Dean Schuler — Gone But Not Forgotten

Posted on March 2, 2011 by - Also by this author

The legendary operator was missed by many at the 2011 International LCT Show —the first industry trade show since his death on Nov. 19, 2010. 
LAS VEGAS — While attending the recent Show, I spotted a tall, bald man coming through the front doors of the Paris Las Vegas Hotel. His suit was impeccable. His shoes were polished. I smiled as if a dear friend was walking through the door. Dean Schuler was my dear friend, mentor and advisor. Reality quickly took over as I remembered Dean and his UNTIMELY DEATH.
Dean was as much a staple at industry shows as the classes or networking parties. Dean also was his own party. He would hold court in the bar, the showroom floor, a hallway or any place he wanted. Because he was a tall, bald man, he was very easy to spot in a crowd and everyone wanted to talk to him so lines would form around him.
As the annual NLA general membership meeting began Monday, Feb. 14, NLA president Diane Forgy fondly remembered Dean by announcing that the Harold Berkman Memorial Foundation would be making a contribution in the amount of $2,500 to the Hypertension Education Foundation in Dean’s honor. This foundation was chosen by Dean’s family with a goal of educating people about the seriousness of hypertension and how to control hypertension through healthy diet and lifestyle.
During the meeting, a Powerpoint presentation displayed many of the significant industry events that occurred during 2010. These included slides of Dean Schuler (1953 – 2010) and London Towncars founder Stephen Spencer (1925 – 2010), another industry icon the industry lost last year. Spencer operated the first officially licensed limousine service in New York City. As an industry, we mourn the loss of two legends.
Both men were fondly remembered on the NLA’s slide presentations, with Forgy mentioning that Dean was a former NLA board member. 
Operator Tim Wiegman recalled how he met Dean in person at the last Show, and Dean graciously offered to buy him lunch and then counseled him on how to operate and grow his business. Wiegman said he was “truly touched by the generosity of lunch and knowledge” provided by Dean. While some may think of such a move as arrogant or even pompous, if you knew Dean’s history, you would be grateful for the lunch, keep your mouth shut, soak up the advice, and be thankful you didn’t have to pay a consultant fee.
In the past, I would run to the bar on the showroom floor and buy Dean his favorite cocktail and deliver it to him with an ulterior motive. I wanted to pick his brain about what was on my own mind. I figured if I bought him the cocktail, he was mine at least until the cocktail was finished. I cherished that time with a man that was so smart, so genuine and so polite. He would always acknowledge my wife as “Miss Hillary” and include her in our discussions, and make sure that she understood everything that he was saying. I sure do miss my friend. Three more LCT cheers to Dean Schuler!

— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor

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