LCT Publisher Sara Eastwood (L) and Bobit Business Media CEO Ty Bobit (R) congratulate the team from Torrey Pines Transportation in San Diego, Calif., winners of the 2015 LCT Operator of the Year Award in the 11-30 vehicles category, during the annual LCT Awards Celebration gala Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas, Nev. (Photo by LCT)
There is no financial gain for us to create, manage, and produce the annual Operator of the Year Awards and the People’s Choice Awards programs. Frankly, we sometimes scratch our heads and ask ourselves why we put so much time and energy into them. It takes a staff of three employees, not including judges, to handle the programs in advance of the ceremonies, which we tie into our trade shows.
The “Main Event” — our Operator of the Year Awards Celebration and gala — costs us a cool $100,000 to produce. Thankfully, Ford Motor Company offsets that with its $30,000 sponsorship, but our investment is a hefty one. So why do we do it year after year?
What’s more, we keep making it more elaborate each year. We added a newbie to our portfolio in 2013, launching the first-ever People’s Choice Awards aimed at spotlighting the humanitarian and good-hearted side of this industry.
The answer to these questions is: Recognition matters. Most of us are learning this business organically, meaning we are adopting what others do in our quest to succeed. We at LCT contend that in order for us to be our best, we have to walk the walk with you by investing in recognition to create and inspire role models for others.
There are many great business minds in this industry. It can be challenging to encourage these innovators to share their information. Recognition through awards helps motivate professionals to do just that. We are able to reward the winners with covers and articles, like this issue, and a night of fame, which in turn becomes positive press opportunities to share with clients. It is exceptional service that wins. And the win-win for all of you is that we convert their information into helpful B2B tips on technology, innovative service practices, creative marketing, training programs, industry and civic involvement, and great client relationships.
So why do the winners pull ahead of the pack? What makes a company better than good and become great?
The leader of the company is the linchpin of a great organization. After reviewing award entries for more than two decades, I have concluded that winners consistently possess traits that include: Integrity (a core set of values); trustworthiness (never speaking bad of others); optimism (looking for solutions instead of dwelling on problems); helpfulness (mentors and shares experiences with their teams and others instead of hoarding information); ambition (pursues dreams and goals with hope); kindness and compassion (empathy for others); self-respect and confidence (if you don’t respect yourself, you can’t honestly expect others to); persistence (the “theme” of our recent show); open-mindedness (not afraid of change); and taking responsibility (for their own actions and avoiding the blame-game).
On that note, I would like to thank all the industry leaders who stepped up to enter our awards program. Keep trying if you did not win. I’d like to thank my editorial and events teams for coordinating these behemoth projects. A special thanks to Ford/Lincoln Limousine & Livery Vehicles for sponsoring both of our awards programs, and to so many of you for attending and supporting your peers. It’s an honor for me to be part of such a noble venture. Recognition inspires us all.