Industry Research

LCT Leadership Summit Breaks New Ground Offshore

Posted on October 30, 2012
Palomino Island in Puerto Rico served as the perfect recreational setting for the 2012 LCT Leadership Summit.

Palomino Island in Puerto Rico served as the perfect recreational setting for the 2012 LCT Leadership Summit.

Palomino Island in Puerto Rico served as the perfect recreational setting for the 2012 LCT Leadership Summit.
Palomino Island in Puerto Rico served as the perfect recreational setting for the 2012 LCT Leadership Summit.

FAJARDO, Puerto Rico — No one can ever say LCT doesn’t try new things, take risks and bring people to new places. That approach paid off last week at the 11th annual LCT Leadership Summit, an executive conference and retreat held at the El Conquistador Resort about 40 miles east of San Juan.

About 150 industry operators and vendors attended the three-day sold-out event Oct. 22-24 that most people padded with early arrivals and/or delayed departures so as to extend the tropical vacation experience.

The atmosphere, climate, and topography — think Maui meets Miami Beach — was conducive to the overall broad theme of the Summit that focused on wellness, good business communication, mental balance, and alleviating stress. The El Con resort with its multiple pools and jacuzzis, water park, spa, private island, golf course, kayaking, and water recreation proved ideal for creating a true retreat setting.

The highlight of the conference was the use of a private island called Palomino, about a 25-minute boat ride from the cliffside resort. Opening events included an array of activities on the beach-end of the island, such as a cocktail-making contest, sun and surf bathing, horseshoes, soccer and just hanging out at the beach bar. The cocktail making contest drew seven teams of five people each who mixed, made and served drinks with more vigor than a volleyball game.

(L to R) Jackie Smallwood from Elite Coach Chauffeured Transportation in Raleigh, N.C., Tami Saccaccio of Commonwealth Worldwide in Boston, and Jill Vaughn of Best Transportation in Huntington Beach, Calif., enjoy opening day activities on Palomino Island.
(L to R) Jackie Smallwood from Elite Coach Chauffeured Transportation in Raleigh, N.C., Tami Saccaccio of Commonwealth Worldwide in Boston, and Jill Vaughn of Best Transportation in Huntington Beach, Calif., enjoy opening day activities on Palomino Island.

In fact, attendees were either so relaxed or otherwise engaged amid the tropical humid heat, that no one bothered to play volleyball, as has been the opening custom at previous Leadership Summits. The following night, attendees were boated out to the island again for an exclusive buffet dinner, open bar, beach bonfire, salsa performance, and DJ/dancing until 11 p.m.

An opening night reception, “Island Latin Jazz White Night on the Veranda,” held on the Trellises deck, an elevated rounded patio surrounded by columns, featured buffet and wine bar with performances from Latin jazz groups Vejigantes, Batucada and Plena. Most attendees wore all-white tropical outfits, including the native guayabera shirts worn by many of the men.

San Francisco operator Sam Amato of Gateway Limousines Worldwide gets the right idea about the Summit right away on Palomino Island.
San Francisco operator Sam Amato of Gateway Limousines Worldwide gets the right idea about the Summit right away on Palomino Island.

But before most attendees could even get to the El Con from the San Juan International Airport, they were taken to a continuous welcome reception at First Class Destination Solutions in San Juan — Puerto Rico’s leading chauffeured transportation company and a Summit sponsor. Co-owners and hosts Roberto Rodriguez and Michael Berrios invited all Summit clients using their discounted transportation services to visit their immaculate, modern, and elaborate company headquarters that resembled a high-end design or law firm. Attendees, who visited just after arriving at the airport, were treated to mojitos and appetizers while touring the facilities and an array of premium luxury vehicles.

The second and third days of the Summit, devoted to broad wellness and life balance related topics, included a roster of expert presenters. Some highlights:

Billy Sheehan, “Billy The Coach”: Personal health expert Sheehan spoke to the key desires of any business owner or executive: How do you make more money and create more free time? That won’t become possible without good health, fitness, and nutrition, he says. “We prevent fitness and biz evolution from happening because we smother it and don’t even know it.”

Bill Taylor, founding editor of Fast Company: “What is special and exciting about how your company does business? Do you have a shared mindset in your company? What do you deliver that only you can deliver? What do you promise that only you can? It’s not good enough for your company to be pretty good at all of it. Instead you have to become the most/best of something.”

Doug Anderson, chief product officer, Limos.com: “Uber is not stealing your market share, especially corporate account and event transportation. Taxis have much more to worry about. The innovation to be focused on is letting people see their cars and communicating with them. I’m a fundamental believer in reservations as a business model. Most people are still making hotel reservations well in advance despite the Internet search options.”

Joe Yazbeck, professional communications coach: “If you are scripted, you are looking inward, and it sounds impersonal. Everyone has their own brand in this world. Everyone has God-given gifts, emotions, thoughts, passions, and compassion. Being vulnerable does not mean weakness. Open up to people. People love to do business with those who are willing to share things. Stories add credibility to presentations.”

Gautam Jain, senior disciple of Swami Parthasarathy and head of Vedanta Cultural Foundation: “Being objective means the intellect rises above the emotions of the mind. The intellect has a commitment to a higher purpose in life, a higher goal in life. When you gain higher purpose, you get cooperation from others. The intellect is the only protection against agitations, disturbances, challenges. The Intellect is connected to the present to avoid getting caught up in the past and future.”

LCT Magazine will feature more Summit coverage in the December 2012 issue and more content from the Summit speakers in the August 2013 Leadership issue.

LCT Blog feature: Taking The Bioluminescent Kayak Tour

— Martin Romjue, LCT editor (photos by)

Related Topics: continuing education, industry events, keynote speakers, LCT Leadership Summit, networking, Puerto Rico

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