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Don R. Dailey, Former Carey Executive, 1937-2018

LCT Staff
Posted on October 18, 2018
Don R. Dailey pictured in LCT Magazine in 1998.
Don R. Dailey pictured in LCT Magazine in 1998.

Don R. Dailey, the former iconic president of Carey International Inc (Carey), died Oct. 13 in Lake Tahoe, Calif. He was 81 years old. A cause of death was not disclosed.

“In accordance with Don's wishes, there will be no memorial service or any other activity related to his life,” said Tom Sakowski, his friend and partner.

Dailey started his business career as a customer service agent with United Airlines in San Francisco. During his lifelong business career, he dedicated his considerable talent and sense of innovative service to the travel services related industry.   

"Entrepreneurship was part of Don's DNA long before it became a term of convention," said Vincent Wolfington, friend and business partner of Don Dailey for over 30 years when he and Don were chairman and president respectively at Carey, which was based in Washington, D.C.

Don Dailey founded National Executive Services (NES), a chauffeured car for-hire company in the late 1960s to serve the growing industries whose employees traveled from the Peninsula to San Francisco and its airport. In 1969, Dailey merged his company with Carey International Chauffeur Services (CICS), a start-up located in New York City, and participated in that management team as a vice-president. In the early 1970s, when Vincent Wolfington took control of CICS as chairman and CEO, Don Dailey accepted the role of president.

Following the merger, Dailey spearheaded the expansion of the Carey system throughout the U.S. and Canada in the 1970s, Europe in the 1980s, and Asia-Pacific in the 1990s, according to Travel Weekly. In 1997, under Dailey's leadership, Carey became the first chauffeured vehicle service to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission and become a public company. During his leadership, Carey was ranked as the world's largest limousine and corporate car service. It remains among the top five.

“Don Dailey was a loyal friend and a true professional as a business partner,” Wolfington said. “He played a crucial role in the development and growth of the world's largest global chauffeur car for hire service company whose name became synonymous with world class service.”

Dailey also served on a number of boards and committees related to the travel industry, including the National Business Travel Association (now the Global BTA), the International Business Travel Association, the Association of Corporate Travel Executives, the National Limousine Association, and the International Limousine Association (as its past president and member of its executive committee), according to a Bloomberg News biographical snapshot. He also was a member of the Travel Business Round Table, a U.S. organization of executive officers of companies engaged in all sectors of the travel and tourism industry.

In 1996, Dailey was named the Allied Member of the Year for the National Business Travel Association, according to Travel Weekly. He retired from Carey in 2000.

LCT background articles:

Sources: Vince Wolfington, Bloomberg, Travel Weekly, LCT

Related Topics: affiliate networks, Carey International, death, history of the limo industry, industry leaders, memorial, obituary, Vince Wolfington

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