Inspiration can come from many sources. My inspiration comes from people I meet every day who make the most of their surroundings and those who look for and seize opportunities, like the gentleman on the cover of the August issue of The Parking Professional.

General Colin Powell certainly has made the most of his opportunities. He rose, as he describes  it, from “ordinary circumstances” to serve the United States in many different capacities. Since 1958, Gen. Powell has received 11 military decorations, served as National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of State. His devotion to serving did not end when he left public office. Over the past several years, he and his wife, Alma, have devoted themselves to the well-being of children, co-chairing America’s Promise Alliance, a non-profit committed to helping young people succeed.

The general is also a car enthusiast and loves his 19 Corvettes, but that’s not why The Parking Professional sought him out for an interview. As he says in his new book, It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership, then-Secretary of State Powell had a discussion with a group of parking attendants in the State Department’s garage that we at IPI found quite enlightening.

Gen. Powell used the story about the parking attendants to remind people that our actions and how we treat people can have a profound effect on those around us.

I encourage you to read our interview with Gen. Powell in the August issue of The Parking Professional magazine , and if you’re so inclined, pick up a copy of his new book. While we will always remember Gen. Powell for his service to our country, we are also proud that he fully understands why Parking Matters®.