Tag Archives: networking

On The Road Again

driving car on the road, travel backgroundBy Matt Penney, CAPP

For the first time in a year and a half, I was on the road again. I ventured outside of the Baylor University bubble in search of parking knowledge. For me, visiting other people and locations is a highlight of our parking industry. Zoom is O.K., but in my opinion, good people and walk-throughs are always better in person.

So I jumped on Texas Highway 6 for a short hour and a half drive to Bryan College Station. Peter Lange and his always friendly Aggie cohorts welcomed me back to Texas A&M University. Wow, their new offices are stunning! And innovative! I got the tour and saw several friendly faces I haven’t seen in awhile–even did that awkward half handshake/half fist bump COVID combo that is currently a part of our new normal.

There were discussions about COVID, parking demand, revenue, and what the future might bring. It may be the group sidebar conversations that are missing from video conferences. These “rabbits” from the professional jargon help you understand the personalities in the room. From the personal to the humorous, these tidbits make up the personalities we connect with.

It was a good visit. The onsite observations provided the exact information I was looking for. The 6-foot distance still seems a little forced and I miss smiles unblocked by masks. In all, I probably wasn’t on campus for more than a couple of hours.

I hope you get the opportunity to connect in person sooner than expected!

It was good to be on the road again.

Matt Penney, CAPP, is director of parking and transportation services at Baylor University.


How to Network During a Virtual Event

Woman networking with others over Zoom.By Ashley Owens

We are all working from the safety of our homes and many of our powerful engagements now happen online. While we are physically distancing, virtually we are not. Online conferences give us access to the best experts, industry leaders, and other potential assets to our network, so it’s important to be creative and strategic in building relationships from virtual events. Here are some ways to virtually network at a conference:

Have a Goal. 

Begin by establishing your virtual networking goals. How many people do you want to connect with? Will you begin to spend virtual time weekly with certain connections? Be intentional in planning and strategizing your way through to a conference. This will direct your focus and effort in networking that drives professional advancement.

Comment and Engage. 

Share relevant comments and thoughts on topics to showcase your expertise. Be visible on the event platform and community or event app. Post questions, insights, review, and hear from others, too. This strategy helps you find your way to connections with shared professional or educational interests, causes, and contacts.

Create Personal Conversations.

When you follow-up with your new connections, understand that conversations at this time of our life may become personal. This is a powerful way of building trust while sharing both our growth and challenges, both personally and in the business.

Working remotely may have dramatically changed the way we connect, but the possibilities are endless. Stay creative, strategize, and know that success is right in front of you!

Ashley Owens is a networking concierge and head of Ashley Assists. She will present on this topic during IPMI’s 2020 Leadership Summit, online, Oct. 6-8. For details and to register, click here.

Mastering the Art of Effective–Really Effective–Networking

Woman networking with others over Zoom.By Ashley Owens

Networking is such a personal activity–it is not a one-size-fits-all practice. Most people get bogged down in the details and miss out on the foundation of how to build and retain an effective network. At the end of the day, no one cares WHAT you do, but do you know them, like them or trust them?

In an industry built on the power of connecting face-to-face, establishing and growing meaningful relationships is undeniably critical to long-term success. During IPMI’s Leadership Summit this October, I’ll share ways to nurture your current business relationships so that you can create your own tactical, individualized approach. You will learn how to save time by recognizing the best strategic partners and effectively engaging contacts up using email, messaging, social media, and other digital tools.

Dive in and engage with your peers in this highly interactive session, where you learn how to balance your strengths, network strategically and with confidence, and craft an authentic, powerful, professional networking process to achieve a wildly successful career.

Ashley Owens is a networking concierge and head of Ashley Assists. She will present on this topic during IPMI’s 2020 Leadership Summit, online, Oct. 6-8. For details and to register, click here.

Five Great Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn has long been known as the place to socially network to hire, improve professional knowledge, network, and bump up one’s career. But it’s also one of the biggest search engines on the internet and people visit it to find all sorts of things. If your profile’s not optimized, they might not find you–and if you’re hoping to be found, that’s a problem.

In this month’s Parking & Mobility magazine, we look at five great ways to improve your LinkedIn profile to make it more engaging, interesting, and findable on that giant, social search engine. It’s a quick read–find it here and get moving!

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.


See You Monday!

Virtual ConferenceWhat a long, strange year it’s been so far, but things are starting to look up. And we at IPMI are excited to see our parking and mobility industry friends online Monday for the 2020 IPMI Parking & Mobility Virtual Conference & Expo—#IPMI2020. It’s not the same as in person and we wish we were all shaking hands and hugging for real, but the virtual conference platform is fantastic, with lots of opportunity for human connections (along with all the great sessions, keynotes, GameChangers, and the Expo—wait until you see the Expo!).

