroom with the right front seat pitched all the way forward. The interior appeal of the BMW evokes images of Wall-Street-Journal reading corporate clients, or better yet, fashion models being ferried to Manhattan photo shoots. As measured by LCT, the rear seat legroom can accommodate a tall executive or a lithe model just the same. From the top edge of the rear seat to the back of the right front seat pitched all the way forward is 19-inches. From the bottom edge

two levels: With the standard workhorse chauffeured vehicles such as the Lincoln MKT Town Car and the Cadillac XTS, and with vehicles on higher levels of luxury, such as the Hyundai Equus and Mercedes-Benz sedans. And if you overlook the svelte trunk space (more about that later), the 535i GT can mingle comfortably in the same league as the premium-category vehicles. Actually, we’ll let limousine operators decide whether the 535i GT belongs in the standard luxury sedan category, or if it should be marketed as a premium-level luxury sedan, or a mid-category in between. The advantage for the BMW 535i GT is it can have it any which way.

of the rear seat at floor level to the lowest edge of the right front seat pitched forward is 22.5 inches. And getting in and out of the rear seat is effortless, as the BMW stands at the right height for clients who must relax the back.

TRUNK & TRANSMISSION As much as we idealize the perfect mate, we all know there is no such person. The same applies to luxury vehicles, so choosing one is a matter of finding one with flaws that you can live with as opposed to flaws that can drive you crazy. The 535i GT has an economical trunk compartment when both back seats are up. You can push down one of the split

rear seats to create more space, but as any luxury client would tell you, such an arrangement would unduly penetrate the parlor, or sully the saloon. Based on LCT measurements, the trunk is 41-in. wide at its narrowest, 53-in. at its widest point, and has a height of 19-in. Bottom line: The trunk can handle a corporate client with a complete luggage set just fine OR two clients who know how to pack lightly. As to two clients heading to a golf resort with luggage, clubs, laptops and carry-ons, well, you’ll need to fold down a seat or find another vehicle. As to the transmission, I did say BMW stayed single a bit too long when courting the limo industry. And as longtime singles

2012 BMW 535i GRAN TURISMO SPECS PERFORMANCE Engine: 3.0-liter, dual overhead cam (DOHC), 24-valve, 300-hp inline 6-cylinder engine with TwinPower Turbo technology, piezo direct fuel injection, Valvetronic, and Double-VANOS steplessly variable valve timing Transmission: 8-speed automatic with Sport and Manual shift modes and Adaptive Transmission Control (ATC) Max. torque/rpm: 300/13005000 lb-ft Horsepower: 300@5800-6250 Top speed: 130 mph Acceleration 0-60 mph/Automatic: 5.7 sec. City/highway fuel economy/ automatic: 20/30 mpg Fuel tank capacity: 18.5 gal.

DIMENSIONS Unladen weight: 4,090 lbs. Wheelbase: 120.9 in. Length: 196.8 in. Width: 74.8 in. Height: 61.4 in. Cargo space: Rear-seats all the way back and partition wall locked: 15.5 cu.ft.

Rear-seats all the way forward and partition wall locked: 20.8 cu.ft. Rear-seats and partition wall folded down: 60 cu.ft. Legroom: 42.8 in./front/ 40 in. rear Headroom: 40.1 in./front/ 37.8 in. rear

NOTABLE AMENITIES Audio system: Anti-theft AM/ FM stereo/CD audio system with Auto-Store, FM diversity antenna system, MP3 capabilities, and high-fidelity 12-speaker sound system, including two subwoofers under the front seats, and digital 7-channel amplifier w/205 watts of power. Electronics: iPod® and USB adapter Comfort & Convenience: Adjustable rear seats (three-passenger capacity OR Luxury Rear Seat Package w/two individual, multi-adjustable power seats separated by a center console); dual-access tailgate opens up to 60 cu.ft. of space w/trunk lid

removed and rear seats down.

WARRANTY/MAINTENANCE 4-year/50,000 miles includes free maintenance for all factoryrecommended maintenance and specific items requiring replacement due to normal wear and tear for the first 4 years or 50,000 mi., whichever comes first; BMW also offers a Maintenance Program Upgrade for $2,495 covering all BMW 5 Series GT models (MY 2012) for up to 6 years/100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

PRICING Base MSRP: $57,000 Wholesale price: Upon request at a BMW dealer of choice Limo incentive off wholesale: $6,000 Base price for operators (no option packages): $46,440 Note: Actual price for operators will vary depending on package options, also priced at wholesale

MORE INFORMATION BMW NA Corporate Sales for Crevier BMW, Santa Ana, CA • Rob Hughes, Business to Business Manager Direct line: (800) 973-8166 • E-mail: rob.hughes@crevierbmw.com LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR JUNE/JULY 2012

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transmission quirks relationship killers? No. Just make sure the chauffeurs get some practice before driving the BMW 535i GT and the clients are business/ corporate travelers with airline-regulation luggage.

BMW LEGACY

The 2012 BMW 535i GT proves a versatile addition to the chauffeured fleet market, with its balanced blend of performance, style and design, comfort, technology and amenities.

know, you do develop some quirky tics or mannerisms over time. The transmission is a bit puzzling: You have to press an unlock button with your thumb while pushing the shift stick FORWARD to go into reverse. Meanwhile, if you want to manually shift among the eight gears while going up and down hills, you have to push FORWARD for a lower gear; and pull BACKWARD for a higher gear. That’s the opposite of every car I’ve ever driven, and a source of confusion as I unwitting-

Operating Cost & Profit Estimates: BMW 535i GT What would be the estimated operating costs? How many runs would you need to make in a month to earn a 10% profit after expenses? How much revenue would the vehicle have to bring in? To answer such questions, LCT asked Dan Goff and Barry Gross of A. Goff Transportation in Virginia to estimates costs and revenues if they operated a BMW 535i GT in the Northern Virgnia/ Washington, D.C. metro chauffeured market. All rates and figures are based on this sample market. To use their customized cost calculator, go to www.agofflimo.com/affiliate.

Goff 58

ly roared the engine a few times while shifting. I believe you should not have to consult a manual to operate a transmission. So a memo to auto manufacturers: Please stick to the universal and traditional vertically designed, front-to-back “P-R-N-D-3-2-1” shift configurations with a side slot for manual shifts where you PULL BACK (downshift) for lower gears and PUSH UP for higher gears. Got that? Back = Low, Up = High. So the question is, are the trunk and

COST ESTIMATES BOX Estimated Monthly Gross Sales of Vehicle $6,940 % of all trips that are Airport 70% % of all trips that are Charter 30% Average Airport Rate $99 Average hourly Charter rate $66 Average number of hours in a Charter 3 Average garage to garage miles in an Airport trip 40 Average garage to garage miles in an Charter trip 60 All inclusive cost of Vehicle $49,224 Monthly payment from amortization calculator $1,156 Residual value of car after 48 months estimated $14,500 4 year total taxes on car $3,500 4 year total licenses on car $400 4 year total insurance on car $10,000 4 years payments on EDT’s, Wi-Fi, etc. $7,200 Undefined expenses % of Gross above/below cost. 0% Direct Labor % of revenue cost 25% Add’l Labor % of revenue cost (Taxes, WC, UEI) 4% Financial processing (avg 2%) 2% Repairs & Maintenance per mile cost $0.108 Average tested or observed MPG 23 Cost of one gallon of fuel today 3.61 Amenities cost per trip (avg $1.00) 1 Appearance cost per trip (avg $2.50) 2.5 Non-production labor cost % (don’t include detailers) 6% Non-production overhead % 20.78%

And that brings us to the big picture-point of the BMW 535i GT being in the luxury transportation market: It is a brand that has positive associations with the younger half of consumers and creates a mobile luxury experience. In the limousine industry, transportation is not just a matter of four wheels taking people from point A to point B. Brand, quality, aesthetics and comfort experiences define the essence of limo service. BMW already started building a solid, positive luxury brand in the 1980s when the vehicles became associated with yuppies and elite, smart consumers. To be driving a BMW on my college campus in the late 1980s meant you were the bomb. One operator detected an excited ripple among his chauffeurs and clients at the mere mention of adding BMWs to his fleet. There is a reason for that: BMW confers sophistication and savvy out of its German engineering legacy. In an ever-shifting chauffeured fleet market, standing out and up with distinct flair carries a lot of cachet. —Martin@LCTmag.com

AUTOMATIC CALCULATIONS BOX Number of airport runs Number of charter runs Total Trips Number of airport miles Number of charter miles Total miles for month Monthly residual value credit

49 11 60 1,963 631 2,594 $302

RESULTS BOX Gross Sales Veh Amort Fixed Opr Cost %of Rev Opr Cost Per mile Opr Cost Per trip Opr Cost % of Rev Overhead Total Expenses Profit

$6,940 $854 $440 $2,151 $731 $209 $1,859 $6,243 $697

Total Monthly Trips Total Monthly Miles Average Trip Value Revenue Per Mile

60 2,594 $116.47 $2.68

100% 12.3% 6.3% 31% 10.5% 3% 26.8% 90% 10%

Gross LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR JUNE/JULY 2012

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New Vehicles / Review

ROLLING BEHIND THE WHEEL OF THE

CADILLAC XTS

EXCLUSIVE: LCT TAKES A ROAD TEST OF THE FIRST AVAILABLE LIVERY VERSION OF THE 2013 CADILLAC XTS SEDAN, STARTING PRODUCTION IN JUNE.

