Limo Marketer
Saturday, January 22, 2022

Versace FLA President Rick Versace of A1A Limousine & Airport Service Orlando —With the 2017 CD Show happening right on their collective home turf, members of the Florida Limousine Association (FLA) and its many chapters and affiliated organizations—particularly the Central Florida Livery, Greater Orlando Limousine, and West Florida Limousine associations—held a standing-room-only morning meeting October 23.

With FLA President Rick Versace of A1A Limousine & Airport Service presiding over the meeting, he kicked off the breakfast gathering by sharing some of the wisdom that he and other association leaders gained—and even dispensed himself—during the previous day’s Association Summit.

Stephen Power of GroundWidgets “Associations elevate the industry,” he said. “They help you be successful because you’re sharing what you know with others, and they’re helping you learn from what they know. You learn how to present yourself and how to keep it classy while working together.”

Indeed, unity is an inevitable topic when discussing the notoriously fractured state comprising 67 counties that are all ruled by their own unique sets of laws and regulations, and Versace stressed that a continued concerted effort is the only way to survive.

“It’s all about unity,” Versace advised. “Associations help you be successful, but you have to help them be successful with your participation and support.”

He then launched into a review of what the FLA and the state’s transportation operators have been facing lately, starting with regulations that have come to fruition in the past year—which have betrayed just how uneven the regulatory landscape has become in a post-TNC world.

Industry members and association leaders from all over the country attended the October 23 FLA meeting “The playing field has gotten so lopsided, it’s ridiculous,” said Versace. As TNCs are all but exempt from coughing up the same local fees that chauffeured ground transportation operators are, one particular pain point stemmed from how the state imposes a $1,000 citation for both a chauffeur and their company if a car enters a county in which it has not been licensed to operate.

This has led to the FLA considering a return to state legislators to appeal for the same regulations that TNCs are afforded: a one-time statewide operational license that puts an end to constantly worrying about crossing county lines. Versace emphasized that this is not to say they’re courting deregulation but rather seeking eased operations.

Versace described the country-by-county regulations as being holdovers from when smaller companies were worried about Florida’s bigger businesses eating up their client base—a concern, he says, that has already come to pass with TNCs. 

Members of the Chosen Payments team present Versace with the FLA’s rebate check One silver lining in the constant storm of TNCs is the improved technology they’ve brought to the ground transportation sector, which GroundWidgets’ Stephen Power discussed during his presentation about global distribution systems.

David Thompson and Paul Zizzo of RRL Insurance were also among the meeting’s guest speakers, and discussed how an uptick in major claims losses are why insurance rates are on the rise. They also explained what it means when the industry is in a hard market and how safety measurements influence insurance payments.

Versace added that the FLA is currently working with some providers to develop app-on insurance to help operators save costs in that regard. He also reminded those in attendance that the association always benefits from active board members and encouraged interested parties to help make the FLA an active force for positive change in Florida’s transportation landscape.

Before the meeting concluded, members of the Chosen Payments team presented Versace with the FLA’s rebate check, which came to $4,997.13.

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