If you haven’t signed up, visit ipmi.parking-mobility.org to browse the schedule, explore the list of exhibitors, and register. When the live event is over, you’ll still have access to all of it for a full year, and we think that’s a pretty cool perk.

The blog will return after the event next week. In the meantime, we’ll see you online Monday morning!

Real-life Connections in a Virtual World

How not to suck at virtual networkingBy Kim Fernandez

Raise your hand if big-event networking can be a little overwhelming.

Now raise it if the thought of that same networking during a virtual event makes your head hurt a little bit.

I thought so.

As it turns out—and this was news to me—virtual networking is a very big thing. You can absolutely attend an online event and come away with the same valuable contacts you’d make face to face (slightly awkward small talk optional).

Take a minute and a half (seriously) and check out this video that offers some great tips to set yourself up to expand your contact list and make great industry connections while you attend an event (say, the 2020 IPMI Virtual Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo June 1-2, not that I’m biased) from home. Get your note-taking pen ready—the takeaways are plentiful and fast.

I’m looking forward to connecting with more people than ever during my next virtual event. Wanna race me?

Kim Fernandez is IPMI’s director of publications and editor of Parking & Mobility magazine, and now an enthusiastic advocate of virtual networking.

Reassessing Mobility Technology

Technology business professional developmentBy John Nolan, CAPP, MSM

Why do we spend so much money on business technology? We do so to help leverage our operations and improve business outcomes. These outcomes include our ability to deliver timely and accurate information—information that improves service outcomes but at the same time increases customer expectations.

Technology, like any product, is subject to the lifecycle effect. The product lifecycle is broken into four stages: development, growth, maturity, and decline. The process of strategizing ways to continuously support and maintain a product that avoids decline is called product lifecycle management. Within this management cycle exits the ability for competent management to extend and improve technology’s impact on their operation. When technology companies fail to understand or recognize where they are in that lifecycle realm, it often results in competitors or outside influencers jumping into the market and leaving them behind.

As a managing director of 12 various service departments, the ongoing assessing of various technologies is critical to delivering system performance that is essential to high-quality outcomes.

Within our parking organizations, parking leadership must constantly keep in mind the process of total quality management (TQM) and continuous quality improvement (CQI). Research within the marketplace to improve our condition, impose project discipline, and promote better communication through data and metrics is critical to performance excellence.

Amazon’s recent quarterly report significantly beat analysts’ expectations. The No. 1 factor the market cited was their switch to one-day service. The investment they made last year in managing their service lifecycle is now beginning to pay big dividends and once again challenging the marketplace for service dominance.

It’s very important that as parking professionals, we continuously engage with ourselves and our teams to understand what technologies in the market will improve our operation, especially when vendors are unresponsive. And, it’s important to not be afraid to make changes that improve our operation and our customers’ experience, even when it’s easier to continue with the status quo.

John Nolan, CAPP, MSM, is managing director of transportation services at Harvard University. He will present on this topic during the 2020 IPMI Virtual Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo, June 1-2, wherever you are. Click here for details and to register.


Free Online Shoptalk: How to Not Suck at Virtual Networking

Free Online Shoptalk: How to Not Suck at Virtual Networking

Friday May 15, 2020  11 am-12 pm ET

Free to all industry professionals

Access Recording here


Networking is such a personal activity—it is not a one-size-fits-all practice. It’s easy to get bogged down in the details and miss out on the foundation of how to build and retain a retain an effective network. At the end of the day, no one cares what you do as much as whether you know and like them and whether you can be trusted.

In an industry built on the power of connecting face-to-face, establishing and growing meaningful relationships is undeniably critical to long-term success. During the current pandemic, networking has shifted from onsite to fully online.

Are you prepared to nurture your network this way? Are you prepared to take advantage of online opportunities to learn, collaborate, and grow through platforms like the 2020 IPMI Parking & Mobility Virtual Conference & Expo and IPMI’s ongoing free industry Shoptalks?

Get registered for this interactive webinar (it’s free!) and get ready to grow your personal and professional network, with lots of takeaway value and strategies you can use right away.

In this presentation, networking concierge Ashley Owens shares ways to nurture your current business relationships to create your own tactical, individualized approach. Save time by recognizing the best strategic partners and effectively engaging contacts through email, messaging, social media, and other digital tools. Dive in and engage with your peers in this highly interactive keynote, and learn how to balance your strengths, network strategically and with confidence, and craft an authentic, powerful, professional networking process to achieve a wildly successful career.


