Thursday, March 21, 2019
Centennial TLPA ConventionExhibitors and attendees alike stopped by the TLPA booth in the MarketPlace for a celebratory centennial birthday cake to mark the 100th Annual Convention & Trade Show. October’s 100th Annual Convention & Trade Show of the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA) offered a jam-packed schedule, top-notch speakers, and all that Vegas has to offer over the course of the milestone three-day event, which was held the 27-29. The conference brought together ground transportation professionals from 178 cities and 13 countries, with CD’s Publisher Chris Weiss and Director of Events Jess Pavlow among the hundreds of individuals in attendance.

Celebrating such a significant achievement provided the association with an opportunity to highlight longstanding traditions while unveiling new initiatives according to attendees’ requests, which included embracing new technological tools like a convention app and a shortened schedule to accommodate conference-goers’ schedules and responsibilities to their companies.

Among the annual traditions is the installation of a new TLPA president, and both outgoing President Mike Pinckard of Total Transit and 2018-2019 President Terry O’Toole of Transdev On Demand had future-forward advice for their audiences.

Centennial TLPA ConventionCD Publisher Chris Weiss (second from right) with (L to R) Alex Pentecost, Brendan Helt, Robin Friedberg, and Stephen Friedberg of Research Underwriters “TLPA will be the go-to resource for a wider audience than ever before, and with a perspective that shapes today’s transportation world,” promised Pinckard.

After numerous meetings over the past year, the TLPA’s vision for the future unfolded at the 100th annual convention, which will rely on four key pillars:

• Expanding membership by “broadening the tent” to include a more diverse cross section of industry stakeholders and thought leaders.

• Leading the industry with strategies for increased safety, convenience, and sustainable environmental practices.

• Identifying the best innovative practices that increase members’ profitability.

• Enhancing drivers’ image and performance.

Centennial TLPA ConventionWith TLPA Limousine & Sedan Operator of the Year Nikko Assolin of Nikko’s Worldwide (foreground) are (L to R): Tom Arrighi of A&A Metro Transportation, Sam Amato of Gateway Global, 2017-2018 TLPA President Mike Pinckard of Total Transit, TLPA President Terry O’Toole of Transdev on Demand, TLPA CEO Al LaGasse, and Matt Assolin of Nikko’s Worldwide Four committees will be tasked with implementing TLPA’s strategic plan: The Executive Committee will focus on making sure the association thrives and remains a unified voice for the industry; the Member Services Committee will create programs for members that improve service delivery and create competitive advantages; the Advocacy, Policy and Government Relations Committee will shape the future of Mobility-as-a-Service to promote diversified business models; and the Driver Workforce Development Committee will lead efforts to make the driving profession a rewarding and financially viable career.

In his acceptance speech, O’Toole expressed his support for the fresh approach to guiding the TLPA.

“The transportation landscape is expanding, not shrinking,” the new president said. “Our industry is evolving in exciting ways that are filled with opportunity. With an invigorated association, and with the incredible knowledge and know-how of our members, our industry will thrive in the years ahead.”

TLPA certainly celebrated its members—and personnel, too. The association’s annual awards ceremony recognized the best of the best, which included naming Nikko and Matt Assolin of Nikko’s Worldwide the Limousine & Sedan Operator of the Year (check out pg. 88 of our November issue for detailed coverage). And while longtime TLPA Executive Vice President Hal Morgan officially retired in June, he bid his formal adieu to the association during the milestone convention—and gave his fellow golfers a run for their money one last time during the TLPA’s annual golf tournament and putting contest.

Centennial TLPA ConventionL to R: John Vessecchia, Ann Jenkins, Steven Losos, and Jody Rhodes of Gold Sponsor Atlas Financial Holdings Centennial TLPA ConventionRecently retired Executive VP of TLPA Hal Morgan (left) and 2017-2018 TLPA President Mike Pinckard There were plenty of learning and networking opportunities of all kinds during the convention. Attendees tried in vain to crash a car when Ford Motor Company let them get behind the wheel of a vehicle with automatic braking capabilities designed to prevent collisions, which was part of a hands-on driving exhibition featuring Ford’s All-New Taxi vehicle lineup.

A more traditional classroom education came with the likes of its 11 Learning Labs session that focused on everything from innovation to market trends to employee management, as well as insights from those who use transportation rather than provide it. The convention hosted three in-demand speakers from outside of the industry to share their strategic insights and best practices. Dennis Snow, a 20-year veteran from Walt Disney, Chris Jones, co-founder of Canalys, and Scott McKain, author of Create Distinction, all offered their unique perspectives with their takes on customer service, technology, and marketing and sales, respectively.

Centennial TLPA ConventionL to R: TLPA Limousine & Sedan Operator of the Year Matt and Nikko Assolin with 2017-2018 TLPA President Mike Pinckard Centennial TLPA ConventionMichael Lindsey of DriverSchedule.com demonstrates his ­company’s product on the show floor Centennial TLPA ConventionChauffeur Driven Publisher Chris Weiss and Director of Events Jess Pavlow Networking opportunities were everywhere, thanks to social events like The Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Foundation’s Golf Tournament, a kick-off party, and a Halloween-appropriate bash at the Monster Mansion overlooking Las Vegas.

The Transportation Solutions MarketPlace was buzzing as dozens of exhibitors packed the exhibition floor to showcase their products and services. The reimagined, two-day trade show element of the event brought together nearly 90 of the industry’s top vendors to demonstrate how they can improve attendee’s bottom lines with the vehicles, services, and technology they need to build more efficient companies.

TLPA’s centennial convention concluded with a silent auction and reception, the perfect event to cap a packed-to-the-brim convention program.

Visit tlpa.org for more information.

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