Thursday, October 28, 2021

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.

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