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Thursday, February 02, 2023

The National Limousine Association (NLA) is heading back to Washington, D.C., this April 25-26 for its annual Day on the Hill. According to the current schedule, educational sessions will take place on April 25 followed by Hill visits on April 26.

NLA Day on the Hill 2023

“Our last Day on the Hill event in September was a great success and we are looking for even more members to get involved in 2023,” said NLA President Robert Alexander of RMA Worldwide in his weekly President’s Notes. “You may have heard from other members how unique and valuable this event is to our association, our industry, and our businesses. If you have never attended Day on the Hill, I strongly encourage you to speak with others who have and consider joining us in April.”

NLA NLA President Robert Alexander

Hotel registration will be forthcoming as the event nears, and sponsorship opportunities are still available. Contact Kyle Hammerschmidt at for more information.

The association is also lauding the recent passage of Sami’s Law, a bill passed by the House that would implement a number of enhanced safety measures for ride-share passengers, including a comprehensive study conducted by the Government Accountability Office of the incidence of assault, quality of background checks of drivers and the steps already being taken by ride-hail companies. It was introduced in the House by N.J. Congressman Chris Smith after the death of Samantha Josephson, who was killed by an imposter ride-share driver, and now heads to the Senate.

“The NLA is pleased to see this critical piece of legislation pass through The House,” said Alexander. “As the voice of the chauffeured transportation industry for nearly four decades, we are firmly committed to upholding universal safety standards and best practices for all companies that employ drivers for private transportation. It is our belief that all for-hire transportation providers, including ride-hailing services, perform under the same basic guidelines to ensure the safety of their passengers. We urge the Senate to act quickly to ensure this crucial legislation becomes law.”

The NLA also recently launched a Holiday Travel Promise safety pledge to continue its legacy of promoting safety throughout the industry. A major tenet of the pledge is to safeguard both passengers and drivers by calling attention to the basic responsibilities of service providers.

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On Thursday, December 8, the recently revitalized Florida Limousine Association (FLA) held their inaugural Leadership Summit at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando. The all-day affair offered the 100 members, vendors, and guests from across the country the opportunity to network and discuss issues relevant to the state.

FLA Florida Leadership Summit Panelists Tom Holden, Brooks Bullington of Bullington Insurance Group, and Tim Rose of Dolphin Transportation Specialists

“Because we brought all the local associations under one umbrella this year, the FLA Board of Directors thought it was important that we bring all the leaders from those associations across the state together to share ideas and talk about things that are important to all of us,” says FLA President Rick Versace of A1A Global Ground.

Currently, the largest issue facing state operators is that every jurisdiction in Florida has its own licensing scheme.

“A lot of times you need to have inspection on your vehicle in each county. You have to pay fees in each county. It makes it very difficult for companies to do business in the state. The biggest focus that we’re going to address this year is state-wide reciprocity, which basically means if your licensed in your home jurisdiction, you don’t need to have licensing in any other county that you do business in,” says Versace.

FLA L to R: Carolina and Ray Garcia of Prestige Limousines, Larry Greene of Emerald Coast Luxury Transportation, FLA President Rick Versace of A1A Global Ground, and Lenin Fraga and Yuri Velasquez of American Transportation

During Versace’s keynote during the State of the State presentation, he confirmed the intention of the National Limousine Association (NLA) to rebrand and embrace the word “limo” within the industry. This was met with thunderous applause by those in attendance at the Summit.

“We want people to know that ‘limo’ means you’re reliable, it means luxury, it means something positive. Something we’re going to do with the FLA is show that limo means something,” says Versace.

Versace then welcomed Chauffeur Driven President Chris Weiss to speak a bit about the upcoming 2023 CD/NLA Show in Vegas on March 5-8. Weiss confirmed that the CD/NLA Education Committee is hard at work at developing a timely educational slate and shared a bit about the enthusiasm he’s seeing from the industry regarding the March event. Weiss raffled a pass to the show, which was won by Keith Soraci of A1A Global Ground.

