By John Voit
(Rockville, MD) – The city of Denver hosted the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association’s 99th Annual Convention & Trade Show last month. With support from premier sponsor Autocab, the convention brought together decision makers from fleets across the U.S. and around the world, all eager to learn about the industry’s latest innovations and best practices.
Under the theme “Celebrating 100 Years,” the convention featured:
three informative general sessions;
29 educational sessions on important topics affecting the industry;
a robust trade show;
the election of TLPA’s new president, officers and directors; and more.
In addition to Autocab, the four day event was made possible with the generous support of industry vendors, including Gold Sponsors Atlas Financial Holdings and Ford Motor Company; Silver Sponsors MTData, Paratransit Insurance Company and Verifone; and Bronze Sponsors The Black Car Fund and Metro Transportation Planning & Solutions Group.
On the convention’s opening day, attendees braved Denver’s first snowfall of the season to participate in a tour of host operator Metro Transportation Planning & Solutions Group. The educational segment of the convention opened that afternoon with the ever popular discussion groups covering diverse topics including:
independent contractor issues;
responding to RFPs;
hiring and retaining drivers and support staff;
duty of care;
becoming a TNC; and
cost cutting measures.
The Opening General Session on Tuesday afternoon featured outgoing President Bill Scalzi’s address which included a look at TLPA’s accomplishments over the past year. These included:
significantly changing the membership dues structure and reducing costs and increasing member benefits for operator members;
developing a new marketing program for members called “Ride Local™”;
identifying and working on developing strategies to enable TLPA member operators to compete more effectively with TNCs; and, in a surprise announcement,
Scalzi presented the association’s CEO, Alfred LaGasse, TLPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his 40 years of service to TLPA.
The convention also featured the election of officers and directors of the association in the coming year. The highlight was the election of Mike Pinckard, Total Transit, Glendale, Arizona to serve as TLPA president.
In his first remarks as president, Pinckard said, “We must begin the process of reshaping our vision for the future in a more inclusive and collaborative manner; in a manner that seizes the new and exciting opportunities before us, by blending the greatness of our past with the innovations and excitement of the future.”
To that end, Pinckard outlined three key objectives during the coming year, including:
Creating a new and inspirational strategic plan that provides the roadmap to the future of TLPA.
Focusing on a new structure for TLPA that better serves its members, including improved conferences and meetings, more powerful research and analysis, and laser focused government relations.
Launching a comprehensive brand review designed to re-define TLPA’s image and re-position the association to operate in a more inclusive and collaborative manner.
Pinckard concluded by stating, “I’m truly honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve as president of the TLPA, and I look forward to working with all of you as we work together to shape the next phase in the evolution of this great industry.”
Planning is already underway for the Spring Conference & Expo in Oklahoma City from April 10-13, 2018, as well as for the grand celebration of TLPA’s 100th Annual Convention & Trade Show, October 26-30, 2018, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Established in 1917, the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA) is a non-profit trade association of and for the local passenger transportation for-hire industry. Its extensive membership spans the globe to include 1,000 taxicab companies, executive sedan and limousine services, airport shuttle fleets, non-emergency medical transportation companies, paratransit services, and industry vendors. For more information, please visit www.tlpa.org