Operators Receive High Achievement Awards

Posted on February 25, 2004 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

LAS VEGAS – Limousine operators from Boston, Denver, Fresno, Calif., and Freehold, N.J., were honored with the coveted Operator of the Year awards at this week’s LCT Show.
The winners are:

* Small Operator (fleet size 1-10 vehicles): Barbara and Walter Curtis, Two Step Limousine, Littleton, Colo.
Barbara Curtis, who runs the company along with her son Walter, is an active member of the NLA and is former chairwoman of the Limousine Association of Colorado. Under her leadership the LAOC enjoyed a 100% increase in membership and a 500% increase in vendor members. Two Step was named “One of the Top 3 Wedding Companies in Denver” by Denver’s 5280 Magazine—an honor the company has received for the past 6 years in a row.

* Medium Operator (fleet size 11-20 vehicles): Deena Papagni, Touch of Class Limousine, Fresno, Calif.
Some of the company’s specialized programs include the “driver only” which is targeted exclusively to elderly people who need assisted transportation. Touch of Class recently rolled out the “Why Fly?” campaign, which saves customers money with established-price or flat fee transportation to airports, in between airports and day trips.

* Large Operator (fleet size more than 20 vehicles): Robert Bellagamba, Concorde Limousine, Freehold, N.J.
Concorde is a flawlessly run company with one of the most state of the art fleets in the U.S. The company is constantly pioneering new ways to market itself. It introduced a “frequent rider program” in 1987 and last year rolled out a Meeting and Conference department to handle the needs of corporate accounts and their regional conference transportation.

* National Network: Russ Cooke, BostonCoach, Chelsea, Mass.
This company implemented specific strategies to reach its more than 1,200 employees. Every two weeks, all drivers receive an audio address in their vehicles from company president, Russ Cooke. In addition, newly hired chauffeurs must complete an eight-day training regimen that includes the Smith System and their call center employees receive three weeks of instruction. Cooke is affiliated with numerous associations including the NLA and the TLPA. He also served on the NBTA Ground Transportation Task Force to educate corporate travel managers on the industry and he serves on the Mass. Port of Authority (Massport) Advisory Council.

* Association Award of Excellence: Florida Limousine Association.
The FLA successfully convinced three South Florida airports to implement special short-term parking access for limousines and luxury vehicles. It also works with MADD and its alcohol prevention programs for minors and is a financial contributor to state chapters of MADD. The FLA has voted to establish an Ethics and Standards Committee, which will conduct bi-annual inspections of all member vehicles.
Operators were judged on: * Industry involvement * Innovative services * Customer relations * Chauffeur and office staff training * Safety driving records

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