Operations

Turning Unexpected Leads Into Lifelong Clients

Lexi Tucker
Posted on February 7, 2018

TJ Doyle, vice president of operations for Gold Shield Cars
TJ Doyle, vice president of operations for Gold Shield Cars
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Sometimes all it takes is a single request from a client to change a company. TJ Doyle, vice president of operations for Gold Shield Cars, explains how his parents went from security to chauffeuring.

Fateful Call

TJ’s parents, George and Vickie, were operating a security company when they received a phone call from a woman who wanted to meet in the lobby of the local Hyatt Hotel. She was looking for security service as well as transportation, so the couple took her up on the meeting.

The mystery woman turned out to be the head of development at Toyota. The company was seeking security for a patch of land they were planning to build a plant on, and they needed to provide transportation for two executives coming to look at it. Doyle’s father bought a limousine specifically for this purpose, and the business took off from that point on. “They are still our client after 35 years,” Doyle says.

T.J.'s father George Doyle and sister Kristie Doyle who both work for the company.
T.J.'s father George Doyle and sister Kristie Doyle who both work for the company.
Fateful Occupation

Doyle knew he wanted to eventually take over the family business at a young age. He got his start at age six when he started washing and detailing cars. Eventually he worked his way up from night detail to day detail, and then from the office to a chauffeur position.

“It gives you a way to see how the company has grown from the ground up,” he says. “Being around all the people who work here since I was a kid has made me want to keep up with the businesses. I’ve always wanted to take it over, and this just gave me a stronger drive to stay with it.”

Fateful Future

Over the years, Doyle’s learned you have to adapt quickly to change. “Just because your business plan worked in previous years doesn’t mean it’ll work this year,” he explains. “You have to be willing to add to it and change; you have to be able to supply more vehicles and staff to keep up with growing demand. Success is something you have to be prepared for.”

This is especially true for unforeseen circumstances you cannot control. In 2010, the company hit a rough patch due to the economy, but was lucky enough to earn a contract for the World Equestrian Games to be held in America for the first time ever in Lexington. “We were able to stay above water and that contract helped push us to where we needed to be and helped us grow.”

The future CEOs of Gold Shield and T.J.'s sons Maddox (left) and Ty (right). Pictured also is T.J.'s amazing wife Cori Doyle.
The future CEOs of Gold Shield and T.J.'s sons Maddox (left) and Ty (right). Pictured also is T.J.'s amazing wife Cori Doyle.
Determined to stay ahead of the curve, Gold Shield is looking to expand into other markets, acquire new companies, and add more motorcoaches to its fleet. “Group transportation is growing rather quickly, and we’ve already secured some contacts with athletic groups, schools, churches, and tour industries that do 100+ tours a year nationwide.”

Fun Fact: The company’s name, Gold Shield, was derived from the gold badge Doyle’s father wore as a police officer.

Related Topics: business management, customer service, family businesses, Kentucky operators, Millennials, operator profiles, Toyota, WebXclusive

Lexi Tucker Associate Editor
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