The Greater California Livery Association (GCLA) recently held its annual Expo this past September 6-7 at the Portofino Hotel & Marina in Redondo Beach with more than 130 operators and sponsors in attendance. Working from the theme of Your Golden Opportunities for Success, the two-day event included a dozen sessions and roundtables, daily networking receptions, and a top-shelf dinner party at the property’s BALEENkitchen.
“The GCLA certainly had the WOW factor going on. It was an incredible event–first class all the way. It’s our pleasure to partner with the GCLA,” says Global Business Travel Association LA Chapter President Lee Palmer Turner of MGM Studios/Amazon.
The distinguished roster of speakers included Rich Azzolino of Sotto Mare restaurant, Tiffany Hinton of Motev, Cheryl Berkman of Music Express, Alex Darbahani of KLS, Selim Aslam of Men In Black, Dave Uziel of Urban Worldwide, Harry Dhillon of Ecko, Lonnie Reynolds and Victoria Davis of American Limousine, Diane Forgy of Overland, Jeff Nyikos of Leros Point to Point, Mo Garkani of The C.O.T.S. Group, Simon Curtis of Curtis Gabriel, Mark Petree of Limo Marketer, and Amir Zafar of GRiDD Technologies. The full list of sponsors is available here.
During the State of the Industry, panelists—which included Matt Daus of Windels Marx/IATR, Robert Gaskill of Motev, Lee Palmer Turner of GBTA and GCLA Executive Director Sara Eastwood-Richardson—delivered the good and bad news of the state of the industry. While business is back significantly for most operators, and there is increased funding for EVs and infrastructure to support the transition to more sustainable businesses, there are some lingering challenges that remain. Gas prices, supply chain issues, and labor continue to put a bit of a damper on the robust recovery, although mergers and acquisitions should continue to be strong through the immediate future.
“The objective for this event was, first and foremost, to bring the spotlight to the GCLA. The association has worked hard to elevate its brand to that of the Gold Standard of Transportation. This event brought VIPs from national headquarters of automakers and bus manufacturers, to the new brass at the California PUC to LAX and the Global Business Travel Association. We had a ton of heavy hitters who came to check us out. Suffice it to say, all eyes were on the GCLA during this show. We wanted to make a huge statement to earn the utmost respect from within our membership and from the business, government and travel community. I’d say by the positive reviews, mission accomplished, and then some,” says Eastwood-Richardson
As a 501c3 nonprofit association, Eastwood-Richardson says that 100 percent of the event proceeds are awarded to the GCLA to protect and defend the rights of luxury transportation company owners in the state. The GCLA’s silent auction proceeds will go to the Airport Initiatives Fund, established this year to pay for advocacy at California airports to fight for parking, fair fees, and curbside privileges.
Visit gcla.org for more information.