By Shawn Conrad, CAE
As someone who has a keen interest in changing public perceptions, I have a specific interest in the song Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story, which is part of the final act of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton musical. The theme of this song is about someone’s legacy – how they are remembered and an acknowledgement of their worth, typically following their death. Forgetting about the death part, this song always makes me think about what associations do at their core, and we do it in the present.
Associations provide credible, third-party support to our members by sharing and promoting what you do, communicating how our members are making a difference for your organizations and your communities, and improving the industry as a whole. Associations tell your stories.
Sharing your stories was the reason that in 2009 IPMI created Parking Matters. This public awareness program took the great things you and your peers were doing and told your stories, getting them in front of the decision makers who impact how parking is managed or perceived. Over the years, we’ve shared numerous stories, ideas, work projects, areas of professionalism – all with the intent to educate and showcase your expertise and value. Together, we have been moving the needle and making inroads in changing people’s perceptions of the role of a parking and mobility professional.
Even with the significant progress we have made, there are often reminders that our work is not done. We need to do more. I hear and see the frustrations you have when the people you report to do not fully understand why you are making recommendations to change the curb, what exactly the role of enforcement is, why additional staff are needed, or how new technology can improve the customer experience. Even when you are doing exceptional work it can be hard to get the recognition you deserve. In order to overcome these challenges, we need to continue working together to further shape the narrative.
The good news is that we are finding ourselves with a “seat at the table” when plans are being made that impact downtowns, airports, universities, commercial buildings, and medical centers. IPMI firmly believes that you need to be in the room when the decisions are made, and we will continue sharing the exceptional stories you have to tell to help you get there.
Shawn Conrad, CAE, is IPMI’s CEO.