People

Operators To Talk Leadership, Technology At LCT Shows

Lexi Tucker
Posted on May 29, 2019
(L to R) Anuj Patel, director of strategic development at Pontarelli Worldwide Ground Transportation in Chicago, Ill. and Nick Kokas, vice president of Brentwood’s Distinguished Executive Transportation in Fraser, Michigan

(L to R) Anuj Patel, director of strategic development at Pontarelli Worldwide Ground Transportation in Chicago, Ill. and Nick Kokas, vice president of Brentwood’s Distinguished Executive Transportation in Fraser, Michigan

In the coming weeks, LCT will be bringing you updates on the educational staff for future LCT Shows, including bios and details on the topics they will be helping to expound on. This week, Nick Kokas, vice president of Brentwood’s Distinguished Executive Transportation in Fraser, Michigan and Anuj Patel, director of strategic development at Pontarelli Worldwide Ground Transportation in Chicago, Ill. are in the spotlight.

Nick Kokas, Operating Technology

Nick Kokas started his company in 1999. In 2010, he entered into a merger, making Brentwood's Distinguished Executive Transportation into what it is today. He was one of the first adopters of a cloud-based back office solution when LimoAnywhere was first introduced into the market. Since that time, he has spent a lot of time on advisory boards and think tanks for automotive manufacturers, rideshare/mobility technologies, and ground transportation back office systems. His broad knowledge in the sector has made him a go-to by some of the largest chauffeured fleets in the world and to new mobility services entering the marketplace in the future.

"I believe I was chosen for my specific topic (technology) because I was one of the first people to openly acknowledge the paradigm shift our industry was facing as early as 2012," he says. "I began using words like commoditization of services, autonomy, and auto manufacturer mobility solutions before they were even news headlines. I have been fortunate enough to live in the motor capital of the world, and having some of the highest executives in charge of developing mobility solutions right in my back yard and being involved in some truly forward thinking conversations that are just now coming to fruition in the real world has helped me prepare for what's to come."

Kokas plans on introducing new services and technologies entering the “mobility” space in which the luxury transportation industry is a niche of within the greater landscape of mobility. "By being inclusive and creating dialogue among these new entrants, we increase the chances of creating synergies within our very own niche thus creating new opportunities. I don’t think you will find one leader within chauffeured car that hasn’t said 'we have become a better company after Uber and Lyft.' There is even more to learn from them and the new class of disruptors that many say will ultimately disrupt even TNCs."

Anuj Patel, Young/Emerging Leadership

Anuj Patel is the director of strategic development at Pontarelli Companies in Chicago. He has been in this role for just over three years. Previously, he was the director of business affairs at Windy City Limousine and general manager at Perfect Limo Service in Montvale, NJ. He has a degree in international business from The George Washington University.

"I am super excited, flattered, and honored to be chosen for this position.  We are at a time in our industry’s history where every single decision from leadership is a make or break one. It all starts with the decision makers and how they are making choices to open the way for success."

He feels he can provide honest and real experiences from being a senior manager/director for three industry leading operators in two of the country’s largest markets. "I was an entrepreneur in a variety of industries before joining this one. I have learned every industry is going through similar disruption.  We are not the only industry going through massive transformation. Embrace it!  If you take advantage of this time, right now, you will come out ahead in the end. Remember, just like John Taffer said at the Vegas Show, it’s boom time right now. Go out and get it. Don’t wait for it. It’s there for the taking."

The new program kicks off with the 2019 LCT East Show at the oceanfront Hard Rock Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J., Nov. 3-5, and then moves on to the 2020 International LCT Show at The Venetian in Las Vegas Feb. 17-20.

Related Topics: 2019 LCT East, Atlantic city, casinos, Chicago operators, hotels, Illinois operators, industry education, Las Vegas, LCT Show, LCTFast40, leadership, Lyft, Michigan operators, new jersey, Nick Kokas, technology, TNCs, Uber

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Video

What Is The Global Ground Transportation Institute?

The Global Ground Transportation Institute (GGTI) is the global community dedicated to providing the ground transportation industry with networking opportunities, business performance improvement, and education.