Luxury Coach & Transportation

December 2018

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 21 of 67

GLOBAL /INTERNATIONAL: PEOPLE Cool Planet: Operators Raising Their Proles In Unique Ways Fourth annual section: LCT hit up cutting-edge industry owners and entrepreneurs for their latest business approaches and ventures. By Lexi Tucker and Martin Romjue, LCT editors 2 0 WWW.LCTMAG.COM LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION DECEMBER 2018 Kristin Hundley Director of operations, Limousine Connection, Los Angeles, Calif. The luxury transportation business has been a part of Kristin Hundley's life for as long as she remembers. Before Limousine Connection had 24-hour dispatch, she recalls being forbidden to answer "line two" because that was the office line forwarded to the family's home at night. "My dad could be dead asleep at four in the morning, that line would ring, he would answer with the most professional-sounding 'Limousine Connection, this is Chris,' and would start taking a reservation practically in his sleep," she remembers. She was organizing trip sheets as young as seven or eight, and would negotiate her "rate" with her father, usually getting 50 cents to organize 25 or 30 trip orders. Aside from learning the ins and outs of the business, she's had the opportu- nity to live, work, and travel to many interesting places. She lived in Chile for a year working in education, and in Bogota, Colombia for a year with a tech com- pany. She also spent time living in Ecuador and Bolivia working on develop- ment projects with a focus on education and disabled accessibility. She studied in France when she was in high school, and spent six weeks hitchhiking around Cuba in college. Post-college she also worked for a law firm for a few years. "I would say my varied background has really helped me thrive in this industry. If you know how to deal with people from all walks of life in a compassionate and direct way, you can be successful almost anywhere," she explains. She believes taking good care of your employees is vital to achieve suc- cess. "So often it seems there is an "us versus them" mentality with manage- ment, owners, and staff. That is not the way we view things. Have their back and they will have yours. I have a personal business relationship with every one of our office staff and chauffeurs. They all know at any given time they can call, text, or come into my office, talk to me, and they will be heard. Employees need more than just a paycheck. They need to feel valued and appreciated. They go the extra mile for us because they know we do the same for them." FUN FACT: Aside from traveling, she loves to camp and hike with her boyfriend and dog. She also has a ceramics studio in her garage where you can find her "throwing" (making things with clay on a motorized wheel) a couple of days a week. She also volunteers with a few different organizations teaching ESL (English as a second language), providing legal aid for asylum seekers, and helping with citizenship workshops. Nina Parson Director of sales, Company Car and Limousine, Cleveland, Ohio A cool salesperson has no fear, which describes Parson. She'll talk to anyone wherever, whether at a networking event or the grocery store. Building relationships is step one to helping potential clients feel at ease. "I want to talk about you as a person. It's not about me trying to close a sale; it's about trying to get to know you." She wasn't necessarily looking for a job in the luxury transportation industry, but it was certainly looking for her. After working in the hospitality industry, she was scouted by a limo company whose owner thought she'd be a good fit. "I was a lover of all things limo and ground transportation. When I worked for hotels, I never wanted to work for a lower-end brand. I really liked the high-touch, luxu- ry aspect of the service we provided." Her advice for other operators looking to foster quality salespeople: Don't make them spend tons of time trying to figure

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