The Maryland Limousine Association (MLA) returned to Jimmy’s Famous Seafood on Tuesday, September 19, for a lunchtime membership meeting. With more than 25 members and guests, the meeting offered a healthy mix of veteran and new operators. The event featured guest speakers representing the financial, transportation, and insurance markets, and was attended by CD Editor Rob Smentek.
MLA Len Joseph of On the Town Limousines kicked off the meeting by thanking everyone for attending and continually supporting the industry. After the attendees introduced themselves, Joseph welcomed the first speaker, Vendor Member German Ruiz of Madison Capital. Ruiz provided an overview of the economy, with a particular focus on the increasing lending rates. While inflation is down from last year, new car rates are just over 6 percent, while used car loans are at a staggering 11 percent rate. Ruiz also discussed Section 170 Tax Deduction Write-Offs and fielded financial questions from the group.
The MLA then welcomed June Akinnagbe of Rapid Response Clinic, a firm that performs DOT physicals and drug testing. After Akinnagbe provided a summary of the clinic’s services, MLA Member Reggie Tymus of Capital City Limousine gave props to the company for their quick turnaround with a recent employee testing.
Next, insurance matters took the stage as Bryan Johnson and Holly McCulloh of Martens Johnson/Hilb Group Insurance were joined by Alex Church of Transportation Insurance Brokers for a snapshot of the current insurance space. Regarding consistently rising insurance costs, McCulloh said that the number of claims across the board has caused prices to go up. Church pointed out that there aren’t as many insurer options as many companies have gotten out of the commercial market since COVID. He also advised operators to utilize camera systems—inexpensive and easy-to-use ones are available on Amazon—to combat illegitimate claims. Church also strongly recommended that operators keep up on their Worker’s Comp insurance, as claims can cripple a business financially.
Once again, the afternoon’s hot-button topic dealt with the ongoing frustrations with point-to-point trips within Washington, D.C., city limits. According to Japneet Singh of Executive CLS, operators of all sizes are finding themselves pulled over to have their manifests and licenses checked, often with passengers in the vehicles. Joseph has drafted a letter for operators to sign and send, urging consistency in the pullover protocols. To help combat illegal operators that are poaching passengers at the airport, Joseph has scheduled a Zoom meeting with a representative of the Maryland Public Service Commission on September 26. This conversation has been in the works for over a year, and it is hoped that they will follow up with an in-person meeting in the coming months.
The next MLA meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 14, at a location to be determined.
Visit mdlimoassoc.org for more information.