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[UPDATED 4/5/12 @ 1:15 p.m. EDT/10:15 a.m. PDT: MEMORIAL SERVICE INFO HERE]
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Members of the limousine industry offered poignant memories and tributes Wednesday to Florida operator Carla Boroday, who died Tuesday, April 3 at the age of 66. The dynamic and forceful advocate of a more professional industry touched many careers and lives across the nation in a three-decade involvement with chauffeured transportation in South Florida and far beyond.
Boroday served as president of the Florida Limousine Association, as a board director of the National Limousine Association, worked as a tireless industry advocate on numerous legislative and regulatory issues, and survived cancer four times. She died Tuesday evening in a South Florida hospital of an infection and complications following a major heart operation.
"Carla was such a wonderful and inspiring woman and leader, but most of all a dearest friend of us at BostonCoach and a dearest friend of mine," said Catherine Chaulet, senior vice president of Boston Coach, in updated remarks Wednesday. "When I first started at BostonCoach, she took me under her wing and introduced me to the entire industry. That was Carla's way of living. She was always so generous. She taught so many of us at BostonCoach the intricacies of our services and spent countless hours coaching us on the value of partnership . She was one of the first affiliates of BostonCoach and one of the most influential. Through the years she won multiple affiliate of the year awards. She was on each and every BostonCoach affiliate committees and one of our affiliate advisory council. She helped us build the company we are today. She was also at the origin of a critical women's movement in the industry, always supporting and promoting the best and the brightest in our industry. Many companies became affiliates of BostonCoach thanks to Carla's recommendation. Her voice was always of such importance to us. Peter Dellamonica, Michelle Louis-Jeune, Lisa Ortega, Dan Krueger, Larry Moulter, our CEO and all of us at BostonCoach are all so very sad today. We have lost a dear dear friend of ours."
Boroday was with her family and loved ones when she passed away Tuesday evening in a South Florida hospital. She had entered the hospital in February just before the International LCT Show in Las Vegas, and a short time later received bypass surgery. She also had survived cancer four times during her life and strongly supported efforts to combat the disease.
News of Boroday’s death has shocked and deeply saddened many members of the limousine industry. Boroday, the co-founder and president of Associated Limousine Services Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, was an indefatigable woman who labored on many fronts for an industry she loved and was a constant presence at industry trade shows and events.
One of Boroday's closest friends and confidantes, Brian Waugh, a former operator in the Tampa Bay and Boston areas who now consults for limousine companies, said he and Carla spoke almost daily. "She was the queen of the limousine business," said Waugh, who also is close to the Boroday family. "She was involved with everything having to do with government and driver issues in Florida. She was everywhere." Waugh visited Boroday in the hospital the week before she died. "They woke her up in the hospital and she did recognize me and said, 'Hello, Brian.' She then fell back asleep. She was on heavy medications. We thought she was getting better." Waugh said Carla became his mentor when he moved to the Tampa Bay area to work in the limousine industry. "She and I were best friends and I learned a lot from her."
Neil Goodman, owner and CEO of Miami-based Aventura Worldwide, the largest limousine company in South Florida, worked closely with Boroday on regional regulatory and governmental matters, while also being a friendly competitor. "To describe Carla as a good person would be a huge understatement," Goodman wrote to LCT on Wednesday. "Knowing her for over 20-plus years, we had difference of opinions for sure, but we always 'agreed to disagree,' and never lost respect or a true fondness for each other. My wife, Toni, is a cancer survivor, as Carla was, (and both being Italian), were friends and 'girl buddies.' Carla always went out of her way to spend time with Toni, rarely talked business with her, and always went out of her way to make Toni feel comfortable whenever and wherever they saw each other. Whether Carla was feeling good, or not so good, there was always a smile on her beautiful face, and never, ever once, did she have a negative thing to say about anyone, even if that someone hurt her in some way, personally or in business. She will be painfully missed, our industry has lost a best friend, and she will never be forgotten."
Jeff Greene, president of Greene Classic Limousines and a fellow board director of the NLA, said in an e-mail Wednesday: "Carla was truly a gem in our industry. I had the privilege of serving with her on the board of the NLA and two years when I was President. I could always count on her to do whatever it took to make sure that we did what we were suppose to do and that was protect our members. She never had a bad word to say about anyone and was always fighting for justice no matter what. She showed strength and wisdom in her endeavor to help others. Her passion for this industry, her integrity in her dealings and her motherly advice will be sorely missed. We all give Bob, the love of her life, her children whom she adored and anyone that knew her, our prayers and know that she left with us the strength to carry on and the wonderful memories we all will cherish forever. May she rest in peace and Carla, Thank You for all you have done for everyone that had the pleasure of knowing you and what you have done will never be forgotten. We will all miss you!"
Dawson Rutter, CEO of Commonwealth Worlwide and an NLA board director, added, "We’ve lost the biggest activist we’ve ever had in this industry. I agree with what Barry Beall (Arizona operator) said: 'She was short of stature, but a giant in our industry.' She’ll be sorely missed.”
Ray Garcia, owner of Prestige Limousines in Boca Raton, Fla., who worked with Boroday on many association and regulatory related matters, announced in an e-mail Wednesday: "The industry knows her as Carla Boroday and I know her as Mommer. She leaves behind her husband Robert Boroday (Bob) to some, but Popper to me and also her sons, Adrian, Derrick and daughter Shelly Boroday. The family has been through a serious roller coaster ride these last couple of months since Carla had under gone her triple bypass heart surgery that led to complications. The family these last few days decided that the battle to resist from losing their wife and mother was much too strong to keep her from being at peace with her belated parents."
Jonna Sabroff, president of Integrated Transportation Services in Los Angeles and a close associate of Boroday, told LCT: "Carla Boroday was a strong, capable woman. She was a force to be reckoned with. Everything she did, she did with her whole heart. She fought for what she thought was right. She worked hard for the Limousine Industry. She was a good friend. I will always miss her."
“Carla was a dedicated industry activist who served for six years on the board of the NLA,” Scott Solombrino, CEO of Dav El Chauffeured Transportation Network and an NLA board director wrote in an e-mail to LCT. “Her husband Bob also served for three years. She cared about the issues affecting our business and fought to improve the environment for chauffeured transportation company owners. She was dedicated to the industry and always was willing to donate time to all the various causes.”
NLA board director and Oklahoma operator Greg Pruitt wrote: “Carla was one of the first people to include me in the group, industry, and board events. I always enjoyed her stories of surviving and thriving with cancer, business, and life in general. I already miss that laugh. Thanks Carla for including me!”
In an e-mail to LCT Tuesday evening, Barry Gross of A. Goff Transportation wrote: “Carla Boroday was full of life and a genuine zeal for our business. She was competitive, yet incredibly giving with her time and knowledge. She was also a tenacious defender of our industry against frivolous oversight and regulation. Many people owe a great deal to Carla's efforts on behalf of the transportation industry. I will miss her counsel, and I will miss her outgoing manner.”
UPDATED: [SEE CARLA BORODAY LCT PHOTO TRIBUTE GALLERY HERE].
One of the proudest moments of her career happened just last year when the Florida Limousine Association, which she led as president, received the 2011 LCT Association Award of Excellence during the 2011 International LCT Show in Las Vegas, considered the industry’s highest recognition for local, state and regional trade associations.