Operations

Marine Never Stops Improving Limo Operation

Lexi Tucker
Posted on September 9, 2016

Christopher “Chris” Mulvihill has always had a passion for creating things. From the time he was nine years old, he’d show his father Bart engine designs he had drawn up in his free time. Now 30 years old, he has taken on many different roles and worked tirelessly to ensure his dreams become reality; he’s a Marine sergeant, a student, and senior manager and partner of Christopher Luxury Sedan Service, LCC in Lahaina, Hawaii.

Hawaiian Roots

The Mulvihill’s history on Maui goes back to 1963, but Chris has bounced between both the island and the mainland since he was born. Bart, his father and general manager of the company, was one of the owners of Kaanapali Taxi and has experience chauffeuring famous clientele. But Chris took a different path to get to where he is today.

Quite a few members of the Mulvihill family have been Marines and sailors, and they helped inspire Chris to pursue a career in the military. He joined the Marines in 2011, and while he spent a lot of time at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C., he also had experience working on a high sea vessel. He served as part of the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion for two years, and held a maintenance position where he worked on powertrains and repaired LAVs (light armored vehicle) used for carrying supplies.

Although a bit shy, his sense of humor shines through when asked why he ultimately joined the toughest branch: “Someone’s gotta do it,” he jokes. “Honestly, I had a great time and learned a lot. I think it was the best decision I ever made.”

He enlisted for three and a half years, and got out six months early due to a voluntary early release program. Ultimately, this added one year to his reserve time, and he will be on inactive reserve until 2019.

Chris is using the G.I. Bill to study a wide variety of subjects, including business, economics, and engineering, which will prove to be a strong asset when running a chauffeured car service.

(l to r) Christopher Mulvihill, senior manager and partner of Christopher Luxury Sedan Service; Janet Grantham, company treasurer, Bart's wife, and Chris' step-mother; Bart Mulvihill, general manager.
(l to r) Christopher Mulvihill, senior manager and partner of Christopher Luxury Sedan Service; Janet Grantham, company treasurer, Bart's wife, and Chris' step-mother; Bart Mulvihill, general manager.

Military Man To Businessman

Being in the Marines has certainly helped Chris develop strong time management and leadership skills. It has also provided him with a philosophy that rings true during this time of disruption in the industry.

“I learned it’s important to know yourself, and to always seek self-improvement. Don’t just focus on your strengths, but think about what your weaknesses are and what you need to work on. Be realistic and don’t be stubborn; try to be the best person you can be every single day. Never stop trying to improve, whether that means coming up with a better business plan or just being a better person in general.”

Living The Dream

Chris and his father have wanted to start a luxury ground transportation company for a long time. “One benefit of being in the military was the fact I was able to save up a lot of money. Public Utility Licenses aren’t cheap,” Chris says.

Started in 2015, Chris contributes to the company as a mechanical and operations supervisor, relief manager of operations, and as one of the business’ personal security drivers.

“He’s probably saved us a couple thousand dollars in equipment and touch up paint. His thriftiness helped bankroll the company,” Bart explains.

Vehicle of Choice

When Chris joined the Marines, he was going to be in the MSG Command which guards embassies. Bart says, “The only car you ever see out in front of an embassy is a BMW 7 Series. They are fast, safe, and bulletproof.”

That experience persuaded the Mulvihills to use BMW 7 Series sedans for their entire fleet. Luckily, Bart used to work at a BMW dealership and has connections to the family who own it.

“We are constantly dodging tourists who are trying to read GPS and are extremely distracted. You need a car that not only hits the style quotient, but will also be able to get out of the way when required,” Bart says.

Chris adds, “Another reason why we chose the 7 Series is because we honestly couldn’t think of another car we would want to be picked up in after hours of traveling. By the time people get to Maui, they just want to relax.”

Related Topics: BMW, BMW 7 series, family businesses, Hawaii operators, operator profiles, small-fleet operators, WebXclusive

Lexi Tucker Associate Editor
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