New York, New Jersey Groups Celebrate Industry Success

Tom Halligan
Posted on March 21, 2017

The Long Island Limousine Association Board of Directors celebrate their association at a gala black-tie banquet. (LCT photo)

The Long Island Limousine Association Board of Directors celebrate their association at a gala black-tie banquet. (LCT photo)

LONG ISLAND, N.Y. — If there is any upside to TNC-related disruptions, it is that industry associations nationwide have gained more members in the fight against them.

I’ve noticed a secondary benefit as well; all is not doom and gloom. Sure, TNCs legislative efforts are always at the top of meeting agendas, but association boards and members aren’t sullen and just wringing their hands. They know the cards they have been dealt and carry on. They also gather at meetings to enjoy the camaraderie belonging to an industry association offers, as well as the educational and networking benefits of membership. Members celebrate their success as entrepreneurs and the industry that provides their livelihood.

Case in point: The Long Island Limousine Association (LILA) is in the thick of the TNC battle throughout the New York metro region, involving numerous local and municipal rules and regulations. It also deals every day with the hustle of working in one of the most congested and competitive corridors in the country, yet they took time out in January to celebrate their association and each other.

More than 120 LILA members, guests, and vendor sponsors attended a gala black tie awards banquet Tuesday evening, Jan. 10 at the Stonebridge Country Club. Dressed to the nines, members danced, dined, and celebrated their growing association with award presentations to members and vendor sponsors.

More than 120 LILA members and guests mingle at the association’s January gala. (LCT photo)

More than 120 LILA members and guests mingle at the association’s January gala. (LCT photo)

LILA President Bill Goerl (Clique Limousine) said the idea to hold an awards celebration stemmed from his recognition as a LCT Operator of The Year (small operator category) in 2003, and being recognized during the annual International LCT Show in Las Vegas. Member achievements “deserve to be recognized because it’s the people who make up an association,” he says.

Doug Schwartz, owner of Executive Limousine Service and a National Limousine Association board director, was named the association’s “Man of the Year” for his “exceptional skills, dedication, and professionalism for his vital contribution to our industry and the Long Island Limousine Association.” In addition, Steven Berry (S & G Limousine) was awarded the Shining Star Award, and Dave Lipsky (Authority Limo Repair) received the Associate Member of the Year Award. Other LILA members were recognized for their 10-, 20-, and 30-year memberships in the association, as well as long-time vendor sponsors.

The LILA event should remind all associations to take time out from the grind to celebrate successes.

LANJ Upbeat
Continuing the good news, the Limousine Association of New Jersey (LANJ) scored two victories Jan. 10 when Gov. Chris Christie signed into law a repeal of the 7% state sales and use tax on limousine company services. The sales tax, which taxi and TNCs do not have to pay, was cited as unfair by LANJ and deemed burdensome by the state legislature.

In addition, Christie signed into law a bill that regulates TNCs statewide. The bill contains regulatory rules and regulations and criminal background checks, but excludes mandatory driver fingerprinting, which LANJ and taxi associations had lobbied hard to include in the bill.

LANJ waged a long, hard fight to help craft both bills and moved them along through the legislature to the governor’s desk. While LANJ President Jason Sharenow (Broadway Limousine) applauds the TNC bill for its new requirements and criminal background checks, he still hopes driver fingerprinting will become the universal practice.

“Fingerprinting is the gold standard that’s used in New York City. Why should New Jersey be exposed to anything less than that?” Sharenow asks. LANJ has been “aggressive in keeping the pressure up and fingerprinting does have bipartisan support in the Senate and Assembly.” He hopes the state attorney general will support fingerprinting as part of legitimate background checks, and not give in to TNC claims of bias and discrimination.

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: LANJ, legislation, long island limousine association, New Jersey operators, New York operators, regulatory enforcement, TNCs

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