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MLOA President Maurice Brewster (R) welcomes one of the group's first international members, Giso Dietl of Limo X Chauffeur Service in Germany, on Feb. 14, 2012 during the 2012 International LCT Show in Las Vegas.
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — In February 2011, about 20 minority operators gathered informally for an early breakfast at the International LCT Show to talk about common interests and goals. Exactly one year later at the same Show, the group’s hospitality suite party could barely contain attendees, with many spilling out into the hallway.
For the Minority Limousine Operators of America, the first year has attracted a lot of interest throughout the chauffeured transportation industry and brought it momentum and clout. Open to any industry member of any ethnic heritage, the association now has 57 paid operator members, five vendor members, its first two international members, a slate of officers and committees, and official recognition from the National Limousine Association.
The group has positioned itself as a networking and educational complement to the NLA and a long list of state and regional industry associations. One of its specialties is to help educate and connect members interested in getting minority-owned- and/or women-owned-certified ground transportation contracts from businesses and government agencies.
To that end, the MLOA is working to set the date of its first seminar, a day-long event that will be held in a hotel conference room near Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport. The MLOA plans to host a shuttle service so attendees could easily fly in and out and get to the seminar all within a day, said Maurice Brewster, the president and founder of the MLOA.
One of the MLOA’s vendor sponsors, Tom Mazza & Associates, will establish and conduct the seminar program. Tom Mazza, a leading chauffeured transportation consultant, chauffeur trainer, and business broker known for his operator roundtable groups, will have his firm’s senior consultant, Dr. Yvonne LaMar, conduct the seminar. Tentative topics include how to be a better business owner/operator, following standard practices within the limo industry, and attracting affiliate work from larger operators, Brewster said.
“We introduced education as a key ingredient to what I’m promising our members,” he said. “We want smarter, brighter, more educated operators as members of the MLOA.”
Another key goal for 2012 is to help members get certified by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
“Whether to become certified as a minority- or woman-owned company, they have an option to see what works best,” Brewster said. “Some choose the women route or minority route, depending on which organization serves them best. As we continue to win contracts, we will count minority dollars spent with key vendors so we can report that we are farming business out to minority businesses in our network.”
The MLOA also welcomes its first two international members, who signed up at the 2012 International LCT Show: Giso Dietl, CEO of Limo X Chauffeur Service in Dreieich, Germany, and Yoalli Garcia of Godandi and Sons Inc. VIP Transportation in Mexico City.
The MLOA plans monthly conference call meetings of its members and any interested guests on the last Friday of each month. The next meeting will be held Friday, April 27 at 1 p.m. EDT/10 a.m. PDT. Participants should call (712) 432-0900 and hit passcode: 983716#.
The MLOA plans two permanent face-to-face general membership meetings each calendar year that will be scheduled during the annual International LCT Show in Las Vegas and Limo Digest Show in Atlantic City, N.J.
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