Tuesday at the IPI Conference & Expo: Recognizing Achievement, Peering into a Crystal Ball

Casey Jones (right) presents Roamy Valera with his Chairman's Award

Gary Means, CAPP, and Kim Jackson, CAPP, cranked up the spotlight Tuesday morning to present the 2012 IPI Professional Recognition Awards. Noting that the awards are given to parking pros who “exemplify excellence in their work everyday,” they presented plaques to:

  • Heather Medley (Texas Tech University): Parking Staff Member of the Year
  • June Broughton (Texas A&M University): Parking Supervisor of the Year
  • University of Maryland, College Park, Department of Transportation Services: Parking Organization of the Year
  • Rachel Yoka LEED AP BD+C, CNU+A, CPSM (Timothy Haas & Associates, Inc.): Parking Professional of the Year

Next, Board Chair Casey Jones, CAPP, presented the Chairman’s Award to Wanda Brown (UC Davis Health System) and Roamy Valera, CAPP (Standard Parking Corporation). Casey expressed his deep appreciation for their service and shared comments—both touching and amusing—from board members about both of them. (Hint: watch for salsa dancing at next year’s IPI Conference & Expo in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.!)

The Future of Parking

Attendees were then invited on a journey into the future of parking and mobility by Dr. George Hazel, FCIHT MICE FCILT OBE, chairman of MRC McLean Hazel. Opening with an adaptation of the blue pill/red pill challenge Morpheus issued to Neo in “The Matrix,” Hazel observed that while staying with an operational/regulatory “blue pill” view of parking and mobility is perfectly OK, trends around the globe reveal a whole new “red pill” paradigm centered primarily around the customer that savvy parking pros can leverage to their benefit.

Mobility will have to be seamless, be end user-focused, and offer customers value, he said. We need to think of this future as a retail model, not an operational model, he added, offering examples from around the globe of new apps and services that put the customer at the center of parking and mobility.

The question, said Hazel, is: Who’s going to shape, lead—and make money from—that “red pill” future? “If you don’t do it, someone else will. Maybe Google? Maybe Walmart? Who knows?”

He said he hopes a partnership model emerges, but it’s not clear yet in the journey who will do this. “The parking industry has a crucial part to play in cities in all sorts of ways,” he observed. But we need to understand these trends and explore potential business models.

The Expo

Exhibitors and Conference attendees enjoyed several hours on the show floor. Since the show opened, they’ve been joined by reporters from several news outlets. Yesterday, CBS’s Sean McLaughlin stopped to chat with parking professionals including Rachel Yoka, vice president of Timothy Haahs & Associates and the 2012 IPI Parking Professional of the Year.

Lunch was again served in the Expo hall, and attendees took advantage of education sessions before and after show hours.

Today at the Conference & Expo

It’s Free Expo Hall day! There is no charge to visit this year’s Expo today and guests are welcome.

Also today are a general session keynote on How to Maximize Media Opportunities and Speak Parking Matters®, the IPI/ACT Summit on TDM: Transportation Tools to Support Parking Program Effectiveness, more educational sessions, and the Viva la Fiesta industry closing event (tickets required), which should be a bang!

About Mark Wright

Mark Wright is the executive director of the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT).

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