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TLPA Large Fleet Operator of the Year

Richard C. Hewatt, President, Checker Cab Company, Atlanta, GA, is Named TLPA 2003 Taxicab Large Fleet Operator of the Year

KENSINGTON, MD — Richard C. "Rick" Hewatt, president of Checker Cab Company, Atlanta, Ga., was named the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association's 2003 Taxicab Large Fleet Operator of the Year on Thursday, October 23, 2003. Mr. Hewatt was presented with this honor by TLPA President Gene Hauck at TLPA's 85th Annual Convention & Trade Show in Reno, Nevada.

Rick Hewatt"I could not be any happier with this honor. To be recognized by your peers is truly a pleasure and a compliment," Rick said upon learning of the award.

There are many aspects of the way Rick Hewatt operates his company that make him stand out among his peers. He has long advocated the use of alternative fuels, and in 2000 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented Checker Cab with an environmental merit award. Checker Cab also has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy and the organization Clean Cities for its use of alternative-fueled vehicles. Rick is on the Board of Directors of Clean Cities Atlanta, an alternative fuel coalition. He has been involved for 18 years in a free ride program that provides free rides home to patrons of Atlanta bars and restaurants who have had too much to drink. Rick also regularly attends meetings of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Atlanta City Council and the Atlanta Taxicab Technology Committee.

Rick Hewatt says service is the thing that differentiates his companies from others. "The Hewatt family has always put the service to our customers as top priority," he says. "Checker Cab Company of Atlanta provides the very best taxi service in Georgia." His goal for Checker Cab Company is to "continue to grow with Atlanta and to maintain the Hewatt family-owned and operated status through a couple more generations."

There is further evidence of the type of quality service Rick advocates: Checker Cab Company taxicab driver Waymon Dabney won TLPA's Taxicab Driver of the Year Award in 2002 for years of quality service and safe driving, and was later honored by the City of Atlanta when they proclaimed January 21, 2003, as "Waymon Dabney Day."

Rick Hewatt was born into the taxicab business. His grandfather, Richard F. Hewatt, Sr., started Checker Cab in 1947 with one car, and Rick's father, Richard F. Hewatt, Jr., took over management of the company and ran it for over 40 years. Rick started working for the company in 1973 when he was 14 years old pumping gas and cleaning cars during summers when he was out of school. He continued working for the company part time as a mechanic and driver through 1981. He earned his degree in business administration from Middle Georgia College, then came to work full time for Checker Cab Company in 1982. Over the years he has worked in every facet of the business: dispatcher, driver, mechanic, public relations, business promotions and administration.

For the Hewatts, the taxicab business is truly a family affair. Rick's dad is still very much involved in Checker Cab even though he's supposed to be semi-retired in Florida. Rick's sister Paula runs the company's self-insurance group. His brother Dennis takes care of some of the company's legal issues, while another brother, Tim, runs one of the family's suburban taxicab companies. Rick's sister Kathy runs another suburban company along with her husband Scott.

Rick Hewatt spends much of his spare time with his wife Kathy, daughter Lauren, and his two sons Calvin and Tristan. He is a musician and has played in a band called "The Downtown Executives" for the past 20 years. He also enjoys playing golf and boating when he has the opportunity to do so.

In honor of his dedication to his community, family and this association, the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association is very proud to honor Rick Hewatt as the TLPA 2003 Taxicab Large Fleet Operator of the Year.

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