Operations

ILCT Show Bursts With Networking Events

Posted on May 16, 2017 by Jim Luff and Lexi Tucker

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The Show offers so much to do and see that if you don’t plan ahead, you just might miss a beneficial opportunity. Hopefully you made it to some of the best social gatherings before, during, and after the Show.

Golf Tournament

On March 12, 76 operators and vendors started the conference with fun on the golf course. The official 1st Annual Vegas Invitational was held at the Revere Golf Club in Henderson, Nev.

While the first “official” one, the event was actually in its fourth year. Previously, it was an informal event organized and hosted by Park Avenue Limousine that drew about 40 golfers, said Adam Greene, general manager of Park Avenue. Greene was helped in promoting the event by Arthur Messina, owner of Create-A-Card.

This year, the event was officially recognized by LCT Magazine and the NLA as a fundraising event that would benefit two industry related charities. The event raised $8,003 overall, with $5,503 donated to the Harold Berkman Fund and $2,500 donated to the Limo Patriot Ride.

As usual, members of the industry dug deep into their pockets to pay to play, as well as purchasing raffle tickets to bolster the donation. The foursome teams enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs on the course. Golfers played a round of 18 holes in the most popular tournament style of “best ball scramble.”

“I look forward to this event every year supporting a great cause and enjoying golf. It was a great time to bond with our clients and friends,” said Sarah McKee of Chosen Payments, an event sponsor.

B4 Business

The Show began with more than 100 operators attending the B4 Business Speed Networking session on March 12. The high energy event, where operators stood in a large square moving to the sounds of bells and buzzers to meet 50 new people in two and a half hours, brought together a geographically diverse mix of operators running all size fleets.

The networking concluded with a cocktail party where operators who made a connection with someone they were interested in doing business with could talk further.

The session was sponsored by Chosen Payments who gave away two passes to the 2017 LCT-NLA Show East to be held Nov. 5-7 in Atlantic City. Winners of the random drawing were Shawn Wilson of Infinity Transportation and Ash Elmahdi of Noble Transportation.

TAO Nightclub Party

After a jam-packed first day of the Show, attendees streamed into TAO night­club on the evening of March 13 and danced until closing time. The DJ received rave re­views from young and old operators alike who pulsated on a packed dance floor. Operators could chat at open bars and horseshoe couch tables to get to know one another in a less professional setting.

Grech Happy Hour

As always, the Grech Motors sponsored Happy Hour in the exhibit hall was a hit. As the networking party launched at 4 p.m. on March 14, multiple lines of attendees queued up to order their complimentary drinks in the Grech Lounge.

Free cocktails always seem to enchant limo operators who showed up in clusters for this open bar. Despite the long line 

operators seemed patient as they made new friends and connections. Nathan Bennett of Showcase Limousine in Boise, Idaho, stood in line while his mother and business partner, Christine Bennett, chatted with other operators on the cozy couches in the lounge area. The lounge set up made for a perfect place to rest tired feet and enjoy casual conversations with new and old friends.

An estimated 50 to 100 people gathered around the area specifically designed to provide a central spot to meet new friends and sit down to chat. This was the perfect setting leading up to the Industry Awards program that began two hours later (see page 18).

Hospitality Suite Parties

On the night of March 14, attendees head­ed off to three hospitality suite parties hosted by Chosen Payments, iCARS, and Aadvanced and Earth Limos (powered by Book.limo). You don’t have to ask if they had a good time when the parties are scheduled from “10 pm to ?” From photo booths to a unique DJ who also played the electric violin, attendees could party hop on the third floor of the Palazzo to chill out after an intense day of learning and networking.

Limo Patriot Ride

As the sun rose over Las Vegas on March 16, 55 participants boarded buses outside the Palazzo Hotel for the Limo Patriot Ride. They could not have asked for better weather than the clear skies and perfect temperature of 70 degrees.

The Limo Patriot Ride, now in its third year, benefits the charity group Semper Fi Fund. The non-profit charity was the vision of Karen Guenther, a registered nurse who was working with wounded Marines and sailors as they returned home from Iraq for post-war care in 2003.

When operators Michael Callahan, Ron Stein, David Eckstein, Barry Gross, and Lynda Saitta learned of the foundation, they set their mind to help serve the cause as well. Under the guidance of Saitta, the 2017 Limo Patriot Ride was able to present a check to Semper Fi for $30,000 on behalf of the limousine industry.

During a pre-ride party held poolside the night before, Ryan Hilberth of Rental Limo/Book.limo purchased $200 worth of raffle tickets and challenged other participants to match him. Within seconds, more than $1,200 in raffle tickets were sold as operators dug into their pockets quickly.

The ride kicked off after a food truck breakfast. The fare included breakfast tacos, biscuits and gravy, and breakfast sandwiches with plenty of coffee.

This year, the Las Vegas-based Patriot Guard Riders lead the way. With riders to the front and rear, they were split into two groups for safety purposes with the Patriot Guards giving safety instructions to the group before departing to Lake Mead and Hoover Dam.

A lunch was served at the end of the ride at the Railroad Pass Casino, and riders were free to return back to Eagle Rider Harley Rentals or spend the rest of the day out on their Harley. Many of the riders, such as David Eckstein of Valera Global, arrived in Vegas on their own motorcycles.

In addition to raising funds, the event also served as another networking function following the Show. The Limo Patriot Ride receives overwhelming support from some of the most prominent transportation companies in the industry, including EmpireCLS, Grace Limousine, Flyte Tyme, Valera Global, Exclusive Sedan, Reston Limousine, and Signature Transportation, to name a few. Many of the industry’s state associations also contribute to the cause including NELA, GALA, and the Virginia Motorcoach Association.

