High-Profile Limo CEOs To Tackle TNC Topics At Expo

Posted on September 17, 2014 by - Also by this author - About the author

Leading limousine industry CEOs Dawson Rutter, Cheryl Berkman and David Seelinger will talk about TNCs and other key industry topics on Sept. 23 at the annual GCLA Expo in Orange County, Calif.
Leading limousine industry CEOs Dawson Rutter, Cheryl Berkman and David Seelinger will talk about TNCs and other key industry topics on Sept. 23 at the annual GCLA Expo in Orange County, Calif.

COSTA MESA, Calif. — The Greater California Livery Association will feature a CEO panel at its annual Expo Sept. 23 that will explain the challenges Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) pose to the chauffeured transportation industry and what their companies are doing about them.

Related news: TNCs Killing Off San Francisco Taxis

Attendees also will be able to participate in a question-and-answer session following the panel discussion at the annual GCLA Expo & Trade Show. Panelists include: CEO Dawson Rutter of Commonwealth Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation in Boston; Cheryl Berkman, CEO of Music Express, based in Los Angeles; and CEO David Seelinger of Secaucus, N.J.-based Empire CLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services. The CEOs, each with decades of industry experience, all run chauffeured transportation companies that consistently rank among the top 15 largest fleets in the U.S. and manage vast global affiliate networks.

The trio will be joined by GCLA lobbyist Gregg Cook, whose firm has led the group’s advocacy efforts in Sacramento to bring about legislation requiring stricter regulations of TNCs. GCLA President Rich Azzolino will moderate the panel.

“We want to let the California operators know what the biggest companies are doing about TNCs, and how they are handling the situation,” Azzolino said. “What are they doing to remedy it? We’ll allow lots of questions and try to keep it entertaining.” Panelists also may discuss other industry issues such as independent operator and wage labor laws, fleet vehicle choices and trends, and the November elections.

Rutter and Azzolino also are board directors of the National Limousine Association, where Rutter serves as co-chairman of the trade group’s Political Action Committee. Berkman and Seelinger, along with Jonna Sabroff, President of ITS in Los Angeles, recently formed a non-profit called Advocates For Fairness in Transportation, which is an ad-hoc leadership group that deals with the threat of TNCs. AFT, which is not a trade association, exists to support and complement established industry associations in their efforts to bring about regulatory parity with TNCs.

“We appreciate the efforts of the founders of this group with the energy they have chosen to apply to their TNC focused efforts," said Philip Jagiela, executive director of the National Limousine Association. "In working with Cheryl Berkman to include the recently published NLA Position Paper relating to Transportation Network Companies as part of their campaign, we are developing a greater synergy between their efforts and the NLA. All three individuals (Berkman, Seelinger and Sabroff) are NLA members and realize the value of a cohesive approach to address the issues surrounding the TNC business model. In response to the widening regulatory battle, the need to address this on a national level is of high importance. In a recent dialogue with Cheryl, it has been agreed to participate in discussions with the NLA board to cooperatively collaborate on the TNC issue.”

Expo Flair

With its red carpet-Hollywood stars theme and garden-party ambiance, the GCLA Expo has gained traction since 2011 as the largest industry event outside of a major trade show, drawing several hundred attendees and vendor displays with at least 30 different chauffeured vehicle models and buses. Operators and industry vendors from the East Coast and Canada have attended past Expos, which are typically held at Orange County venues south of Los Angeles.

Scheduled each year on a date in mid- to late-September, the event also signals the unofficial start to the limousine industry’s annual Fall/Winter season of major trade shows in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, business awards ceremonies, and pre-holidays state association meetings and parties.

The Expo will be held Tuesday, Sept. 23 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Promenade & Gardens, 1570 Scenic Ave., Costa Mesa, Calif. DIRECTIONS


LCT GCLA Expo articles here

LCT related article: NLA Releases Paper Critical Of TNCs

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