This is the login panel

Return to Meetings & Education > 90th Annual Convention & Trade Show-2008

Register Now | Hotel Information | Tentative Agenda
Company Tour | Golf Tournament | WIT Dinner | Spouse Tour
About Tampa | Exhibit Information | Our Sponsors | Our Exhibitors

Centro Ybor
Located in the heart of Ybor City, Centro Ybor is an entertainment destination that features an exciting mix of retailers, restaurants and entertainment venues situated around a palm-lined plaza capturing the flavor of Tampa's historic Latin Quarter.
Photo Courtesy of Tampa Bay & Company

Tampa Bay Beaches
Consistently among the top ten beaches in the world, Tampa Bay's beaches feature soft white sand, blue-green water and gently rolling waves.
Photo Courtesy of Tampa Bay & Company

Columbia Restaurant Flamenco Dancer
Serving up Spanish and Cuban cuisine with a side of flair and flamenco dance since 1905, the Columbia Restaurant is Florida's oldest and the world's largest Spanish restaurant.
Photo Courtesy of Tampa Bay & Company

The Destination

The Annual Convention and Trade Show will be held in Tampa, Florida, where (of course!) we can expect lots of water, sand and sunshine. But Tampa has a lot to offer for the non-beach bum. Neighborhoods like Hyde Park, Tampa's oldest and most glamorous neighborhood, offer an eclectic collection of boutique shopping and eateries.

You'll have to take a night to stroll the brick-lined streets of the famed Ybor City. Once known as the "Cigar Capital of the World", Ybor City is now a hub of entertainment with vintage clothing stores, art galleries, coffee houses, cafes, bistros and nightclubs. By the way, hand-rolled cigars can still be purchased in the old brick buildings of this National Historic Landmark District. Right outside our hotel's door is Channelside Bay Plaza with a variety of restaurants and "places to be seen".

You'll find something fun to see and do in Tampa!

Stunning sunsets cap off the perfect day in Tampa Bay. Or perhaps, this beautiful sunset signals the start of an exciting evening out on the town - either way, there's no better place to see a marvelous sunset than Tampa Bay.
Photo Courtesy of Tampa Bay & Company

Outside Dining in Comfortable Temperatures
Tampa Bay has it all, from fresh seafood to five-star fine dining. Tampa Bay's eclectic mix of dining options is sure to hit the spot. With the average annual temperature in Tampa Bay at a comfortable 73 degrees, you can enjoy the gentle bay breezes of Tampa Bay while dining outside.
Photo Courtesy of Tampa Bay & Company

Channelside Bay Plaza - Night
Channelside Bay Plaza, Tampa's downtown waterfront entertainment and retail complex features the finest in evening entertainment and dining. Dance the night away at numerous clubs and bars in style - from country to comedy, and much more.
Photo Courtesy of Tampa Bay & Company

The Invitation

At the end of October, while much of the nation will have a chill in the air, President Brian Hunt invites you to the warmth of Florida for the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association's 90th Annual Convention and Trade Show! President Hunt has placed an emphasis on customer service during the entire year, and that theme will continue as we meet for our largest gathering of the year.

Tampa Convention Center - Patio
The Tampa Convention Center located directly on the waterfront in the heart of Downtown Tampa, offers breathtaking views of Tampa Bay. The Riverwalk overlooks the water.
Photo Courtesy of Tampa Bay & Company

Tampa Skyline with Convention Center
The Tampa Convention Center is conveniently located within walking distance to hotels, restaurants, nightlife venues, Ybor City, Channelside Bay Plaza and The Florida Aquarium.
Photo Courtesy of Tampa Bay & Company

TECO Line Streetcar System
The electric streetcar has made a triumphant return to the city after a 56-year hiatus. The streetcar whisks passengers from Downtown Tampa to the Channelside area and the cruise terminals, to Ybor City and back.
Photo Courtesy of Tampa Bay & Company

The Exhibits

The Trade Show will be held at the Tampa Convention Center directly across the street from the Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina. The Trade Show will feature our industry's best vendors who typically announce new products designed to help you enhance your business. Nowhere else in the world will you find these vendors anxiously waiting to display their products and services to you and to talk serious business with you. Take advantage of having all your vendors under one roof.

If you are a vendor to the transportation industry, make sure your company's products and services are in front of the people who count ... and watch your profits soar.

