May 2013 Issue
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Who's who of the Limousine, Charter and Tour industry? This is the place to find out. We've gathered information from our archives on the industry's leaders past and present, the bigwigs and tomorrow's titans. Read more about how they got started, who influenced them, and their advice to newcomers.
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H.A. Thompson, who founded Rose Chauffeured Transportation in Charlotte, N.C., in 1985, started out doing mostly weddings and retail runs. Today, the company has a fleet of 47 vehicles, which includes 14 thriving motorcoaches. Rose sold its last stretch limousine in 2012 as the market has dried up and the company expands its chauffeur-style motorcoach niche.
Rich Cooley started in the limousine business in 1987 when he acquired Executive Chauffeuring School, which he ran until 1995. During his industry career, Cooley worked for Integrated Transportation Services in Los Angeles from 1989-91; Carey International in Washington, D.C. from 1998-2000, and at Empire International in New Jersey from 2002-2005. His managerial roles spanned operations, training and development, and mergers and acquisitions. Cooley is now the President and CEO of Eco Solar Technologies of Scottsdale, Ariz., and still consults for chauffeured transportation companies. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1980 until retiring as a Captain in 2002.
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