By Michael Campos, LCT associate editor

PHOTOS: MICHAEL CAMPOS, LCT ASSOCIATE EDITOR

T

he retirements of the iconic chauffeured workhorses, the Lincoln Town Car and Cadillac DTS, has left a void in the industry that automakers foreign and domestic are aiming to fill. One major successor vehicle, 2013 Cadillac XTS W20 Livery Sedan, debuted at the 2012 International LCT Show in Las Vegas, and became available for test driving in late May at the General Motors 2013 Product Preview in Tucson, Ariz. For starters, the summer sun soaked the city with an intense, dry heat, so nothing felt better than sliding inside the artificially-cooled cabin of the Cadillac XTS. The interior radiated refined luxury, as a chauffeured vehicle should. Operators trying it out were greeted by premium leather seats and upholstery, and natural wood accents. The test vehicle did not have the microsuede headliner, which will be standard on the W20 Livery Sedan. 60

AMENITIES ABOUND Cadillac has been noted for its art and science design language in styling and engineering its vehicles, values reflected in the XTS’s long list of standard features which include: HID headlamps, 19-in. aluminum wheels, Magnetic Ride Control, rear air springs, rear vision camera, illuminating door handles, compact spare, transmission oil cooler, premium microfiber headliner, rear center console and the Professional Vehicle Protection Plan (PVPP) extended warranty (3-years/150,000-miles, whichever comes first). Unlike the DTS, however, the XTS does not come with rear seat vanity mirrors. But GM can recommend a good aftermarket installer for the mirrors. The dimensions of the XTS are marginally smaller than the DTS, but the sedan sacrifices nothing in terms of comfort and practical/useable space. Rear seat legroom in the XTS is 40 inches and rear

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seat headroom is 37.8 inches. There was ample room for all the testers, including those taller than six feet. The seats offer generous cushion without being too soft, and two passengers can fit comfortably in the rear cabin. “As a big guy, I was pleasantly surprised and very comfortable with the room in the money seat (rear passenger seat),” said Jeffrey Shanker, vice president of Princeton, N.J.-based A-1 Limousine. “Even with a front seat passenger who also was over six feet tall, I had ample leg room and could easily do work there. If there was no one in the front passenger seat, and the seat was pulled forward, I could easily have stretched my legs out fully.” In the driver’s seat, Shanker, who is over six feet tall, said he felt surrounded by luxurious comfort with more legroom than he knew what to do with. “Chauffeurs of different sizes should have no WWW.LCTMAG.COM

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Robert Levine of Hy’s Worldwide Limousine, Douglas Werdebaugh of Carey International, and Jeffrey Shanker, A-1 Limousine all drew favorable impressions of their first-ever test drive of the 2013 Cadillac XTS Livery Sedan in May at a GM event in Tucson, Ariz. trouble getting comfortable behind the wheel of [the XTS],” he said. Overall, the XTS is a futuristic driving machine with high industry potential. Getting behind the wheel elicits an excitement comparable to that of a child about to step foot in Disneyland. The front-wheel-drive sedan purrs to life with the push of a button and all of the controls are conveniently within reach. The powerful 3.6-liter, direct-injection V-6 engine accelerates smooth as butter and generates a respectable 300 hp and 264 lb.ft of torque.

SMOOTH MOVES One of the vehicle’s best features is Cadillac’s magnetic ride control computerized suspension system, only active when the engine is engaged. It enhances the car’s comfort level and is most noticeable when bumps in the road are not. The XTS is very responsive and handles well. It remains balanced on corners and curves, preventing passengers from sliding around in the back seats. Robert Levine, owner of New Haven,

Conn.-based Hy’s Limousine Worldwide, was among the XTS testers and told LCT that he chose to carry a conversation with a fellow passenger in the rear cabin in order to see if the ride would be distracting on rough roads. “I was pleased with the comfort and stability of the ride,” Levine says. “I didn’t feel the bumps.” Thickly insulated against noise, the quiet interior partners with the smooth ride to create an ideal environment for working or relaxing. The test vehicle was not equipped

with the vibrating seat safety alert system and there wasn’t enough time during the test drive to experiment with the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system, but the controls seemed intuitive enough. “Cadillac has really put some thought and engineering into the comfort of the vehicle, and the magnetic ride control is really state of the art technology,” says Douglas Werdebaugh, senior vice president of operations for Carey International. “It’s very impressive and that’s

XTS Sedan General Specs

PHOTO: CADILLAC

TYPE: Front-wheel-drive/all-wheeldrive, front-engine, four-door, fivepassenger sedan ENGINE: 3.6L V-6 VVT DI HORSEPOWER (HP / KW @ RPM): 300 /224 @ 6800 (est.) TORQUE (LB.-FT. / NM @ RPM): 264 / 358 @ 5300 (est.) TIRES: P245/45R19 all-season blackwall; P245/40R20 all-season blackwall FUEL: regular unleaded FUEL DELIVERY: direct injection FUEL ECONOMY (CITY/HWY): FWD: 17/28, AWD: 17/27 FUEL CAPACITY: FWD: 18.6 gal./ AWD: 19.5 gal. TURNING DIAMETER: 38.7 feet

Trim Options NAVIGATION SYSTEM: $795 MSRP LUXURY LEVEL ONE PACKAGE AND UPLEVEL INTERIOR TRIM: $2,045 MSRP • Memory driver’s seat • Heated/Cooled front seats • Front seats with thigh adjusters • Ambient lighting package • Uplevel wood trim • Premium audio system with surround sound REAR SEAT COMFORT PACKAGE: $450 MSRP • Heated seats • Side window and backlight sun shades • Tri-zone HVAC controls • Power inverter

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New Vehicle / Review

PHOTO: CADILLAC

important because the comfort of our customers comes first. Ergonomically, it’s hard to transition from an extended vehicle to a non-extended vehicle, but when you look at the fit and finish of the XTS, you can see Cadillac’s done a great job. It’s a good car.” The key factor in deciding Carey’s future Town Car alternatives is the client, Werdebaugh says. “We want to know what they think, so we’re going to survey them and find out what their needs and wants are, because they come first and we want to know what they want.”

PARAMOUNT PRICING The Cadillac XTS W20 Livery Sedan went into production the first week of June at the General Motors factory in Oshawa, Ontario with expectations to arrive in dealerships several weeks later. The MSRP for the XTS is $47,495 (including destination fee) but a Cadillac Professional Vehicle Program rebate of $3,000 knocks the price down to an extremely competitive $44,495. That is just slightly ahead of the $43,200 price tag on the competing 2013 Lincoln MKT Town Car. With the incentive, the XTS is priced $5,500 less than the Cadillac DTS. The Cadillac XTS W30 sedan chassis (the XTS “L”, stretched eight inches by coachbuilders) and the XTS VRU limousine chassis will go into production the fourth quarter of 2012, said Ray Bush, Cadillac Professional Vehicle Program manager. Fun and easy to drive with a comfortable ride, the XTS is a vehicle ready to perform to the standards set by previous-generation luxury limo sedans. One real question remains: How will the XTS hold up in the long run, after racking up miles from the industry’s rigorous daily demands? As a question operators should ask of all available new vehicles, the answer for now is simple: Check back in a few years. — Michael@LCTMag.com The majestic art-and-science driven design of the 2013 Cadillac XTS Livery Sedan takes chauffeured service to a practical, techno-driven level of luxury inside and out.

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Problem Solver Limousine operators large and small rely on Livery Coach to help them take more reservations, dispatch more trips, and collect more charges—more accurately and more profitably, with less staff. There are literally hundreds of features large and small built right into the software that help operators save time, cut costs, reduce errors, and enhance customer satisfaction. Livery Coach has true integration with QuickBooks®, so you don’t have to enter transactions twice—all the details go right into QuickBooks so your accountant stays happy.

