Tag Archives: education

Customer Service Representatives: Superheroes in Disguise

Woman in jeans and T-shirt whose reflection has a cape on.By Lesli Stone, CAPP

Frontline parking and transportation professionals are in a unique position to be the eyes and ears of the communities they serve. Each  can observe a large number of engaged people in innocuous activities, day in and day out. These countless observations provide the experience and context to determine when things don’t seem quite right.

Providing comprehensive training and empowering our customer service representatives is an important step to providing safe and secure communities. Most of us are familiar with the Department of Homeland Security’s “See Something, Say Something” materials and devote a portion of our training budgets each year to educating our teams on identifying and appropriately reporting suspicious packages and activities. However, we are positioned to see so much more.

Recently at the Coble Transportation Center, customer service representative Erma S. observed a gentleman acting strangely. She made the decision to investigate further. She initiated a conversation with the man and determined that he was confused about his surroundings and situation.

Erma was able to gain the customer’s trust and he handed his phone over for assistance. She was able to identify an emergency contact and made a call to quickly and calmly explain the situation. As it turns out, the gentleman in question suffers from dementia and had been missing for hours. A safe pickup was coordinated and Erma stayed with the man until his concerned family members arrived. She said, “I just handled it as if it was my grandpa.”

While it is impossible to anticipate every situation, we train our drivers and staff to recognize human trafficking, dementia, and cognitive dysfunction, medical emergencies, and a host of other situations they could encounter. When we know better, we can do better. Awareness and training matter.

Lesli Stone, CAPP, is general manager at National Express Transit Corporation.

Keep It or Change It?

Woman leaping across ravine, one side says 2020 and the other side says 2021By Kathleen Federici, MEd

For 14 consecutive years, my husband and I held a New Year’s Day brunch for our family, neighbors, and friends. We had a themed and costumed Roaring Twenties party on New Year’s Day 2020 to welcome in the new decade that was filled with promising opportunity—at least, so we thought.

I was sometimes unsure if people came to the brunch because they really had fun or if they came because it was tradition and that’s just where folks gather on New Year’s Day. I was excited and happy to receive several texts and phone calls last week from friends and family saying how much they missed the party this year. I felt validated that people came because it was a fun place to gather and a great way to start the new year.

Thinking about this one event has inspired me to change how I choose to view 2021. I choose to take this year to review meaningful activities versus activities performed because that’s how it has been done in the past. I will keep the New Year’s Day party going for my family and friends. However, I am going to take this year to explore different ways to do things and mix things up. Maybe I will create new traditions, new ways to have fun with my family and friends, and/or new types of training experiences! I cannot wait to see what my imagination can create in 2021. What will I keep and what will change? Time will tell!

Kathleen Federici, MEd, is IPMI’s director of professional development.

Communication in a Virtual Training World

Virtual world blog postBy Kim E. Jackson, CAPP

I have the distinct honor of being a trainer for IPMI. I have been training for the past 23 years and one of the major highlights has always been the face-to-face interactions with trainees. During COVID-19, I decided to participate in Frontline Training Live Class Series in addition to teaching a session during the IPMI Virtual Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo. What an incredible experience! I was challenged in ways I did not think possible and realize this experience will make me a better manager.

In the world of Zoom and virtual meeting space, the interactive feedback I was used to during in-person trainings was often a black square, sometimes an initial and last name, making it impossible to see trainees’ reactions to the information I was sharing. Now there were those brave souls who turned their cameras on; they have no idea how helpful that was to this trainer.

Then there are the chat functions—a great feature when you have a co-facilitator, but very nerve wracking when training or teaching solo. It is nearly impossible to keep up with the flood of messages being shared to your questions or comments from others in attendance.

So you may be asking: How can this help me become a better manager? I have learned to be patient with the silence. I have learned eye contact, something I highly value, is not always necessary for comprehension or understanding. It is OK to take a risk and trust your own skills and abilities to communicate in any situation!

Kim E. Jackson, CAPP, is director of parking and transportation at Princeton University and an IPMI trainer.


Wrapping Up – and Taking Next Steps!


The past few months and weeks have been difficult—no matter what part of the industry or world you live in.

