GLAD TO JOIN THE CLUB: The always enjoyable Greater California Livery Association annual Christmas holiday event was well worth the two hour drive each way.
LOS ANGELES -- Every year I make the trek from my hometown of Bakersfield to the area near Los Angeles International Airport for the annual Greater California Livery Association Holiday dinner and meeting. This year was no exception and I looked forward to it for months leading up to it. I was delighted to see many operators from out of the area that traveled to attend this annual party.
My assistant, Treanna Maddox, also made the trip with me and used the opportunity to network and meet operators from the San Francisco Bay area who traveled to the event and making a face-to-face connection with Deena Papagni from Touch of Class Limousines in Madera, a frequent farm-out company that we use. These networking events truly help put names, faces and voices into perspective when you can actually share a meal with people who are otherwise faceless names and voices on the phone and on the receiving end of e-mails.
I was thrilled to walk in the room and see my friends Ed and Kyara Kahakauwila from Victoria, B.C. and my friend and former Bakersfield resident, Bill Faeth, who traveled all the way from Nashville, Tenn. to make the event. I also enjoyed talking with Pat Butler from Tiffany Coachworks and seeing their new mini-bus on display as well as visiting with Mark Freeark from TIB Insurance.
Mark Stewart, the newly installed GCLA president, did a fantastic job running the meeting portion of the event, along with Christopher Quinn from Corporate Transportation Solutions in Sacramento. It appears the newly installed 2011 board is very eager to meet the needs and desires of the membership and to encourage members to share policies, procedures and experiences with each other to improve operations throughout the organization. Members were encouraged to do business only with other members when possible.
There were tons of prize giveaways. Treanna won a really cool set of wine bottle stoppers featuring the Mercedes logo appearing to be miniature shift knobs. She also snagged a really cool Santa centerpiece for her desk, so I’m sure the trip was well worth it for her. I did not win a thing, and Mark Stewart managed to mention no less than 10 times that I was leaving empty handed. This comes after winning multiple raffle prizes each year. I guess this wasn’t my year. I can’t wait for the next holiday party. I just wish it wasn’t a year away.
— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor
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