BUSINESS BRIGHT: Chairman and CEO, Golden Limousine International Inc.
When Sean Duval and his wife, Donna, took out a $5,000 loan and opened a bank line of credit to buy two stretch limos in 1992, neither had experience in the chauffeuring industry.
Duval had spent eight years with McDonald's Corp., mostly in management, and worked as a director of food service for the Department of Justice at the prison in Milan. But while he didn't exactly know how to drive a limo, Duval did know a thing or two about delivering fabulous customer service.
"Customer service is about an attitude,'' said Duval, 42. "It's not about being servile or menial or beneath you. ... It's about finding ways to say 'yes.'''
Over the past 17 years, the Duvals have grown Golden Limousine into an international executive and leisure transportation company. It maintains a fleet of sedans, limos, buses and vans in Ann Arbor. The company is also branching out into concierge services in metro Detroit.
Why I do this: "Great customer service is in my blood. I learned it from my boss at McDonald's (Ann Arbor businessman Al Fellhauer) and it stuck. Besides, I am a people person and I love to drive.''
Little known fact: "Golden Limousine does business worldwide and has customers around the world. We once did a corporate meeting in Belgium with a meeting planner who found us on the Internet.''
If I wasn't doing this: "I would be coaching soccer. My best friend and I coach the girls and boys varsity soccer programs in Milan.''
Advice for entrepreneurs: "Business is really all about creating relationships. Do what you love to do and make the job fun every day.''
Best success: "(The) 2004 Ryder Cup where we provided transportation for the European contingent of the Ryder Cup team.''
High profile clients: "My only two that I will mention are Secretary of State Colin Powell and comedian Bill Cosby.''
Contact: (800) 300-5151 or http://www.goldenlimo.com/.
SOURCE: Stefanie Murray, Ann Arbor (Mich.) News
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