Honoring an Industry Legend: A Tribute to Doug Holmes


Forward by Shawn Conrad, CAE, CEO of IPMI

As I sat down to write down some thoughts about the passing of Doug Holmes, I found it difficult to summarize the impact that he had on our parking community. Doug was a visionary, a leader, and an industry icon. So, in the spirit of Doug’s passion for sharing information and collaborating as a community, I asked some of those that knew Doug best to begin the process of sharing their thoughts about Doug. I hope that through this effort, we can adequately honor Doug’s impact and legacy. Click here to visit the IPMI Forum to share your memories and tributes to Doug as we come together to mourn his loss as a community.

Douglas (Doug) Holmes, CAPP, passed away on Monday, February 27, 2023, at his home. Doug served many years as Assistant Director for Parking at Penn State’s Transportation Services. Prior to working in parking, he was a police officer at Penn State. Doug served on the IPMI Board of Advisors and Chaired the Board of Directors, as well serving on the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Parking Association for many years as a director, Secretary, and President and is its immediate past president.  Doug was the creator and editor of the CPARK-L parking listserv, a parking information source and clearing house for campus and municipal parking officials. 


“Nothing in this world can take away the legacy of the extraordinary life of Doug Holmes.  As the founder of CPARK-L, Doug brought together parking professionals from higher education institutions across the country and from around the world to seek advice, share ideas, and learn from each other’s successes.  For the past 30 years, the campus parking listserv has been and continues to be a very powerful tool that has benefitted hundreds of thousands of students, staff, and faculty, for you always will need to park.” – Irma Henderson, CAPP

“Doug Holmes once told me that I had a responsibility to get involved and begin giving back to the parking industry. In his words “what are you waiting for, an invitation?” He inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and begin to mentor others in the industry. Doug and I, along with Chuck Reedstrom, Becca White, and Melinda Alonzo, were original members of the CAPP Board. Doug was the first chairperson. The five of us were able to start crafting the rules and procedures that have shaped the modern CAPP program. It is just one of Doug’s many achievements in parking. When Doug became ill and was unable to continue to chair the CAPP Board, the responsibility passed to me. When it was my turn to pass the torch the only legacy, I was concerned about was “did I make Doug proud?”  Doug’s work and achievements will live on long after his passing. The impact he had on the industry is indelible. I feel the impact he had on my life every day and I have missed his counsel. Now, I will miss the man.” – Wayne Mixdorf, CAPP

“I always considered Doug Holmes as a great friend and mentor.  With his knowledge, expertise, and insight, Doug was an invaluable asset to the IPI/IPMI, serving on several committees and the Board of Directors and was instrumental in establishing various programs including the CAPP certification. We will sorely miss Doug Holmes.” – Chuck Reedstrom, CAPP

“My friend Douglas Holmes was an incredible person who was truly devoted to our industry.  He was one of the first academic parking professionals I met in the early 90’s as I began my career at Rutgers University. We would often commensurate over how students would resort to anything to park where they should not, fib about why they received a citation, and how their parents were often just as guilty.  Doug was an ally who got many of us involved the numerous parking groups; the Big Ten and his own C-Park L list serve, to name a few.  Personally, Doug was always super supportive of my career and was chair of IPI when I resigned as CEO.  I had the unique pleasure, on many occasions, to spend time with his wife Anne and daughters Rebeccah and Katheryn, who he loved dearly.  I know my friend has a RESERVED space in heaven!” – Kim Jackson, CAPP

“Besides all of the wonderful things that will be said of Doug (which are all true) his biggest impact on me was not only our benchmarking and mentoring conversations, but when I was very honored to receive the IPI’s Chairman’s Award from him in June 2008. The receiving of this award caused me to continue to give back to the Parking and Transportation Industry in so many ways as Doug himself gave back.” – Robert Milner, CAPP, MS

