Monday, March 25, 2019

WLA Interim President Larry Epstein of Gallant Knight Limousine (left) with Mike Hartmann of Stardust Limousine, who won a pass to the 2019 CD Show in Boston from October 13-16Madison, Wis. — The Wisconsin Limousine Association (WLA) met up in Madison March 6 for its first face-to-face meeting since 2016.

Despite a last-minute venue change, WLA Secretary/Treasurer Karen Lotts of A Knight Rider Limousine said that proactive members, engaging presentations, and some very supportive sponsors all helped ensure that the meeting—which welcomed 67 percent of the WLA’s membership, according to Lotts—united and educated the association in equal measures.

“Our speakers were awesome!” she raved, adding that the National Limousine Association sent a video featuring Executive Director Sarah Gazi discussing what the national organization is doing for operators across the country.

Master Inspector Teresa Burchard of the Wisconsin State Patrol offered insight into what to expect during random inspections at sporting and concert events and provided information about DOT numbers and questions, while Maren Graham of Hudson Group “actually went to members’ websites and gave everyone advice to make their sites better before she gave us tips about SEO tools and managing social media.” The wide range of education came directly from feedback about what members are looking for.

In a large state where operators tend to be far-flung, Lotts was eager to get as many members as possible together to keep fostering a sense of unity among those who comprise WLA.

“One of our newest members was there, Helen Dixon of Dixon’s Limos, so it was her first time meeting all of us,” she said. “For our new members and longtime members alike, I think it’s a big deal when we can all meet up and let everyone put names to faces. It lets us have that camaraderie and do some networking and just chat with other Wisconsin operators and the vendors who support us.”

WLA members and supporters headed to Madison for the association’s in-person meeting held March 6The future of the WLA was also a topic for discussion, as Lotts, WLA Interim President Larry Epstein of Gallant Knight Limousine, and the assembled members were keen on exploring webinar and educational topics that they all want more of, especially in terms of capitalizing on social media, what it takes to shape former schoolbus drivers into stellar chauffeurs, and the always-timely topic of hiring great chauffeurs in the first place.

There were a few prizes to be won by the end of the day, including a pass to the 2019 Chauffeur Driven Show in Boston, which was won by Mike Hartmann of Stardust Limousine.

Lotts and the WLA board are pleased with how the in-person meeting turned out—and are already planning for the next one.

The next WLA event will be its monthly conference call, scheduled for April 10.

Visit wisconsinlimo.org for more information.

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Mary Johnson is the affiliate manager for Limousine Connection, Alliance Limousine New York, and Grossmann Limousine ServicePayson, Ariz. — As of March 1, familiar industry face Mary Johnson is now part of the Limousine Connection, bringing her affiliate management acumen to three global companies.

In addition to her role with Limousine Connection, which serves Utah’s Salt Lake City and Park City as well as well as Jackson Hole, Wy., Johnson also serves as the affiliate manager for Alliance Limousine New York and Grossmann Limousine Service in Zurich, Switzerland.

She said that adding a third company to her roster is a natural progression, as she would rather zero in on the aspects of the job that she enjoys the most instead of assuming the multifaceted role the industry’s affiliate managers and director play by necessity.

“Most affiliate managers wear a lot of different hats, as we all know,” Johnson said. “But by representing more than one company in this one specific capacity, I get to wear one hat with lots of different logos—and since I won’t be switching hats all the time, I can focus on strengthening our affiliate relationships by playing to both my strengths and interests."

Johnson believes that zeroing in on affiliate management exclusively will be a professional benefit to not only herself but also the companies she represents. 

"I feel that focusing on just the affiliate aspects of these three companies will make me a stronger affiliate manager and, in turn, help streamline these companies’ affiliate programs by applying the same set of standards and practices to them,” she said.

She welcomes anyone needing transportation and affiliate services in any of the regions her companies cover to contact her at mary@alclimo.com, Mary@AlliancelimoNY.com, and Mary.Johnson@Grossmann.limo.

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Carey International VP of Travel Industry Partnerships & Inside Sales Yolanda Carneiro accepts the CCRA Corporate Culture Award (Photo Courtesy of CCRA) Frederick, Md. — Carey International, a provider of innovative chauffeured service solutions, customer-centric travel technology, and ground transportation logistics management announced that it has been named the 2019 recipient of the Corporate Culture Award by CCRA Travel Commerce Network.

"We are deeply honored to be recognized for our commitment to corporate culture by our great partners at CCRA," said President and CEO of Carey International Sandy Miller. "As a leader in the chauffeured services industry, we take pride in providing a corporate culture where innovation and creative thinking are welcomed by all members of our global team and in our ability to nurture a partnership, such as that with CCRA, which demonstrates shared values and a commitment to excellence."

The prestigious award was presented to Carey International by CCRA Travel Commerce Network Chief Commercial Officer Peter E. Pincus in front of an audience of industry partners and peers at a black-tie gala and award ceremony held at The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. The February 9 award ceremony closed out CCRA's inaugural PowerSolutions National Conference. Carey International was the only CCRA partner to receive an award in this category.

Carey International received the award in recognition of its outstanding corporate culture and for its ongoing commitment to understand, adapt, and support CCRA and its goals.

"A partnership like the one that we share with Carey is built on a common goal of treating our customers like family," remarked Pincus. "And with that kind of shared culture, our relationship and the benefits to our clients know no bounds."

Carey International continues to be a preferred supplier of chauffeured services and ground transportation management solutions for CCRA Travel Commerce Network and its members since the beginning of their partnership in 2004.

In other news, Carey has announced that their premium chauffeured services are now available on Gett Business Solutions ground transportation management platform.

The integration allows users of the Gett Business Solutions web and mobile applications to book Carey's Premium Services in more than 1000 cities worldwide alongside Gett's other transportation options including black taxis and both standard and premium vehicles, creating a complete portfolio of ground transport solutions that meet the needs of any level of business traveler.

"We see the need for consolidated digital marketplaces where corporate travel programs can book and manage rideshare services alongside traditional transportation options from a single interface and we are pleased to be the exclusive provider of the highest-end solutions on the Gett Business Solutions platform," said Miller. "The participation of Carey on the Gett Business Solutions platform is an important step forward not just for Carey International and Gett, but for the entire business travel ecosystem."

While Gett Business Solutions aggregates vehicle pricing and availability from thousands of fully-vetted suppliers, Carey, for the time being, is the only provider whose brand is indicated to the end user at the point of sale.

"We're delighted to welcome Carey to Gett Business Solutions, further enhancing the wide range of fleets available to our corporate clients worldwide,” Gett UK CEO Matteo de Renzi said. “Gett Business Solutions offers the very best in flexibility, analytics, cost savings and service. Thanks to this partnership we're able to offer some of the best premium chauffeur services in the marketplace, which are heavily in demand by business travel programs around the world."

This integration is the first tangible step of the global partnership between Carey International and Gett Business Solutions first announced in 2017. Carey services are available for booking immediately on the Gett Business Solutions web and mobile applications.

Visit carey.com for more information.

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