The fourth regional Florida Messenger Association (FMA) “Lunch and Learn” meeting was held in Orlando, FL on August 1, 2012. The meeting was attended by Pat Bronos of A.S.A.P. Courier Services; Kelly Caldwell of Air Traffic Services; Steve Zinck of All Canadian; Brian McKenzie of Alpha Logistics Service; Harold Boyett, Vince Lambert, Gabe Allen and Lynne Snyder of Blue Streak Couriers; Daryl Cook of Coastal Courier, Inc.; Doreen Dow of Citrus County Courier; Dan Schutt of Double Time Transit; Shannon Chapman and Dan Fee of Fleetgistics; Tim Petty of Pettyco Express; Tom Misner of Quick-Path Couriers; Mike Milam of Runabout Courier and Toni Pompa of Tri County Courier. This meeting – the fourth and final of the inaugural round planned – solidifies the blueprint for future meetings. Additionally, with 17 attendees, this session achieved the highest attendance of the four. The objectives of the meeting included:
• Discuss past and potential future legislation that could impact the independent contractor (IC) business model
• Share best practices regarding the IC business model
• Encourage involvement in FMA and Messenger Courier Association of America (MCAA)
• Discuss vendor sponsorship for future meetings
• Educate and inform each other
Harold Boyett shared the history of the FMA, including the efforts to work with the legislature to help clarify the definition of an independent contractor as it relates to the courier segment of the transportation industry. The group discussed the three statutes which association has helped to clarify:
Workers’ Compensation Statute 440.02 (15) (c) 4.1 (d)
Unemployment Compensation Statute 443.1216 (13) (w)
Local Business Tax Certificates: Statute 440.02 (15)
The dialogue then turned to industry best practices regarding the independent contractor business model. The group discussed the importance of supporting the independence of the contract driver, making sure they are free of direction and control, as well as many other aspects of the work they accept from courier companies. Concepts such as maintaining “Job Rejection Logs” and “Negotiation Logs” are methods which support the independent nature of independent contractors. The attendees shared their thoughts with each other and the dialogue was intriguing and insightful. Near the end of the meeting, Harold Boyett presented the concept of mentoring other business owners in our industry and sharing ideas and best practices with each other as a way of improving our industry. This proposal was embraced by the attendees who appeared eager to share their experiences with others. Finally, Boyett extended an invitation for attendees to join the MCAA. “By maintaining active membership, attending annual meetings and participating in federal and state lobby days, we all demonstrate the strength and commitment for our state association and our industry,” he concluded.
In summary, this was a great example of how business owners that compete against other on a daily basis can come together for the sake of their industry, become informed on current issues and share ideas on how to best protect the independent contractor model.