FLA L to R: CD/NLA Show Pass Winner Keith Soraci of A1A Global Ground, CD President Chris Weiss, and FLA President Rick Versace of A1A Global Ground

The event also accommodated a panel discussion that addressed other timely issues. Tim Rose of Dolphin Transportation spoke about pricing; Industry advisor Tom Holden spoke about Florida DOT regulations; and Brooks Bullington of Bullington Insurance Group offered his perspective about the insurance industry.

Versace says that the FLA Board of Directors is currently working on the development of a group captive insurance company for the association members.

“Markets in Florida are contracting and it’s very difficult to find companies that will provide coverage,” he says. “The captive will be owned by the members with stable coverage.”

Following a three-course meal, the FLA held an award ceremony to highlight industry best practices. Awards were given for Patron of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Inspiration Leader Award, Operator of the Year (1-10 vehicles), Operator of the Year (11-20 vehicles), Operator of the Year (21+ vehicles), and Chauffeur of the Year.

FLA The Royal Transportation Group Family (L to R): Tommy Wright, Joey Wright, Liz Richmond, and FLA 1st Vice President Cliff Wright

“I was blessed to have been named the Inspirational Leader of the Year for the State of Florida,” says Versace.” I was even more thrilled that two of my chauffeurs tied for Chauffeur of the Year. I think that’s more important than anything else because our chauffeurs are the most important element in this business. They’re the ones who provide the service and do what needs to be done on a day-to-day basis. Having that distinction was very meaningful to me.”

Versace and the FLA Board of Directors were excited with the reception of the Leadership Summit.

“People loved it and can’t wait to see what we have in store for the future. There’s a lot of good things that we’re working on for the future, and the power of associations coming together under one roof is going to make a big difference in 2023.”

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QSi Awards The QSi Awards

The year-end results are in! Professional Driver, a magazine based in the UK covering the chauffeured and private driver industry, announced the winners of its recent QSi Awards. The awards honor those companies and industry professionals who embody quality, service, and innovation (QSi). Finalists were announced in early November, and the winners were celebrated during a stately and elegant gala at the Celtic Manor Resort in South Wales on November 29.

QSi Awards Vehicle judges took their roles seriously

In all, winners were announced in 10 categories, ranging from Professional Driver of the Year to Environment to Chauffeur Company of the Year. Some highlights:

Chauffeur Company of the Year (1-10 vehicles):
Parkers Executive (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)
Silver: Aura Journeys (Newark)
Bronze (tie): Luxstar (Newport) and MET Chauffeur Services (Erskine)

QSi Awards More than 50 vehicles were on display for judging

Chauffeur Company of the Year (11+ vehicles):
Chabé (London)
Silver: Blacklane (Berlin)
Bronze (tie): Belgraves of London (Sutton) and iChauffeur (London)

Gold: Addison Lee (London)
Silver: Your Local Car (Camberley)
Bronze: Parkers Executive (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)

New Start Operator:
L&L Travel (Newton-le-Willows)
Silver: StarPrime Chauffeurs (Bristol)
Bronze: NI Chauffeurs (Belfast)

QSi Awards It was a packed house for the QSi Awards

The full list of winners is available here. The Awards will mark their 10th anniversary in 2023.

Additionally, the magazine announced its picks for top vehicles for the industry. The magazine holds annual “judging days” at Epsom Racecourse, where it invites industry professionals to kick the tires and get an up-close and personal look at dozens of vehicles in exchange for their feedback. Among the best are:

Car of the Year: Genesis G80 Electrified
Luxury SUV: BMW iX
Executive Car: Genesis G80 Electrified
Chauffeur Car: Mercedes-Benz S580eL (plug-in hybrid)

The rest of the winners can be found here as well as in the latest issue of the magazine.  

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Photos courtesy of Professional Driver.