Regulations

Industry Leaders Connect At LCT-NLA Show East

Posted on December 2, 2015 by Tom Halligan - Also by this author

The Limousine Association of New Jersey drew a standing room only crowd at its Nov. 9 breakfast meeting where President Jeff Shanker reported membership has risen to 134.
The Limousine Association of New Jersey drew a standing room only crowd at its Nov. 9 breakfast meeting where President Jeff Shanker reported membership has risen to 134.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A Who’s Who of state and local association leaders turned out for multiple group events during LCT-NLA Show East as attendees from the East Coast and beyond gathered at breakfast meetings, staffed association information booths, and networked and huddled with national industry leaders.

The Limousine Association of New Jersey (LANJ), Philadelphia Regional Limousine Association (PRLA), Virginia Limousine Association (VLA), and the National Limousine Association (NLA) all held member meetings during the three-day event Nov. 8-10 at Harrah’s Atlantic City. The NLA Board of Directors held a quarterly board meeting on Nov. 8 at the same time association Presidents gathered for a roundtable discussion.

LANJ held a standing-room-only breakfast meeting on Nov. 9, where President Jeff Shanker announced that membership has surged to a record 134 operators. The PRLA also held a breakfast meeting Nov. 10 that drew a strong member turnout led by President Steve Rhoads.

TNCs and regulatory fairness drove agendas of state and local trade groups brought together at LCT’s annual East Coast event, such as this Virginia Limousine Association breakfast meeting on Nov. 10, 2015.
TNCs and regulatory fairness drove agendas of state and local trade groups brought together at LCT’s annual East Coast event, such as this Virginia Limousine Association breakfast meeting on Nov. 10, 2015.
That same day, VLA President Paul Walsh led a breakfast meeting that not only drew its members, but other association presidents such as Cliff Wright, president of the Greater Orlando Limousine Association (GOLA), Rick Versace, president of the Florida Limousine Association (FLA), and Reggie Tymus, board member of the Minority Limousine Operators of America (MLOA).

Information and recruiting booths were staffed by Robert Cunningham, president of the Long Island Limousine Association (LILA). Dave Shaw, NLA Board member and President of the West Florida Livery Association (WFLA), held court at his booth. Rhoads also worked at the PRLA booth and lead a discussion at the breakfast meeting on TNCs, insurance and regulatory issues. LANJ executive director Patricia Nelson greeted members at her booth and talked to potential Garden State operator recruits. The MLOA also was well represented at the show with Tymus at his booth discussing the benefits of MLOA membership.

A round table of state association presidents and leaders proved a valuable forum for trade groups to compare notes on state and local regulatory efforts related to TNCs.
A round table of state association presidents and leaders proved a valuable forum for trade groups to compare notes on state and local regulatory efforts related to TNCs.
Presidents Meeting
In terms of fostering industry solidarity and sharing information, association presidents and board members from around the country attended Sunday’s “State Association Presidents’ Open Discussion” meeting. LANJ’s Shanker hosted and moderated the meeting that addressed many common issues such as association governance, increasing membership, and innovative ways to provide member benefits, as well as a lively discussion on the emergence of industry on-demand apps. Attending were: Cunningham (LILA), Kevin Barwell (Limousine, Bus & Taxi Operators of Upstate New York), Rhoads (PRLA), Walsh and Glenn Stafford (VLA), Gray Hill (North Carolina Limousine Association), Todd Roberts and Patrick Kiesel (Kentucky Limousine Association), Tom Holden (NCLA), Jeff Rose (Limousine Association of New York), Shanker (LANJ), Vernon Gambil (MLOA), Michael Callahan, (New England Livery Association), Paula DeBiasi (Illinois Limousine Association), and Joe Ironi, (Ontario Limousine Owners Association).

Although not attending the meeting due to the NLA board meeting at the same time, association Presidents attending the show included Shaw (WFLA), Jeff Greene (Greater Atlanta Limousine Association), Erich Reindl (Houston Area Livery & Charter Association), and Laura Canady (Charlotte Regional Limousine Association).

The upshot of having so many association leaders and members attending the show was a strong boost to advocacy on behalf of operators. Transportation network companies (TNCs) drove much of the agenda discussion as leaders reviewed the latest efforts at airports and state capitals in trying to get TNCs to comply with insurance, licensing, and background check rules that apply to limousine services. The activism proved mutually rewarding, as the leaders returned home with more information, support, and energy to fight the good fight.

Tom Halligan is LCT East Coast editor, based in Marlton, N.J. He travels regularly to industry association meetings in the eastern U.S. Tom can be reached at [email protected]

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