The event is also supported by many limousine industry suppliers and vendors including Titus Leasing, Chosen Payments, Grech Motors, Livery Coach, Transcap Insurance, Create-A-Card, and Book.limo.

For an extended online article about the Patriot Ride, click here.

Attendees In The Aisle

Bogar Arizmendez, owner, Executive Charters, Santa Rosa, Calif.
Bogar Arizmendez, owner, Executive Charters, Santa Rosa, Calif.
“I take the ideas from the sessions, refine them, and then implement them in my company. It helps us make our clients’ experience that much better. Networking here is great because I know everyone is serious about improving their business; that’s the kind of person I want to make a connection with. Keeping up with the newest trends in technology and vehicles and investing in them is what helps set your company apart.” — Bogar Arizmendez, owner, Executive Charters, Santa Rosa, Calif.

Brent Abruzese, owner, Red Bank Limo, Red Bank, N.J.
Brent Abruzese, owner, Red Bank Limo, Red Bank, N.J.
“This is my first international LCT Show and I’m having a blast! I came to network and make connections worldwide. I’ve been to the NLA-LCT East Show, but it was national, not international. I’ve also really enjoyed catching up with the operators I meet there as well.” — Brent Abruzese, owner, Red Bank Limo, Red Bank, N.J.

Stephanie Walton, affiliate sales manager, BEST Transportation, St. Louis, Mo.
Stephanie Walton, affiliate sales manager, BEST Transportation, St. Louis, Mo.
“The best part of coming to the Show is getting to see the people we interact and do business with throughout the year face-to-face. It really helps us build trust and learn from one another about what we are doing to grow and improve.” — Stephanie Walton, affiliate sales manager, BEST Transportation, St. Louis, Mo.

Rachid Ben, owner, Aviation Limousine & Transportation, Houston, Texas
Rachid Ben, owner, Aviation Limousine & Transportation, Houston, Texas

“I always try to keep learning and keep up with what’s new. I like meeting great operators, creating new affiliate relationships, and having fun. I bought a Grech Sprinter here because we are seeing a big demand for that kind of vehicle, and we wanted to be a part of the Grech family.” — Rachid Ben, owner, Aviation Limousine & Transportation, Houston, Texas

Briana Candeub, sales, Park Avenue Limousine, Trevose, Pa.
Briana Candeub, sales, Park Avenue Limousine, Trevose, Pa.
“The seminars are what I enjoy more than anything. I gain so much from listening to the experiences of those who come to present, as well as from other operators. I also enjoy the networking events and walking the Show floor to talk to all the vendors that come. It’s a great way to put names and faces together.” — Briana Candeub, sales, Park Avenue Limousine, Trevose, Pa.

Claude Cristea, president, Williamsburg Chauffeur Service, Williamsburg, Va.
Claude Cristea, president, Williamsburg Chauffeur Service, Williamsburg, Va.

“The Show is great because it gathers so many interesting people from the industry in one place to mingle.” — Claude Cristea, president, Williamsburg Chauffeur Service, Williamsburg, Va.

Jeff Greene, president and founder, Greene Worldwide Transportation, Atlanta, Ga.
Jeff Greene, president and founder, Greene Worldwide Transportation, Atlanta, Ga.
“I’ve been coming to the Show for 20-plus years now, and I always love being here. It’s a great place to experience and learn new things. You never fail to meet someone you’ve never met before. The international meet and greet was unbelievable. It was so packed you could barely even squeeze into the room! This event really pulls the industry together. You’d be crazy to miss it. If you want to be known throughout the industry, you’ve got to come to this Show.” — Jeff Greene, president and founder, Greene Worldwide Transportation, Atlanta, Ga.

John Oulton, owner, Richmond Limousine, Henrico, Va.
John Oulton, owner, Richmond Limousine, Henrico, Va.
“There are a lot of chances to network with affiliates and meet plenty of vendors. Whatever there is to learn about what’s going on the industry, you’ll learn about it here. It’s a fantastic opportunity for any operator…don’t miss out!”” — John Oulton, owner, Richmond Limousine, Henrico, Va.

Anthony Claffey, owner, K & A Transportation, Newington, Conn.
Anthony Claffey, owner, K & A Transportation, Newington, Conn.
“This is my second ILCT Show and I’m here to grow my affiliate business, broaden my brand by putting my face out there, and learn about other companies. My favorite part is walking the Show floor to check out what kind of technology I can purchase at a fair cost to help me operate more efficiently. I’ve met some great people and had a great time. ” — Anthony Claffey, owner, K & A Transportation, Newington, Conn.

Maria Yepez, SB Chauffering and Tours, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Maria Yepez, SB Chauffering and Tours, Santa Barbara, Calif.

“The Show is a great place to see old friends and make new ones. The sessions are incredibly informative. I loved the TAO club party…I think they brought in the best DJ of any LCT Show I’ve been to! I look forward to being here next year.” — Maria Yepez, SB Chauffering and Tours, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Kelly Alderete, owner, Alderete Transportation, Tucson, Ariz.
Kelly Alderete, owner, Alderete Transportation, Tucson, Ariz.
“I would definitely recommend the Show to anyone looking to build their business and meet new operators. This year I really enjoyed Bill Faeth’s Limo University sessions; I felt they took the educational element of the Show to another level.” — Kelly Alderete, owner, Alderete Transportation, Tucson, Ariz.

Lynn Kafkes, owner, Galaxy Limousine Service, Chicago.
Lynn Kafkes, owner, Galaxy Limousine Service, Chicago.

“This is my first LCT Show and I’ve gone to pretty much every session and gotten a lot of great information. It’s a great way to meet new people in our ever-changing industry, and I’m already looking forward to coming again next year”— Lynn Kafkes, owner, Galaxy Limousine Service, Chicago.

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