Livery Coach has a powerful but easy-to-use rules engine for charges and fees—so you don’t forget that late-night fee, for example, or the customs fee for international arrivals…but you can exclude customers for whom it doesn’t apply— automatically. Chauffeur Direct sends your passengers an email 30 minutes before pickup with the chauffeur name and phone number…no more fielding calls to dispatch. From real-time flight tracking to web reservations to group manifest import to automatic credit card preauthorization,

we have you covered. And we’re always working to improve and enhance Livery Coach based on feedback from our customers, so it just keeps getting better and better. Now independently owned by its employees, Livery Coach Solutions is dedicated to improving the efficiency and operations of its valued clients, and our customer support is unmatched in the industry. So what are you waiting for?

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SMALL FLEET BUSINESS

SOWING SEEDS FOR SUCCESS IN SILICON VALLEY A FORMER APPLE EMPLOYEE, NLS TRANSPORTATION’S RASHAD DABABO USES HIS WEB AND TECH SAVVY TO GROW HIS BAY AREA OPERATION. By Michael Campos, LCT associate editor WHAT HE DID BEFORE: Rashad Dababo worked

for Apple Inc. doing sales for business and personal consumers, where he focused his attention on customer service and creating new Apple product owners. WHY HE GOT INTO THE BUSINESS: Dababo’s father

LOYAL TO THE CORE Dababo displays loyalty to his former employer by using only Apple products in his office, including Macintosh computers, iPhones and iPads.

had been in the transportation business since the 1980s, working as a driver and eventually starting NLS Transportation in 2001. Dababo took over in 2008 to put his “young years into play” and allow his father to focus on his health. START-UP COSTS AND METHODS: After taking over the company, Dababo spent about $200 for

web hosting and software and used the skills he learned in school to build the company’s website. “I am very passionate about what I do,” he says. “I know technology and customer mer service, and I am able to use those qualities to keep up with the changes in our industry and d provide quality service to my clients.” BEST MARKETING STRATEGY: Dababo focuses his efforts on social media campaigns and search engine marketing to build brand awareness and exposure for NLS Transportation. He believes that providing exemplary service will generate word-of-mouth recommendations, and these can be referrals in person or online. “We use the Internet to its maximum potential to make sure we’re always on the same page as our clients,” he says. “A solid source [for getting online referrals and building positive buzz about the company] is Yelp.”

FAST FACTS

BIGGEST MISTAKE: “I’ve learned that if you don’t know what you’re doing, delegate it. Sometimes

NLS Transportation, LLC.

our heads get to us and we make mistakes. If you’re not a pro at something, have a pro do the job.”

Redwood City, Calif.

NAME:

BIGGEST SUCCESS: “My biggest success has to be that 96% of my business is in-house,” Dababo

says. “I quit taking farm-in jobs last year so [my company] can focus on getting paid from previous jobs and focusing on our clients. We brought in almost 250% more business through our website in 2011 than in 2010.” UNIQUE APPROACHES TO CUSTOMER SERVICE: NLS Transportation caters to client demands, Dababo

says. Communication with clients creates a more “engaged experience” and ensures that NLS can understand clients’ expectations and accommodate their needs. “Customer service is the key to success and we strive for five-star ratings. This is a service industry, and I love customers.” ADVICE TO OPERATORS: “Make sure you are fair with your clients. Also make sure you put extra effort in showing your appreciation of their business, as they will remember this when booking with you next time. Focus on your company’s web presence, since that’s where the industry is headed next.” FUTURE PLANS: Dababo wants to expand NLS Transportation to a worldwide level, add more vehicles, and offer jet charter services. He also has plans for VIP concierge service and travel planning for large organizations.

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LOCATION: FOUNDED:

2001 OWNER:

Rashad Dababo MAIN SERVICE REGION:

San Francisco Bay Area VEHICLE TYPES:

sedans, SUVs, stretch limousines FLEET SIZE:

5 EMPLOYEES:

3 ANNUAL REVENUES:

$250,000, + WEBSITE:

www.NLSTrans.com INFORMATION:

(866) 668-1857

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SMOOTH OPERATOR

STEADY AS IT GOES A CONNECTICUT OPERATOR HAS GROWN HIS COMPANY INTO A 28-VEHICLE FLEET OVER 28 YEARS THROUGH TRIED AND TESTED PRACTICES.

R

By Michael Campos, LCT associate editor onald Montross bought his first stretch limousine for personal use. It was the 1980s and he and his business partner operated a successful messenger service founded in 1978. They wanted a stretch to party in and figured they could write off the costs of using it by doing trips on the side. Despite running a fleet of 60 delivery trucks, Montross and his partner decided they needed a backup plan, especially

THINGS HAVE CHANGED AND EVERYTHING IS INTERNETBASED NOW. MOST NEW CLIENTS COME FROM INTERNET SEARCHES, AS WELL AS WORD OF MOUTH. with the advent of fax machines that diminished the messenger business. In 1984, they bought three Lincoln Town Car sedans and founded Elite Limousine Inc. in Norwalk, Conn. Most of the company’s messenger accounts used chauffeured car service anyway, so Montross converted them into Elite’s clients. The first 10 years were a learning curve for Montross. He had no prior industry experience and had to learn from his mistakes. “My instincts were way off,” he says. One thing he learned right away was to implement a check-in procedure for chauffeurs to monitor their activity and ensure that they’re on time for their runs.

ALWAYS SAY YES Connecticut is known as The Land Of Steady Habits, and Montross rode this ethic on the journey to success. As the years went on, he learned more about the business and found out what worked and what did not. He stuck to his business philosophy and perfected his operation 72

AFTER THREE DECADES WITH TOWN CARS? Ronald Montross thinks his clients will not care too much about the retirement of the longtime Lincoln Town Car sedan. “Most of them don’t know what type of car they are getting in [and] I think that if the car is high-end and has all the creature comforts, the clients will be fine,” he says. He has been adding the new Chrysler 300 Limited sedans to his fleet, with four at the time this article was written with another on its way. Like all businessmen, Montross says he’s always looking for new revenue streams. He’s looking at taking on more bus work and growing his global affiliate network. “There are so many facets of the business. You can never say all of your work is done. I still check every job that comes in. I carry an iPad and iPhone and monitor from everywhere.” — Michael@LCTMag.com

by consistently providing a standard of service that clients respect and expect. Montross keeps in touch with clients by emailing them to ask if they’re happy and satisfied with the service. He offers discounts to clients during vacation times, upgrades when they have family trips, and comps rides for volume users. He never takes a client for granted because “loyalty is a thing of the past,” and it’s easy for clients to move to another chauffeured service. “Never say no to a customer,” Montross says. “Get them a car ASAP if that’s what they want. If we don’t have a car, we find one. Always say yes and then perform.”

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Connecticut operator Ronald Montross has chartered the choppy economic currents to keep his 28-year-old operation growing and relevant. He recently bought Chrysler 300 Limited sedans as possible fleet replacements for the Lincoln Town Car.

THINGS HAVE CHANGED Being consistent doesn’t mean sticking to old, ineffective ways. Montross stays on top of trends by reading industry magazines and builds his brand through digital marketing strategies. He invests in the search engine optimization (SEO) of Elite Limousine’s website and gets exposure through pay-per-click advertising. “Things have changed and everything is Internetbased now. Most new clients come from Internet searches, as well as word-ofmouth. [But I love] learning something new constantly; [there’s] never a dull moment [in this industry.]”

FAST FACTS I Company name: Elite Limousine Service Inc. I Location: Norwalk, Conn. I Founded: 1984 I Main service region: Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey tri-state area I Vehicle types: sedans, SUVs, stretch limousines, buses and vans I Fleet size: 28 I Employees: 30 I Annual revenues: $3.5 million I Owners: Ronald Montross, President; Dan Gardella, Vice President I Website: www.elitelimoct.com I Information: (203) 853-9666

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TRANSPO 101

A GUIDE FOR SMALL LIMOUSINE AND CHARTER BUS OPERATORS

PART 2:

WHY FACEBOOK IS NOT A FAD

T

By Jim A. Luff, contributing editor

1

WHY DO PEOPLE CHECK-IN?

2

EFFECTS ON COMMUNITY PHILANTHROPY

3

74

it screams, “Hey, look at me, I am at Disneyland,” or other fun places, the value of a “check-in” to a business has major marketing power. “Checking In” on Facebook is an application that allows you to show people in your social network where you are at the moment. Checking In places a dot on a street map showing the name of the place where you are located, such as a restaurant or theme park. You also may “tag” people that might be with you to share with the world who you are hanging out with. More important to businesses is the creation of “top of mind awareness.” For example, regularly checking in at your favorite restaurant makes your friends think about going there. As the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together, so chances are, if you like it your friends will too. Reading that one of your friends is at Disneyland might cause you to think about the last time you visited Disneyland and prompt you to plan a trip through the power of suggestion. Yes, even Disneyland has its own Facebook page.

