Tag Archives: holiday

Happy New Year. Finally.

We made it. Whew.

It was a weird, different, challenging year to say the least. But there were some good things–new technologies, new ways of thinking, and some industry highlights among the craziness.

If you haven’t already, take a look back at five of our favorite stories from the year, in this month’s Parking & Mobility magazine. And then go to Forum and share your favorites and your highlights of the year–we’d love to hear them.

The blog normally goes quiet for the next week but this year, we have something special. For the next five days, we’ll be sharing a few gifts with you right here. Even if you’re taking some well-deserved time off, it’ll be worth checking your daily Forum email for that day’s blog post and special gift (they’re cool–we promise). Share them with your colleagues, staff members, and industry friends as our thank-you for everything you did this year. Staying connected with us has been a tremendous gift and we’re thankful–and we know great things are ahead.

Please be well, enjoy the holidays, and a very happy, early new year to all of us.


young hospital cleaner cleaning on the wardBy Roamy R. Valera, CAPP

I recently had a medical procedure that required an overnight stay at the hospital. I was clearly not planning this event, but it is 2020! I am well and feeling great and of course grateful for a team of doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals who took great care of me.

I share this recent event because of a profound interaction I had with a 70-year-old hospital housekeeper in my room as I was getting ready to be released and the nurse was giving what seemed to be a book of instructions to follow. Her soft tone of voice coupled with a deep and honest concern for my health gave me pause. As she witnessed me getting ready and somewhat occupied, she reached out and asked me about my family. “How are they? How old are the kids? Do you miss them?” She proceeded to sit on the chair in the room with the purpose of making me feel at ease and let me know that everything was going to be alright. She used her wise life experience to center me on what matters most.

“Family,” she said, “is your most important asset. Cherish it and foster it every day of your life.” Here I am in the middle of a pandemic, after a medical procedure, after seeing and talking to doctors and nurses, and it is the housekeeper who provides me with the best medicine and remedy. This 70-year-old housekeeper had the most profound message and lesson for me. I am also reminded how critical the most front line of the organization can be for the success of the overall experience.

“Family is the most important asset.” And as we close out this very challenging year, I am grateful for my family. May this Christmas and holiday season allow you to be closer to your family.

Roamy R. Valera, CAPP, is CEO, North America, with PayByPhone.

This Holiday Season, Spread Some Parking Cheer

By Matt Davis

The season of giving is almost upon us. Once the turkey coma subsides, millions of shoppers will descend upon downtowns and retail centers to do their holiday shopping. During this time when parking demand is at its peak, it’s easy to lose sight of what makes the holidays special. Instead of holiday cheer, we often spread raised tempers and negative attitudes–all over the pursuit of a parking space.

We can always take steps to minimize the pain and increase safety during these chaotic parking times, such as staying off our phones, driving slowly and vigilantly, and even choosing destinations that use parking guidance systems or allow reservation of a parking spot with a smartphone app. However it’s inevitable that at some point during the holiday shopping frenzy, we’ll find ourselves in a parking scenario that tests our patience.

Imagine if instead of making an aggressive dive for that elusive space, we instead gestured for another person to take it instead? Sure, this small kindness might create some inconvenience for you, but think about the difference you might have made for the person taking the space. Instead of entering the mall frustrated and angry, they’ll get out of their car having just received an unexpected gift from a stranger. Maybe that person will even pay that kindness forward to someone else.

As parking professionals, we know better than anyone how much parking can color a person’s experience at a destination. This holiday season, take the opportunity to help make that experience a positive one.

Matt Davis is associate principal with Watry Design, Inc.