Ashley Owens Bio picPresenter: Ashley Owens

Ashley Owens is the first and only networking concierge who puts you in the right situation or gets you out of the wrong one. Ashley works as a strategic partner, attending events with professionals as an extension and champion of them. Starting her career as a personal and executive assistant to two celebrities in New York City, her experience in networking grew as she obtained positions in customer service, business analytics, and account management. Since 2017, she has grown her business into something she could have never dreamed of. Ashley is a host of two digital TV talk shows on RVNTV and This is It TV, speaking and interviewing on the topic of tactical networking. She has taken more than 700 introduction phone calls with business professionals looking to grow their network, and has made close to 1,000 introductions. She has spoken to over 50 networking groups, organizations, companies, and conferences, including the coveted Pennsylvania Conference for Women. She has been interviewed on the Mel Robbins Show on CBS, produces and hosts a podcast talking to entrepreneurs about their screw-ups, raises thousands of dollars for local nonprofits at her Cocktails and Conversation networking event, has over 185 referral partners,and has keynoted around the U.S.

The Parking & Mobility Industry Comes Together in a Time of Need

parking COVID-19 community collaborationBy Brett Wood, CAPP, PE

This blog is part of a special series on curb management and COVID-19. A joint effort of IPMI, Transportation for America, and ITE, this series strives to document the immediate curbside-related actions and responses to COVID-19, as well as create a knowledge base of strategies that communities can use to manage the curbside during future emergencies.

There is an enduring human spirit that persists in crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has put that spirit to the test, forging stronger bonds within and between our communities, our industries, our nation, and our humanity. Lately, I have been struck by how closely connected we all are.

I don’t need to tell you how strange, trying, and scary these weeks have been. But what you might not know is while everyone was figuring out how to work from home, keep their business afloat, or protect their loved ones, professionals across the parking and mobility industry were hard at work trying to support those activities.

Our communities are normally test beds for ongoing transportation innovation, but this pandemic has accelerated the need for creative use of our resources and emphasizes the importance of collaboration between colleagues. Although every community has unique features, hopefully practices that work well in one community rapidly multiply across the country. The past few weeks have seen that concept accelerate to hyper speed.

As communities enacted new policies to protect citizens by minimizing the spread of the coronavirus, their parking and mobility programs adapted curb management and parking policies to address emerging priorities. Rapid installation of temporary loading zones for restaurant curbside pickup and paid parking and enforcement policy changes to help homebound residents were needed to support business and residential communities. Supportive parking policies for healthcare and other essential workers were critical to ensuring safe, efficient, and quick access to parking as hospitals expanded triage areas into their parking lots.

Behind these changes was an amazing network of professionals connecting in rapid fashion to share ideas, discuss challenges, and offer support. A few resources that truly helped to connect folks included:

  • City groups functioning through International Parking and Mobility Institute (IPMI), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), and Transportation for America’s 2020 Smart Cities Collaborative came together in a grassroots fashion to help discuss, test, implement, monitor, and triage curbside changes. Through a variety of channels – emails, Slack, and good old phone calls – policies implemented on one side of the country quickly made to the other side.
  • The IPMI Forum, an online IPMI member resource, provided a place for professionals to ask questions, compare ideas, and discuss how to adapt policy. As bigger cities created their policies, they trickled down through this network.
  • Transportation for America’s Smart Cities Collaborative Slack channel provided a simple, effective forum for member cities to discuss and share responses and solutions to COVID-19.
    • Smart Cities Collaborative member Chris Iverson from the City of Bellevue, Wash., shared that, “Once restaurants were mandated to shift to delivery and pick-up operations only, we reached out to the Collaborative to see what curbside best practices other cities were implementing. It helped immensely that everyone in the Slack channel was already focused on curbside management practices, and the transition to crisis mode was made easier with the help of the Collaborative.”
  • The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) launched a Transportation Resource Center public tool for cities to share information and develop effective responses to this evolving global crisis. It provides actionable examples of how cities around the world are addressing critical tasks, such as:
    • Helping healthcare and other essential workers get safely where they’re needed while protecting transit operators and frontline staff.
    • Creating pick-up/delivery zones to ensure that residents can access food and essential goods.
    • Managing public space to encourage physical distancing.
    • Deploying effective public communications and signage.
  • The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is collecting a variety of transportation data to assist in understanding recent changes to travel of people and goods in response to COVID-19

Collectively, this network helped keep businesses running, supported stay-at-home orders, and facilitated the needs of healthcare systems. In a joint effort, IPMI, Transportation for America, ITE, and other partner organizations are documenting these actions and their impacts. They plan to provide summary blogs, articles, and peer reviewed white papers to help communities understand, plan, mitigate, and forge ahead through future emergencies.

If you have a good story, please share it with brett@woodsolutionsgroup.com.

Brett Wood, CAPP, PE, is president of Wood Solutions Group.