The literally ship-shaped Captain James Seafood Palace was host to the Maryland Limousine Association (MLA) membership meeting on March 29. Twenty-five members and guests were in attendance for the afternoon event, including CD President Chris Weiss and Editor Rob Smentek. In addition to a healthy mix of new and veteran members, the MLA welcomed guest speakers from Madison Capital and the Baltimore County Department of Health.
MLA President Len Joseph from On the Town Limousines kicked off the busy agenda by having each attendee introduce themselves with a short elevator pitch. He then introduced Allan Levine and German Ruiz from Madison Capital, who discussed the financial services they offer to the luxury ground transportation industry. The pair was asked by Joseph to address the challenges they are currently seeing in the marketplace, which led to a talk about rising interest rates (currently at 8-12 percent).
Next, Kayla Wright from the Baltimore County Department of Health, Bureau of Behavioral Health was invited to speak about the Safe and Sober Prom Pledge Program. This volunteer initiative encourages ground transportation companies to sign a pledge that they will protect minors from drugs and alcohol while in the vehicles. The MLA has long been a partner in this program, which has successfully promoted the industry as a safe means of transportation during the prom season. During her presentation, Wright shared some staggering statistics about drug and alcohol use among high school seniors.
After a short break for lunch, which allowed MLA members to network, Joseph provided a bit of “housekeeping” for the membership, including lot relocation at Baltimore Washington International (BWI) airport and PSC assessments. Also mentioned was a crackdown on “hack” operators at the airport, which have becoming increasingly brazen. MLA members were encouraged to photograph the plates and contact BWI police.
Then Weiss was introduced to say a few words about the recent CD/NLA Show in Vegas as well as upcoming events.
“It’s great to see the MLA resuscitated,” he said. “I’ve had a relationship with this association for close to 30 years.”
Weiss enthusiastically discussed the record-breaking attendance at the Vegas show, and offered up a description of the programming for CD/NLA Executive Retreat in Nashville this June 4-6. He emphasized the intensive, high-level education and unique networking opportunities available during the event, not to mention the fun local flavor.
Following a brief conversation about Limo Anywhere, spearheaded by Deanna Joseph of On the Town Limousines, Board Member Ray Gavino of Translogic Executive spoke about the opportunities in nonemergency medical transportation.
Finally, Joseph concluded the meeting with some takeaway he received from Bruce Heinrich of PAX Training at the CD/NLA Vegas Show, namely “hire slowly, fire quickly.”
The next MLA meeting is scheduled for May 23 at a venue to be determined.
Visit mdlimoassoc.org for more information.