Complimentary lunch on the Trade Show floor is included with your registration fee. Enjoy conversation, food and all of the displays of awesome products and services.

Roundtable Sessions
Attend small group discussions where you can hear and be heard in regards to common issues, and to learn about customer service matters.

General Sessions
The best speakers in our industry help keep you informed about current concerns and positive directions.

Trade Show Hours

The Grand Opening of the Trade Show will be held on Monday, October 27, from 4:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. with the Grand Opening Cocktail Reception. On Tuesday, the exhibit hall will be open from 12:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. with a lunch being served early and an open bar served later that afternoon. On Wednesday, the trade show will be open from 10:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. with lunch being served early and prize drawings held before the hall closes.

27 Roundtable Discussions

On Monday afternoon, October 27, the convention's educational sessions open with three sets of nine concurrent roundtables. Roundtable discussions are one of the most popular features of this convention. Each table seats 36 people, so arrive early to assure yourself a seat at the table. This year, the TLPA steering committees have selected discussion topics vital to our industry such as: How to Get Your Share of Transit/FTA Funds; Alternative Fuels Discussion—LPG, CNG, and Hybrid; Identifying and Beating Competitive Threats; Update on Accessible Vehicles; Performance Based Incentive Programs for Call Takers; How Small Companies Can Get Good Insurance Rates; and more. Please see the agenda for a complete list of roundtable discussion topics and come prepared with your questions and comments.

Opening General Session

The Opening General Session will be held first thing on Tuesday morning, October 28. President Brian Hunt will give his state of the industry & TLPA address followed by keynote speaker Shep Hyken.

Shep addressed our group a number of years ago and is back by popular demand. In keeping with our customer service theme, his keynote address is entitled Creating "Moments of Magic" and will focus on how vitally important service is in today's world. Shep will remind you that you need to make your organization a star in your customers' eyes - and he'll give you ways you can do that with tips on meeting and exceeding expectations, handling confrontations properly, building relationships and more.

Shep Hyken, CSP, is a speaker and author who works with hundreds of clients including American Airlines, AAA, Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, AETNA, Abbott Laboratories, AIG and American Express—and that is just a few of the A's! His most requested programs focus on customer service, customer loyalty, internal service, and customer relations.

Combining important information with humor and magic to create exciting, high-energy presentations, Shep will be a great addition to our convention.

Host Operator Tours

Our host operators, Nancy Castellano of United Cab and Louie Minardi of Yellow Cab of Tampa will open their doors to all convention delegates for a tour of their respective companies. Transportation provided by Yellow Cab and United Cab will depart from the hotel on Monday, October 27, at 9:45 a.m. for the tours and return at 12:00 p.m. Both Yellow Cab and United Cab operate approximately 200 vehicles in the Tampa area.

United Cab is the flagship brand of Gulf Coast Transportation, which operates over 300 vehicles in the Tampa Bay area, including ABC Taxi, Tampa Bay Cab, and Thrifty Cab. For over 50 years, United Cab has been a leading provider of ground transportation solutions for leisure and business travelers, as well as the local population. The company primarily operates taxicabs, vans, and wheelchair accessible vehicles. In addition, United Cab and Gulf Coast Transportation have received honors for outstanding service and they are involved in civic and charitable organizations. United Cab will transport TLPA convention participants to their facilities to tour the dispatch/call center, offices and maintenance facility.

The Yellow Cab facility supports their fleet of taxicabs, sedans, limousines, vans, minibuses and buses that help them achieve their mission to provide safe, comfortable and reliable first-class service to every patron. Yellow Cab is a family-owned business and has been serving the Tampa area for generations. Arrive at the convention early to enjoy a trip to their center of operations on Monday morning!