WHILE PEOPLE MIGHT THINK

IT ISN’T CALLED “SOCIAL MEDIA” without good cause. Think of your Facebook page as your own electronic newspaper. Your subscribers are your “friends.” They come to your “wall” to read what you are doing or they see it in what is called a “news feed.” In a traditional newspaper, you might read about a charity event in the community and think nothing more about it. When you read about it on Facebook, it is your friends, clients, co-workers and people you actually know who are involved in community events. Whether it is a walk for a cure event, a comedy show for charity or a black tie event, people have a natural tendency to want to help their friends in their causes. Events are posted on the event section of a person’s wall and can be made a private or public event with invitations sent to targeted friends. In just a small example of social change, if your child is selling popcorn or cookies for a school fundraiser, there is no need to stand in front of a store hassling customers or dangerously going door-to-door. Throw up a post on Facebook and watch your friends and even friends of theirs flock to help your kid be the top salesperson in class. On that note, don’t just post your own needs but take the time to actually read the postings of your friends and support them. That is how charity gets spread.

EFFECTS ON POLITICS NEVER BEFORE HAVE CITIZENS had such personal access to politicians. You want to speak to your elected representative? Send them a Facebook message. Chances are they have a Facebook page. You want to change something in local government? It is easier than ever to post your message and watch the number of “likes” you get. If someone likes something you post on Facebook, they can click the word “like” next to your “posting” and a thumbs-up symbol displays how many people like what you have to say. This is true grassroots politics in the age of the Internet.

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ILLUSTRATION: RON RENNELLS, LCT ART DIRECTOR

he best thing about Facebook for the business user is the ability y to “connect” with your clients in a way never before possible. All for free. It costs nothing to join and Facebook vows to keep it that way forever. Because most people use Facebook on mobile devices as well as computers, you have the ability to broadcast messages, specials and information at any time. The effect is far bigger than your own “friend list” as friends of your friends also can see information. And things that your “friends” like may be shared and even encouraged to their friends. This can include special pricing, policy changes, additions to your company. y. . . the list goes on and on. There’s no hiding out from Facebook anymore if you are serious about marketing your business. It’s the fastest growing source for effective advertising and connections, s, capitalizing on the universal human desire to be social animals and interact. Last month, I gave you three main points to understand about how Facebook works and can help you. In this article, I look at three ways it creates a buzz and has impact.

THERE’S NO HIDING OUT FROM FACEBOOK ANYMORE IF YOU ARE SERIOUS ABOUT MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS.

LCT contributing editor JIM LUFF is an operator from Bakersfield, CA who began his career in the industry as a private chauffeur in 1990. In 1993 he joined Limousine Scene as the general manager and later became a partner. LCT recognized Jim as an Operator of the Year in 2001. E-mail any questions to him at Jim@LCTMag.com.

WWW.LCTMAG.COM

6/13/12 3:15 PM


GGLOBAL OPERATOR: GERMANY

GERMAN COMPANY NETWORKS FOR QUALITY SERVICE ANCHORED IN THE FINANCIAL CAPITAL OF EUROPE, GLOBALMOBILITY SERVES A HEAVY CORPORATE CLIENTELE.

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By Martin Romjue, LCT editor uropean operators typically run smaller fleets in a continent known for stricter emissions rules and higher gas prices than in the U.S. One German chauffeured transportation company, globalmobility, successfully adapts a fleet of nine standard and premium sedans and minivans to serve a clientele full of road show corporate warriors and charter aviation companies. From its headquarters in Frankfurt, the financial heart of the European Union and home of the European Central Bank, director of sales Woldemar Muehlenkamp works to maintain an affiliate network throughout Europe and the U.S. that duplicates the company’s high service levels. Muehlenkamp also is a steady presence at International LCT Shows, where he and colleagues from around the world network and grow their global reach.

What is unique about chauffeured services in Germany compared to the U.S.? One distinction is that we have a small market with many local companies and a few nationwide operators. The quality varies because not all local companies have the same global standard. They do not have the international experience and network, whereas the U.S. market is very big with high quality operators with a nationwide network. High taxes, labor costs and fuel prices are making the service comparatively expensive. ••• What are key challenges of your service area/region? Legality and costs. The law is handled differently than in the U.S. Companies are controlled only very rarely. The reason is that many companies are not working legally and without adequate insurance. Other challenges include the high costs of fuel and parts. ••• What qualities do you look for in a U.S. affiliate? It is very important to be 24/7 and reliable. For every single service we need the driver details, name and mobile number 24 hours in advance. Trust and reliability is important so that our customers receive the same high [level of] service like at home. •••

FAST FACTS

globalmobility director of sales Woldemar Muehlenkamp stands in front of the iconic Deutsche Bank Tower in the financial district of downtown Frankfurt, Germany.

What specific rules or procedures do U.S. operators need to be aware of when affiliating with operators in Germany? Most important are professional rules and procedures. There must be confidence in the company and their vehicles. The reaction time and information must be immediate. No paper or Internet website can show you the true reality. To know your business partner in person is the best approach. ••• What are your primary business challenges? Maintaining service quality with competitive pricing; keep our standards; improve and expand globally with our partners. ••• What are your top-rented chauffeured vehicles? Limousines: Mercedes E-Class, S-Class and VW Phaeton. Minivans: Mercedes Viano, Mercedes Vito, VW Caravelle. 60% of business comes from the S-Class or similar sedan, 30% from luxury Vianos or similar, and 10% other. ••• What types of clients do you typically serve? Corporations, travel specialists, incentive, events and communications agencies, VIPs, and Congress organizers. globalmobility [also] is focused on ground transportation for global financial road show customers and

private air charter companies. Events like Formula 1, the G10 summit, World Economic Forum, and VIP and sports events are some of the events which belong to this sector. ••• What does your driver/chauffeur training program involve? In cooperation with the ADAC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil Club), there has been developed a specific certificate for safety training. The chauffeurs are security checked, trained and have full insurance. [Note: The ADAC is Europe’s largest automobile club]. ••• What are the future plans for your company? globalmobility is part of EuroLimousineService (www. eurolimousine.net/). It is an affiliation of independently owned companies chosen by its membership based on the ability to handle U.S. affiliate business in a professional manner with fair pricing. The goal is to assist U.S. companies in expanding their affiliate network with trusted overseas partners. The overall mission is to provide affordable and quality service to all customers whether it is business or leisure. We hope to keep growing with the success of EuroLimousine.net.

I BUSINESS NAME: globalmobility Deutschland GmbH I LOCATION: Frankfurt, Germany I YEAR FOUNDED: 2001 I OWNER: Stefan Pabst I CHIEF OPERATION MANAGER: Thorsten Oppermann I GLOBAL SALES MANAGER: Woldemar Muehlenkamp I MAIN SERVICE REGIONS: Germany, Austria, Switzerland I TYPES OF VEHICLES: sedan, premium sedans, minivans I OVERALL FLEET SIZE: 9 I TOTAL EMPLOYEES: 6 I ANNUAL REVENUES: N/A I REVENUE SHARE FROM LUXURY VEHICLE CLIENTS: 80% I WEBSITE: www.global-mobility.com I CONTACT INFO: info@global-mobility.com LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR JUNE/JULY 2012

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IN FOCUS

Gryphon Corp.’s Mark Elkins demonstrates the company’s new Easy Go Smart Key System, now adapted to select chauffeured vehicles.

FLAT SCREEN TV PROVIDER SETS PACE FOR LIMO INTERIOR TECH GRYPHON CORP. BUILDS ON ITS

12-VOLT ELECTRIC AND LED-LIGHTING LEGACY TO DEVELOP ONBOARD TV SCREENS WITH LED PICTURE CLARITY.

