The Fast 40 Panel at LCT Show East, featuring panelists from [L to R]: Danny Bacher, Sami Elotmani, Kyara Kahakauwila, Jorge Sanchez, Matt Assolin, and LCT editor Martin Romjue moderating.
The technology revolution has ushered in a uniquely skilled and savvy young workforce running into old-school habits and systems. As they work together in companies as employees and colleagues, they share knowledge and traits that are changing the ways in which we do business.
New tech capabilities allow for employees to work remotely, with full sharing of files and access to vast cloud databases from anywhere. And mobile devices enable people to shop while riding the bus, with goods delivered to their doorsteps without ever having to wait in a checkout line.
The millennial generation, or Gen Y, grew up during an information and technological revolution, which makes them the first pioneers in communicating and connecting with others online. As business and commerce becomes more deeply invested in the web, the input each generation has on the new economy brings with it a number of new challenges.
Consumers, culture and technology are changing from day to day. While generational change is not a new a concept, t
he key to success remains in finding the best ways to adapt.
Cohesion Among Competitors
The LCT Fast 40 aims to bring together a network of operators from around the world who are tapped in to the new commerce culture and economy. Faced with a mobile guerilla-like assault, the chauffeured transportation industry has improved its regulatory knowledge and strengthened its calls for compliance and enforcement. Operators collectively have educated themselves on new app technologies and evaluated their pros and cons.
In the limousine industry, companies that were once started by fathers and mothers are seeing their sons and daughters assuming more managerial positions or even taking the helm completely. The millennial workforce has brought in the advent of social media marketing, and along with it a number of generational differences for new dynamics to company structure.
To dissect and steer these industry trends, the LCT Fast 40 has created a community that engages and analyzes what’s new, what’s different, what’s interesting, and what will work best for the industry. LCT Magazine launched the Fast 40 Group in June 2013 as a 21st Century version of a think-tank where passionate operators could share their ideas on how the limo industry could better itself in new and inventive ways.
While branded toward operators ages 40 and under, any operator of any age can contribute business solutions on how to foster technological and organizational cooperation and resolve conflicts arising from generational changes. It’s a place for operators to swap new links to exciting developments across industries that could be applied to chauffeured transportation.
From advanced car tech features to new business practices, from buyer cultures to generational habits, the Fast 40 will provide research and statistics to pertinent data and provide first-hand accounts from operators in the field.
As LCT rolls out more features online for the LCT Fast 40 to connect, here are a few things you can check out to get you up to speed:
2014 International LCT Show
On Tuesday, Feb. 18th, at 2:10 pm at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, the Fast 40 will reconvene for its latest session panel called, “How The Millennials View The Industry.” This session will be a great place to join and get started because the audience will be full of operators who are inquisitive about the topics. Once the panel starts rolling, the forum opens up for new ideas and audience participation, with a Q&A session at the close.
LCT Fast 40 Facebook Page
The Fast 40 Facebook page has 114 “likes” as of this writing, and is populated daily with links to articles about topics on a range of issues. Anything from concept car innovations to Millennial/Boomer conflict resolutions can be a topic of discussion. Operators are encouraged to share things they think are cool, interesting, and may one day affect the limo industry and further its collective dialogue.
Topics such as business management help aids, or new things you learn on social media marketing, can be shared with other operators here that could spur new questions to be tackled by assigned panels and/or research teams.
You can find it at https://www.facebook.com/LCTFast40.
A great reference for all limo operators, LCTMag.com is planning a Fast 40 section that is compiling a growing list of major industry profiles and links to previous LCT articles that people have been featured in over the years. Participating Fast 40 members are being added to this profile list along with newcomers, with links to contact info and company websites.
Get To Know Some Active Members
Many of the Fast 40 already have been volunteering to serve as speakers on panels for shows and as columnists for articles in the magazine. Here is a quick look at some individuals you’ll likely see in upcoming Fast 40 events.
Danny Bacher,Topper Worldwide, Marietta, GA
Topper Worldwide was started by Danny’s father in 1996. He joined the family company after successful work in real estate, and now leads as the CEO of Topper Worldwide. The company has grown widely under his leadership. Bacher is an innovative thinker when it comes to new business practices, and also a vocal advocate for limo industry education seminars. He has participated in past Fast 40 panels at the LCT Leadership Summit in Miami Beach and LCT Show East in Atlantic City.
Mona Marandy, MonLisa Limousine, Los Angeles, CA
Growing up under the tutelage of her father, Mona was a quick study to the limo business, gaining valuable experience early on while working her way up the company her father started. She says of her first moves into the industry, “My biggest challenge at first was to deal with ‘old school’ mentalities. It was obviously very difficult at first because I had to learn the business so I had to pay my dues.”
Now MonaLisa Limousine is a 14-vehicle fleet providing luxury transportation throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Marandy continues to come out with new features and upgrades to make sure her company is giving the best service possible.
Michael Campbell, Grace Limousine, Manchester, NH
Campbell took over the family business in 2009, building it into one of the best luxury ground transportation providers in the Northeast region. He also is a board director of the National Limousine Association and frequent speaker at LCT Shows and events. Campbell brings a fresh perspective on the industry. His company has won multiple awards such as the New Hampshire Business Review Journal’s Transportation Company of the Year and the U.S. Small Business Association’s Family-Owned Business of the Year.
Dan Sutich, Perfect Chauffeur, Montvale, NJ
Sutich first got his start in the industry working at his father’s Perfect Limo Service in Montvale. He soon branched out to start his own software company called Perfect Chauffeur LLC. Specializing in customer operations management and technology, Sutich will be one of the newer Fast 40 members speaking on the panel at the International LCT Show.
Building Toward The Future
As the Fast 40 group progresses, and as operators go from exploring new business practices to implementing them in the field, the dialogue will evolve as some ideas produce results while others fall by the wayside. But it’s important for operators to become active and vocal in the industry so that collective approaches can strengthen the industry overall.
The next trends to sweep through the chauffeured transportation industry will likely be led by this network of entrepreneurs in tune with the latest technology and social media. Constant engagement will be needed to meet the demands of an accelerating economy and consumer marketplace. By sharing ideas across industry niches, and scouring new tech landscapes in commerce outside of ground transportation, operators will gain valuable insights into how they can better their business while also improving the future viability of the industry.
If you’d like to participate in future Fast 40 activities and contribute your thoughts and opinions, please contact LCT senior editor Tim Crowley at [email protected] or (310) 533-2461. All operators and industry vendors are welcome to launch ideas for discussion topics, and as 2014 moves along LCT will be coming out with new avenues online, in-print, and in-person for the LCT Fast 40.