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Arizona Man Named 2019 Top Transportation Executive in America: Dave Gauer of VIP Taxi Wins Annual Award of Transportation CEOs

By Rachel Wells, Melwood Global

Photo: Dave Gauer
Dave Gauer

The Transportation Alliance is pleased to announce that Dave Gauer, owner of VIP Taxi in Phoenix, Arizona, has been named Executive of the Year.

Gauer entered the taxicab business in 1977 in the north suburbs of Chicago when he traded a custom motorcycle in exchange for his first taxicab with American Taxi. He grew a single cab into a 30-car operation, beginning his legacy as an innovator in the industry.

In 1993, Gauer was offered a business partnership at 303 Taxi which, at the time, had less than 150 cabs. He knew that by implementing newer technologies the company could be taken to the next level.

He was correct: By 1998, the company had grown to over 600 cabs and provided tens of thousands of rides each month to children with special needs. By 2001, Dave and his partners bought Flash Cab, growing that fleet to over 700 vehicles. In 2005, Gauer and his partners piloted Chicago’s accessible taxicab program, making Chicago one of the most accessible cities in the nation.

In 2007, Gauer bought a small Arizona cab company, which he renamed VIP Taxi. Gauer eventually gave up his Chicago business interests to focus full-time on the Arizona company. Along with his two sons Brandon and Jason, Gauer focused on innovation while providing reliable and quality transportation. His efforts have transformed VIP Taxi into a thriving local family owned and operated business for generations to come.

“Dave has shown how our industry can thrive with the help of technology,” said Tom Arrighi, President of The Transportation Alliance. “He has been on the cutting edge of many transportation advancements and is a great example to fleet executives in our industry.”

Photo: Dave Gauer and Terry O'Toole
Dave Gauer accepting his award

Gauer received his award at The Transportation Alliance 101st annual convention, Mobilize 2019, on October 17 in Las Vegas. The former TTA President Terry O’Toole shared a brief history of Gauer’s career with those attending the convention when presenting him with his award. In his acceptance speech, Gauer thanked the association “for all the years of being a solid resource to grow my business” and stated how grateful he is “to go to work and do a job that [he] still enjoy[s] after 42 years.”

Gauer was accompanied by his two sons, Brandon and Jason, at Mobilize 2019.

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Established in 1917, The Transportation Alliance is the non-profit trade association that represents 1,000 private sector companies in the local passenger transportation for-hire industry worldwide and is the industry's leading information, education and legislative resource.
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