Tag Archives: state and regional

Parking People

By Matt Penney

I just returned from a parking conference in Arkansas.  I’m now sitting back at my desk trying to catch up on everything I missed during my time away.  Work stacks up so quickly.  As my attention span gets the better of me, I find my mind drifting back to thoughts from the conference.

This morning, I have been sharing highlights of conversations with the Baylor office staff.  Small nuggets mostly; quick thoughts on how other universities solved a specific problem.  Sometimes they’re words of warning about issues another department encountered. We laughed together when I repeated crazy customer stories from across the country–it’s good to know it’s not just Baylor.

Then there are stories I internalized.  A peer manager at another university visibly strained by his supervisor, a micro manager who doesn’t understand parking.  A team of directors who all knew their operation inside and out.  How the room was filled with humble leaders and a handful of bold karaoke singers.

At that conference, almost without exception, what I saw impressed me.  Creative problem solvers looking for the best technology for their campus.  Budget-conscious planners stretching to get the most bang for their buck.  Visionaries who didn’t necessarily like the rise of yet another mode of transportation but understand the trends need attention.  Most importantly, I saw managers who cared about their customers.

I’ve heard it said that no one chooses parking, that parking chooses you. From what I can tell, parking has chosen some outstanding people.

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

The Value of Local Involvement

By Kevin Emert, MEd, CAPP

I love the International Parking Institute (IPI); it is a great resource for all things parking. I have learned so much and met many wonderful people through IPI and the CAPP program (you should get your CAPP). It has been invaluable in my career.

I am also active in my state’s parking association and have noticed that a lot of parking departments are not involved in state and local associations. It is a little disheartening to know that the people we work so close in proximity to may have knowledge and experiences that can help us, but we do not tap into those resources. We really do have a great association in my state. It is terrific when we go to the IPI Conference and I know everyone from my state.  We all go to dinner together and share our experiences and even our frustrations.

Knowing all of the parking people from my state is what makes the IPI Conference much more fun than a normal work day.  Our state parking association even has a scholarship that helps parking professionals get to the IPI Conference.

If I could ever suggest anything to parking professionals, it would be to get involved with IPI, CAPP (seriously go get your CAPP; yes, you have the time), and don’t forget about the local and state parking associations as well.

Kevin Emert, MEd, CAPP, is assistant director of the Georgia Building Authority.