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By Martin Romjue, LCT editor

COMPANY EASY GO SYSTEM Gryphon Corp. and Krytal Enterprises are launching a remote pushbutton start ignition system that is OEM-integrated by the end of July. First created for the consumer auto market, it will be installed in select chauffeured vehicle models starting with the Savana. The equipment easily snaps into an existing panel on the dashboard, and related OEM color matched parts will replace the driver, passenger and center door handles with upgraded push button features for easy entry. The keyless entry works as long as the user is within a few feet of the vehicle while carrying the remote device. www. easygosystem.com

I NAME: Gryphon Global Corp. I FOUNDED: 2005 I LOCATION: La Puente, Calif. I OWNER: Nelson Yen, CEO I PRODUCT LINES: Vission (mobile entertainment); Auto Guard (vehicle security); Tool Box (installation hardware and accessories) I ANNUAL REVENUE: $10 million-plus I EMPLOYEES: 30-plus I KEY CLIENTS: Worldwide I KEY EXECUTIVE: Mark Elkins, vice president of operations I WEBSITE: www.gryphonmobile.com I CONTACT: (888) 903-8777

FAST FACTS 76

A PUENTE, Calif. — Six years ago, Gryphon Corp. got a call from a limousine manufacturer that sparked a venture for a new product line. The manufacturer asked Gryphon for advanced LED light patterns for interiors and for raw TV panels as well. “We made lots of LED and it was very expensive,” recalls Mark Elkins, vice president of Gryphon Corp. (pronounced Griffin). “We saw we could reduce prices substantially and offer choice and variety. There were two or three main distributors for the limo industry that focused on opera light LED patterns. We decided let’s take a shot, so we handmade several varieties and built patterns for LED opera lights.” The company tried out various sample LED panel configurations and found one that worked well for limousines, Elkins says. “I thought there is an industry here that is thriving that needs a better product. By about September 2006, we were importing our own higher quality raw panel and offering it exclusively to custom car builders and mainly to the coach industry.” That first request helped the company grow a product line that started when it was renamed Gryphon in 2005 so it could specialize in a labeled, higher-end brand of superior video lines to offer car stereo shops and consumers. After 2006, flat panel TV screen technology rapidly improved, leading to thinner, cheaper and more durable screens. By 2008, Gryphon was taking its product line to a higher level when it started supplying them to Tiffany Coachworks, a major California-based maker of limo buses and stretches, Elkins says. Demand combined with more advanced applications led to bigger screens — “we added other sizes to our product line; we had 15-

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Gryphon Mobile Corp. owner Nelson Yen and Vice President of Operations Mark Elkins have expanded the company into flat-screen LED-panel displays being used by such limousine manufacturers as Krystal and Tiffany.

inch and 17-inch screens, then did 23-inch screens and then brought in 32-inch and 42-inch screens.” That same year, Gryphon got an even bigger break: Krystal Enterprises, the leading limousine manufacturer in the world, called with a need to transition from traditional TV panels to LED flat screens. “They were running into an issue of changing over from home TVs,” Elkins recalls. “Within a year of supplying Krystal, we updated our system by adding LED to panels and LED back-lighting systems which created brighter, cooler, longer-lasting TVs. We also sought out and started importing a higher quality LED Ribbon tape and were able to develop custom one-off LED-kit designs for Krystal for various vehicles, such as party buses, vans, Hummers, and new Lincolns.” Gryphon’s emphasis on quality, simplicity and reliability helped it attract some top names in vehicle modification and manufacturing. In addition to Krystal and Tiffany, the company supplies: Automotive Design and Fabrication, L.A. Custom Coach, Vogue Motor Cars, Ultimate Custom Coach, Lexani Motor Cars, Prestige Motorcoach, Premier Motorcoach, Southern Comfort, and Rocky Ridge Conversions. A 42-inch raw panel costs $899, and a 10-inch panel, $149. The most popular model, the 23inch screen, costs $399, and $419 with a special tuner for the China market. Gryphon backs up its LED panels with a two-year warranty on the screens and a one-year warranty on the LED ribbons, with free replacement and repairs within the first year. The LED ribbon cable is housed in a ceramic footprint for longer life and less heat, and is waterproof and dust proof. “We want to keep it simple,” Elkins says. “By focusing on LED ribbon cables to raw panel TVs, we do not oversaturate our product line.” Gryphon Corp. also markets its portfolio of products through numerous channels including industry leading distributors and specialty retail chains, and independent retail establishments worldwide, with plans to boost partnerships in the global electronics market. WWW.LCTMAG.COM

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INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS

TRADE GROUP BUILDS ON BIG AWARD THE COLORADO LIMOUSINE ASSOCIATION STAYS ACTIVE ON KEY LOCAL ISSUES AFFECTING OPERATORS.

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By Martin Romjue, LCT editor ENVER — Colorado operators are dealing with a vexing regulatory matter that often challenges limousine companies everywhere: Who exactly regulates what areas and by what authority? For the Colorado Limousine Association, it is a priority issue this year as the group gains a national industry profile with its recent achievement of the 2012 LCT Association Award of Excellence. The annual award was announced Feb. 14 during the International LCT Show in Las Vegas. Operators in the Denver area are trying to make sense of rules surrounding the issuance of “Herdic” licenses by the City of Denver Excise and Licensing Division that allow ground transportation providers to pick up and drop off clients within the city limits of Denver, which includes the Denver International Airport about 25 miles east of the city. An unresolved gray area is whether limousine operations based outside of the Denver city limits who serve the metro region are subject to Herdic licenses for their chauffeured fleet vehicles, said Shane Stickel, Chairman of the Board of the CLA and owner of Denver-based Presidential Worldwide Transportation. “We’re dealing with Tom Downey, the head of the Excise and Licensing Department in an effort to eliminate it or make it relevant to our industry,” Stickel said. “Herdics have a heavy slant toward the taxi industry. We want to eliminate it altogether, but if we can’t, then at least make the changes necessary for the law to be relevant to the chauffeured transportation industry – not just the taxi industry as it is now.” The license rules are unclear in that they state a company must be based in the city of Denver, but then licenses must apply to any limousine company that rides on Denver city and county roads, he said. “They need to clarify who needs it and who doesn’t and what the purpose of the license is for. We are regulated by the state. What is Denver providing to the public that the PUC has not? There have been occasions in the past where companies based outside of Denver, although driving on streets within the city and county of Denver (Denver International Airport), have received tickets for not having their Herdic license.” The confusion over Herdic licenses could be cleared up with administrative decisions, but the CLA may need to pursue a remedy through the state legislature if an equitable solution cannot be reached, Stickel said.

STATE LEVEL RESULTS In clarifying the Herdic rules, the CLA hopes to capitalize on its success with a limousine license plate bill that was passed by the state last year and went into effect Jan. 1, 2012. The bill requires limousine operators to put distinct livery license plates with red insignia on all chauffeured fleet vehicles. “Like many locations, il-

legal [operators] are a big issue here in Denver,” Stickel said. “We believe this won’t solve the problem, but it alerts the police and Public Utilities Commission from a distance whether [operators] are legal or not.” The state PUC regulates all limousine vehicles in the state of Colorado. The license plate bill also allows Denver police to issue a ticket instead of just the PUC. “Hopefully, we can have more regulatory bodies out there policing that than the limited resources of the PUC,” Stickel said. CLA support of the license plate bill was cited by the awards committee as one of the group’s key successes.

HANDLING PROBLEMS Among other challenges on the CLA plate for 2012: • With the city of Denver forming a Taxi Commission, the CLA wants to be sure the state limousine industry gets representation on the regulating group, since limousines often get categorized with taxis, Stickel said. The CLA needs to make sure that the commission doesn’t make broad rules that hurt chauffeured operators. • A light rail project connecting the Denver International Airport to downtown Denver will result in heavy construction that started in May that restricts curbside access and may cause pickup and drop-off delays with the numerous detours put into place for ground transportation operators. CLA representatives on the Ground Transportation Committee at DIA have been meeting monthly for the last six months to air concerns and find temporary solutions, Stickel said.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT Among charities supported by the CLA is The Stink Bug Project, which helps families with children who are diagnosed with life threatening illnesses. It provides well-trained, loving companion dogs from the Prison Trained K-9 Companion Program at Colorado Correctional Industries. The CLA also donates complimentary chauffeured transportation to events held by the local Morgan Adams Foundation, which funds cancer research and detection, and the Rocky Mountain Children’s Hospital. The rides bring donors, sponsors, and children to the events and galas.

COMPANY NAME: Colorado Limousine Association I LOCATION: Denver I FOUNDED: 1989 I OPERATOR MEMBERS: 34 I VENDOR MEMBERS: 6 I CHAIRMAN: Shane Stickel, Presidential Worldwide Transportation I LICENSED LIMO VEHICLES IN STATE: 385 I MEETINGS: One per month I SPEAKERS: Airport officials, local regulators, lawyers, etc. I ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP FEE: $100, first year I SUPPORTED CHARITIES: Rocky Mountain Children’s Hospital; Morgan Adams Foundation; Stink Bug Project I WEBSITE: www.cololimo.org

FAST FACTS 78

THE COLORADO LIMOUSINE ASSOCIATION actively supports a local charity called the Stink Bug Project, formed by an 8-year-old girl with a brain tumor who called cancer a “stink bug.” The girl received a dog which helped her during years of successful treatments. She decided all child patients should get a dog, hence the Stink Bug Project, which raises funds to donate trained dogs to child patients. Pictured (L to R) are CLA supporters: John Hafer, A Custom Coach; Jody Cowen, Carey Limousine; Cathy Bosier, Pioneer Limousine; Allison Winn, Stink Bug Project recipient of the $1,000 from the LCT Association Award of Excellence; Franci Ouzounis, White Dove Limousine; Shane Stickel, Presidential Worldwide Transportation; and Steve Cordrey, Veolia Transportation.

