Gary Bauer: From high school entrepreneur to limo executive

While most kids his age were lazing idly and sleeping in late, Gary Bauer, founder of Bauer’s Worldwide Transportation, was taking a decidedly different approach.

As a precocious high school student, Bauer was already operating his own landscaping company in Marin County during the day, and transporting his buddies at night in a Cadillac he bought for $3,000.

“I would do landscaping from 6 in the morning to 6 at night, and drive the Cadillac from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.” said Bauer, who grew up in Novato and now lives in Foster City. “I would get about three hours a sleep a night, six days a week.”

Now, with a fleet of 135 luxury vehicles, including state-of-the-art business shuttles, stretch Navigators and San Francisco Cable Cars, Bauer can afford to sleep a little more, and he does — by his admission, he’s getting “four hours of sleep a night.”

Bauer’s transportation service began with the aforementioned Cadillac and steadily grew exponentially. In 1994, Bauer moved his company from Marin County to 17th Street and Harrison in SanFrancisco, and in 2000, he relocated to Pier 27, where the business operates with 165 employees, including 110 trained chauffeurs who transport 12,00 people daily.

Bauer’s Worldwide Transportation has exclusive partnerships with major sports franchises in the Bay Area and an extensive program shuttling workers to the Google Inc. (GOOG) complex in Silicon Valley.

Along with continually expanding his transportation service, Bauer also created California Coach Sales, which customizes vehicles and pioneered models such as the stretch Navigator and Hummer.

His work ethic aside, Bauer’s most impressive attribute may be his progressive environmental advocacy. Highlighting his company’s “Corporate Green Initiative” is the fact that 85 percent of the miles his vehicles travel do so with alternative fuels, such as compressed natural gas, biodiesel and propane. He is looking into other outlets such as hybrids and electric vehicles.

“We think it’s very important to promote responsible environmental practices,” Bauer said. “Ever since I started my landscaping business, I’ve always wanted to maintain a strong support for a healthy environment.”

Along with using eco-friendly alternative fuels, Bauer has also created SaveIt, a charitable outlet that donates proceeds of the company’s profits to help build and maintain parks and green spaces in various Bay Area communities.

“SaveIt is a way of giving back to the areas that use our services,” Bauer said. “We know were in the position to create positive change, and we want to continue to do so.”

Business

Last project: Consolidating hotel shuttles around SFO to reduce emissions and congestion

Number of e-mails a day: 200

Voicemails: 65

Web site: Google

Perks: Meeting exciting influential people in the business world

Education: San Diego State University

Last conference: National Limousine Association — Day on Capitol Hill

First job: Window cleaning

Original aspirations: Financial investor

Career objective: To continue the growth of our “Green Initiatives” by being a leader within the corporate transportation industry

Personal

Age: 37

Height: 5’11″

Likes: Positive, upbeat, motivated individuals

Hometown: Novato

Sports/Hobbies: Jet Ski riding, water skiing, boating and snowskiing

Transpiration: Lexus hybrid

Favorite restaurant: Slanted Door

Computer: Toshiba Satellite

Vacation spot: Bahamas

Favorite clothier: Custom-made suits

Role model: Anthony Robbins

Reading: Business systems and motivational books

Motivation: Seeing my team excel on a daily basis

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