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All star 2013 LCT People’s Choice Awards line-up: Choudhury, Lindsey, Robbins, Campbell and Atkins.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The first annual LCT People’s Choice Awards broke new ground in the limousine industry by celebrating limousine operators whose achievements span the higher callings of humanitarian, community, leadership and entrepreneurial pursuits. The awards were sponsored by Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln Limousine & Livery Vehicles.
Award winners in six categories were announced on the evening of Oct. 28 during a dinner reception and ceremony at LCT Show East in Atlantic City, N.J. hosted by LCT Publisher Sara Eastwood-McLean and Bobit Business Media CEO Ty Bobit. LCT accepted open nominations for the awards during a four-month period this year.
Entrepreneur of the Year: Michael Campbell, Grace Limousine, Manchester, N.H.
This is awarded to a person who has shown a unique pursuit of business, developed a product or concept and/or found ways to expand operations.
Campbell, an NLA board member, got his start in the limousine industry in the early 1990s washing the two-vehicle fleet at Grace Limousine in New Hampshire and labeling envelopes for direct mail campaigns. In 2003, following a successful sales career, he returned to the family business and was selected to lead the company in early 2009 during the worst recession to hit the chauffeured transportation industry. Campbell responded quickly to the harsh economy, making changes in order to turn the business around. Campbell has grown the business through sales and acquisitions, with two this year alone. He has integrated technology to his business and has expanded his affiliate network nationwide.
International Entrepreneur of the Year: Reza Choudhury, Reliance Worldwide, London, U.K.
This is awarded to a non-U.S. business owner who has shown a unique pursuit of business, developed a product or concept, and/or found ways to expand operations. Choudhury is a global innovator and entrepreneur in the tough limo market of London. His determination to make it easier for U.S.-based companies to do business abroad has led him to develop simplified pricing in U.S. dollars accessible to operators through his website. He is a founder of EuroLimousine.net and this year started offering charter jet services. Choudhury is a constant presence at all U.S. trade shows. He has mentored many companies throughout Europe and everyone benefits from such help.
Leadership Award: 2012 National Limousine Association Legislative Committee: Scott Solombrino, Richard Kane, Diane Forgy, Gary Buffo, Dawson Rutter, Richard Azzolino, Ken Lucci, Michael Renehan, and Rosina Rubin.
The Department of Labor’s ruling on overtime on gratuities [QUOTE] “is the single most significant victory in the history of the National Limousine Association,” says NLA Legislative Committee Co-chair Scott Solombrino. “Had the Department of Labor not reconsidered our arguments as to why our industry should not be subject to overtime on tips, [at least] 6,000 operators would have been in jeopardy of audits that could have included interest, penalties, and civil lawsuits from current and past employees. The only way we were able to succeed was through the relentless efforts of the NLA’s member contacts to Congress, the efforts of our lobbying firm, Cornerstone Government Affairs, the NLA’s legal team, and the NLA’s Legislative Committee having the political clout to convince the Department of Labor to take the time and carefully review our position.”