Business owners received accolades for their innovation, kind hearts, and prowess.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — This year at the LCT-NLA Show East, the fourth-annual People's Choice Awards packed a ballroom full of industry members waiting with baited breath to see who would take home the prestigious awards.
Here are the winners, announced the evening of Nov. 14 at Harrah’s Atlantic City Resort and Waterfront Conference Center, along with some information on why they won:
Leadership Award: An operator who has influenced others to accomplish an objective or goal which resulted in positive effects on the organization (tie).
John Ouadi, owner, TransGates Limousine, Houston, Texas
John Ouadi created a group called the Houston Limousine Network for small operators to work together, and then created a group chat on Whatsapp so operators can help each other cover trips on short notice. He started with 15 operators, and now the group has more than 400 members. He organized drivers for many protests against Uber and The City of Houston, and was featured on local TV channels many times.
John also built a website named HoustonLimousinenetworks.com, where he publishes events, announcements, new regulations, and other advice.
Tracy Hodge-Raimer, president, Your Private Limousine, Inc., Chicago, Ill.
Tracy Hodge-Raimer is the President of the Illinois Livery Association, a very active and engaged industry association. At their last event, there were more than10 vendors and 50 participants present. Tracy is leading the fight against Uber and is bringing livery associations together to keep people informed, and helping to unite them with one voice and one goal. She has been working closely with the Wisconsin Livery Association and other state associations as well. She is active on Facebook and social media, and supportive of other companies with advice and encouragement. And all of this is in addition to running her highly successful business.
Under Tracy's leadership, her company’s sales have doubled in the last 3 years.
Innovation Award: Recognizes a person who has shown advanced knowledge and use of social media, mobile apps, technology-based fleet management, and/or tech amenities, or an operator who has started a technology venture.
Art Rento of Pontarelli Companies in Chicago, Ill.
In 1977, at the early age of 20, Art Rento decided he wanted to help his father’s limousine company by becoming a part-time chauffeur. Two years later, he became a full-time chauffeur. In 1981, he bought out his dad’s partner with intentions to help it grow and take Pontarelli to the next level. With his fresh and unique perspective, he thought he could help improve processes and increase business. From 1977 until today, Art has strived to keep Pontarelli on the cutting edge of technology, creative strategy, outside-the-box thinking, and networking. From his humble beginnings in this business, he has helped build an innovative, cultured enterprise that services any city in the world.
Art Rento was an innovative and progressive minded techy way before tech and progressive thinking was cool. He takes pride in the power of technology and implementing the right strategies and tools to work more efficiently and cost effectively.
Carla Boroday Humanitarian Award: Recognizes a person who has been creative and consistent in supporting a charity to improve quality of life or support a worthwhile cause.
Michael Campbell, owner, Grace Limousine, LLC., Manchester, N.H.
In 2013 at the conclusion of the International LCT Show in Las Vegas, Michael Campbell and a local owner ventured out of the Vegas casino the day after the show ended, and rode out on rented Harleys to Red Rock Canyon. After posting photos on social media and having scores of operators ask to take part in the ride the following year, the group decided to start a charity ride. After pulling together a small group of like-minded industry friends, the Limo Patriot Ride was born. In its first two years, the Limo Patriot Ride has become one of the industry's most anticipated events, and to date has donated over $40,000 to the Semper Fi fund. Michael has also been deeply involved in several non-profits in his local community, such as City Year, Girls Inc., and Child Advocacy Centers, to name just a few. Giving back to the community is at the heart of everything this group of operators does for charity work.
The award was presented to all of the founding members of the Limo Patriot Ride.
Limo Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Recognizes a person who has shown a unique pursuit of business, developed a product or concept, and/or found ways to expand operations.
Maurice Brewster, CEO, Mosaic Global Transportation, Redwood City, Calif.
(Accepting the award on behalf of Brewster was Johne Baker, the Los Angeles operations manager for the company). Maurice and his team have been able to secure the contract with the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee, grow his top line revenue in 2014 by 28%, in 2015 by 24%, and the forecast for growth in 2016 is 50%. His leadership has strategically placed his company in the ever evolving employee shuttle market in the Bay Area and grows his employee count to just over 100. Additionally, Mosaic Global Transportation continues to grow their footprint nationally and internationally by securing contracts with 12 of Fortune Magazine's Top 50 corporations. His innovative & strategic leadership in a very competitive industry and marketplace uniquely qualifies him for the Limo Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Gold Star Award: Celebrates a Good Samaritan. The recipient has gone beyond the call of duty in the spirit of service, acts of kindness and goodwill.
Eric Devlin, president and owner, Premier Transportation Services, Dallas, Texas
Mr. Devlin not only stepped up to the plate when tragedy struck Dallas, Texas, on July 7 when five officers were killed by a sniper, he donated all the transportation for the funerals, viewings and many other things as it related to getting the families there. Even when he had Chauffeurs willing to "not be paid" for the time because they were so honored to help, he insisted they be paid.
Related Topics: Atlantic city, California operators, Chicago operators, Dallas operators, Eric Devlin, Harrah's, honors and awards, Houston operators, Illinois operators, LCT-NLA Show East, Maurice Brewster, Michael Campbell, Mosaic Global Transportation LLC, New Hampshire operators, People's Choice Awards, Premier Transportation, Texas operators
Business owners received accolades for their innovation, kind hearts, and prowess.
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