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J U N E

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2012 NLA Lobbying Target: Overtime on Gratuities Rule Reversal By Patricia A. Nelson • NLA Executive Director

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he prime objective of 2012 lobbying efforts by the National Limousine Association is to educate legislators on the U.S. Department of Labor’s existing overtime on gratuities regulation and to seek lawmakers’ support for having this rule overturned. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) disagrees with the chauffeured transportation industry’s customary practice that clients request a voluntary, discretionary gratuity or tip be placed on the bill for all client transactions. Instead, the DOL has stated that this practice makes a tip not a tip and indicated that because the gratuity is placed on a bill, it is and should be treated as wages and subject to overtime. To counter this, the National Limousine Association presents a straightforward and common fact pattern to illustrate that a recommended tip included on a customer’s bill is not an “imposed charge” or mandatory “service charge,” but rather is a “tip” for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The fact pattern provides details including: 1. The bill to the customer contains a prenegotiated “recommended gratuity” amount, as requested and agreed upon by the customer. 2. Billing occurs, at the customer’s request, on an invoicing cycle after the provision of services. 3. The gratuity is paid, if at all, in the sole discretion of the customer and in whatever amount the customer deems appropriate,

irrespective of the recommended amount. 4. The gratuity is turned over to the driver in full. 5. The recommended gratuity will vary in amount or rate depending on the customer. After industry leaders met with DOL in 2011, the NLA formally requested an administrative interpretation from DOL that clarifies the provisions for recommended tips under the FLSA. Because of this business model, prearranged ground transportation operators are being subjected to a rash of lawsuits for alleged violations of the FLSA and similar state laws related to payment of overtime. The suits claim that, when calculating the amount of overtime due, the limousine company is required to factor in tips, gratuities and/or service charges collected by the company from the customer and passed on to the employee. A recent federal court decision on the matter granted a transportation company’s motion for summary judgment on a complaint to recover damages for alleged violations of state and federal labor law. [Ellis v. Commonwealth Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation, 2012 WL 1004848 (E.D.N.Y. 2012)]. The court found there was no support for the claim that the transportation operator should have included the recommended tip as part of the employee’s regular wage in calculating his overtime rate. Updates on the progress of this key lobbying initiative by the National Limousine Association will be forthcoming as warranted.

NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS National Limousine Association

49 S. Maple Ave., Marlton, NJ 08053 Phone: (856) 596-3344 * Fax: (856) 596-2145 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Patricia A. Nelson Patricia.nelson@limo.org ASSOCIATION PROGRAMS MANAGER Darcie-Jo Benard Darcie.benard@limo.org MEMBER SERVICES COORDINATOR Kim Werbos Kim.werbos@limo.org

BOARD OF DIRECTORS OFFICERS

PRESIDENT Diane Forgy (’10-’13) Central Region Overland Limousine Service, MISSOURI FIRST VICE PRESIDENT Gary Buffo (’11-’14) West Region Pure Luxury Transportation, CALIFORNIA SECOND VICE PRESIDENT Richard Azzolino (’09-’12) (’12-’15) West Region Gateway Limousines Worldwide, CALIFORNIA TREASURER Greg Pruitt (’11-’14) Central Region Kings Worldwide Transportation, OKLAHOMA SECRETARY Robert Alexander (’09-’12) (’12-’15) Southeast Region RMA Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation, MARYLAND

DIRECTORS Michael Campbell (’12-’15) Northeast Region Grace Limousine, NEW HAMPSHIRE Laura Canady (’12-’15) Southeast Region CLT Express, NORTH CAROLINA Joe Cirruzzo (’08-’11) (’11-’14) A Elegant Int. Limo, NEW YORK Dean De Beer (’07-’10) (’10-’13) International Tristar Worldwide Chauffeur Services, ENGLAND Jeff Greene (’12-’15) At Large Greene Classic Limousines, GEORGIA Mary Harrell-Paul (’12-’15) Central Region Crown Cars & Limousines, ILLINOIS Joe Ironi (’10-’13) Canada Global Alliance Worldwide Chauffeured Services, CANADA Richard Kane (’07-’10) (’10-’13) At Large International Limousine Service, WASHINGTON DC Deena Papagni (’07-’10) (’10-’13) West Region A Touch of Class Transportation, CALIFORNIA

NLA Rebates Member Dues to Local Associations for Seventh Year Showing off the National Limousine Association’s most recent dues rebate to the Limousine Associations of New Jersey (LANJ) are (L to R): LANJ executive director Barry Lefkowitz, LANJ president Tim Rose, and NLA executive director Patricia Nelson. The $5,255 represents 20% of dues collected during the first quarter 2012 from NLA members who also are LANJ members. Since the rebate program’s inception in 2006, the NLA has paid out more than $300,000 to its association members.

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Dawson Rutter (’07-’10) (’10-’13) Commonwealth Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation, MASSACHUSETTS Dave Shaw (’11-’14) Southeast Region Olympus Limousines, FLORIDA Scott Solombrino (’08-’11) (’11-’14) At Large Dav El Chauffeured Transportation Network, MASSACHUSETTS Ron Stein (’12-’15) At Large Exclusive Sedan Service, CALIFORNIA VENDOR DIRECTORS Ray Bush Cadillac Professional Vehicles Brad Roney Ford Fleet Livery & Limousine Vehicles

SPECIAL SECTION

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2012 SPONSORS The National Limousine Association wishes to thank the following companies for their sponsorship in 2012. PREMIERE

GOLD

Commonwealth Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation Boston, MA SILVER

BostonCoach Boston, MA El Paseo Limousine San Jose, CA

Angel Limousine Worldwide San Francisco, CA

North Point Transportation Group Atlanta, GA

SUPPORTING

LimousineGUARD Hartford, CT

National Interstate Insurance Company Richfield, OH

ODS Chauffeured Transportation Las Vegas, NV

Overland Limousine Kansas City, MO

Tristar Worldwide Chauffeur Services London, UK

CONTRIBUTING

Aerocar Service, Richmond BC Bennington Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation, Toronto, ON Buffalo Limousine, Buffalo, NY CTI Transportation, Bellaire, TX Edward Limousines â&#x20AC;&#x201C; EQSL Global, Vincennes, France Executive Limousine & Coach, Ventura, CA Gateway Limousines Worldwide, Burlingame, CA Global Alliance Worldwide Chauffeured Services, Toronto, ON Havering Carriage Co., Hornchurch, Essex, UK Hermes Worldwide, Denver, CO

Kings Worldwide Transportation, Oklahoma City, OK Legacy Limousines & VIP Transportation, Guadalajara, Mexico Metro Cars, Detroit, MI Penguin Cars Australia, Sydney, Australia Presidential Worldwide Transportation, Denver, CO Shanghai Limousine, Shanghai, China Specialty Transportation, Indianapolis, IN Upscale Executive Transportation, Eastvale, CA USA Transportation, Fort Lauderdale, FL www.LimousineAmsterdam.com, Amsterdam, The Netherlands SPECIAL SECTION

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WEB ADDRESS www.90210limo.com www.apluslimousine.com www.accentsantafe.com www.advantagelimollc.com www.ajt-inc.jp www.akalimos.com www.all-rite.com www.allwaystrans.com www.americanviplimousine.com www.axalivery.com www.baltimorewashingtonluxurysedan.com www.beltlimo.com www.bigastexaslimos.com www.bigeasylimos.com www.biribinlimousines.com www.blackcarmhk.com www.canamlimo.com www.capitalriders.com www.chauffeuredexecutive.com www.chauffeurservice-munich.com www.citisedan.com www.cloud9limofl.com www.clubcarlimo.com www.coloradoluxuryride.com www.ictherightway.com www.corporatecarsaustralia.com www.dalimousine.com www.deeplimo.com www.dimplelimo.com www.dlalimo.com www.downunderlimousine.com www.ecostyleusa.com www.eliteny.com

