In March of 1998, Carey International’s chairman of the board and CEO Vince Wolfington energized attendees at the LCT Show in Las Vegas with the news that the ground transportation industry was entering an era of unparalleled growth. Wolfing- ton’s research indicated that the world travel market was on an upswing. He predicted that the $4.4 billion spent on chauffeured transportation annually will double by the year 2010.
“What this means is that chauffeured transportation has truly come of age, and although we are highly fragmented, there are a lot of people in travel and tourism who use our services,” says Wolfington. “The future looks bright.”
Carey International is the largest limousine service in the world with operations in more than 420 cities in 65 countries. It is the only publicly traded company of its kind (NASDAQCAREY). The Carey stock shares are up 60 percent since the initial offering in May 1997. Carey traces its roots back to the early 1900s when it started a limousine business in Grand Central Station in New York.
Vince Wolfington played basketball at Georgetown University with current National Football League Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. He began his professional career, investing in and operating companies specializing automotive Leasing.
Wolfington has been with Carey for more than 25 years. Don Dailey, Carey’s president, merged National Executive Service with Carey in 1971. Later, Wolfington and Dailey bought Carey and retained the highly recognizable name.
Wolfington and Dailey made the determination that the way to compete forthe limousine customer was not through local marketing. Carey targeted the multicity traveler, emphasized service – not price – and dedicated itself to becoming a national company.
By the late 1970s, Carey had grown to 125 cities. At this time, it launched an expansion into Europe. Carey’s research had shown that more than 40 percent of the travelers to Europe and the Far East went through London. From that point on, the company’s international operations blossomed.
Wolfington has spearheaded an aggressive growth strategy for Carey International in the past two years This has included acquiring companies, such as Manhattan International in New York City; the Indy Connection in Indianapolis, IN; Custom Transportation Service in Brain- tree, MA; A and A Limousine in Somerville, MA, and American Limousine in Burr Ridge, IL. He was an early supporter of the Chauffeured Transportation Certification Program launched by Pinnacle Performance Systems at the March l998 LCT Show in Las Vegas. The program is being implemented in all of Carey’s franchises.
Wolfington has served on various industry-related boards, including the World Travel and Tourism Council, as advisor to the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board; as founder and president of the National Paratransit Association; and as member of the board of directors of the International Limousine Association, London.