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GCLA Elects 2015 Officers, Prepares For Legislative Day

Posted on December 12, 2014 by - Also by this author - About the author

2015 GCLA board of directors L to R: John Raftery, Perry Barin, David Kinney, Anne Daniells, President Kevin Illingworth, (2014 President Rich Azzolino), Matt Strack, Ryan Silva, Joel Amato, and Gary Buffo, also NLA President.
2015 GCLA board of directors L to R: John Raftery, Perry Barin, David Kinney, Anne Daniells, President Kevin Illingworth, (2014 President Rich Azzolino), Matt Strack, Ryan Silva, Joel Amato, and Gary Buffo, also NLA President.

LOS ANGELES – The Greater California Livery Association chose its 2015 slate of officers and board directors Dec. 10, as it prepares to hit the State Capitol one month later to lobby legislators.

Elected to leadership positions:

  • President: Kevin Illingworth, Classique Limousines, Orange
  • First Vice President: John Raftery, Executive Limousine & Coach Inc., Ventura
  • Second Vice President: Perry Barin, Music Express, Burbank
  • Treasurer: David Kinney, API Limousine, Sacramento
  • Secretary: Anne Daniells, Torrey Pines Transportation, San Diego

Officers also serve as board directors. Other board directors announced Wednesday evening:

  • Gary Buffo, Pure Luxury Transportation, Petaluma, who is also President of the National Limousine Association
  • Matt Strack, Strack Chauffeured Transportation, Costa Mesa
  • Alex Darbahani, KLS Transportation Services, Van Nuys/Beverly Hills
  • Joel Amato, Gateway Limousines Worldwide, Burlingame
  • Brandan Stein, Exclusive Sedan Service, North Hollywood
  • Christopher Quinn, Corporate Transportation Solutions (CTS), Sacramento
  • Ryan Silva, Epic Transportation, San Diego

The new board was presented to the membership during the annual holiday party at the Proud Bird restaurant near Los Angeles International Airport.

GCLA 2014 HOLIDAY PARTY PHOTO GALLERY HERE

Outgoing GCLA President and NLA board director Rich Azzolino at the GCLA Annual Holiday Party, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, in Los Angeles. Azzolino was honored for his tireless commitment to the limousine industry at state and national levels. He will be fondly remembered for his generosity, charm, humor, and cheerful demeanor. Plus all kinds of quick-witted wisecracks. Drink well, eat well, and sleeeeep well, Rich.
Outgoing GCLA President and NLA board director Rich Azzolino at the GCLA Annual Holiday Party, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, in Los Angeles. Azzolino was honored for his tireless commitment to the limousine industry at state and national levels. He will be fondly remembered for his generosity, charm, humor, and cheerful demeanor. Plus all kinds of quick-witted wisecracks. Drink well, eat well, and sleeeeep well, Rich.
 
The holiday party was the last one for outgoing GCLA President Rich Azzolino of Gateway Limousines Worldwide. The veteran operator has worked in the limousine industry for 35 years, serving in multiple GCLA leadership positions and on the board of directors of the National Limousine Association. Azzolino officially leaves his NLA post in March 2015 at the end of his 2012-2015 term. He will devote himself full-time to a restaurant he co-owns in the North Beach section of San Francisco.

Azzolino was honored and given an award during a holiday party presentation. “Rich has been a good mentor and a great friend,” Illingworth said. “It's been wonderful spending time with you and I’ll have big shoes to fill, like size 15.”

Azzolino led the GCLA during one of its most challenging yet successful years to date, marked by legislative and administrative victories in the regulatory battle against Transportation Network Companies and breakthroughs for limousine operators at major airports in the state.

The GCLA also thanked Treasurer and Southern California operator Jack Nissim for serving eight years as a board member and as GCLA Treasurer.

GCLA President Kevin Illingworth (L) and 2010-2013 GCLA President Mark Stewart (center) honor GCLA Treasurer and board member Jack Nissim for his eight years of service to the organization.
GCLA President Kevin Illingworth (L) and 2010-2013 GCLA President Mark Stewart (center) honor GCLA Treasurer and board member Jack Nissim for his eight years of service to the organization.

The 2015 GCLA agenda will be more challenging than this year’s, as state legislators, regulators and airport commissions haggle over how to best regulate the TNCs, many of which skirt rules forced on limousine operations. GCLA members will convene in Sacramento, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 for a one-day lobbying event at the State Capitol coordinated by association lobbyists Gregg Cook and Rob Grossglauser of Government Affairs Consulting.

Cook told GCLA attendees the year was “good, not great,” as the Legislature approved an insurance bill for TNCs that at least set some higher requirements. Lawmakers also eliminated mandatory livery license plates, thereby saving operators annual fees of $35 per fleet vehicle.

Meanwhile, a CPUC audit revealed the state agency that regulates charter-party carriers had been sitting on $7 million that it was supposed to use for regulatory enforcement. Among legislative goals for 2015 will be to get more of those funds spent on enforcement.

The GCLA also wants to make sure it gets a seat at the table with the DMV, DOT and CHP as the agencies work up inspection regulations.

“You don’t need to fear Uber, just the Legislature and the CPUC not doing adequate legislation,” Cook said. “Success on legislation depends on the people in this room. We’ll need all the participants we can get.”

Background LCT article: California Operators Get Attention At State Capitol

[See GCLA Legislative Day preview in the January 2015 issue of LCT Magazine]

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