Luxury Coach & Transportation

January 2017

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 22 of 93

LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR JANUARY 2017 19 Obama Administration approved in July that raised the mandatory overtime salary level from $23,660 to $47,476 per year. All employees who earn $47,476 or less are now eligible for overtime. "That captures many people who work in the limousine industry who previously were not subject to overtime," Perry said. "We urge the rule be reconsidered or killed. Instead of being phased in over time, the rule change was done imme- diately, causing too much of a burden on businesses." • NLA will seek clarification from the DOL on categories of employees and independent contractors related to TNCs and employee-based com- panies. "We hope Congress could speak once and for all on what they intend to do with the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FSLA) and how it applies to Uber's business model. It's being litigated across the country, so it's clearly a problem. If Congress legislated on that, it would be a good thing," Perry said. • NLA will push for more clarity on ground transportation safety rules, especially on FBI-level fingerprint background checks for drivers. Con- gress should accurately define safety standards and requirements as applied to operators of limousine fleet ve- hicles and commercial motor vehicles, especially if they are contracting for state or federal work. • Also, federal policies that may get a second look or modification, and thereby prompt the NLA to adjust its input, include requirements for electronic onboard recording devices (EORDs), also known as electronic logging devices (ELDs) for commer- cial vehicles; and potentially Corpo- rate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards may be revisited, which could have effects on auto manu- facturing. "Larger vehicles might not be pushed off the road as quickly," Perry said. • The NLA will develop a policy posi- tion and association response to the issue of driverless/autonomous vehicles. The DOT issued guidance on such vehicles this summer includ- ing 15 performance benchmarks that companies will have to meet, and recommendations for state legislation and federal equipment standards. A TLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Two longtime industry CEOs, each with more than 30 years of experi- ence running top limousine companies, broke some auction fundraising stakes Nov. 14 at LCT- NLA Show East. Dawson Rutter, founder and CEO of Commonwealth World- wide Chauffeured Transporta- tion in Boston, and his friendly rival George Jacobs, founder and CEO of Windy City Limousine in Chicago, tried to outbid and one-up each other over a 2017 Lincoln Continental sedan at a National Limousine Association charity auction event being held for the group's Harold Berkman Memorial Fund, the industry's philanthropic arm that donates to a variety of charities. Donated by Ford/Lincoln Limousine & Livery Vehicles, the Lincoln Continental has become the most coveted and talked-about livery luxury car of the moment since its rollout to limousine op- erators in September. The auction was held during the annual LCT People's Choice Awards. Rutter and George, along with several other operators, leaped into the auction ring for the Continental, which was set at a minimum bid of $45,000. After all the bidders shouted out incremen- tal bids of $500 or $1,000, the two industry leaders raised the stakes on the $51,000 MSRP vehicle to $72,000. Their high bids were in part spurred by the prospect of an LCT cover feature article, thrown-in as a further enticement by LCT Publisher Sara Eastwood- Richardson. After huddling a few minutes, the pair decided to split — and double — the difference. Each pledged to donate $72,000 after Ford/Lincoln Limousine & Livery Vehicles made a second sedan available, for sale. So each CEO gets a car. The donated Continental nets a full $72,000 for the Berkman Fund, while the second sold one nets the amount leftover after the cost of the vehicle is factored out. The auction followed another unprecedented charity moment for the 31-year-old association: Its Berkman Fund donated a total of $90,000 — $30,000 each — to three charities: St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Fisher House Founda- tion, and City of Hope. — CEOs Raise Big Stakes In Pursuit Of Lincoln Continental Jacobs and Rutter (in white Continental caps) each pledged $72,000 to the NLA's philanthropic arm, the Harold Berk- man Memorial Fund, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, Harrah's Atlantic City, (photo by LCT) Sara Eastwood-Richardson, Windy City Limousine CEO George Jacobs, Ford/Lincoln Limousine & Livery Vehicles manager Craig Hall, Commonwealth Worldwide CEO Dawson Rutter, and NLA Charity Committee Co-Chairs Robert Alexander and Ron Stein celebrate the CEO face-off that raised a record amount for an industry charity auction (photo by LCT)

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