Tampa Bay's waters are perfect for reeling in tarpon, snook, grouper, trout and large mouth bass while boating out in the Gulf makes a great day of deep sea fishing.
Photo Courtesy of Tampa Bay & Company

The Florida Aquarium Exterior
The Florida Aquarium tells Florida's unique water story as it follows a "drop" of water from its underground source to the open sea. Discover over 10,000 aquatic plants and animals both native to Florida and from all over the globe.
Photo Courtesy of Tampa Bay & Company

Home to nearly three dozen golf courses and host to major golfing events, including the PGA Tour's PODS Championship and the Champions Tour's Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am, Tampa Bay is a golfer's paradise year-round.
Photo Courtesy of Tampa Bay & Company

Optional Ticketed Events

Golf Tournament: The Annual Gateway Insurance Golf Tournament to benefit the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Foundation will be held on Sunday, October 26, with departure from the Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina at 11:00 a.m. and a shotgun start at 1:00 p.m. An awards ceremony sponsored by BB&T - John Burnham Insurance Services, Inc. and TaxiPro by AequiCap, Inc., with dinner, drinks and drawings for door prizes will conclude the event.

This par 71 Tournament Players Club (TPC) course was designed by Bobby Weed along with player consultant Chi Chi Rodriguez to not only challenge the top golfers of the world but to also to provide a challenging and fun experience for players of all abilities. Since being built in 1991, the facility has earned numerous accolades, including a four and a half star rating in Golf Digest's Places to Play. The course is routed around natural wetlands, cypress heads and numerous ponds and lagoons, which are home to an abundance of wildlife. Deer, foxes, otters, armadillos, alligators, egrets, storks, cranes, blue heron, and eagles all inhabit the golf course. So enjoy a beautiful day on a very unique golf course while supporting our Foundation! Click here to download the Golf Tournament Registration Form.

Women In Transportation Dinner: The Women in Transportation Dinner will be held Monday, October 27 at the Tampa Convention Center immediately following the Opening Cocktail Reception. Men are definitely invited and make up approximately 40% of the event participants. This year the event will feature guest speaker, Mark Fulton who will address Behavioral Intelligence: Why Do People Do What They Do?

Mark is a leadership coach, business columnist and professional speaker with more than 30 years experience in education, broadcasting, management and marketing. He is a skilled communicator who helps business owners become effective leaders by building powerful relationships with their key people.

Mark's interactive presentation will leave you with an understanding of your own behavior style and how it is different from those around you. With an understanding of your behavior style, you can have greater success at relating to other people, building effective teams and promoting workplace productivity.

TLPA guests will be served breast of chicken stuffed with spinach, pine nuts, Feta cheese and sun dried tomatoes with red chili cream sauce served over black bean rice, seasonal vegetables, field greens salad, key lime pie for dessert served with your choice of red and white wine.

This event has traditionally been held on the first night of the convention to facilitate the building of relationships early in the convention. Approximately 50 people attend this event creating a comfortable setting with a friendly atmosphere. If this is your first TLPA convention, we recommend that you sign up for this optional event.

Spouses Program: All spouses registered for the convention may also register for a four-hour Sea Life Safari tour. We will board buses at 8 a.m. to travel across the bay to Clearwater to enjoy a relaxing sightseeing excursion where dolphins are a common sight and birds and shells abound.

After boarding our boat, we will cruise the tranquil waters of Clearwater Bay up close to mangrove islands that are protected bird sanctuaries and home to pelicans, herons, ibises and egrets. During our tour, a trawl net will be pulled to gather a variety of sea life such as sea horses, puffer fish, stingrays and much more. Our biologist on board will describe the assortment of sea specimen and maybe even let you hold one, if you're willing. A stop will be made on one of the inter-coastal islands for a little shelling time.

After our cruise, we will enjoy a brief tour of the rehabilitation aquarium and then return to the Tampa Convention Center just in time for lunch in the exhibit hall.

Closing Banquet: The closing night banquet will be held on Wednesday evening, October 29. The evening features an open bar, a wonderful meal, the Operator of the Year Awards, entertainment and the silent auction to benefit TLPA's legislative arm, the TLPA Action Fund.

Enjoy the Tampa weather as you walk along the bay shore near many restaurants, entertainment and shopping.
Photo Courtesy of Tampa Bay & Company

Raymond James Stadium
Home the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Raymond James Stadium was rated the NFL's best playing field in 1998 by the NFL Players Association and is the "crown jewel" of the National Football League.
Photo Courtesy of Tampa Bay & Company

Bayshore Boulevard Rollerbladers
From early morning until long after the orange and pink sunset has faded, Bayshore Boulevard, bordering Tampa Bay for 4.5 uninterrupted miles, is packed with in-line skaters, joggers and bikers while the occasional dolphin or manatee skims along the water's surface.
Photo Courtesy of Tampa Bay & Company

Plan to Attend

Mark your calendars now and plan to attend TLPA's 90th Annual Convention & Trade Show. Included is your registration fee are two breakfasts, two lunches, two cocktail receptions, a tour of a transportation company, a prize drawing, and, of course, the items the exhibitors and sponsors give away. In addition, plenty of time is built into the convention schedule for you to relax, enjoy and speak informally with your fellow industry members.