As we look toward a brighter future, coming together with our IPMI community through the 2020 IPMI Virtual Parking & Mobility  Conference & Expo reinforced everything we know about our members and friends. You were, as always, insightful, collaborative, generous, innovative, thoughtful, and inspiring. From on-demand to live education, and two amazing general sessions, we felt your courage and learned from your expertise. In the networking chats and the Expo, we explored every topic under the sun and collected so many resources. It would be easy to sit back having enjoyed the experience and move on.

Please don’t! Remember you have access to this valuable platform for an entire year. Some suggestions to stay engaged:

  • Keep learning, keep reading, and keep collaborating here and on all our platforms.
  • Go back and watch the sessions you didn’t have time for or the ones you want to revisit, including valuable resources and videos in the IPMI Now Resource Center (under Partners Pavilion 2 in the Expo Hall).
  • Connect with the experts you met in the Expo and keep them close in your network.
  • Collect all those CAPP points from the event—let us know if we can help in that pursuit!

If you weren’t able to attend, stay tuned for more information on how you can take part in the platform.

Thanks so much to our Board, volunteers, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, and participants for taking this digital leap with us. Stay sharp, stay connected, and stay well.

Rachel Yoka, CAPP, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, is IPMI’s vice president of program development.


SRA News: MAPA 2020 Scholarship Extends to June 30th



The Middle Atlantic Parking AssociationDEADLINE EXTENDED TO JUNE 30TH!

Each year MAPA awards Scholarships to deserving students. The award(s) are for one academic year. Applicants may reapply for subsequent years but may only win once The scholarship award may be used towards an accredited institution of higher learning or professional parking certification program. The Deadline is June 30, 2020 and the scholarship will be awarded directly to the institution in August.

Click Here for Full Program Guidelines
Click Here for the Application


To be eligible for the MAPA Scholarship Award you must be:

1. An employee (full-time, part-time, or student) of a MAPA organization member.

2. A spouse or dependent child of an employee of a MAPA organization member.

3. An employee must be employed for one year at the time of application.

Find out more

My First Virtual Conference

IPMI goes virtualBy Justin Grunert

In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, IPMI decided to transition from an in-person Conference to a virtual event. Our first priority was to keep all of our attendees, sponsors, and vendors safe.

It saddens me that I won’t be able to see many of you in person this year. But I am happy that I will still be able to interact with you virtually.

This may be your first virtual conference—the same for me. I have never attended a virtual event on this scale and am very excited to be a part of it!

Being part of IPMI’s professional development team, I’m looking forward to the process of making this year’s IPMI Conference & Expo a reality. We will be bringing you more than 40 hours of education, both live and on-demand. Every attendee will have the option to attend all of the education sessions and visit our virtual Expo hall.

With only weeks until the start of the Conference, here are five things to keep in mind:

  1. Review the agenda. The schedule shows our live events and the Virtual Expo Hall. Don’t worry about missing any sessions. IPMI will record all education sessions, and you will have access to those recordings until June 2, 2021.
  2. Find something new to learn! Review both the on-demand and live sessions and watch or attend those sessions. When I approach an event, I think about a problem or a skill I want to learn more about, and I make those sessions my priority.
  3. Network, network, network. IPMI will have virtual areas where you can discuss topics and network with your peers.
  4. Earn CAPP Points. This year will give you the best opportunity to earn the 25 CAPP Points for your new application or help fill in those holes for your recertification.
  5. Have fun! Remember, this will be the only conference you can attend while wearing your loungewear.

I am looking forward to seeing each and every one of you at this year’s Conference & Expo.

Justin Grunert is IPMI’s LMS and training coordinator.


COVID-19 Information Clearinghouse: Events and Education

Read all the COVID-19 Information Events & Education postings here.

To search all resources by keyword, search the Resource Library.

Submit Postings Here



Frontline Fridays: Taking IPMI’s Frontline Training Online

Woman takes class online with live instructorBy Cindy Campbell

The saying goes that “necessity is the mother of invention.” True enough.
We read on a daily basis about the realities of our changing world in response to this pandemic. An abundance of caution is necessary as we try to remain healthy and safe. For most, the pandemic has changed what we do and how we do it. As an IPMI onsite trainer, it has certainly limited my ability to provide training to our industry’s frontline staff. Until now.

