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Juan Luis and Miladys Angeles left their home in the Dominican Republic to start a new life in New York City. Luis quickly found work as a taxi driver. He was experienced. For over 20 years in his home country, he drove businessman and professionals from the northern city of Santiago de los Caballeros to the capital city of Santo Domingo. He was passionate about his craft. He fervently believed that no matter the service you were providing, whether you were driving someone, or advising them on a complex issue, it should always be carried out with the utmost professionalism, integrity, and respect for the client.
Shortly upon his arrival in New York, Luis reunited with his good friend from home, Romulo Marte, who encouraged him to join Riverside Radio Dispatch, Inc., a taxi dispatching company formed a few years prior to serve the transportation needs of the historically under served residents of Washington Heights, Harlem, and the Bronx. A frugal man, Luis Maravilla, as he was known, or simply, number 29 (his taxi’s dispatch number), eventually saved enough money to invest in the company that would eventually become L.A. Riverside Brokerage, Inc.
On December 8th, 1992, Luis, Romulo, and Francisco Solano Concepcion, along with their other partners from Riverside Radio Dispatch, founded Riverside Travel Agency, Inc. The original purpose of the new agency was to provide travel services to the thriving Dominican community in Washington Heights. Unfortunately the agency struggled, and did not meet their expectations. When a few of the partners expressed an interest in dissolving the company, number 29 opposed and continued to support the agency. He felt that there was a valuable service that could be provided to the community with the utmost professionalism, integrity, and respect for each client. He felt so strongly that, before his passing, he said to Miladys that if anything were to happen to him it was she that should step in and try and make his dream a reality. Then, tragically, just two and half years after co-founding the travel agency, Luis Maravilla suffered a fatal stroke.
Some would say that our story really begins here. The moment a woman of modest means, limited education, from a foreign country makes the decision that, despite the loss of her husband, and just ten months later, her only son, she was going to continue to fight and move forward to provide the service number 29 always believed could be delivered to his community.
On March 3rd, 1995, Miladys Angeles purchased the remaining shares of Riverside Travel Agency, Inc. Initially she managed the operations on her own, shortly thereafter her eldest daughter, Cira, joined her. They became equal partners, reincorporated the “agency” into a “brokerage”, and shifted the focus of the business from providing travel services to providing insurance services to the taxi drivers of their community.
Today, the company they founded together, L.A. Riverside Brokerage, Inc. (the L.A. stands for Luis Angeles), is a thriving organization with thousands of clients spread over three locations in New York City. We have been recognized for the quality of our service by our clients and our carriers. And Cira, now our President and Chief Executive Officer, has received numerous commendations for her advocacy on behalf of New York City’s roughly 50,000 for hire taxi drivers. Even with our success, we do not forget that our mission is to provide a service with the utmost professionalism, integrity, and respect for our clients.
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