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LOCATION Baden-Baden, Germany Nashville, TN Ferndale, WA Paris, France Mandan ND Geneva, NY Modesto, CA Melville, NY Roswell, GA Hayward, CA Smyrna, TN Seoul, South Korea Pinkenba, Australia Albuquerque, NM Macau, Macao Newark, NJ East Rutherford, NJ Edmonton, AB Cambridge, MA Oklahoma City, OK Durham, NC Long Beach, CA San Juan, PR Falls Church, VA Cranford, NJ Zurich, Switzerland Southampton, NY Glendale, CA Harrisburg, PA Sea Girt, NJ Tampa, FL Nassau, The Bahamas Fairfield, NJ Little Ferry, NJ Patchogue, NY

WEB ADDRESS www.els-limo.de www.emeraldluxurytransportation.com www.evergreentowncarbellingham.com www.car-service.fr www.fitzlimo.com www.gallo.com www.globallibertyny.com www.hennessytransportation.com www.innovativelimo.com www.nashvillelegacy.com www.limoinkorea.com www.limoso.com.au www.luckyboyzlimo.com www.lynxlimo.com www.mobilemediapayment.com www.nynjcarservice.com www.northernlightslimousines.com www.orientexpresslimo.com www.premiumcarok.com www.prestigepremier.com www.richardslimousine.com www.rstpuertorico.com www.dcroyalsedan.com www.ryanandrileylimousine.com www.verband-sla.ch www.southamptonlimo.com www.speedytowncarservices.com www.starexpresslimousine.com www.starinternationallimousine.com www.newtampalimo.com www.wctsg.com www.nyclimos.com

Time to replace that old limo? The industry’s oldest and most popular online trader just got better! Limoforsale.com is now powered by LCT Magazine and will present the world’s largest and most credicle pre-owned trader ever. We’ve modeled our site after the best features of autotrader.com and ebaymotors.com and combined the marketing might of LCT to offer the MACK DADDY of industry e-traders that spans the international marketplace.

We offer your ads more industry exposure than you can get anywhere else! LimoInsure is not available in all states. Nationwide coverage except AK, HI, LA, MA, NY. *Ratings as of January 2012. For the latest ratings information, access www.ambest.com. Insurance product obligations are the sole responsibility of each underwriting insurance company. Insurance coverages underwritten by individual member companies of Zurich in North America, including Zurich American Insurance Company. Certain coverages not available in all states. Some coverages may be written on a nonadmitted basis through licensed surplus lines brokers. LimoInsure is not a subsidiary or affiliate of Zurich. ©2012 Zurich American Insurance Company

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SPECIAL SECTION

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Contact Carol Jack / 253 983-0515 / carol.jack@bobit.com WWW.LCTMAG.COM

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WHY JOIN THE

NATIONAL LIMOUSINE ASSOCIATION? BECAUSE THE FACTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES

NLA Fac Fact #1: The NLA Can Deliver New Revenue Re New NL NLA members get multiple lead generators, including company name announcements with live website links in LCT Magazine, LimoScene, NLA E-News and on Limo. org, Facebook and Linked-In. The NLA’s website www.NLARide.com features the list of NLA member operators and serves as a prime referral resource for fellow members, other transportation professionals and travelers worldwide. The NLA Directory of Members functions as a similar business tool. It’s used habitually by NLA operators for member-to-member farm-outs and affiliate work.

NLA Fac Fact #2: The NLA Promotes Members Membe 24/7 The Na National Limousine Association website www.NLARide.com is an online directory that showcases all (and only) NLA member companies. It is designed for the public’s use and for chauffeured transportation operators’ use, is updated daily, and offers quick and easy searches by location and vehicle type. The NLA office regularly directs consumer inquiries to www.NLARide.com and recommends members use it as a supplementary tool to the NLA Directory of Members for up-to-the-minute member contact information worldwide.

NLA Fac Fact #3: The NLA Can Save You Money The NLA offers 20 discount programs on chauffeured transportation software, marketing/printing, background checks, packa packaged human resource programs, LCT Show tickets, and lots more. The newest program that has members signing up in droves is a 19% discount on Verizon Wireless calling plans. Take advantage of just a few and your annual dues will pay for themselves — and then some!

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NLA Fac Fact #4: The NLA Makes Your Voice Heard H The NLA gives every single member company the political might of many. It stays on top of and fights for the issues that directly impact limousine enterprise. NLA members have a powerful voice through the NLA’s on-the-ground lobbying firm in Washington D.C. Members also are able to get skilled one-on-one assistance — without charge — on company-specific regulatory and/or legislative problems and issues.

NLA Fac Fact #5: The NLA Provides the Hallmark Hallmar of Professionalism The NLA is the only international association serving luxury chauffeured ground transportation. You’ll confirm you stand with the very best in the industry whenever and wherever you display the NLA logo, the official seal of your company’s membership, on your website, business cards, and vehicles.

NLA Fac Fact #6: The NLA Teaches How to Do It Better Be The NL NLA seminars at the annual International LCT Show deliver exactly the practical know-how you require to grow and strengthen your company, whether you are a “newbie” to chauffeured transportation or a veteran business owner. The NLA newsletters LimoScene and NLA E-News, the website www.Limo.org, quarterly webinars and frequent members-only news briefs provide the latest industry information and business-building tips.

Join the NLA Today at www.Limo.org 6/13/12 3:31 PM 5/7/12 12:11 1/25/12 12:47 PM


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ARROW LIMO WORLDWIDE New Jersey (800) 882-7769 (88ARROW) / www.arrowlimo.com

Year Founded: 1960 Number of Employees: 175 Fleet Size: 92 Types of Vehicles in Fleet: Towncar ‘L’ sedans, Vans, SUV’s, 6-9 passenger stretches,

12 passenger stretch excursions Insurance Carrier: Trax Captive- National Interstate Liability Limit: N/A Criminal Background Checks: Yes Drug Testing: Yes Driver Payment Practice: Commission based on tenure Recognition or Awards: Trax Safety Awards 2006-12, Among top 30 largest limousine companies in USA for over 20 years Permitted Airports: Tri-state Association Affiliations: Joined NLA and LANJ when they were founded Anything Else: Nationwide Affiliate Network, No Owner Operators

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BAYVIEWSeattle LIMOUSINE (800) 606-7880 / www.bayview.com

Recognition or Awards: • LCT Operator of the Year – Large category • Limo Digest Operator of the Year Finalist– Large category • Business Examiner - “Named Best Companies to Work” • Winner of Ernst Young “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” • Seattle Metropolitan Magazine - “Top 25 Best Places toWork” • Tacoma Chamber of Commerce – “Spotlight: Outstanding Business of the Year” • AWB (Association of Washington Business) Criminal Background Checks: Yes – “Job Training & Advancement Award” Drug Testing: Yes Bayview was also named the number one company in Driver Payment Practice: EMPLOYEE BASED Washington State for “Job Training & Advancement”. Permitted Airports: Seatac Airport, • SWKCC Chamber of Commerce - “Ace Customer Service Award” This award recognizes companies for excellence King County International Airport, Tacoma, in customer service, employee satisfaction and Narrows Airport, Paine Field community involvement. Association Affiliations: NLA, Puget Sound • Seattle Business Magazine Limousine Association, Seattle Chamber of – “Seattle’s Best Ride to the Airport” Commerce, Seattle Convention Bureau, Association of Washington Business Member, • Inc. Magazine –“Top 5,000 Fastest Growing Companies” Tacoma Chamber of Commerce Member, • Puget Sound Business Journal BBB Member, South King County Chamber – “100 Fastest Growing Companies” of Commerce Member Year Founded: 1990 Number of Employees: 82 Fleet Size: 74 Types of Vehicles in Fleet: SEDANS, SUVS, VANS, STRETCH LIMOUSINES, MINI-COACHS Insurance Carrier: NATIONAL INTERSTATE Liability Limit: $5,000,000

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YOUR SEATTLE AFFILIATE

THE SMOOTHEST RIDE IN SEATTLE

FIRST-CLASS SERVICE | RELIABLE & VERSATILE Largest Company-Owned Fleet in Washington State Voted 2007 Operator of the Year

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Trust Tristar to deliver the world As one of the world’s leading chauffeur companies, over 1,400 people a day trust Tristar to take them to their most important engagements. • • • • • • • • •

Service in over 70 countries worldwide 24 hour US, UK and Hong Kong reservation centers Highly skilled international team fluent in 7 languages Consistent, reliable service in all markets Dedicated corporate roadshows & events teams experienced in managing complex requirements Competitive rates provided in USD or GBP for all markets Billing information provided promptly and accurately Formalised partnerships with affiliates in all markets served Automated bookings accepted through Transponet

Put your trust in Tristar – contact us today to find out more or make a booking.