TLPA & TLPF Annual Business Meetings

On Wednesday, October 29, the TLPA and Foundation Annual Business Meetings will be held. New budgets will be adopted, bylaw changes will be received and board members will be elected and sworn into office. The highlight of the Annual Business Meeting will be newly elected President Rick Hewatt presenting his vision for the future course of TLPA and the industry.

Hotel Highlights

Convention headquarters will be the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, a 27-floor luxury hotel overlooking the Channel Riverwalk in the heart of downtown Tampa. This new hotel offers elegant amenities for work and play, from a full-service spa, outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, fitness center, complete business services and several delicious restaurants. Luxury accommodations include rooms and suites with private balconies and bay or city views available. All rooms are non-smoking and have video on demand, high-speed internet access, dataport, hairdryers, TV with cable/satellite, iron/ironing board, coffee maker, clock radio, and safe.

Please make your hotel reservations early. TLPA's room block will expire on Monday, September 22, 2008, or whenever our block of rooms sells out, whichever happens first. Make your reservations directly with the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina. By identifying yourself as a TLPA registrant, you will receive our special group rate starting at $179.00 Single/Double. The Marriott reservations department number is (800) 228-9290 or make your reservations on-line through this link to the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina.

Our block of rooms at the Marriott is sold out, but you can still contact them to check on availability at (800) 228-9290 or directly at (813) 221-4900. Our overflow hotel is the Westin Harbour Island Hotel. Their numbers are (800) Westin1 or (813) 229-5000. If neither of these hotels has availability, we would recommend that you check on for available rooms.

Waterfront Dining
Tampa's many casual and formal waterfront restaurants provide great views of sailboats on crystal blue waters during the day and beautiful sunsets fading into the night.
Photo Courtesy of Tampa Bay & Company

Busch Gardens - Ride the SheiKra
Enjoy the many rides and entertainment in the Busch Gardens theme park. It's fun for all ages.
© Busch Entertainment Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Channelside Bay Plaza - Day
Channelside Bay Plaza, Tampa's downtown waterfront entertainment and retail complex features restaurants, cinemas and shops and a 3-D IMAX© theatre.
Photo Courtesy of Tampa Bay & Company

City Highlights

Tampa Bay is a waterfront city with a semi-tropical climate with many opportunities to experience the warm waters and gentle bay breezes. Recognized as one of the nation's fastest growing cities, Tampa is a bustling port town that boasts multi-ethnic diversity and a revitalized downtown waterfront. Amusement parks, golf courses, parks and nature trails beckon visitors outside, while museums, history and the arts add to the rich diversity of cultures.

Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along Bayshore Boulevard, dubbed the "world's largest sidewalk;" or wander the quaint streets of Ybor City, which was once known as the "cigar capital of the world," and is now a city-within-a-city offering Latin shops, ethnic restaurants, art galleries, and nightclubs.

Local attractions include the 300-acre Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and the Lowry Park Zoo, which is ranked among the top four zoos in the country; the Florida Aquarium; the Henry B. Plant Museum, which is the site of the old Tampa Bay Hotel and a national historic landmark. Or take advantage of Tampa's art culture by taking in a concert by their critically acclaimed orchestra or by strolling the galleries of the Tampa Museum of Art, which features the Southeast's largest collection of Greek and Roman art.

If you are a sports enthusiast, chances are one of Tampa's professional teams will have a game during our stay. Check out the schedules of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (football), Tampa Bay Lightning (hockey), Tampa Bay Devil Rays (baseball), or the Tampa Bay Storm (arena football). Several major league baseball teams also come to Tampa for spring training.

Directions From the Airport

Tampa - TPA

Driving directions: From Tampa International Airport take I-275 North for six miles to downtown Exit-44, follow signs to Convention Center & Harbour Island - Hotel is 12 blocks ahead adjacent to the Tampa Convention Center.Estimated taxi fare: 22.0 USD (one way)