“I extend my heartfelt condolences to the Holmes family on the passing of Doug, a remarkable man who touched the lives of so many people, including mine. I had the pleasure of meeting Doug in 2009 when I became the Parking Manager for the Borough of State College. Over the years, we developed a close relationship and regularly met for lunch to discuss all things parking, as well as local politics. Doug provided me with a valuable perspective on the Town/Gown relationship, which greatly aided me in my role. During our lunches, Doug would often inquire about my progress in pursuing the CAPP  program. He firmly believed in the program and encouraged me to take advantage of IPMI’s resources to further my education. I’m proud to say that I obtained my CAPP in 2018, thanks in no small part to Doug’s unwavering persistence! Doug also introduced me to the Pennsylvania Parking Association (PPA), where I found new friends and colleagues that would help shape my career for the next 10 years. I served on the PPA Board for almost a decade, and Doug was a driving force in shaping the organization into what it is today. His passion for the PPA was infectious, and all Pennsylvania parking professionals are grateful for Doug’s hard work over the years with the PPA. When I decided to leave the Borough of State College in 2014, Doug and I had been discussing my future for several months. One day, over lunch, I had an idea: why not ask Doug to fill in for me until a replacement was found? He agreed, and what was initially intended to be a short-term arrangement turned into a longer stay than either of us anticipated. I remember telling the Borough Manager that I was leaving for a new job but  I had found a replacement who was “much more qualified to work here than I am!”  Doug’s generosity with his time, knowledge, and guidance had an immeasurable impact on my life and career, and I’m forever grateful for his mentorship. His legacy lives on through the countless people he inspired, and he will be deeply missed.” – Charley DeBow, CAPP

“Doug Holmes was a friend and mentor. He may not have even known that he was a mentor, but from the first time I met him at the 2007 IPI show in Tampa and especially during the next two shows in Dallas and Denver respectively, while he was Chair of the IPI board, I watched and learned from a humble and approachable leader who also was no push over. Doug always encouraged me and seemed to have time for anyone that he was engaged with. In 2015 I was especially honored to co-chair the IPI Professional Recognition Awards Committee when Doug was amongst the first class of Lifetime Achievement Award Winners. Again, he exemplified a balance of humility and confidence. He will be missed!” – Gary A. Means, CAPP

“It’s hard to put into words Doug’s impact on me and the industry. Doug loved his family, fiercely. He dedicated himself to his colleagues, carrying our profession on his shoulders when we needed him. He had a rare talent to see institutions as a whole while mentoring individuals. He could argue any and all points, but so successfully and respectfully that when we finally saw it his way, we were all that much more dedicated to the result. He showed me professional respect and tender friendship. He loved to laugh and was a great dancer. Thank goodness he and his family shared Doug so fully with all of us. Rest in peace.” – Rebecca White, CAPP

“Doug Holmes was the first Board Member to welcome me with open arms when I joined the IPI Board of Directors in 2003. As a new Board Member, I found the whole experience to be a bit intimidating, yet Doug helped to make it all feel less overwhelming. We quickly discovered that we shared a background in law enforcement prior to joining the parking industry, and our friendship was immediate. We became (and remained) fast friends. Doug was an industry mentor to many young industry professionals. His leadership style was decisive yet kind, and he always remained open to the opinions and experiences of others. When the hard work was done, Doug laughed easily and often (I think I’ll miss that the most).  When Doug was elected to serve as IPI’s Board Chair in 2007, he encouraged me to throw my hat into the ring to serve as the Vice Chair. Under his tutelage, I strived to become a better leader.  Through thick and thin, he was always a friend, mentor, and confidant.  I also had the honor of getting to know and spend time with his wonderful family – his wife Anne, and daughters Rebeccah and Katheryn. They were truly the center of his world. Above all else, I will always remember and cherish Doug Holmes as my friend.” – Cindy Campbell (IPMI)

“Doug Holmes, CAPP was a visionary.  In 2012, Doug led the charge through unchartered territory to update the CAPP credential into what it is today. Doug served as the inaugural CAPP Board Chair and led the Board as they created the CAPP documents that have become so familiar to us all. Personally, Doug was a friend, a voice of reason, a calm amongst chaos, and I am grateful for his optimism, leadership, humor and above all, friendship. “ – Kathleen Federici, M.Ed. (IPMI)

“Doug was my first Board Chair when I arrived at IPI. It was instantly apparent (since Doug wore his feelings on his Penn State University sleeves) that Doug truly loved the parking industry and specifically all the parking professionals that he connected with.  Doug was adamant that parking professionals deserved more recognition for the knowledge and expertise they brought to the table and loved that the CAPP certification gave people instant recognition as a “Parking Expert.” He volunteered countless hours to promote CAPP and raise this industry’s level of professionalism. It meant so much to him. Doug was the consummate community builder. He always pushed us to generate opportunities for people in this industry to connect with one another. To share thoughts, ideas, their trials, and the victories they experienced. He knew the greatest resource in the industry was its people and that by sharing one’s experiences, all would benefit. Which is why he was such a driving force behind the creation of CPARK-L, the email-based online community that offers people in the industry an opportunity to learn from one another. Doug had a mischievous, boyish grin, a great laugh, he could remember everyone’s name and most importantly I admired how he dedicated his career to elevating the integrity of an entire industry.”  – Shawn Conrad, CAE (IPMI)