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A child of the Great Depression, Florida taxi owner now “just gives where the needs are”

Jesse Gaddis (left) receives TLPA's most prestigious award for his lifetime leadership and contributions to the transportation  industry and the TLPA.
To Jesse Gaddis, it’s simple: you give where there’s need. Sometimes it feels personal, and sometimes it doesn’t. Either way — you give.

Jesse Gaddis, the owner of Yellow Cab Company in Fort Lauderdale, is a member of the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association. He was the first recipient of the TLPA Lifetime Achievement Award.

In the last year, his company has donated more than $196,000 to various causes, ranging from the Island City Foundation to the Joe Dimaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Yellow Cab dates back 55 years. Since then, the community has grown alongside Yellow Cab, the two benefiting from each other. For example, Gaddis donated to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts as it was being built more than 20 years ago, and has continued to support it since its inception.

His contributions are a mixture of causes that feel personal to him and his business, and ones who approach him in times of need. When an employee’s grandchild was diagnosed with a serious form of cancer, he donated to the Joe Dimaggio Children's Hospital, who found the cancer. Many of his drivers hail from the Caribbean, where soccer is the choice sport, which has prompted him to give to National League Soccer.

Much of his inspiration to give comes from the earliest years of his life. Gaddis, a child of the Great Depression, only received a ninth-grade education. Though he found success without pursuing further schooling, Gaddis sees education as an opportunity everyone should have.

“He didn’t have that advantage, but he wants for others to have that advantage,” Yellow Cab Co. CEO John Camillo says.

In the past, Gaddis has donated to the Girl Scouts of America, where he has been asked about his daughters. His response? He doesn’t have any, but he doesn’t need to. Many of the causes he donates to have no personal connection, and Gaddis is fine with that.

“He just gives where the needs are,” Camillo says.

Image Caption: Jesse Gaddis (left) receives TLPA's most prestigious award for his lifetime leadership and contributions to the transportation industry and the TLPA.

Posted 8/17/2016 3:41:12 PM