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Workshop Schedule


10:30am — 12:00pm ... Lead Smarter By Letting Go
Speakers: Dean Ash of 360 Consulting and Jolynda Ash of Gold's Gym

As a business grows, it becomes increasingly difficult for an owner/operator to effectively focus on growth while juggling the many day-to-day responsibilities of a luxury ground transportation company. This session will equip you to be a more effective and efficient leader and give you tools to build a smarter and more-engaged team around you. By being deliberate about where you spend your time and energy, you can develop your team to be more engaged, entrusted, and accountable for the results your business needs today and in the future. Leading smarter by letting go requires you to know WHY you must let go, WHAT you must let go of, WHO you must let go to, and WHEN the right time to let go is. By the end of this session, you will have the answers to all four questions for your own business.

Dean Ash Dean Ash co-founded 360 Consulting to help clients grow revenue and improve new business development. Ash has proven success in building and leading organizations to achieve stronger sales results while growing top-line revenue. Previously, he spent more than two decades honing his skills at the likes of Hewlett-Packard, Polycom, Cisco, and IBM, and has invested both time and capital in start-ups and early-stage companies focused on growth in a wide variety of industries. Ash received his B.S. in electrical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.

Jolynda Ash Jolynda Ash is the SVP of Human Resources for Gold’s Gym. With more than 20 years of HR experience, she is an expert in company culture, organizational growth strategies, and talent acquisition. Since 2016, Ash has worked to improve team members’ experiences with training programs, career growth and recruiting initiatives, company culture, and organizational development.She previously was the SVP of Employee Relations at Pillar Hotels & Resorts and held a variety of leadership positions at the Goldman Sachs subsidiary Archon Group. She received her bachelor’s degree in education from Texas A&M University.

2:30pm — 4:00pm ... Reading the Signs to Be a Better Negotiator
Speaker: Dr. Jennifer Beer, Professor at the University of Texas

Believe it or not, being an effectual business negotiator requires skills that owe more to Sherlock Holmes than, say, Dale Carnegie. The ability to interpret the mannerisms, tone of voice, or involuntary personal tics of an associate or sales prospect will help you gain the upper hand in managing employees and finalizing a deal in your favor. This session will help you identify what cues to read and what to ignore when working with clients, vendors, affiliates, and employees. The presentation will show how to use these “detective” skills to better read people during face-to-face conversations, email, and phone calls, and also provide you with the lowdown on understanding your own emotional intelligence. Are you as emotionally intelligent as you think or do you need to change your approach when reading other people?

Jennifer Beer Dr. Jennifer Beer is an award-winning professor at the University of Texas at Austin (Department of Psychology and Dell Medical School). She received a PhD and postdoctoral training in both psychology and neuroscience from the University of California, Berkeley. For more than 20 years, she has studied the role of emotional intelligence in social interactions. She has consulted with industry leaders and the California State Supreme Court to help people avoid wasting time on meaningless social signals and to instead focus on what they can do to improve their understanding of both themselves and others.


Overview: These sessions will cover the all-important topic of valuating your business and the economic and legal hurdles faced during a buy-out. We have an all-star panel of experts with recent experience in M&A, including leading business consultant Andi Gray of Strategy Leaders, attorneys Marlene Bartolo from the Bartolo Law Group and Drew Morris from Nachmias Morris & Alt, as well as firsthand experience from industry insiders like Leros Point to Point COO Michael Basso, Windy City Limousine & Bus CEO George Jacobs, and Broadway Elite Worldwide President & COO Jason Sharenow. You will leave these sessions with a full understanding of the ins and outs of M&A.

10:00am — 12:00pm ... M&A Day, Part #1: Getting Prepared for the Deal
It’s no secret that luxury ground transportation as we know it is shrinking, due both to natural attrition and the competition from disruptors. And with many in the industry aging, it’s high time that operators of all stages in life give serious thought to preparing an exit strategy. With these trends in mind, we’ve devoted our Tuesday education segments to the increasingly relevant topic of mergers & acquisitions. Our morning session will provide insight as to why you should be looking to sell as well as all the necessary preparation required and the pitfalls to avoid. Regardless of whether you’re years or even decades away from exiting the biz, this session will offer a valuable roadmap of where the industry is going, and some of the roadblocks you can avoid along the way.

1:30pm — 3:30pm ... M&A Day, Part #2: The Nuts & Bolts of Making It Happen
Part two of our M&A content will dive deep into valuating your business and the most common obstacles many face during a buy-out. Ask any operator experienced in M&A to describe the single biggest headache they experience during a negotiation, and they will more than likely say it’s an overly inflated valuation by the seller. During this session, our speakers will tell you how to gauge a fair determination of a business’ worth in its current market, so that when it comes time to sell, you’ll have a smooth transaction that’s beneficial to both parties.

  • Bartolo
    Marlene Bartolo
  • Basso
    Michael Basso
  • Gray
    Andi Gray
  • Jacobs
    George Jacobs
  • Sharenow
    Jason Sharenow
  • Drew Morris
    Drew Morris

4:00pm — 5:30pm ... Bonus Roundtable Session: Making Your Expenses Work for You
While we’re on a roll with our Tuesday education sessions, our Austin Retreat will offer a Tuesday afternoon bonus session that will give you easy-to-use money-saving techniques. This debut bonus session, Making Your Expenses Work for You, will be hosted in a roundtable format, and will allow operators from different markets to share tips and resources that owners can use to make their existing rewards and perks save them cash. For instance, did you know that you can earn money by paying your employees through American Express? Are you aware that Southwest offers a reduced companion fare ticket rate? Have you considered setting up a bartering program for your marketing? This session is a great opportunity to learn some unconventional cash-saving measures from your peers.

Education Committee