Does the smile look familiar? It should. Amy Birnbaum is the public face of her company, the Denville-based Royal Coachman limousine chauffeur service. She began to be widely recognized last fall when an American Express credit card commercial first aired—featuring her. Strangers have been giving her perplexed looks ever since.
“I was in a sports bar watching the Giants,” she says, “and all these people were like, ‘Is that you?’ People call me who I haven’t seen in years.”
The commercials added an unexpected chapter to the story of Birnbaum’s tenure at the company her father founded in 1969. The North Caldwell native and Rider University graduate started in sales in the early 1980s and became CEO of Royal Coachman in 2001.
To boost business after a post-9/11 slump, Birnbaum took the company global, partnering with a host of affiliate agencies in other countries and setting up a computer network that organizes customers’ travel itineraries. After the American Express commercials hit the airwaves, the company’s market share shot up 20 percent. Royal Coachman took in more than $12 million in sales in 2006. Today, Birnbaum’s company boasts a fleet of 150 vehicles and has landed clients that include former Giants Super Bowl heroes and NFL Pro Bowlers Harry Carson and Carl Banks.
Speaking of her favorite team, what is her prediction for next season? Birnbaum says she’s rooting for them, but “without Tiki Barber, it’ll be interesting.Click here to leave a comment