Many thanks to Ron (right), Brandan (left), and the rest of the Exclusive team for taking the time to answer my questions.
LCT VISIT SERIES: For my first limo operator visit I headed up to North Hollywood, Calif., to see Ron Stein’s Exclusive Sedan Service. The company has been in business since 1980 when Ron first began as a limousine operator chauffeuring clients in the greater Los Angeles area. Today, Ron’s son Brandan has fully immersed himself in the business and as COO has taken leadership in the continued success and growth of the company.
I had been told that Exclusive was a quality company and would be a great place for me to start learning about the world of limo operators. In keeping with Brandan’s company mission statement, Exclusive exceeded my expectations.
Ron and Brandan first gave me a tour of their office facility, which had just recently been renovated with fresh paint and carpeting, and they insisted I take time with nearly everyone at the company so I could see exactly how limo operators do their business and get the job done.
It began with global sourcing manager, Suzie Reyes. Taking off her phone headset and turning from her computer screen, Reyes told me about how she is the one who coordinates everything with the affiliates, from not only around the country but internationally as well.
The affiliate relationships that operators form with one another is one of the most interesting and surprising aspects of this business to me. And the amount of time and attention to detail that it takes to coordinate work with so many companies all over the world is impressive.
Reservations came next, with Eric Vasquez walking me through how travel requests from affiliates are quickly processed and entered into Livery Coach Software for dispatch. The team worked together so well, with a sharp pace and fun demeanor.
On to dispatch I met Chris Hammer. Chris has been in the limousine industry for 16 years, and we talked a bit about the history of chauffeured travel and how the business has changed since when he started. He joked about the days when everything was done with hand radios and scheduled rides were tacked up on the wall in paper.
As he stared at his large screen full of what to me looked like an overwhelming amount of information, Hammer gazed like a scientist, visualizing exactly how to schedule his chauffeurs and cars to maximize efficiency of route and resources.
Going out to lunch with Ron and operations manager Wes Travis, I really felt the connection and passion that everyone in the company has for the industry and this team. All are experienced and know that they play an important part in the success of the company.
We talked a bit about topics such as the limo fire in San Mateo and how the industry is changing in response to technology, and also about other aspects of the business, such as photo and movie shoot work. Exclusive’s proximity to the Hollywood production studios makes them a favored vendor when limousine and coach vehicles are needed for a scene. In fact, the lot adjacent to Exclusive’s is filled with old cars that are used only for film and television.
After returning to the office and saying goodbye, I thanked the team for the time they took out of their busy day to educate me on the ways of the business as well as the industry. I look forward to visiting more limousine companies in coming months.
Myself and the team at Exclusive Sedan Service, from left to right: Wes Travis, operations manager; Ron Stein, ceo; Sandy Sigala, lead reservations; Nelly Paar, billing manager; Suzie Reyes, global sourcing manager; Dan Stein, VP of global sales and events; Maureen Kostin, accounting manager; Chris Hammer, lead dispatch.
— Tim Crowley, LCT senior editor
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