Operations

Industry Rewards Outstanding Operators

Lexi Tucker
Posted on January 8, 2019

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — At the “Denim & Diamonds” themed People’s Choice Awards show sponsored by Ford/Lincoln, attendees partook of delectable small bites, drank lavish concoctions, and celebrated everything that makes the industry great.

Held the evening of Monday, Nov. 5, five operators were presented with framed certificates for Limo Entrepreneur of the Year, the Carla Boroday Humanitarian Award, the Leadership Award, the Innovation Award, and the Gold Star Award. Awards for the First Annual Chauffeur Rodeo were also given out.

In addition to the People’s Choice Awards, the NLA donated $25,000 from the Harold Berkman Fund, the NLA’s charity arm, to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network.

The NLA also auctioned off a 2018 Lincoln Navigator, which turned into three of the same vehicle with matching bids of $90,000 each going to Clarence Carr of Action Worldwide Chauffeured Services, in Atlanta, Ga.; Harry Dhillon of Ecko Worldwide Transportation of San Jose, Calif.; and Jason and Kendra Kaplan of The Driver Provider (headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz. with multiple other locations). They will all be on a future cover of LCT Magazine together as well.

The NLA also auctioned off a 2018 Lincoln Navigator, which turned into three of the same vehicle with matching bids of $90,000 each going to Clarence Carr of Action Worldwide Chauffeured Services, in Atlanta, Ga.; Harry Dhillon of Ecko Worldwide Transportation of San Jose, Calif.; and Jason and Kendra Kaplan of The Driver Provider (headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz. with multiple other locations). They will all be on a future cover of LCT Magazine together as well.

The NLA also auctioned off a 2018 Lincoln Navigator, which turned into three of the same vehicle with matching bids of $90,000 each going to Clarence Carr of Action Worldwide Chauffeured Services, in Atlanta, Ga.; Harry Dhillon of Ecko Worldwide Transportation of San Jose, Calif.; and Jason and Kendra Kaplan of The Driver Provider (headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz. with multiple other locations). They will all be on a future cover of LCT Magazine together as well.

Entrepreneur of the Year

Andy Hernandez, CTA Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation, San Antonio, Texas

Andy Hernandez, CTA Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation, San Antonio, Texas

An operator who has shown a unique pursuit of business, developed a product or concept, and/or found ways to expand operations.

Winner: Andy Hernandez, CTA Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation, San Antonio, Texas

Hernandez sums up his marketing and growth strategy with a ready list: “Customer retention, direct sales calls, attention to detail, and being available to all customers, big or small.” He has used technology to build a reliable affiliate and meetings-planner network and pursue DMC and events markets. His client mix includes technology, pharmaceutical, and automotive companies, with Coca-Cola and Disney among its big name clients through DMC work.

Leadership Award

Harry Dhillon, Ecko Worldwide Transportation Inc., San Jose, Calif.

Harry Dhillon, Ecko Worldwide Transportation Inc., San Jose, Calif.

An operator who has influenced others to accomplish an objective or goal which resulted in positive effects on the organization.

Winner: Harry Dhillon, Ecko Worldwide Transportation Inc., San Jose, Calif.

Dhillon goes above and beyond to motivate those who work for him to strive wholeheartedly to meet the company’s goals. He shows appreciation to his employees so they make a difference.

In a recent LCT article, he said, “You always hear so much talk about what is wrong with the industry. We have so many brains here that if we would just work together, we could make huge advancements. People feel like if they help support another company, they’ll be out of business. It’s the opposite. Even if you never get business from someone, take them up on their friendship and guidance and learn from them.” He is also first vice president of the Greater California Livery Association (GCLA).

Innovation Award

Robert Gaskill, MOTEV LLC, Los Angeles, Calif.

Robert Gaskill, MOTEV LLC, Los Angeles, Calif.

An operator who has shown advanced knowledge and use of social media, mobile apps, tech amenities, and/or tech-based fleet management, or an operator who has started a technology venture.

Winner: Robert Gaskill, MOTEV LLC, Los Angeles, Calif.

Two years ago, Gaskill started a luxury black car service with a fleet of Teslas and recently added Mercedes S550 hybrid sedans because he knew the industry would need to start thinking about operating sustainably. Manufacturers have been building such vehicles for many years, and now most major cities, airports, corporations, and individuals are embracing this environmentally friendly luxury transportation option, as more charging options in place help ease range anxiety. The company’s “MOTEV” was to rebrand and introduce this option to the industry at a larger scale and give back to the environment by planting a tree for every booked ride delivered, including all affiliate work. They are at 16,000 trees, and hope to be at more than 20,000 soon.

Carla Boroday Humanitarian Award

Michael Barreto, Eagle Chauffeured Services, Glen Mills, Pa.

Michael Barreto, Eagle Chauffeured Services, Glen Mills, Pa.

Named after the late Florida operator, industry association leader, and activist Carla Boroday, this award recognizes a person who has been creative and consistent in supporting a charity to improve quality of life or support a worthwhile cause.

Winner: Michael Barreto, Eagle Chauffeured Services, Glen Mills, Pa.

Barreto created a new donation transportation program for the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House (RMH). The complete comp donation program takes transportation requests from RMH all year. Transfers can include airport and train station shuttles, complimentary transfers to venues and sporting events, and most importantly, assisting with transportation for patients to other local health care facilities for treatments. The program has become so successful the company now offers it to RMHs in New Jersey and Delaware. This program was a passion project of Baretto’s for several years, and has allowed him to give back to those who have limited means for receiving treatment from the nation’s top pediatric research hospital, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

Gold Star Award

Nancy Vargas, DH2 Chauffeured Transportation, College Point, N.Y.

Nancy Vargas, DH2 Chauffeured Transportation, College Point, N.Y.

Goes to a Good Samaritan who has gone beyond the call of duty in the spirit of service, acts of kindness, and good will.

Winner: Nancy Vargas, DH2 Chauffeured Transportation, College Point, N.Y.

Vargas is known for her desire to help anyone achieve success. Never one to turn down a request for assistance, she provides advice operators who approach her at any time. The most arduous part of her journey in trying to take her company to the next level was becoming Minority/Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) certified. The two-year process was far from easy. Through loads of paperwork, extensive background checks, and the creation of a business proposal, she now takes her knowledge of the process and helps others interested in doing the same…all you have to do is ask.

Related Topics: Atlantic city, Harrah's, LCT-NLA Show East, limo tradeshows, new jersey, People's Choice Awards, tradeshows

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
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