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Trade Groups Hold Court at LCT-NLA Show East

Tom Halligan
Posted on January 12, 2017

First Eastern Regional Forum:  Association executives who participated on the panel included (L to R): Mike Callahan, New England Livery Association; Bill Goerl, Long Island Limousine Association; Jon Epstein, Limousine Association of New Jersey; and Steve Rhodes, Philadelphia Regional Limousine Association. (LCT photo)
First Eastern Regional Forum:  Association executives who participated on the panel included (L to R): Mike Callahan, New England Livery Association; Bill Goerl, Long Island Limousine Association; Jon Epstein, Limousine Association of New Jersey; and Steve Rhodes, Philadelphia Regional Limousine Association. (LCT photo)
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The first industry association East Coast Forum coupled with various local and regional group breakfast meetings brought members together to discuss mutual issues and strategies to work together. The forum was held during the annual LCT-NLA Show East, Nov. 13-15, at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City.

Boards of directors and members from the Limousine Association of New Jersey (LANJ), Philadelphia Regional Limousine Association (PRLA), and Florida Limousine Association (FLA) held breakfast meetings during the annual show.

Topics at the respective meetings centered on updates on TNC legislation in their respective states, as well as fighting other regulators’ fees and taxes that target the private transportation industry.

LANJ President Jason Sharenow welcomes members and guests to the breakfast meeting held Nov. 14 during the annual LCT-NLA Show East in Atlantic City. (LCT photo)
LANJ President Jason Sharenow welcomes members and guests to the breakfast meeting held Nov. 14 during the annual LCT-NLA Show East in Atlantic City. (LCT photo)
LANJ President Jason Sharenow (Broadway Elite Chauffeured Worldwide, East Hanover, N.J.) told more than 75 members and guests he expects a pending bill to regulate TNCs to pass when the legislature meets again. “We didn’t get everything we wanted, but we’re OK with what we got,” Sharenow said. Although the bill will provide stricter oversight and regulations for TNCs, mandatory fingerprinting background checks were not included.

On a winning note, Sharenow told members a bill to eliminate the 7% sales tax levied against limousine companies is gaining momentum after passing a legislative committee. Sharenow called out LANJ members Jon Epstein (Royal Coachman Worldwide, Denville, N.J.) and Pete Corelli (Lakeview Custom Coach) for “working tirelessly” to lobby and testify before legislators to get the bill going.

PRLA President Steve Rhoads (L) and member Mike Baretto (Flyte Tyme Worldwide, Mahwah, N.J.) update members on recent legislative activity during the association’s breakfast meeting at LCT-NLA Show East. (LCT photo)
PRLA President Steve Rhoads (L) and member Mike Baretto (Flyte Tyme Worldwide, Mahwah, N.J.) update members on recent legislative activity during the association’s breakfast meeting at LCT-NLA Show East. (LCT photo)
Fighting Philadelphia Parking Authority
More than 35 PRLA members and guests, including members of the Virginia Limousine Association, attended the group’s breakfast meeting held Nov. 15. PRLA President Steve Rhoads (Rhoads Limousine Service, Douglassville, Pa.) told members the association is fighting hard to stop a new Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) vehicle assessment that more than doubles the registration fee per vehicle from $404 to $868.

Rhoads said the association has petitioned a federal court to stop the assessment. The judge ruled in early November the hike will not be enforced until the PPA and PRLA meet to iron out the matter. The PRLA is waiting for the PPA to respond.

FLA Meeting
The Florida Limousine Association held its breakfast meeting Nov. 14 touching on a variety of issues and topics. FLA President Rick Versace told members the association is formulating its strategy for the upcoming legislative session to propose a measure that would require all ground transportation drivers for taxi, limo, and TNC to have fingerprint background checks.

Versace added the FLA may put together a chauffeur certification program, while members of the Long Island Limousine Association shared how their program works.

On a national note, Versace said the FLA is proposing to create a “Limousine Operator Appreciation Week,” culminating in National Limo Day. The idea will be discussed further to see if it can gain traction with the NLA and Congress.

Eastern Regional Forum
The first-ever Eastern Regional Forum drew a large crowd of East Coast association members to discuss issues of common concern and how both regional associations and the NLA can cooperate on issues effecting East Coast operators.

The forum panel included Mike Callahan, president of the New England Livery Association; Bill Goerl, president of the Long Island Limousine Association; Rhoads from the PRLA; and Sharenow of LANJ. NLA board of directors Jeff Greene (Greene Worldwide Transportation, Atlanta), and Andy Thompson (Rose Chauffeured Transportation, Charlotte, N.C.) moderated the panel.

The event also featured a legislative and election update from Louie Perry, Cornerstone Government Affairs, the NLA’s legislative consultant, and a presentation on how to deal with the media — as well combat TNCs through the media — by the NLA’s public relations firm, Evins.

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]

Related Topics: Florida Limousine Association, Jason Sharenow, Jeff Greene, LCT-NLA Show East, limo associations, Limousine Association of New Jersey, Louie Perry, Mike Callahan, New England Livery Association, Philadelphia Regional Limousine Association, Rick Versace, Steve Rhoads, Virginia Limousine Association

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