87.9% growth

City: Marion

Founded: 1998

www.limolink.com

First time on the list

 

After receiving sub-par service as a chauffeured ground passenger, Bill Barnes saw a business opportunity. In 1998, he founded LimoLink to provide exceptional service to high-level travelers.

Marion-based LimoLink chauffeurs C-level passengers to and from airports, meetings and across the country and worldwide.

“What sets us apart is our quality of service, our personal touch,” said Lisa Stigge, LimoLink’s marketing manager.

Employees at the Marion call center don’t make arrangements through the executive traveler, but rather through their assistants or travel agencies. Unlike most chauffeured ground transportation companies, LimoLink does not “book” reservations; rather, they “manage” reservations.

LimoLink is also set apart from its competitors by the way employees verify and cross-check chauffeurs, who are usually independent contractors who own their own vehicles.

“We’re on the ground watching chauffeurs, vetting them,” Ms. Stigge said. “We have a whole team of people who go into the marketplace. We do our due diligence (vetting chauffeurs).”

LimoLink does not own vehicles or employ the chauffeurs. While the majority of vehicles are sedans, the company can also provide SUVs, vans and motor coaches.

While LimoLink’s database has tens of thousands of potential customers, the rate of service customers use varies.

“We have passengers that travel four times a year, and some who travel four times a week,” Ms. Stigge said.

Some people mistake LimoLink as a limousine company, calling occasionally about services for local weddings or proms.

“We focus on executive travel and work with the private aviation sector,” Ms. Stigge said.

LimoLink makes travel arrangements for travelers throughout the world, all out of the Marion call center.

“It’s definitely unique,” Ms. Stigge said. “A lot of people don’t realize they’re calling Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to set up arrangements.”

In addition to corporate headquarters in Marion, LimoLink maintains account management offices or service personnel in New York, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, London and Charlotte, N.C.

-Angela Holmes