Operations

New York Couple Swaps Roles, Succeeds Together

Lexi Tucker
Posted on June 27, 2018

(r to l) Nancy Vargas, CEO of DH2 Chauffeured Transportation, and her husband, company founder, and COO Mike

(r to l) Nancy Vargas, CEO of DH2 Chauffeured Transportation, and her husband, company founder, and COO Mike

COLLEGE POINT, N.Y. — Nancy Vargas, CEO of DH2 Chauffeured Transportation, and her husband and company founder Mike, now COO, realized after years in their business they had to examine and act on their strengths to take it to the next level.

Nancy held her own in the role of supportive wife at the start. She realized luxury transportation was her husband’s dream. After becoming a mother, she assumed she’d always be a part of corporate America, but that proved wrong. She fell in love with motherhood, and her daughter became her priority. “I was 100% focused on raising our daughter, but no one tells you they grow up so fast and you have to find something to do!” she jokes.

Therefore, Mike’s passion became hers and they shared the dream together. With a new, invigorated vision as CEO and a Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) certification, the two are making great strides in growing their business.

Paperwork Pays Off

The largest and most arduous part of her journey in trying to take DH2 to the next level was becoming M/WBE certified. This took about two years, and was far from an easy process. Loads of paperwork, extensive background checks, and the creation of a business proposal were just a few steps she had to take.

“I had no idea it would take so much work learning and reaching out to others who have gone through this process,” she explains. There were numerous times she would pick up the paperwork and then walk away from it, but in the end, she followed through and says every minute was worth it.

She was recently awarded the Five Chamber Alliance M/WBE Award, as well as a contract through her MWBE Certification with The Port Authority of NY & NJ. “Had I not taken the journey of becoming certified, I would never have seen that business.”

Nancy stresses being involved in organizations and committees both inside and outside of the industry. “You may not do it when you first open the doors, but you need to as you grow. The more you network, the more exposure you’ll get.”

Nancy stresses being involved in organizations and committees both inside and outside of the industry. “You may not do it when you first open the doors, but you need to as you grow. The more you network, the more exposure you’ll get.”

OK To Ask For Help

Nancy recognizes everyone is nervous when they first start out. “A dream and vehicles will only get you so far. You have to reach out and ask for help when you need it. When we first started, we wanted to do everything our way and didn’t understand asking for help and building relationships with your colleagues and competitors is paramount,” she says. “We’re all in this together, and there are so many operators of all sizes willing to share their knowledge. Today I feel more comfortable than ever picking up the phone to contact an affiliate and ask for advice.”

She also stresses being involved in organizations and committees both inside and outside of the industry. “You may not do it when you first open the doors, but you need to as you grow. The more you network, the more exposure you’ll get.”

The Business Backstory

Mike started the company doing mainly corporate work in 1995. However, that side of the business took a hit in post-9/11 New York City. It shifted into the social side, and did more retail, weddings, and special events. After more than 20 years in business, Nancy and her husband talked about the future of the company and where they were headed.

They decided to rebrand and sold all of their specialty vehicles in 2016. They became more active in the industry community and started attending industry shows. In 2017, Nancy and Mike swapped roles; she became CEO, and he took over as COO.

Each of them identified their strengths and weaknesses, and concluded Mike would take on the operations aspect of the company while she would be the face of the brand because she excelled in business development.

Related Topics: certification programs, customer service, family businesses, New York operators, women in the industry

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
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