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Nashville’s Largest Affiliate Partner

MIDDLE TENNESSEE’S LEADING G R O U N D T R A N S P O R TAT I O N S E R V I C E

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Gone WORLDWIDE lately? How about, ALBUQUERQUE & SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO, U.S.A.?

BROADEN YOUR HORIZON

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Because YOUR Reputation and First Impressions Count…

Skylark Limousine

The Comfort of YOUR Client is OUR #1 Priority! Service 24/7 • We Always Arrive Early • Extensive Late Model Fleet We service SJC, SFO & OAK - Airports, Businesses & Hotels 800 526-2751 (408 289-8064) www.SkylarkLimo.com Est.1993 We Specialize in Corporate Travel TCP #12248

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The Definiton of Excellence Established in 1995

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Toll Free: 888-667-9300 • Fax: 770-569-7757 Email: affiliate@atlanticlimo-ga.com www.atlanticlimo-ga-com

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Tr a n s p o r t a t i o n S e r v i c e s

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Phoenix Sky Harbor International Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport All FBOs in the Phoenix Region “Exceptional transportation for exceptional people”

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KANSAS CITY

Voted Ingram’s Magazine “Best Ground Transportation Service” in Kansas City for last 5 years

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WE OFFER AN EXTENSIVE FLEET OF: L-Series Sedans / Limousines / SUV’s / Vans / Mini & Limousine Coaches

WE SATISFY ALL YOUR TRANSPORTATION NEEDS:

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Relax@pureluxury.com 913.381.3504 info@kclimo.com Odyssey code: OVER1093 www.kclimo.com

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ADVERTISER’S INDEX

ADVERTISER’S INDEX

The Advertiser’s Index is provided as a courtesy to LCT Advertisers. The publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. ADVERTISER A & A Metro Transportation Acton Lincoln/Mercury Advantage Funding of New York Arrow Limousine LCT0211aametro60years.indd 1 Atlantic Limousine Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation Bayview Limousine Service BeTransported.com BusCon 2012 Celebrity Limousine Service CH Bus Sales, Inc. Chrysler Fleet CMS Crown Cars & Limousines El Paseo Limousine ETS International FASTTRAK Livery Systems First Class Executive Limo Ford Motor Company Ford Sponsorship of LCT’s Top 100 Gateway Limousines Global Alliance Grand Avenue Chauffeured Transportation Krystal Enterprises Lancer Insurance Company LCT Affiliates LCT E-Newsletter LCT Products LCT Social Media LCT Subscription

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PAGE 99 100,103 43 86-87 96 103 88-89 9 79 97 37 35 C3 90 96 97 29 98 C2-1 19-22 95 85 92 10-11, 46-47 51 53, 94 18 71 59 23

ADVERTISER LCT Summit 2012 LCTmag.com Limoforsale.com Limos.com Liquid Spring Technologies Livery Coach Lockhart Cadillac Mercedes Benz USA Metro Cars Music Express National Van Builders Nissan NLA (National Limousine Association) Overland Limousine Service Printing 4 Less Pure Luxury Limousine Republic Ford/Lincoln/Mercury Rodes Roper Love Insurance Agency Royal Carriages Royale Limousine Manufacturer Skylark Limousine Star Limo LLC TIB (Transportation Insurance Brokers) Tiffany Coachworks Titus Leasing Company Towne Automotive Group Transpo Insurance Tristar Worldwide Chauffeur Turtle Top Western Experts in Transportation

PAGE 63-68 6 52, 77, 82 C4 1/4/11 5 69 102 3, 13 97 93 73 7 83 98 71 98 100 53 96 27, 42 95 94 39 55 15 101 16 91 17 82

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DEALERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S SHOWROOM

2012 CHRYSLER 300 LIMITED LIVERY EDITION J'0)+0'9+6*FMF  Lg52''&#761/#6+%64#05/+55+10 GE/+.'52'4)#..10*+)*9#; #8'18'4PGXINN2'4 ;'#4+0)#5r ;'#4+0)#5* '#6*'4'#6+0) *41/'*''.5  Hg;'#4fEINXNNNg /+.'9#44#06;

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EDITOR’S LETTER

SURVIVAL COURSE

R

others doing the heavy lifting in associations: egardless of political preferences, “There’s peer pressure and that’s difficult everyone can agree that 2012 is a because it carries side effects, but the other hyper-charged Presidential election things are to try and highlight the benefits. year that will determine the future You can go to vendors and get them to offer health of the chauffeured transportabenefits to industry members. You try to find tion industry and Main Street America tangible benefits that will [help] individual businesses overall. Despite such high stakes, operations and that will only be available to industry associations still must focus on a commembers of the organization. . . . The other mon challenge: Getting more members and [approach] is the whole networking ability of keeping them in the loop while fighting critical being an association member. You will gain regulatory and legislative battles. Strong associaccess to business and vendors when farmations are ultimately an investment in bringing MARTIN ROMJUE ing out.” about a more pro-business economic climate martin@lctmag.com that enhances the industry’s operating field. I Another motivator is to seek input from recently checked in with multiple association members on the crafting of ordinances and heads and supporters to highlight what approaches to motivat- legislation that regulates the operation of ing the industry base work best. chauffeured vehicles, said RENZO ORMSBEE, Two of the most successful and politically savvy state associa- President of the Limousine Association of tions in the industry are the Greater California Livery Associa- Houston. “One of the things we try to be tion and the Limousine Associations of New Jersey. Both groups is relevant to our membership by involving coalesce around strong leaders, divide duties among commit- them in making changes to a limo orditees, and retain paid professional lobbyists and consultants to nance,” he said. “We’ve taken such opporadvance goals. Most importantly, GCLA and LANJ make the di- tunities to get with our membership and rect connection between membership and results. find out the issues they felt should be ad“Donating your time and money is an investment in preserv- dressed. We spend a good part of quarterly ing your business and allowing it to grow,” said JONNA SABROFF, meetings talking about what is going on. Renzo Ormsbee President of ITS in Los Angeles and an active GCLA supporter We bounce input across the leadership and and strategist. “Your dues and financial contributions go toward take it to the city government. We make sure that people in the paying the lobbyists and attorneys needed to level the playing industry think it’s important to be involved in the association.” field so we can turn back unwarranted attacks on our busiSmaller groups, such as the Kentucky Limousine Association, nesses. This in turn will allow us to preserve the jobs of the men which remains active in a state with only about 30 legal limand women who depend on us for their livelihoods.” ousine companies but plenty of illegal ones, offers the lure of GCLA President MARK STEWART knows firsthand the vexing inside information as a way to get and retain members, said KLA struggle to get membership renewals and operators to pay dues President CAREY FIELDHOUSE. That includes exclusive, passwordin a down economy. Stewart has led his association to mod- protected access to a members-only website with resources for est growth, but he admits he is puzzled by some of the apathy operators, such as annual traffic plans for servicing the Kentucky amid so much economic and state budget uncertainty in CaliforDerby. “We’ve modeled ourselves after the nia. “We’re all volunteering and doing this on our own time. I’m NLA where members get information and amazed why despite tough times companies can’t afford mema real value for membership,” Fieldhouse berships. . . For the small cost of membership, you get a good resaid. “We do a lot of continuing education turn from people working to save the industry and business. It’s a seminars and presentations for members, small price to pay to have the association protect your business.” so that what we do is legal, ethical, and with a moral compass.” LANJ’s tireless and well-connected executive director and lobFieldhouse also relayed an anecdote byist, BARRY LEFKOWITZ, makes sure members see results and get that reveals a more human advantage of face time with important state leaders and decision makers. At association membership, no matter the LANJ, transparency is critical: “Our board meetings are open if size of the group. When the KLA informalsomeone wants to come see the board and see what’s going Carey Fieldhouse ly gathered for the first time at a Perkins on,” he said. “They have opportunities at the end of meetings and general member- restaurant in August 2006, operators realized they wouldn’t kill ship meetings to raise questions and issues each other competitively and could actually work together toand bring things to the table. It’s important ward mutual support, Fieldhouse said. After the group formed, to be able to have direct contact with regu- a female limousine operator had a stretch breakdown in the lators who can make their lives miserable early morning hours in a remote area of rural Kentucky. She called a fellow association member, who then dispatched a reor can be helpful.” Limousine Association of New York placement limo for the client and a tow truck for the one that President JEFF ROSE has found two methods had broken down. “You’ll get a close-knit group of members that seem to work against what he calls who literally will jump out of bed in the middle of the night to the selfish habit of enjoying the benefits of help each other out.” Jeff Rose 104

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LCT Magazine June/July 2012