Operations

Industry Loses Bennie Lee Beal, Jr., a Houston Operator

LCT Staff
Posted on May 9, 2007

HOUSTON — Bennie Lee Beal Jr., a Houston businessman who owned what was once the largest black-owned limousine service company in Texas, died April 29 of congestive heart failure. He was 64.

"Bennie Beal was an adventurer," said his wife, Lillie. "Everything he started with, he was going to do well."

Before Bennie Beal started his limousine enterprise, he and his wife both drove cabs to put their son and daughter through college. "He would drive at night and I would drive during the day," she said.

In 1992, the couple launched Beal's Town Car and Limousine Service; they partnered with Enron, the one-time energy giant, seven years later. Beal sold 37% of the company for $300,000 to Enron Economic Development Corp., a subsidiary that invested in minority and women-owned businesses.

Beal said he was reluctant to open his business to an outside investor, according to a 1999 Chronicle article about the investment deal. "This is a family-owned business," he was quoted as saying in the story, "and I didn't want to do anything that would sabotage my chances of passing it down to my children."

The Sept. 11 attacks and Enron's collapse almost drove Beal into bankruptcy, but his company remains afloat, albeit with a smaller fleet of cars. Lillie Beal would not say how many the company now owns.

"We started off with two cars," Lillie Beal said, "and we ended up with 16. But we went down when Enron went down. Now, we're starting back up, everybody needs a car."

Source: Houston Chronicle

LCT Staff LCT Staff
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Article

How To Get Clients To See Value In Your Rates

NOV. LCT: We fear our own prices when comparing ourselves to TNCs, but we don’t compete with them any more than Marriott does with a Motel 6. Learn how to justify your rates without guilt.

News

2018's Luxury Travel Trends

Among the highlights for next year is a focus on far-flung destinations along with international trips of two weeks or more.

Article

The Art Of Sales

NOV. LCT: In the battle to obtain new clients and retain loyal ones, only those who know the best ways to reach, connect with, and educate them will survive.

Article

How To Handle Conflicts Of Interest

NOV. LCT: Forming relationships with your customers is a vital part of retaining them. But how do you ensure you and your employees never cross the line of professionalism?