Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 24

At NYC & Company, we have
invested in government relations
because those relationships are critical for
our organization to execute its mission.
During this time of uncertainty, we can
lean on those relationships for policy and
legislative updates, accurate information,
and insight on government operations.
Equally important is that our government
leaders turn to us for industry updates,
research, and insight. Maintaining these
connections with leaders at the city, state,
and federal levels not only keeps us
informed of vital information and guidance
from government, but it also ensures that
the travel industry is front and center for
recovery planning when a crisis such as
COVID-19 hits.
"These relationships will help advocate
for funding when it is time to welcome visitors back to New York City and are critical
in providing the guidance and support that
will regain consumer confidence. We are
grateful to our congressional leaders for
their ongoing support as we plan for recovery of our industry, which represents almost
400,000 jobs citywide and generated close
to $70 billion in economic activity last year. 
"Do not wait until a crisis occurs to
reach out to your government leaders. We
at NYC & Company know this all too well
from past experiences, including the 9/11
terrorist attacks and Hurricane Sandy.
Though we have experienced and responded to crises in the past, each situation is
different. As we manage and mitigate the

Committees
Matter, Too
In addition to building a rapport
with your home representatives
and senators, you should also
try to build relationships with
members who sit on committees
that are relevant to your interests
if you have a connection to their
state or district, such as the House
Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee or Senate
Commerce Committee.

24

DESTINATIONS

/SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2020

effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that
our city and the world have endured, our
strong relationships with government
officials and industry leaders (as well as
having a crisis plan in place) continue to be
fundamental as we move toward a successful tourism recovery."
-Fred Dixon, President and CEO,
NYC & Company

3.	Attend industry fly-ins.
4.	Invite them to visit your business.
5.	Check in with them on a regular basis
just like you would a client."
-Kim Grzywacz, CIT
Signature Transportation

Getting to know our congressional
leaders and having them understand
us is critical if we are to have any influence
in their decision-making. I have been in the
I think we all agree that networking
bus industry for 20 years, but prior to that, I
is important-including networking
was in the waste services industry. That
with people other than potential
industry, like ours, is highly regulated, and
customers. You never know how someone
without a robust commitment to engage
may help your business in ways you never
with political leaders, an untenable
dreamed of. This is especially true of our
regulatory environment would have
congressional leaders.
certainly evolved.
"[My husband]
"Beginning a
"I learned very early
John and I have been
relationship with your on at the local, state, and
attending industry
fly-ins for the past few
congressional leaders federal levels that we all
have a voice, and it is our
years. This experience
is as simple as
is one we are fortunate
introducing yourself." job to make it heard.
"The COVID-19
to have under the First
-FRANK SHERMAN, CEO,
crisis
is by far the most
Amendment. We have
TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT
SERVICES
impactful and frightenthe right to petition the
ing of my career, but I
government, and it is
do maintain a cautious optimism as we are
important to exercise this right. How else
steadily gaining support for our industry
will those elected to represent us know
within Congress. I am extremely grateful
what we need?
for and proud of Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) for
"Attending past fly-ins has helped CIT
joining with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)
Signature Transportation during the
in introducing the Coronavirus Economic
pandemic because I was able to say to our
Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS)
congressional leaders, 'We met with you in
Act of 2020 to help save our industry. I have
D.C. We were scheduled to meet with you
spoken directly to Sen. Reed on multiple
in D.C. in April. Since I cannot meet with
occasions and have developed a good workyou in D.C., may I have a call while you are
ing relationship with his staff.
home in Iowa?' In addition, to put faces to
"This relationship was formed years
our names and trigger some familiarity, I
before the current crisis and was cultivated
sent pictures we had taken with the reprethrough the annual fly-in events sponsored
sentatives in previous years. Five out of six
by ABA and the United Motorcoach
of them agreed to talk with us. As a result,
Association. The fly-ins allowed us to tell the
we received valuable information about
story of what we do and let our leaders get to
what was being done to assist us.
know us.
"Below are a few tips to help you
"Elected officials listen to those people
develop relationships with your congreswho actually elect them. I urge you to reach
sional leaders:
out to your senators and congressmen-
1.	 Do not be intimidated. They are peonobody has a louder voice than a constituent
ple just like us, with a job to do. 
and a voter."
2.	Share your personal stories to make
-Tom McCaughey, President and CEO,
yourself real. You are the voice of
Flagship Trailways
your company.



Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020

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Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - Cover2
Destinations Magazine – September/October 2020 - 1
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