I met Gil Cygler under the most egregious circumstances in 1988. The rental industry in New York was under attack and the rental car owners/operators and CEO’s were gathering to begin the strategies of war against the now infamous amendment to Section 396Z, the NY general business law, that banned the sale of LDW and worst of all, capped the amount a car rental company could collect from a renter for damage to a rental unit to an insulting, trivial, and unbelievable $100.
Over the ensuing years, almost everyone that originally met on that day, closed the doors and became rental car history. And yet, Gil Cygler and his family owned business, (Dollar Rent A Car at the time/later Allcar Rent A Car) continued throughout the years, becoming more involved politically and furthering the causes of the NY rental car industry.
Gil Cyger is a very quiet champion. In 2012 he was named the King of Kings for his active involvement in a number of civic and business organizations as well as sitting on the board of the American Car Rental Association. But, Gil would be the first to downplay his accomplishments and would blush at being called a King of Kings. When given the award, Gil credited his father for teaching him about the virtues of hard work, customer service, and integrity. Gil always believed that there is more to running a business than working in an office all day and continuously stayed involved with community affairs and rental car legislative matters.
In August 2010, Gil achieved the successful advocacy of the New York State legislature to provide a choice to consumers who need to rent a car resulting from a car insurance claim and has since helped to educate others interested in the same legislation in their states.
Gil has been an important board member with ACRA. He was the chairperson of the Car Sharing Committee, a member of the Legal and Legislative Committee, and a successful advocate in Washington, DC. If you needed a letter to the legislators, he wrote one, if you needed an opinion, he offered one, and if you needed his presence, he was there to rally the cause.
Most of all, I admire Gil’s commitment to family and his sincere concern for his friends and their families. He never fails to ask how you are, how your spouse is, and how your children are before he asks about your business. He has his priorities in the right place.
I applaud all of Gil’s accomplishments in the world of rental car. I congratulate him on the sale of his family business to Enterprise. I will miss his involvement with ACRA and the smaller company representation that he lent to our board. But I know I will have a forever friend in spite of our original introduction many years ago.