NOV./DEC. LCT: These industry members don’t just stay ahead of the curve — they set it.
Reported By Linda M. Jagiela, for LCT Magazine
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — More than 200 limousine industry friends, relatives and associates gathered Thursday, April 12, at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale to celebrate the life of South Florida operator and industry leader, Carla Boroday. The Thursday evening memorial service brought mourners from around the nation, who shared memories of Carla. She died on April 3 at the age of 66 from post-surgical complications.
LCT CARLA BORODAY OBITUARY HERE.
Carla, the co-owner, founder and president of Associated Limousine Services Inc. and president of the Florida Limousine Association, was eulogized by industry friends who knew her best. Michael Fogarty of Tristar Worldwide Chauffeur Services told of his close friendship with Carla and the Boroday family. He explained that what started as a business connection quickly grew into a mutual friendship among his family and the Borodays. He laughed when he told how Carla would chastise him for not bringing family photos to industry events. Fogarty remembered a particular industry dinner where the group shared a five liter jug of wine. When it was finished, Carla asked to take it home to replace it for the next dinner. He mused on how she managed not only to get it in her suitcase, but also through security at the airport which gave the crowd a knowing chuckle.
Catherine Chaulet of Boston Coach explained that Carla was one of the first women she met when she entered the industry. As she became acquainted with a male- dominated industry at an event, she saw this beautiful woman with high heeled shoes and a mini skirt. She said she thought to herself, “Wow, I can fit into this industry too.” They became fast friends. She shared how she and Carla would speak in French so that they could laugh over raunchy jokes without others knowing.
Family friend Jim Armstrong explained that Carla’s life was truly a celebration. He encouraged everyone to rely on their memories with Carla to get them through this challenging time. He described Carla as a fighter who not only fought cancer four times but took on many industry battles. Jim’s wife and Carla shared a bond with their battles with cancer. The two would conspire, planning future trips to Italy and Greece for the two couples. Unfortunately, they never materialized.
The eulogizers all described Carla as a woman who loved her family and loved life.
NLA President Diane Forgy, like others before her, was overwhelmed with emotion when she explained how Carla made everyone she knew part of her family. She said that the loss we will all feel is immeasurable. Diane remembered being a newbie on the NLA board with Carla who served two terms. She spoke of the many late night calls they had discussing issues and forging a friendship. Forgy said Carla was always an opened minded industry leader who stood firm on her opinions but respected the opinions of others.
The most touching and poignant part of the evening occurred when Carla’s husband, Bob, spoke about his wife. Tears flowed throughout the crowd when he remembered the Carla that all knew in many different ways. The two were together 46 years. He recalled how Carla supported him while he was working on his Master’s degree. He laughed about how she told him on a Friday she would get a job and came back with one on Monday. This was truly extraordinary as they had just married and had just moved to a new town where they didn’t have any roots.
Bob Boroday explained how he moonlighted as a chauffeur. He said the job was alright, but you didn’t make much money. Soon, the entrepreneurial spirit sparked in Carla which led her to convince Bob to sell his brand new 1973 Chevrolet Monte Carlo to buy a stretch limousine. She told him that they were going to be the number one company. Bob said to her that they couldn’t make any money in the industry. “This industry is dead,” Bob recalled. Carla prevailed and Bob went along. They bought what Bob called “a big boat of a Cadillac” and entered the funeral industry. The pair went from making $300 a month from Bob’s teaching job to $3,000 per month working on funerals. This led to Bob quitting his teaching position so he could forever work full time beside Carla.
Bob explained that Carla wanted to have a family. “I don’t want to have kids,” Bob recalled, making the audience and his sons laugh. Carla again prevailed giving the couple two beautiful sons — Derrick and Adrian, who now work and help out with the family business. Carla always wanted to have a daughter but at that point the cancer had entered her life and they were not able to have any more children.
He laughed that Carla would never stop talking. He would walk by her at 2 a.m. and she would be on the phone talking to industry friends. She always told him she was working on getting a new client. He questioned who does business at this time of night, but sure enough, more business always came in as a result of those calls. He said Carla spoke non-stop. “We drove back from California with our first stretch limousine,” he remembered. “She spoke the whole way home.” He asked her why she talked so much, and she told him she was trying to keep him awake. “I guess it worked.”
Bob said Carla was a very humble person. While Carla never really ever got upset, one thing though really bothered her. He brought along a copy of Black Car News on which a number of industry people were featured on the cover. Carla was extremely upset at how small her image was and how big Bob’s was. She told Bob to call the newspaper and get them to fix that by making his small and hers large. Yes, she was very humble, he explained.
He spoke about how she helped and mentored many industry operators. When she learned that she was ill and would need surgery, she encouraged Bob to go to the International LCT Show without her to get his service plaque for being on the NLA Board. “You know I have two of those,” she said. He once again mused that she was a very humble person.
Bob painted a picture of the Carla everyone knew and loved. He ended tearfully telling all how much he would miss his friend.
Attendees got another opportunity to see a Carla Boroday that many did not know. A slide show put together by her family showed Carla from childhood throughout her marriage, and the growth of her family to the present day. The photos reminded the viewers that there were many more dimensions of their friend and colleague than her business side. A young Carla, bikini clad on a beach playing with her children captured the spirit of the fun loving woman who always put her family first. Another showed her driving the family’s VW Bus.
“She was quite a looker,” commented Joe Cirruzzo, a New York operator and NLA board director. “Those photos showed a beautiful girl and woman. Bob looked pretty good too. Who would’ve known?”
Many of the photos included industry friends, since the limousine industry was a big part of Carla’s life. Ross Marinara, who worked with Carla on the Florida Limousine Association, was featured in many. Ross died seven years ago. Carla organized the memorial and tribute for Ross.
Bito Pimenta and his wife, Melissa, along with his staff at Enova Transportation took over Carla’s role as organizer, stepping in to make the event come off seamlessly. They organized the facility and fielded calls to give the family a chance to recover. Other area operators stepped in to assist. Many helped with fleet coverage and phone help. Mike Solomon of USA Limousine provided two buses which shuttled guests between the site of the service and their hotel.
During the dinner which followed the service, guests got to know Carla’s children. Her sons, Adrian and Derrick, and daughter in law, Shelly, exemplified the great love Carla had for her family friends and the industry. They greeted guests warmly sharing memories of Carla. The event closed with guests leaving with their memories and committing to new friendships with Carla’s sons.
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