FLORIDA Group Reorganizes, Sets Agenda

Posted on June 16, 2010 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

South Florida operator Carla Boroday becomes the president of the state’s leading industry association as it launches a new web site and takes on the challenge of courtesy vehicles.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The FLORIDA LIMOUSINE ASSOCIATION recently raised its industry profile with new leadership, a new staff and agenda, and an added boost from absorbing the Florida Ground Transportation Association.

FLA’s new board of directors meets Thursday to finalize its web site and membership building goals. Carla Boroday, owner of Fort Lauderdale-based Associated Limousine Services Inc., was elected president in March. Other officers include Mike Sobol, co-owner of East Coast Transportation in Jacksonville, vice president; Rick Versace of A1A Airport & Limousine Service in Boca Raton, treasurer; and David Shaw of Olympus Limousine in Tampa, secretary. Shaw also serves as president of the WEST FLORIDA LIVERY ASSOCIATION.

Wayne Smith has been named the full-time executive director. Smith served as executive director of the NLA from its founding in 1985 until 2000. Smith was retired and living in Florida when he was tapped by the FLA.

The FLA, to be headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, also is seeking a lobbyist and a management company to work with Smith in running the FLA. Directors will be interviewing prospective lobbyist and management company candidates in coming weeks.

Boroday previously served as a board member of the FLA and president of the former FGTA. The FLA became the state’s limousine association in 2009 because the industry efforts in Florida and nationally were not coherent among the multiple associations throughout the state. The FLA now aims to present a united voice for all regions and their various issues. It officially replaces the FGTA.

Foremost on the FLA agenda is the challenge from courtesy corporate vehicles which are increasingly being used by sponsors of special events in Florida, such as tournaments, pro-sports games, art shows, festivals, and concerts, Boroday explained. The temporary fleets take clients on as-directed runs in the area during special events but are not regulated or licensed like chauffeured and for-hire transportation operators.

“That’s what our business is made up of,” Boroday said. “We need our airport runs, but we look forward to these other events because it helps our industry to make all that extra money. Airports are great, but you can’t just run a business on airports.”

The courtesy vehicles are often driven by hired college students and do not meet the licensing, inspection, and insurance requirements that chauffeured transportation operators must follow.

The FLA successfully fended off a similar effort by Avis WeDriveU in Miami-Dade County in 2008. Avis was renting out vehicles and chauffeurs under separate companies, thereby avoiding chauffeured transportation regulations. That enabled the car rental agency to charge less than typical limousine service rates because it didn’t have to pay the costs of regulation, inspection, licenses, and insurance.

The FLA also is working to preserve the current legal definition of an independent contractor so that chauffeurs do not have to be reclassified as full-time employees and operators can retain flexibility with staffing, Boroday said. “Our work is very seasonal, so it is necessary to have contractors.”

— Martin Romjue, LCT editor

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