By Brett Wood, PE, CAPP

I got into parking about 10 years ago by mishap—somebody at my company engaged me in a parking study. I realized parking was the career path I wanted to follow when I was accepted to present at the IPI Conference about one of my early parking studies. I went to the 2008 conference in Dallas, walked into the Expo, saw more than 2,500 people milling about the most amazing mix of parking toys and gadgets I had ever seen, and knew I was home.

I started volunteering to help. My first group was the Awards of Excellence Committee. I learned a lot about innovative projects and management that transformed our industry into a serious trendsetter. After that, I got involved with the Parking Matters Committee and started to learn about the many ways our industry influences other parallel and tangential industries. Then I tried my hand at the Technology Committee and found the voices on the phone were some of the more brilliant minds in our industry. I got to learn, publish, present, and engage on topics I probably never would have touched otherwise.

I’m currently chair of the Parking Research Committee. The group gets to select topics we feel are relevant to the industry and do deep dives into data sets and research to generate content that helps advance members’ knowledge.

These committee engagements have helped me build a robust network of peers throughout the industry, define new knowledge and opportunities within the industry, and advance my career. Committee opportunities at IPI provide the perfect vehicle to really get involved. IPI’s call for volunteers is currently open and available here.  If you’ve been dreaming about accelerating your career, now’s your chance!

Brett Wood, PE, CAPP, is a parking and transportation consultant at Kimley-Horn.