People

Operators Honored For Special Achievements

Linda Jagiela
Posted on December 16, 2013
All star 2013 LCT People’s Choice Awards line-up: Choudhury, Lindsey, Robbins, Campbell and Atkins.

All star 2013 LCT People’s Choice Awards line-up: Choudhury, Lindsey, Robbins, Campbell and Atkins.

All star 2013 LCT People’s Choice Awards line-up: Choudhury, Lindsey, Robbins, Campbell and Atkins.
All star 2013 LCT People’s Choice Awards line-up: Choudhury, Lindsey, Robbins, Campbell and Atkins.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The first annual LCT People’s Choice Awards broke new ground in the limousine industry by celebrating limousine operators whose achievements span the higher callings of humanitarian, community, leadership and entrepreneurial pursuits. The awards were sponsored by Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln Limousine & Livery Vehicles.

Award winners in six categories were announced on the evening of Oct. 28 during a dinner reception and ceremony at LCT Show East in Atlantic City, N.J. hosted by LCT Publisher Sara Eastwood-McLean and Bobit Business Media CEO Ty Bobit. LCT accepted open nominations for the awards during a four-month period this year.

Entrepreneur of the Year: Michael Campbell, Grace Limousine, Manchester, N.H.
This is awarded to a person who has shown a unique pursuit of business, developed a product or concept and/or found ways to expand operations.

Campbell, an NLA board member, got his start in the limousine industry in the early 1990s washing the two-vehicle fleet at Grace Limousine in New Hampshire and labeling envelopes for direct mail campaigns. In 2003, following a successful sales career, he returned to the family business and was selected to lead the company in early 2009 during the worst recession to hit the chauffeured transportation industry. Campbell responded quickly to the harsh economy, making changes in order to turn the business around. Campbell has grown the business through sales and acquisitions, with two this year alone. He has integrated technology to his business and has expanded his affiliate network nationwide.

International Entrepreneur  of the Year: Reza Choudhury, Reliance Worldwide, London, U.K.
This is awarded to a non-U.S. business owner who has shown a unique pursuit of business, developed a product or concept, and/or found ways to expand operations. Choudhury is a global innovator and entrepreneur in the tough limo market of London. His determination to make it easier for U.S.-based companies to do business abroad has led him to develop simplified pricing in U.S. dollars accessible to operators through his website. He is a founder of EuroLimousine.net and this year started offering charter jet services. Choudhury is a constant presence at all U.S. trade shows. He has mentored many companies throughout Europe and everyone benefits from such help.

Leadership Award: 2012 National Limousine Association Legislative Committee: Scott Solombrino, Richard Kane, Diane Forgy, Gary Buffo, Dawson Rutter, Richard Azzolino, Ken Lucci, Michael Renehan, and Rosina Rubin.
The Department of Labor’s ruling on overtime on gratuities [QUOTE] “is the single most significant victory in the history of the National Limousine Association,” says NLA Legislative Committee Co-chair Scott Solombrino. “Had the Department of Labor not reconsidered our arguments as to why our industry should not be subject to overtime on tips, [at least] 6,000 operators would have been in jeopardy of audits that could have included interest, penalties, and civil lawsuits from current and past employees. The only way we were able to succeed was through the relentless efforts of the NLA’s member contacts to Congress, the efforts of our lobbying firm, Cornerstone Government Affairs, the NLA’s legal team, and the NLA’s Legislative Committee having the political clout to convince the Department of Labor to take the time and carefully review our position.”

NLA leadership winners Gary Buffo, Rich Azzolino, Diane Forgy, and Scott Solombrino.
NLA leadership winners Gary Buffo, Rich Azzolino, Diane Forgy, and Scott Solombrino.

Innovation Award: Michael Lindsey, Lindsey Limousine, in Hartford, Conn.
Lindsey has developed several web-based software products that have been adopted as standards within the chauffeured transportation industry, including www.RateButler.com — an online affiliate connectivity and sharing portal with more than 740 members which he provides at no cost to the industry; www.LimoSurvey.com – an online customer feedback program that compares each company’s results against the industry; and www.DriverSchedule.com – an online program to efficiently manage employee schedules. Lindsey’s forward thinking and thirst to improve operations has helped operators nationwide. He proves you can leverage a limousine company to be a creative source for powerful new business ventures.

Carla Boroday Humanitarian Award: Jerry Robbins, owner of Weldon Worldwide in Boston, Mass.
Robbins’ charitable contributions are too many to mention all of them. Most recently, Jerry has been involved for over five years with the Boston-based Ellie Fund which provides support services for patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer. This includes providing free transportation and fundraising. He has been involved with the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation’s community initiative, “Heroes Among Us,” where at each Celtics home game an individual is honored for his or her contributions to the community. Jerry is on the board of directors for the New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NHSPCA.) Additionally, Weldon transported victims to and from medical appointments across the city and from the hospital to their homes once they had recovered fully. Weldon provided transportation for a family member of a victim of the Boston Marathon bombing so that he could have safe, reliable transportation to school while his family was recovering from their injuries and attending to their other child suffering from life-threatening injuries.

Gold Star Award: Bill Atkins, Red Bank Limo, in Red Bank, N.J.
Bill Atkins is a go to guy who is always there to lend a hand. He is a contributing writer to LCT Magazine and serves on its advisory board. He is a creative individual and an out-of-the-box thinker who has integrated video into his daily operations and can be seen regularly on YouTube. His outreach to the local community, shown in his support for many hunger and homeless organizations, includes Lunch Break, The Food Bank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties, 180 Turning Lives Around, and Kick Cancer Overboard. He has been recognized by the Monmouth County Chamber of Commerce which awarded him the Crystal Beacon Award. Red Bank Limo has been awarded The National Safety Excellence Award for the last six consecutive years as well as the Asbury Park Press Readers Choice Award as The Best Transportation Company for the last two consecutive years. He also generously offers his counsel, advice and insights to LCT staff through phone calls and e-mails that help spark new ideas and ways of looking at industry challenges.

For Atkins, a limo company isn’t just a guy with some cars. It’s a customer, community and industry service experience.

Related Topics: Atlantic city, Bill Atkins, honors and awards, Jerry Robbins, LCT-NLA Show East, Michael Campbell, Michael Lindsey, New England operators, NLA Legislative Committee, People's Choice Awards, Reza Choudhury

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