Beginning April 24, IPMI is taking our popular frontline, instructor-led training classes online. To meet our members’ needs at this time, we’re approaching this training in a slightly different format: Our standard three-hour trainings have been divided into shorter, one-hour segments.

Timing is everything and like always, we’ll work with you to schedule the courses when it works best for your team. There are two options to participate in the training:

  1. Schedule an agency-specific training. You choose the dates and times that work best for your team.
  2. Sign up for a Frontline Friday session. Each Friday for the next five weeks, IPMI will offer two online, one-hour sessions. Class size will be limited, but we’ll work with you if the class you want fills up. Here’s a link to the Frontline Friday calendar.

We’re also excited to be rolling out new content. Kim Jackson, CAPP; Matt Penney; and I have developed timely new sessions appropriate for anyone within your organization:

IPMI will offer these frontline development courses through June at a deeply discounted, per-person price: Sign up for a single session for $30 or any combination of three sessions for $75. Class sizes will be limited to create opportunities for conversation and interaction.
We know that our members are facing challenging times. It’s our hope to bring professional development to your team no matter their physical work location.

Please reach out to me directly if you’ve got questions.

Cindy Campbell is IPMI’s senior training and development specialist.

Challenges, Solutions, and Tenacity

By Cindy Campbell

Did you make it out to Anaheim? I hope you did.

The 2019 IPMI Conference & Expo wrapped up just more than a week ago. As a member of the IPMI team, my role is to assist attendees with education sessions and to make the annual event a positive and meaningful experience for everyone. Even though I’m on staff, the reality is that I’m still just a parking girl, hoping for a great conference event–and I sure found it in Anaheim.

From the welcoming event block party to the general sessions, the education sessions and Shoptalks, and of course, the always phenomenal Expo, I’m hoping you share my observation that it accomplished the mission to enlighten and inspire our industry.

What was the hot topic “du jour” for you this year? There are always several that rise to the top, but the one that I heard most about probably won’t surprise you at all: curb management. There were various education sessions, group discussions, and solution-based inquiries around the Expo hall–most of the industry is challenged at some level by the ever-changing role of the curb and how we facilitate and manage that finite space for optimal effectiveness. An ongoing challenge for sure, but I have great faith in both the industry thought leaders and our broader membership. We’re a tenacious lot that seems to appreciate a good challenge. Technologies, policies, case studies, and lessons learned: Our colleagues never seem to shy away from sharing what’s worked and what hasn’t, and that’s not an attitude that every industry enjoys.

Yes, we’re a lucky bunch, we parking and mobility professionals. Always willing to share, to learn, and to help. All you have to do is ask.

Looking forward to doing it all again next year in San Antonio.

Cindy Campbell is IPMI’s senior training and development specialist.

CAPP Compadres, Part Two

By Tiffany Brander

In an earlier post, you heard from my friend and CAPP Mentor Casey Jones, CAPP, who began sharing our CAPP Mentor Program experience. In this post, I’ll discuss why I’ve chosen to pursue my CAPP as well as apply for the Mentor Program.

When I joined the Missoula Parking Commission in November 2015, I really didn’t have an interest in parking other than avoiding meter violations; I was just excited about a municipal management opportunity. Looking back, it’s almost funny to think how quickly that changed. The parking and transportation industry is complex, fascinating, and affects so many different facets of everyday life—how could I not get hooked?

When I first learned about CAPP certification at the 2016 IPMI Conference & Expo, I knew that if I wanted to get serious about a career in the industry I had just found a passion for, I needed to dedicate a pathway to achieving my CAPP credential. I started taking online courses through the IPMI website and enjoyed a variety of educational opportunities at the IPMI Conference & Expo. Along the way, I have had the opportunity to network with and learn from members of the CAPP community who were always more than willing to answer questions, offer advice, and share stories of successes and misfortunes. It was this willingness to share and support one another that made the CAPP Mentor Program appeal to me. Working with Casey through the CAPP Mentor Program has helped me set and stay focused on CAPP goals, determine areas of weakness to focus on, and made me more confident in my ability to prepare for the CAPP exam.

I am hopeful this post will inspire others to join the CAPP Mentor Program and am happy to share my experience with those looking for further information.

Tiffany Brander is interim parking services director with the Missoula Parking Commission, an Accredited Parking Organization (APO).