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Thursday, February 02, 2023
Linthicum Heights, Md.—The Maryland Limousine Association (MLA) met this November to discuss Baltimore’s new tax that takes 25 cents per passenger for trips made by any vehicle holding 14 passengers or under in the city.

MLA Steering Committee Member Mark Thistle of FreedomCar updated MLA members on the tax, which was enacted in October. Since then, Thistle—along with MLA President Joanna Fridinger of The Limo Lady and Dwight Kines of Veolia Transportation—have formed the Baltimore Transportation Coalition (BTC) and attracted much attention to the issue from local media outlets.

"They really didn’t put a lot of thought into the way our industry works," says Fridinger, who notes that operators do not have capabilities to efficiently keep track of every time a run goes in or out of Baltimore. Furthermore, she states one of the larger BTC operators calculated that they would have to pay 50 cents for every 25 cents that goes to the city in determining if a pick-up or drop-off is located within the city’s limits.

Baltimore Councilperson Mary Pat Clarke recently proposed a 180-day delay on the tax to give more preparation time to operators who were not made aware of the new law until after it had already been implemented. In that time—from January to June—operators will be asked to pay an estimated tax.

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Joe Cirruzzo Sr. (1938-2013)

It’s with a heavy heart that we share the passing of A Elegant/ELS International founder Joe Cirruzzo Sr., who succumbed to liver cancer on November 27, 2013. He was 75. He is survived by his daughter, Julia Cirruzzo Rosenthal, and son, Joe Cirruzzo Jr., in addition to a large extended family. He is also survived by his longtime companion, Kathy Bradley.

Joey webKnown for his trademark gravelly voice and instant smile, Joey made everyone feel like they were an immediate friend. He was an industry crusader, never one to shy away from giving his opinion, and a dear friend to those who knew and loved him. He was a member of the NLA, serving many years on the board, and was honored earlier this year with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Friends who knew him for decades might remember him as Joe Black, a winning race car driver whose signature Green Hornet was well known on the racing circuit in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Although his racing days came to an end after a serious transmission fire in 1972, Joey was reliving nostalgia through a Green Hornet restoration project on a 1965 Plymouth Belvedere. He was recently honored at Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., where he was joined by other racing greats who have since made it a family tradition.

A viewing is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday (11.30 and 12.1) at Colonial Funeral Home (2819 Hyland Blvd., Staten Island, N.Y.). The family will receive visitors between the hours of 2 pm and 4 pm and 7 pm and 9 pm both days. A memorial mass at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church (90 Third St., Staten Island, N.Y.) will commence at 9:30 am on Monday (12.2) followed by a burial at Oceanview Cemetery (3315 Amboy Rd., Staten Island, N.Y.).

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Atlantic City, N.J.—When the Chauffeur Driven Show blew into Atlantic City this past November, even CD staff were astounded by the positive vibe and kinetic energy happening at the Trump Taj Mahal. As the youngest contender amongst the East Coast shows, it was Chauffeur Driven’s goal to pull out all the stops to bring attendees the finest quality education, networking, vehicles, and services. Four days, nearly 100 exhibitors, 50+ sponsors, and over 1,500 attendees later, the show was a smashing success and the clear choice of the chauffeured ground transportation industry.

As our first show, this was the opportunity to mix it up, test the waters, and really challenge ourselves to think differently about the needs of the industry—now and moving forward. By all accounts, this was the fresh air that the industry craved.

More than just an East Coast event, Chauffeur Driven drew attendees from all over the world—15 countries in all—to prove that the show had a true international appeal. This was the place to meet and form relationships with affiliates from around the globe—not only at our wildly popular Affiliate Central, but also in every corner of the show. Networking happened at each of our four parties, over our free buffet lunches, and on the show floor. Two major networks—Music Express Worldwide and EmpireCLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services—even hosted their affiliate meetings during the show.

“I would just like to take a moment to thank you and your team for an excellent show. Being from London, other shows that we have attended have not really had any workshops or seminars that are suitable for a global market, however we were able to take great ideas, inspiration, and knowledge and apply them to our business in the U.K. You made us feel so welcome, and we cannot wait to see what’s going to happen next year,” says Samantha Appleyard and Richard Taylor of Pegasus Executive in London.

To ensure that attendees were getting the best bang for their buck, our Education Committee helped to craft over 20 hours of educational seminars on all of the most pressing industry issues, including traditional seminars and hands-on workshops, Micro-sessions, and an empowering keynote speaker, Apple legend Guy Kawasaki. It was a blend of real-world experience, practical application, humor, and, in some cases, tough love—but all geared toward delivering an immediate takeaway for any operator. (A major thank you to Jason Sharenow of Broadway Elite Chauffeured Services Worldwide for serving as moderator.) Fourteen of the industry’s most successful operators also shared their knowledge and advice during the first-ever Operator Mentoring Program. And no one will forget the no-holds-barred State of the Industry with David Seelinger, who advocated for the industry’s hardworking frontline employees: chauffeurs.

“I have been attending shows for over 13 years, both west and east, over 20 shows total. My wife and I both felt that in terms of content, value, networking, events, and just plain fun, this was the best show ever,” says Doug Pooley of Colorado Limousine in Colorado. “I agree with David Seelinger and numerous others: this is the only show to attend on the East Coast.”

The show floor was filled with wall-to-wall buses, sedans, Sprinters, and all of the industry’s most popular vehicles. A dozen associations occupied our Association Pavilion—also the location of our Micro-sessions—for updates on the local legislative front. Of course all the latest product, service, and technology vendors for chauffeured ground transportation were there with demonstrations on how they can help your business. It was hard to beat a great show-only deal!

“What a great show!” says Johne Baker of A List Worldwide Transportation Services in California. “Maybe one of the best due to all of the drama and tragedies surrounding this year’s event. Just wanted to say that you rocked the house and I’m glad that I saved my one trip out to the East Coast for this show. Everything was fabulous!”

Chauffeur Driven also took a moment to honor our industry’s icons, Tom Mazza and Dean Schuler. Taken from us far too soon, their indelible mark shaped the industry as we know it, and they’ll never be forgotten. Through a mix of silent, chance, and live auctions items—including sports collectables; vacation packages; autographed guitars, CDs, and shirts from music legends; and even the cover of Chauffeur Driven—over $31,000 was raised for the ALS Foundation to support those who are afflicted with the disease and to help find a cure.

With this amazing event under our belt, this isn’t no one-and-done trade show. We’re already getting to work on our 2014 show, which will take place again at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City next November 2-5, 2014. Believe the hype … you won’t want to miss it next year!

Read more about the individual events, see awesome pictures of your peers, and relive the moments of the show in the December issue of Chauffeur Driven. Also visit for more information.