Monday, January 18, 2021
Illinois Limousine & Bus Association (ILLBA)

More than three dozen guests joined the Illinois Limousine & Bus Association’s (ILLBA’s) Coffee With ILLBA meeting on December 15, the last of the calendar year. This month’s theme—Navigating the Cash Crunch—was the next in a series of educational sessions that have included topics such as insurance and networking during COVID. Guest speakers for this installment included Kathy Kahne of Windy City Limousine and Sarah Mercer of the National Limousine Association.

Illinois Limousine & Bus Association (ILLBA) December Coffee With ILLBA "Navigating the Cash Crunch"

Following opening remarks from ILLBA’s newly elected President Arthur Rento of Ponterelli Companies, Vice President Tracy Raimer (former president) of Windy City Limousine & Bus, and Executive Director/Secretary/Treasurer Paula DeBiasi of Chicago Coachworks, Kahne offered her tips to continue to cut expenses and keep an eagle eye on cash flow, which includes a weekly check of P&Ls and frequently renegotiating terms with vendors and creditors. Drawing from her own experiences over the past nine months, Kahne shared her trials and tribulations from having to lay off staff back in March to the mostly positive interactions she’s had with her financial institutions and other lenders—as well as the not-so-positive. While she’s overall optimistic that corporate travel is going to return due to the pent-up urge for business travelers to get back out on the road, she’s retooling her business to run lean and mean even when times are better. Among the options she is imminently implementing is outsourcing and sharing resources with other operations, whether it’s dispatching, reservations, chauffeurs, or even accounting. It’s a trend that she feels will save many of her industry peers who are also searching for novel places to squeeze out some cash.

NLA Affinity Program

Keeping with the theme of saving money, Sarah Mercer of the NLA spoke about the national association’s Affinity Program, a legacy benefit that offers members discounts on products and services that they need to run their businesses. The range of discount partners is quite broad—from everyday needs such as tires, software, and mobile services, to chauffeur training and background checking, which she says can easily outweigh the cost of NLA membership. The NLA also recently announced that it will offer a health insurance plan to members in 2021, which has the potential to be a game-changer for many companies shouldering this costly line item expense.

Earlier in the month, the ILLBA Board of Directors also selected officers to serve for the 2020-2021 term.

They are:
President: Arthur Rento of Pontarelli Companies
Vice President: Tracy Raimer of Windy City Limousine & Bus
Secretary: Paula DeBiasi of Chicago CoachWorks
Treasurer: Brian Sheely of Epic Limo

The next ILLBA Zoom meeting is scheduled for January 12, 2021.

Visit illinoislimousineassociation.com for more information.

[12.22.20]

LfL WW Dublin Ireland

LfL Worldwide Chauffeur Services of Dublin, Ireland, is ending 2020 on a sweet note as the company was just announced as a winner in The Travel & Hospitality Awards in its 2021 European Travel Awards program. The Travel & Hospitality Awards is a global recognition program for the travel industry identifying the very best hotels, tour operators, experience providers, spa and wellness facilities, restaurants, and technology and innovation companies.

LfL WW Dublin Ireland LfL owners Lorraine Morrell and Myles Flood

While this year has been among the toughest the travel industry has faced, the award is recognition for the resilience and unwavering commitment to their customers that is a cornerstone of the LfL business, according to The Travel & Hospitality Awards (THA). THA noted that more than 4,000 nominations were received, with each scrupulously reviewed based on submission material, customer reviews, and judging analysis. The winners reflect the very best in their travel and hospitality standards.

In a release from the team at THA: “We were overwhelmed by the quality of entries this year. We hope this guide will be a useful tool for discerning travelers planning their requirements. Congratulations once again to LFL Worldwide Chauffeur Services.”

LfL WW Dublin Ireland

“While it’s always pleasing to be recognized for our efforts, it means even more this year,” says LfL CEO Myles Flood. “We’ve had to completely rethink the way we engage with customers to ensure their safety. From the cleaning processes we’ve put in place with our vehicles to how we’ve managed customer interactions, we’ve been singularly focused on ensuring that we provide the safest possible experience. We achieved the stringent Tourism Ireland COVID-19 Charter accreditation, and this award is further validation of our commitment to our customers.”

Visit lflcs.com for more information about LfL.

[12.22.20]

Zoom meeting

It was a hybrid meeting for the West Florida Limousine Association (WFLA) this past December 15—its last of the year—as a handful of members gathered at the Pasadena Yacht & Country Club in Gulfport, Florida, with about a dozen more guests joining via Zoom, including CD Managing Editor Susan Rose.

The focus of the meeting was the continuing preparation for Super Bowl LV to be held at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium on February 7, 2021. Many of the details are contingent upon the state of COVID—including the big game’s date itself—but area operators are counting on the influx of revenue to kick off early 2021 on solid footing despite the event’s reduced capacity. According to most on the call, bookings have been slow, but inquiries have been steady, with many expecting them to pick up once closer to the event and details are solidified.

West Florida Limousine Association (WFLA) L to R: David DiDomenico of Showtime Transportation of Tampa Bay, Ronny Rodriguez of Tampa Bay Limousine, Jeremy Jenkins His & Hers Limousine, Joe Madiedo of PIC Insurance, and Kevin Gore of Executive Coach Builders (also present: Tom Halsnik of Walsh Chauffeured Transportation)

Prior to the call, Board Member David DiDomenico of Showtime Transportation of Tampa distributed via email the most up-to-date information from their meeting with the Super Bowl host committee, which included minimum vehicle rates and cancellation policies. The Board shared details about parking permits, which range from $120 for sedans and SUVs up to $350 for motorcoaches depending on the type of the vehicle—and they cautioned members to have the correct permits or face being turned away. Parking permits were expected to be available for purchase starting 12/18/20 at parksuperbowl.com.

For local companies working with or using out-of-town vehicles, special event permits will be available for $25 per vehicle through Hillsborough County. However, permits MUST be purchased through a local company that is up to date with permits. More information is available at tampabaylv.com.

WFLA Super Bowl

Also, for pickups at Tampa International Airport during the week of Super Bowl, the 8th floor in short-term parking near the Armstrong elevators has been designated and blocked for all black car services.

After wrapping up business, members who joined the meeting in person enjoyed lunch and celebrated the end of a crazy year.

The WFLA Board is keeping a close eye on new developments as we inch closer to the game.

Visit facebook.com/WestFloridaLimousineAssociation for more information.

[12.21.20]