Doing business in Metro Charleston; Get to know Rubin Nelson

Rubin Nelson heads Charleston’s Airport Limo Taxi Association.

A retired Mount Pleasant postmaster, Rubin Nelson makes different deliveries now.

He transports people instead of packages through his post-retirement taxi business and oversees the group responsible for ferrying passengers from Charleston International Airport to Lowcountry hotels, businesses, homes and other destinations.

Nelson, 69, serves as president of the Airport Limo Taxi Association, an organization he’s headed for eight years. He also owns R&N Transportation, his own taxi business.

He’s the guy more than two dozen cab companies turn to when they want an increase in fares, want to talk policy changes and generally just want to sound off on taxi-related matters.

Q: Who is your favorite business leader and why?

A: Warren Buffett. He is very diversified in his reinvestments into our economy.

Q: Who is your favorite leader of any kind and why?

A: President Barack Obama. His hands-on approach to America and other countries has strengthened us in many ways.

Q: What is the best leadership advice you’ve received?

A: Stay ahead of the curves of change.

Q: What is the best leadership advice you could give?

A: Prepare yourself academically and work hard to achieve success.

Q: What are the most important decisions you make as a leader at your organization?

A: Focusing on long-term goals and maintaining the groups’ interest on multiple issues.

Q: The biggest challenge facing business leaders?

A: Interfacing with the changing technology in hopes of minimizing the impact.

Q: What was your biggest mistake as a leader and what did it teach you?

A: Having the feeling that skills gained previously would make it easier in a new industry.

Q: What was your biggest success as a leader and what did it teach you?

A: Removing the adversarial approach to management by some of our peers.

Q: What are you doing to grow the next leader in your organization?

A: Mentoring by sharing data, allowing active participation in meetings and accepting input on a regular basis.

Q: How do you define a great business?

A: One that provides excellent customer service, at comparable cost in the service industry, with a Southern hospitality twist.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about doing business in this region?

A: The ease in getting started. The use of transportation to or from the airport is made without hassles.

Q: What is your least favorite thing about doing business in this region?

A: Increased regulations for the taxi business, but less for transportation network carriers (such as Uber).

Q: One thing government could do to help your business? A: Provide broader support to small businesses in regards to their growth.

Q: Name one thing government could stop doing to help your business?

A: Consolidating taxi service requirements under one umbrella.